The maxim goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Not to be satirical here, many IT pain points are the results of resolving problems the wrong way, conforming to the “good old standards and practices” that long dominated IT operations manuals. In a conformist culture prevalent in most parts of Asia, it is not a surprise that many IT organizations still rely on tape storage as their last line of defense against data loss, even putting both their career and organizations at risks when it comes to meeting stringent regulatory compliance requirements. Continue reading
From tech startups (like mine) to Fortune 200 tech companies (like mine) alike, cloud has been a global engine of growth as well as as an enabler of rapid innovation. And even through the recent recession, cloud adoption has continued to skyrocket leading to an entire economy being built around it (PaaS, SaaS, ITaaS, BaaS, XaaS…).
Did you know that cloud will generate 14 million jobs worldwide by 2013? Or that IT innovation through cloud computing leads to $1.2 billion per year in new revenue? These were some of the recent findings that came out of an International Data Corporation study commissioned by Microsoft. And, in the next decade it is predicted that cloud will be a $240 billion industry.
This is more than many countries’ GDP!
So, are you on the fast track with cloud?
It can be argued that much of the uptick in cloud adoption has been, in part, due to the recent economic downturn. With IT budgets down or flat, it has just been more practical to turn those capital expenditures into operational expenditures through cloud. The flexibility that cloud provides is also a key benefit in times of economic uncertainty. Not sure your company can predict accurately its IT needs in the next year? Cloud is a great answer since you can downsize or upsize as needed according to your business demand. In support of this, last year Bloomberg released a survey of business decision-makers around cloud technology listing the top four main benefits of cloud-based services as: efficiency, cost savings, scalability, and variety of features. you can have access to these and more through an optimized cloud strategy implementation.
What’s more, cloud is a great leveler for innovation. While the internet can be thought of as the first wave of leveling, cloud technology is definitely the second. It effectively allows startups and small businesses with limited resources to have access to a global playground of as-a-service technologies at a reasonable cost, without having to develop it in-house. In many cases, cloud enables startups to compete with well established companies by providing agility to match rapid product development without legacy IT infrastructure weighing them down. For my own tech startup, I’m actually dynamically provisioning the cloud services I need when I need them, and only paying for what I use. This helps me keep costs down and efficiency up, while giving me room to scale as I grow. Without cloud this would not be possible.
A lot of times it’s just overcoming a mindset (“we’ve always done it this way in the past and it’s always worked”), and other times it’s fear of the unknown or simply a lack of understanding that cloud has come a long away to address concerns around compliance, regulatory, security, and control issues. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of education to overcome objections of the past on the journey to the cloud.You may also be wondering which industries are the most mature in terms of cloud computing adoption. The usual suspects of banking, insurance, education, media, and government (mostly private cloud) top the list. Lagging behind are manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and energy/utilities. Doing this gap analysis reveals that there is an opportunity space emerging in these underdeveloped industries for which cloud can play a future role, given the right positioning.
These days, cloud not only allows smaller companies to compete in a global marketplace (and larger companies to retain their competitive advantage if they are effectively employing cloud), but it also can be a nimble canoe of differentiation in a sea of Big Data. Big Data analytics allow us to glean insights and generate tailored reports about our customers like never before, getting real-time metrics about demand, buying habits, engagement effectiveness …you name it. Companies that can respond to rapidly changing market conditions with agility, armed with the insights combed through effective reporting mechanisms, will succeed in tomorrow’s marketplace. And what’s the underlying gateway to this success?
In a recently published white paper by IDC, Program Vice President, Laura DuBois outlines and reviews the challenges IT departments are having with meeting the data backup SLAs required by the business. Laura discusses how cloud services can fundamentally change the cost model around backup and how enterprises are leveraging these new backup-as-a-service (BaaS) offerings as a means of outsourcing nonstrategic tasks.
For enterprise IT shops considering offloading backup, IDC provides great reading and advice in choosing the right service provider (see EMC’s Velocity Service Provider) and the most appropriate service offering based on your business needs. If you’re an EMC Velocity Service Provider, not currently offering BaaS services, Laura provides guidance about the different BaaS deployment models and what approach makes the most sense based on current and future service offerings.
Check out the IDC White Paper titled: Backup as a Service: Approaches and Advantages for Service Providers and End Users. It’s a great read and offers some good advice.
According to Mark Prahl, a high-tech business professional who has been talking or writing about products and gadgets for business or personal consumption for some time, data protection needs are more acute for as-a-service cloud models and require new approaches.
What can you do to ensure data protection as you move to the cloud?
Prahl explains what it means to augment a successful data protection solution and extend it with a new distributed architecture and analysis engine to cloud deployments, without losing any usability benefits (i.e. without making it complex) in his post “EMC Data Protection Advisor For As-A-Service Cloud” on our sister site Managed View.
Click here to read the full post, including Prahl’s take on DPA 6. Then, come back—and let me know what you think. What’s your biggest data protection challenge in moving to the cloud? I want to know.
By Howard Rubin, Product Marketing Manager, Backup and Recovery Systems
My blog last month entitled Cloud Control to Major Tom talked about the top five reasons enterprise don’t leverage cloud technology. I focused on one specific reason pertaining to loss of control and visibility as being one of the top five. This week I’d like to focus on another bullet on that top 5 list: The belief that cloud computing needs to mature more. In a publicly available report by Enterprise Strategy Group, 29% of the 256 respondents in their study noted this to be the reason for them not to adopt a cloud strategy.
So exactly what does “mature” mean in this use case? Are these IT departments waiting for some other IT division or data center location to be the guinea pig? Perhaps “mature” means they’re waiting for next generation of software and hardware technology that improves upon the imperfections of the current version. Or maybe they’re just waiting for the cloud providers and market analysts to report double and triple digit growth numbers. Why make trillions when we could make….billions? But I digress….
The reality is that enterprises are levering cloud technology today to help alleviate their IT pain points. And those pain points are convincing them to spend to the tune of $110.8 billion on cloud services in 2012 according to a recent Gartner report. (Dr. Evil might be on to something).
At a high level, let’s take a look at another (top 5) list of reasons why enterprises are looking to leverage cloud service providers for some existing IT processes. The list includes:
- Technology infrastructure issues: Can’t afford new hardware or upgrades every year
- Datacenter issues: Space, cooling, power or remote disaster recovery site
- Financial issues: CAPEX to OPEX conversion
- Personnel resource issues: Limited/reduced headcount or technical competence
- Legal compliance: Support for regulatory and auditing compliances required by the business
So what constitutes market maturity for you? Why wait for trillion’s when you can solve your pain points today when the industry is already over 100 billion? Check out EMC’s Velocity Service Providers Trusted Partners who can help adopt a cloud strategy. You’ll only need one VSPP partner to take that one first step – not a billion.