Tag Archives: managed services

switch

Keep it Simple … the Business of Cloud

switchA complicated business, this cloud thing, if you want it to be… of course you don't want it to be, nor do your customers, but it isn't "simple" any more than IT is simple: it is made to look that way, though, by people who know what they're doing.

The cloud message I hear most comes across as a variation of the POOF methodology: "quick, easy, click here, pay there, flick the switch and POOF! You're in the cloud!" This does set an expectation that things are (and will continue to be) simple, quick, and easy (oh, and don't forget, cheap: chances are that somewhere along the way that things like "low entry costs," "cost-effective," and "no CapEx," were translated to "cheap," "cheap," and "cheap.")

Seth Godin says that "You can't sell complicated to someone who came to you to buy simple" to which I add a corollary that "you can't sell expensive to someone who came to you to buy cheap!" However you look at it, while things are (or can be) simpler and more cost-effective than they ever have been, simple to understand does not always equate to not complicated and cost-effective does not in any sense of the word guarantee inexpensive (and it is all relative: specifically to each specific set of customer requirements to which you are delivering).

In reality, you actually can do both, but you better do it well if you want it to stick (and remember, the easy-to-sign customer may end up being the one you wished you hadn't closed).

Broadly considering, no Cloud Provider, large or small, truly understand what the entire market wants or for that matter what an entire segment of customers want: part of what we are offering with today's computing and communications capability is the chance to do new things or old things better, stronger faster and cheaper. You are meant to work with them to exploit the cloud to do whatever it is they want to do, which of course starts with listening to what they want and then applying your knowledge, expertise and experience to work with them to translate those wants into needs… and how to deliver them.

I have a favourite trick in getting this process rolling at the start of a new hunt looking to start the build process of a strong, long-term relationship – you know, that space and time when you aren't yet certain of the drivers of those sitting across the table or the focus and appoach that they or their organisation takes to IT in the business, let alone their agendas!

Remember those coloured, layered plastic pages of the human body in the Encyclopedias of our youth? The first picture was of a person (which we'll liken to your cloud business answer for your customer's business problem); turn the top page to reveal first muscles below the skin, next the blood system, then the organs and finally the skeleton (which equates to what, who and how you deliver that business answer). Everything in between is, well, everything in between – but this allows you to start with the big picture if that turns out to be the right starting point – or the bones if that is what your audience needs on the day… while preparing you well for anything in-between.

Don't sell complicated as simple, because it isn't… and what you are about to do with your customers is game-changing, one way or the other and that seldom is simple.

The Business of Cloud homepage

Cloud Warnings

Questions to Ask Before Buying… the Business of Cloud

Cloud Buying Questions for Cloud Computing Service Providers, hosted by the good folk over at CompareTheCloud.net

Cloud Service Provider:  You’ve made your pitch and you’re in the door, sitting across from some subset of senior management who are waiting to hear about how you and your cloud can change their world. Well done (especially these days!)… but there just might be a few questions before the deal closes: buying cloud from you is a leap of faith – not only in your business – but in their own business and its ability to capitalise on what you are offering.

The following questions, posed in no particular order, are the nature of which you might hear coming from the other buy-side of the table:

  1. Questions and Answers signpostWhere are your Data Centres; how are they connected; who and how has the whole thing been designed and built? What is your current technology landscape and what are your plans?
  2. What happens if my applications / data / websites are unavailable (and /or remain unavailable for an inordinate amount of time? And, for that matter, what is the definition of an inordinate amount of time?) Tell me about service levels and service credits?
  3. How quickly can you restore lost data (including recovery from user error); what is the back-up regimen, frequency, retention policies? Where is the data backed up?
  4. Tell about your support model for my business users, technical users and developers. Will we have an account manager and, if yes, what does that mean?
  5. Show me how I am not locked in to you: what are the mechanisms to ensure a cost effective repatriation of applications and data (to either another provider or back into my own data centre); what are the costs and timings of such decommissioning?
  6. While at this point you foresee no problems in moving our (pick one: ERP; bespoke trading platform; SOA; etc.) to your cloud… what is your approach (from due diligence through to the actual porting exercise) and what happens if there are problems? Will there be any impact on my costs?
  7. You seem like a new and risky (or successful and growing business): what happens to my business if you should go under (or get acquired)?
  8. Where have you done any or all of the above / can I speak with a current customer bearing some relationship to mine in terms of industry sector and scale? Can I see your Customer case studies quoting business results?

Buying cloud from you is a leap of faith – not only in your business – but in their own business and its ability to capitalise on what you are offering.

When I started writing this, I had planned a list of a few questions only, intending to discuss each a little more including views as to how to answer: along the way it has become the start of a solid list of tough questions which might prove of value all along the supply chain (and I’d also suggest that, if a customer doesn’t ask such questions, that a larger opportunity just might exist to start a journey where you can start adding extra value from day one of the sale process by posing and answering those questions together… never a bad way to start a relationship!).

At this point I’d like to throw the floor open to you: what are the questions a service provider should be asked?  And which are the questions a provider should be well prepared for?  And what are the killer questions that might have caught you off-guard?!

The Business of Cloud homepage

 

clouds over Computing

My take on Cloud Expo Europe 2013

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My take on Cloud Expo Europe 2013

"Events of this nature, with vendors, seminars and keynotes, help you to see what ‘could be’ prior to defining or designing what you want”

“Cloud to Clarity wasn’t quite delivered… but this is not a reflection on either the event or the exhibitors, though, rather on the state of a rapidly evolving industry… but it is getting better”

Guest post at ComparetheCloud.net (click on the title above or the logo below to check out a top Cloud Computing resource)

I’ve been attending IT industry shows and events the nature of this one since the ‘old days’ when business computing existed only on mainframes (which, by the way, are in many ways the predecessor architecture of cloud which is, effectively, computing re-centralised…) and I recall only a few where I have felt it worth attending for more than one day: Cloud Expo Europe 2013 was one of them.

As mentioned in a recent blog published elsewhere, I typically counsel any business to focus on requirements and targets before looking at the technology, but these times (and this show) are a little different.

Because you can do more than you could before – particularly without spending a large amount of money up front to get started doing it – thinking outside of the box effectively requires knowledge of what might be out there and I am now more likely to suggest that you see what ‘could be’ prior to defining or designing what you want.

Click here or on the Logo below to read the rest


Daniel is a Director at Beyond Solutions, a Partner at HB Prime Advantage and a Thought Leader for Compare the Cloud.

cloud-cost-savings-outlook-rainy

Grey Clouds over Cost Savings

Grey Clouds over Cost Savings

A great piece by Michael Queenan of Nephos Technologies 

when a Cloud blog starts with "If you are looking at Cloud for just cost savings you’re going to be disappointed" I know I've found one of the good ones (and thanks to @MJQueenan for the mention)

cloud-cost-savings-outlook-rainy

 

really Should you be?

Should you be selling Managed Services and Cloud?

(subtitle: Should you be buying Managed Services or Cloud from these people?)

Clearly the playing field has and is still changing for the business technology sector from the point of view of both end user organisation and the traditional mix of vendors, integrators, resellers, outsourcers and other tech-space providers (choose your label, add freely to the list).

While this is also true for those already with a managed service model, they do at least have clarity in response to the question posed in the title above: right or wrong, profitable and growing or not, they are already in that space.

Meanwhile, the other players in the sector are being bombarded by change: what customers are asking for (expecting, demanding); the underlying technology to deliver to those requirements; the necessary commercial and service models and processes in place. Over the past year I’ve read more than a few articles along the lines of “Cloud Kills the Traditional (insert term here)” and “Change or Die,” many of which deliver coherent arg02062007285.jpguments but most of them are partly correct and incorrect.

In my business I advise ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ IT service providers business to adapt a solutions-focused, recurring revenue client model. But not all such businesses get the same advice… it is not always the case that the provider side should (or is ready, yet, to) provide such services (competently and profitably) nor that the end user is both ready and in need of the change (again, yet: we are talking industry wide disruption based on valued add, so they are likely to get there but hopefully after a little bit of planning to ensure that they have an idea of where they are actually going!)

Sticking with our “traditional” mix of vendors, integrators, resellers, outsourcers and other tech space providers, I would suggest any of the above execute a short review of the following questions to ‘test’ their readiness, willingness (and awareness) to do what it takes to do it right – not to mention to take a preliminary view of the levels of effort it might take to get there:

  1. What are your current: capabilities, skill sets, references and credibility?
  2. What are your current assets, in general and Data Centre(s) in particular
  3. Do you currently offer any managed services (network or device monitoring, eMail, printing, etc.)?
  4. What are the capabilities, assets and skill sets of your current customer base; Do they understand the value of managed services?
  5. Do your client-facing staff have relationships with your clients (to whom are they selling; do they have C-level relationships?)

These same questions, slightly adjusted and posed to potential service providers as well as inward-looking, also apply to pretty much all end user / customer business considering moving, changing or transitioning and, even more importantly, in my opinion, with whom they choose to make that move: managed service relationships do have a 'tied-in' nature, so tread and choose carefully.

These questions are the tip of the iceberg and would be covered in the first hours of one of my typical engagements… it is the questions which follow and the requisite investment in time and resources to create and implement change across sales, delivery, operations, business processes and, of course, the commercials to successfully adapt and grow as a Managed Service Provider).

“Growth” is the magic word, by the way… preparing for, selling correctly and then delivering what is essentially “more of the same” to a client base that is expanding as you do it better (faster, smarter, cheaper) will, from what I have seen across the sector these past fifteen years or so, drive growth and expansion batter than most strategies.

If you’d like to discuss further how you can assess and prepare for such a move – and to take a first run through that list of questions, contact me at steeves@beyond-solutions.co.uk for a complimentary introductory workshop (free-form but functional).

woz

Apple founder warns of ‘horrendous’ cloud computing risks

Steve-Wozniak-appl_2218556b

Woz and I on the same page, as always!

Wozniak told an audience in Washington DC: "I really worry about everything going into the cloud. I think it's going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years."

Steve Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs in 1976, was speaking after a performance of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, a monologue about working conditions at Apple's Chinese factories.

The play attracted controversy earlier this year when Mike Daisey, the performer, admitted that he had fabricated some of the stories in the piece. Daisey originally claimed that the stories in the monologue were taken from interviews he conducted with Chinese workers during a visit to the country in 2010.

Daisey, who has since re-worked his script, invited Wozniak to the penultimate performance of the show.

Answering questions from the audience, the 61-year-old Wozniak said: "With the cloud, you don't own anything. You already signed it away."

He added: "I want to feel that I own things. A lot of people feel, 'Oh, everything is really on my computer,' but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we're going to have control over it."

Asked about Labour conditions in China, where Apple and virtually every other technology company, including Samsung, Microsoft and Sony, makes its products, Wozniak said: "We know we [customers] have a voice. We can speak but we can't act like, oh, Foxconn is bad or Apple is bad."

He said he believed conditions for Chinese workers would improve as the country grows richer.

Wozniak, who now works for memory company Fusion IO, invented the Apple I and the Apple II. He left full-time employment with the company in 1987 though he remains on the payroll.

 

Apple founder warns of 'horrendous' cloud computing risks – Telegraph.

My Gardener is in the Cloud (redux): A Basic Cloud Primer

Gardener as a Service (GaaS)

Robert shows on Tuesday mornings, backing his little van into my driveway, throws open the back door and pulls out his kit: a mower some weeks, a blower others, always a rake and a trimmer… He unlocks the gate and goes about his work and within an hour or so he is gone. All that I need to do is have handy the garden waste bin. Oh, and an espresso: I have him hooked on this once-a-week caffeine rush.

That is, in essence, all that most people need to know to start to understand the cloud: cloud is a commercial model wherein you pay for a service, done as you need it to be done when you want it done without requirement for upfront investment or set-up fees: no purchases required! “Cloud computing” is a generic term for pretty much anything that involves delivering infrastructure or programs over a network. Essentially a figure-of-speech, cloud is hosted IT systems, or managed and hosted services, or managed applications or IT outsourcing… any of the above, or others.

While all true, Cloud delivery has three distinct characteristics which help to identify and to define itself:
1. It is typically sold in an ‘on demand’ model, typically by the minute, the hour or by capacity
2. it is elastic, meaning you can have as much or as little as you want or need at any given time and
3. it can be private or public (shared or not shared)

All of which still means it is basically a billing model… and now, back to Robert:
1. In the spring and autumn, Robert scales up to spend extra time preparing the garden for summer growth or for winter rest
2. Robert is also available on demand and can be scheduled for plantings and transplants, tree removal, or to pop ’round and feed the cat when we go away for a weekend
3. A “shared cloud”, Robert has 15 to 20 customers (whereas before he moved into semi-retirement he was a “private cloud” and took exclusive care of a family estate consisting of three adjacent properties.

Robert also has the knowledge to help me with what to plant, and where, for best results; what to buy and where to buy it; how to solve problems from pests to blight and, most importantly, picks up the approximately six million leaves that fall in my back garden each autumn.

I hope that Robert, my trusty gardener, has simplified this ‘cloud stuff’: the landscape is changing – as it always does – for technology professionals, users, buyers and their executives. There is, as always, an easy three step plan to get it right:
1. Start by documenting your requirements and the desired outcome, not to mention time and budget constraints
2. Collaborate with your vendors and overall supply chain to exploit their knowledge and expertise
3. Plan, plan some more, communicate and apply some rigour and governance to support success (especially since doing otherwise supports failure)

Oh, and, by the way: my cleaners are also in the cloud!

note: I've scaled down in size and in depth of detail to what is, now, I hope, a simple enough analogy that my 83 year old German Father in Law can understand, easily… your comments as always are welcome (the original, slightly more detailed blog entry)

Cloud Warnings

Beware the Cloud-ists!

cloud-warning-sign-370x229

Let's start by saying that I like cloud and have done since well before it was called cloud. Clouds have featured in pretty much every solution I’ve designed in the last decade. These days, however, we have the processing power, capacity and bandwidth to enable smart, utility delivery of the commodity aspects of computing which is, in fact, very cool.

This utility delivery of computing resources – again, also known as cloud – is in many ways the stuff of which dreams are have the potential to be made… reduced risk, reduced cost and reduced barriers across what has become a much-simplified business to consumer to business loop.

Ultimately cloud enables a new layer of commerce by delivering increased service levels at overall (over time) reduced costs for computing and communications. Cloud also takes a more than half-decent step towards closing the "digital divide" by increasing availability and minimising or eliminating other barriers to entry.

All of which is of course a good thing, few would disagree. And all of which means that everybody: Businesses, Governments, Consumers, should drop everything and embrace the cloud as quickly as possible!

That last bit was sarcasm, by the way, and brings me to my point: beware the Cloud-ists for whom the answer to any question of technology is cloud. Cloud now, at all costs, to replace everything else.  It seems that, for some, cloud is so important that truth and reality and risk analysis no longer are!

Awareness is Good, Hype is Bad

Cloud Computing has struck a chord and captured the imagination of the public, business and Government in a way that other attempts at delivering utility model computing, ranging from On Demand to first generation SaaS and other such incarnations never did.

Everywhere you look are analysts blogging and tweeting about it: an unbelievable myriad of real-world experts (some of whom know about that of which they speak, others clearly who do not!) and shed loads of books with Cloud in the title have already been published with hundreds more to come.

And this is good, but it is also bad.  An interest in and an understanding of technology is good all round and enough hype and excitement will encourage a few more students to lean in this direction. New business (those that have primarily online presences) can start and scale for tiny investments. As mentioned, barriers are being reduced and eliminated.

The Cloud-ists maintain that private clouds have been a path for vendors to sell more hardware and software but the operational realities of how, physically and why, from a business requirements point of view, that the private cloud is actually delivered need consideration. Sometimes it needs to be separate hardware and sometimes logical separation is sufficient: the differences are subtle but significant. The solution will be based on insights derived from and the commercial realities that are calculated on the actual requirement: does it save money; does it make money; does it solve a problem; does it prevent a problem.

A similar and related misunderstanding that consistently confuses the business / technical relationship (creating more CIO v CTO arguments than could be imagined) is that of virtualisation. From the business view: it is a single blade running multiple instances of a machine so we should pay for a single computer.

The operational and technical reality is that yes, it is a single blade running multiple instances of a machine but each of those virtual machines requires software licenses, needs to be monitored and managed as though it were a separate machine. It may cost less physically but not from a process perspective or other resources involved, including not-inexpensive people.

Safe and Secure… or Not

The answer is again yes, both, but then again, maybe not… unlike the unequivocally positive (and in my opinion mis-informed view of  Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda) who claims, without qualification, that the cloud “is safe, is secure… like a locker that only you have the key and can put anything you want… and that it will always be there!” It can be safe, if safe is part of what you are paying for or if generally you are lucky. But equipment fails and if you are not paying specifically for a disaster recovery capability you can be pretty certain that you won't be getting a disaster recovery capability. And who is to say that you won’t run across Dirty Disk syndrome (where you can recover data from the sessions of the previous user or, worse yet, they can recover yours?) or other possible issues: we do know that the people who try to hack into systems seem rather clever…

As covered in this CIO Journal discussion, compared with real world, industrial strength managed service hosting solutions, cloud providers don’t negotiate service levels with you: you fill out a form; they don’t provide service managers with 24 hour service desk contact… more often than not the help desk is a web-form or maybe live-chat during core business hours (if you don’t mind waiting until their one-man support department is available).

That this star of the European Union goes on to say that “We are not pleading for a European Cloud, that would be old fashioned" is amazingly misguided, at best. Truth is, from someone who seems otherwise, well, okay, this is poor form.

And why would she bother? Forgetting the fact that government involvement in cloud computing is not a State issue – or at least not beyond data protection and other State-level policies or regulations – how is it that the 'vapour' of a new idea is suddenly so cross-popularised that Government officials have  decided to usurp it for themselves.  (And if the Government needs to get involved every time there is a significant shift in tech, where then  is the Department for the App Store or the Bureau de iPhone?)

Thanks to AWS for Proving my Point

The best summary I can muster will be to thank Amazon for their recent outages (note the use of the plural) to show what can happen with commodity cloud offerings.

But I also say cheers regarding major issues on delivery of an ‘upgrade’ at Royal Bank of Scotland / NatWest (a major UK bank) which also clearly illustrates that problems are possible, whether with “discount services” or with what were, at least until now, considered Industrial-strength systems.

Oh… and beware the Cloud-ists!

Stealth-Cloud

The Rise of the Stealth Cloud

"… good reason why the internal IT department cannot ‘knock-out’ application as fast as a nimble start-up"

Stealth-Cloud

The Rise of the Stealth Cloud: read the original (Ian Gotts blog here)

The rise of the Steath Cloud

One element of the debate was the rise of business initiated cloud computing, which the CIO may never hear about.  Something I'm calling the Stealth Cloud

Cloud Computing seems to have struck a chord in a way that ASP, OnDemand, SaaS and all the previous incarnations never have. Every analyst is blogging and tweeting about it, there are a slew of conferences, and a surprising number of books have already been published.

And there is now more than one sort of Cloud. There are Public Clouds and Private Clouds. I propose “Stealth Cloud” should be added to the lexicon.    As the name suggests is does its job – quietly, unseen, unnoticed.

Silver lining?

So business people are embracing the ideas of Cloud Computing. Why? Because they can see immediate value from the applications and services being offered.  And with technology becoming easier to develop there seems to be no limit to what is being provided in the Cloud, all packaged in a very compelling, fun user experience. 

Consumers are business people too

So when the individual is provided with these elegant services as a consumer it is inevitable that they bring them to work. With services such as on-line backup, project management, CRM, collaboration and social networking all available through a browser, is it any surprise business users are signing up and ignoring the staid and boring applications provided by the IT department.

Hence the rise of the Stealth Cloud.  Services being consumed by business users without the knowledge, permission or support of the CIO and the IT department.

The widening business IT divide

Too much has been talked about the Business IT divide. But unfortunately the Stealth Cloud has driven an even greater rift between business and IT.  It is exposing, as far as the business are concerned the lack of flexibility, agility and responsiveness of IT.  From IT’s perspective who can see the risks (operational, compliance and integration) of using some of these Cloud services, is simply underlines how cavalier and naïve the business users are.

Unfair rap

Corporate systems are costly to build and maintain. They are mission critical and need to support the entire operation.  So there is a good reason why the internal IT department cannot ‘knock-out’ application as fast as a nimble start-up.  The IT department is spending 80% of its time and effort ‘keeping the lights on’ and the remaining 20% on providing new solutions that are robust, scalable, secure and integrated into the core applications. How many of the ‘new’ Cloud providers are truly enterprise ready?

1 more reason: Pragmatism…. Cloud computing: Four reasons why it isn’t taking off in Europe

This article – citing Gartner information, of course – blames privacy, policy and the Euro… I reckon there is a lot more to it and that these issues are not entirely to blame: we have a more pragmatic, ‘look before you leap’ attitude in UK and EU business (I have spent plenty of time embedded in both and have experienced both sides of leading edge)

The reality is that a great deal of ‘leading edge’ enterprise computing lags 1 – 2 years behind the American market (similar but slightly shorter lag exists between the USA and Canada, by the way: 1-2 years behind the US adoption curve).

This is not wrong (or maybe it is, but that is a different argument). More importantly, this IS NOT NEW so why are these ‘pundits’ acting as though they’ve uncovered a hidden truth? If you have access do a quick search within the Gartner info base and chances are high you will find essentially the same article, but perhaps written about SOA or something of that nature which Canada, the UK and the EU all, typically, adopted and adapted after our American counterparts.

See the article here

I was interviewed on the same subject on TelecomsTV, which can be viewed on my website.

Some of this is starting to give fluffy white clouds a bad name…

I would have thought it 100% the other way ’round, David: the public cloud is oversold and often the wrong choice

But that it doesn’t have to be that way 😉

As for your statement that “private clouds have indeed been a path for vendors to sell more hardware and software” the operational realities of how physically the private cloud is delivered (yes, physical: it is all on the ground somewhere… nothing is really just off in the ether) belies your statement.

See, it is not always separate hardware. Separation can occur logically… there is a subtle but significant difference and it is all based on, defined from and the commercial realites calculated on the actual requirement.

A similar and related misunderstanding that consistently confuses the business / technical relationship (creating more CIO v CTO arguments than could be imagined) is that of virtualisation…

Business view: it is a single blade running multiple instances of a machine so we should pay for a single computer

Tech reality: yes, it is a single blade running multiple instances of a machine but each of those virtual machines requires software licenses, needs to be monitored and managed as though it were a separate machine. It costs less physically but not from a process perspective

You can read the original article here

 

Cloud is not a panacea.. oh, wait: didn’t I say that already?

My comment in response to a

Why You Really, Truly Don’t Want a Private Cloud:

This guy speaks at conferences! I would ask for my money back (unless the ticket warned: “Zealots within”)

Simple things that for some reason otherwise-intelligent people seem to constantly forget while preaching cloud:

– legacy system issues include already purchased hardware, systems, licenses, architecture and design, talent, process, etc etc.
— without following through on the original business models the forecast benefits and RoI will never be realised – which if allowed to happen requires calculation into any Cloud cost / savings projections

– as per Dov, existing processes (across both the private and public sectors) require adjustment

– as per my entire 32 year career in solutions architecture and technology planning
— *nothing* ever has been, nor is likely to be, a panacea
— almost everything related to people and change takes longer and delivers less return than was projected

Don’t misunderstand me: he is / they are NOT wrong… but in my opinion based on 32 years in the industry, you are not as correct as you think you are and like many others need to stop the generalisations and pontifications and get on with actual delivery .. which requires listening to needs and situations, making observations and determining requirements rather than picking up a paintbrush and a bucket of beige paint.

Couldn’t help adding this after reading some of other comments on the article:

I forgot one other necessary specific:

Kofi, you can’t really think that all public clouds are magically dispersed, diverse, backed up and accessible within the required SLA and OLA levels for that business to earn as planned.. for dirt cheap prices?

And that the expensive private cloud doesn’t provide any of that luxury and in fact makes that which you have designed..
to meet your needs..
and which is under your control
– you contend that this is more susceptible to what, now?

Are you aware that cloud is a new term for old stuff… and that public v. private is simply a commercial model for the same stuff running on the same tin over the same pipes – – and often even in the same data centres?

If so you might benefit from a simple little blog I wrote called ‘My Gardener is in the Cloud’ and all of the other real world pragmatic discussions I have either written or re-blogged here on this page

Content Insider 231 Clouds Everywhere

The sections of this article could easily, by the same author, turned into a book called on cloud reality .. you may not like the flow but if you start to squirm when reading it, don’t worry: we who were in charge of these things last month are still in charge of them this month so idiot-boy decisions aren’t (typically) being made!

G0od enough to publish here .. and tweet it and mention it on LinkedIn

 

Content Insider 231 Clouds Everywhere.

cloudking_570

6 Signs of a Maturing Cloud-Computing Industry ???

A little overstated, like most, but better balanced than many – … but not so much when he says traditional models are 'dying all over' but has a 5 year prediction for the end of media delivered software !! From Wired.com

I am continually surprised at how fast the cloud computing industry is maturing and growing. There is news everyday of radical advances in IT delivery through the cloud. Every industry goes through phases and growth pains until..

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Why Publishers Don't Like Apps - Technology Review

The Delivery Vehicle is, has been and for sometime will be, the web

Why Publishers Don't Like Apps - Technology Review

Apps are not the wave of the future, merely another way to deliver web content – – and it is not financially viable and so cannot make business sense for every business, every publication, every content provider to create their own apps.

especially if they've looked at the future of the web, and HTML5…

and even more so if they have a clue about the sustainable economic use of tech to deliver value to a business (as opposed to costing it a fortune or it's existence)

So, when I read an article stating that maybe apps aren't the disruptor for media (nor a fave of media publishers) that they were thinking they might be, all I can respond with is "duh!".

This is exactly what I have been saying since this 'generation' of apps first appeared on smartphones – – and reinforced by LinkedIn's 90%+ HTML5 implementation of their iPad app

The Delivery Vehicle is, has been and for sometime will be, the web

And

This does *not* apply only to media delivery but to information creation, delivery and consumption… I would love to hear your thoughts after you check out this article

Why Publishers Don't Like Apps – Technology Review

 

Don Quixote

Reasons why I hate the term ‘cloud’ (via IBM)

Four reasons why I hate the term “cloud” ..from the IBM Cloud website… ( I wish I had written this article!)

Four reasons why I hate the term “cloud”

I think most readers of this blog probably know there is no single “cloud.”  Saying something is “on the cloud” is about as specific as saying something is “on the Internet.”  This term isn’t going away – but that’s okay, because I really like hopeless causes.

They might be giants, but they’re probably accountants out to get me for this blog entry.  

So, here are some reasons why you might want to be a little more specific in your communications than “the cloud,” especially if you’re a service provider:

  1. There isn’t a single cloud. 

     

    As mentioned above, many people think in terms of the cloud, not a cloud.  A friend of mine recently got on Apple’s iCloud and told me that he was on “my cloud.”  Well, not really.  It’s better to say “IBM SmartCloud Enterprise” or “Amazon EC2 Cloud” or “Apple iCloud” than “the cloud.”  Even within an organization, it is certainly possible that there would be different private clouds for different purposes.  IT professionals and leaders might not even be talking in terms of “cloud” in a few years because it will simply be the way computing is done!

  2. There are many types of cloud. 

     

    This is similar to the previous reason – but I already said there were four reasons, so tough luck.  In addition to cloud services being offered by different vendors, IBM internally offers a private development/test compute cloud, a private storage cloud, a private desktop cloud, an analytic cloud, and many others.  These all meet the NIST definition of clouds, but they are for significantly different purposes and have significantly different architectures.  Although they could possibly be integrated at a high level to appear to be one cloud (by having all services through the same portal), underneath they would still be separate infrastructures, and the use cases for them are so different that such integration might not help much.  To stretch the definition of “integrated” a little, they’re already “integrated” in that they’re all available through the same web browser using corporate credentials.

  3. Many people think that “the cloud” is magic. 

     

    Admittedly, many people think computers are magic, but even some people who are very familiar with computers are blinded by “the cloud.”  One friend of mine (who is brilliant) nonetheless thought that “the cloud” could automatically take any existing application and magically spread out the workload so that it could scale out.  Not true; the application would have to be written as a “cloud-aware” agent capable of requesting more resources, and would probably need a cap on it to ensure that it did not incur too many charges without approval.  He was rather disappointed to find out the truth – that cloud computing is simply a different model with the same old mundane computers beneath it.  I enjoy crushing dreams and expectations, though.  Which leads us to my last reason:

  4. Talking about “the cloud” implies that it’s a thing rather than a service model. 

     

    As I mentioned, per the NIST definition, cloud computing is a model for computing services.  To me, the most important piece is on demand self-service, meaning that you can use services in an automated fashion without waiting for another human to help you unless something goes wrong.  Practically anything that meets these requirements can be used or sold in a cloud model, even some things that have been around for years!  What’s different here is that the number of these services is growing so quickly, the interfaces between them are standardizing somewhat so that different services can be swapped in and out for different purposes, and that these services are able to make use of other cloud services in an automated fashion.  The biggest impact of cloud computing might not be in humans requesting services, but in cloud agents requesting services on behalf of humans!

I don’t want to sell short the promise of cloud in any way; after all, the difference between a diamond and a lump of coal is simply one of arrangement, and the cloud computing model is leading to some amazing new business models and strategies.  But you should think in terms of what you can do with the cloud model, not what “the cloud” does.  Using “the cloud” is waiting around for someone to create a service you can use, like Gmail or iCloud backups.  Embracing the cloud model means that as a cloud service consumer, you can build cloud-aware applications that allocate and use cloud resources on your behalf.  As a provider of service, embracing the cloud model means thinking of innovative ways to provide services to your clients in a self-service, metered, elastic manner.

More blurring of the lines between consumer, user, business and Enterprise!

Intel, McAfee Promote Dynamic Plan for Securing the Cloud…  Just like the IBM adverts for cheap blades in the free London Evening Standard newspaper, ‘cloud’ offerings and ‘cloud’ definitions across the net are helping to confuse the confused (and make more difficult the already tricky job of being trusted to de-confuse things!)

Just another one of many recurring problems…

Link to original article at PC Magazine re Intel, McAfee Promote Dynamic Plan for Securing the Cloud (or at http://bit.ly/Kc5eAG)
You might also like my blog: my Gardener is in the Cloud where I hopefully make “that cloud thing” little more clear
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Time to change?

Goodbye personal computer, hello personal cloud? I don’t think so!

Goodbye personal computer, hello personal cloud? I don’t think so!   (see my added and updated comments and a good read at Benjamin Robbins blog)

I just read that ridiculous headline which is, sadly, indicative of half of what is being written by people who don’t really seem to be thinking things through… it aligns well with others I read, ranging from “tablets already destroying the market for desktop PCs” all the way through to “cloud sounding the death knell for IT managed service businesses”.

I am a long term career techie involved in IT and communications since the late 70s, not to mention a lover of intelligent (and cool) gadgets. Full disclosure time: two years ago I was using a Blackberry and a battery-sucking lap-burning Windows notebook; a year later I moved to Android phone (and have *never* looked back, now using a Samsung Galaxy Note)… this past January I replaced the notebook with an Asus Transformer Prime tablet for all mobile use and a (touch screen) Windows desktop. The tablet tethers with the note but I also use a mifi device and essentially have the best of all possible worlds…

… and so my setup works for me, based on the nature of the work that I do. The same kit that I have, had it been available two years ago, would not have been suitable for the nature of the work that I was doing then (and so my type of configuration might sound good but look at your needs closely before you make a leap: my decision was six months in the making).

… unless I want to do serious computing on the tablet. Now, don’t get me wrong, it does what I want it to do. I can create or view Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as PDFs. I can pretty much do anything that I could do on my laptop.

… just not quite as well. You see, multi-tasking works (well, it does in the Android world: we won’t discuss that Steve didn’t think people needed to multitask) but whereas Windows is architected to use a high speed Intel processor and chip set architected for multi-tasking, Android manages it on a much simpler scale. And all of this is working, mostly, with local date retrieved from the network and, as such, implies connectivity which of course implies cost. To the consumer. That would be you and I.

It also implies processing power. Which means power consumption and heat. Which sounds more like a laptop than a tablet, the only real difference being the interface, all of which is changing and can continue to change forever, as it has forever: that is why we call it software.

Not to mention the software: yes, I can do what I said I can do, but without several levels of undo, for example and a subset of another 7 or 8 similarly-useful features of the 100s offered from the Office suite… but they are critical features for a professional like myself who makes a living using this stuff. And which is why I have a full fledged desktop PC for serious work… I am writing on it at the moment!

Combine all of the above with the consumer angle: are you really expecting buyers who clamour for the newest, fastest and best that they can get their hands on to, for example, perform HD video editing on a touch screen slab of glass?

“Goodbye personal computer, hello personal cloud” implies no PCs and everything in the cloud… but not quite.

  • Tablets augment desktops for consumption: reading and viewing documents and media
  • Tablets, like smart phones enable other, stunning business and personal solutions to be delivered, most typically
  • High speed processing, amounts of cheap storage, up-close large screen displays and the consumer demand for resource-hungry applications and speed of access to or performance of those applications and their access to data

Local processing and local storage will not disappear – well, not for a little while, yet. (and please, please remember: it isn’t really a cloud… it is physically located in a data centre, somewhere, consuming huge amounts of electrical power to operate and to cool, and secure, and manage and monitor and maintain and.. and.. and..)