Posts Tagged ‘Computing’

Did you believe in any of these cloud computing myths?

October 29th, 2014

Myths and misunderstandings around the use and benefits of cloud computing are slowing down IT project implementations, impeding innovation, inducing fear and distracting enterprises from yielding business efficiency and innovation, analyst firm Gartner has warned.Outsourcing52

It has identified the top ten common misunderstandings around cloud:

Myth 1: Cloud is always about the money

Assuming that the cloud always saves money can lead to career-limiting promises. Saving money may end up one of the benefits, but it should not be taken for granted. It doesn’t help when all the big daddies of the cloud world – AWS, Google Microsoft – are doing are tripping over each other to cut down prices. But cost savings must be seen as a nice-to-have benefit while agility and scalability should be the top reasons for adopting cloud services.

Myth 2: You have to do cloud to be good

According to Gartner, this is the result of rampant “cloud washing.” Some cloud washing is based on a mistaken mantra (fed by hype) that something cannot be “good” unless it is cloud, a Gartner analyst said.

Besides, enterprises are billing many of their IT projects cloud for a tick in the box and to secure funding from the stakeholders. People are falling into the trap of believing that if something is good it has to be cloud.

There are many use cases where cloud may not be a great fit – for instance, if your business does not experience too many peaks and lulls, then cloud may not be right for you. Also, for enterprises in heavily regulated sector or those operating within strict data protection regulations, a highly agile datacentre within IT’s full control may be a best bet.

Myth 3: Cloud should be used for everything

Related to the previous myth, this refers to the belief that the characteristics of the cloud are applicable to everything – even legacy applications or data-intensive workloads.

Unless there are cost savings, moving a legacy application that doesn’t change is not a good candidate.

Myth 4: “The CEO said so” is a cloud strategy

Many companies don’t have a cloud strategy and are doing it just because their CEO wants. A cloud strategy begins by identifying business goals and mapping potential benefits of the cloud to them, while mitigating the potential drawbacks. Cloud should be thought of as a means to an end. The end must be specified first, Gartner advises.

Myth 5: We need One cloud strategy or one vendor

Cloud computing is not one thing, warns Gartner.  Cloud services include IaaS, SaaS or PaaS models and cloud types include private, public or hybrid clouds. Then there are applications that are right candidates for one type of cloud. A cloud strategy should be based on aligning business goals with potential benefits. Those goals and benefits are different in various use cases and should be the driving force for businesses, rather than standardising on one strategy.

Myth 6: Cloud is less secure than on-premises IT

Cloud is perceived as less secure. To date, there have been very few security breaches in the public cloud — most breaches continue to involve on-premises datacentre environments.

Myth 7: Cloud is not for mission-critical use

Cloud is still mainly used for test and development. But the analyst firm notes that many organisations have progressed beyond early use cases and are using the cloud for mission-critical workloads. There are also many enterprises (such as Netflix or Uber) that are “born in the cloud” and run their business completely in the cloud.

Myth 8: Cloud = Datacentre

Most cloud decisions are not (and should not be) about completely shutting down datacentres and moving everything to the cloud. Nor should a cloud strategy be equated with a datacentre strategy. In general, datacentre outsourcing, datacentre modernisation and datacentre strategies are not synonymous with the cloud.

Myth 9: Migrating to the cloud means you automatically get all cloud characteristics

Don’t assume that “migrating to the cloud” means that the characteristics of the cloud are automatically inherited from lower levels (like IaaS), warned Gartner. Cloud attributes are not transitive. Distinguish between applications hosted in the cloud from cloud services. There are “half steps” to the cloud that have some benefits (there is no need to buy hardware, for example) and these can be valuable. However, they do not provide the same outcomes.

Myth 10: Private Cloud = Virtualistaion

Virtualisation is a cloud enabler but it is not the only way to implement cloud computing. Not only is it sufficient either. Even if virtualisation is used (and used well), the result is not cloud computing. This is most relevant in private cloud discussions where highly virtualised, automated environments are common and, in many cases, are exactly what is needed. Unfortunately, these are often erroneously described as “private cloud”, according to the analyst firm.

“From a consumer perspective, ‘in the cloud’ means where the magic happens, where the implementation details are supposed to be hidden. So it should be no surprise that such an environment is rife with myths and misunderstandings,” said David Mitchell Smith, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

Source:http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/Ahead-in-the-clouds/2014/10/did-you-believe-in-any-of-these-cloud-computing-myths.html

Cloud Computing set for massive growth in SA & Kenya

September 12th, 2014

Rapidly expanding bandwidth capacities, following the landing of undersea cables, have led to the proliferation of data centres and established a solid platform for the development of cloud computing services in South Africa and Kenya. Enterprises are steadily embracing outsourcing and managed services for various business and technological benefits, further driving migration to cloud computing.outsourcing42

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Overall Cloud Computing Market in South Africa and Kenya, finds that the market earned revenues of $114.6 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $288.0 million in 2018. Software as a Service will become the most popular cloud computing platform.

Despite widespread awareness and the fact that cloud has been around for a couple of years in Kenya and South Africa, enterprises have understood and embraced cloud computing to varying degrees. By and large, actual adoption of these services continues to be dependent on sector, and more pertinently, on enterprise size.

“While private cloud services have been the main focus of tier I competitors in the large enterprise sector, the move towards public cloud is slowly gathering pace in both countries,” said Frost & Sullivan Information and Communication Technologies Research Analyst Lehlohonolo Mokenela. “Small and medium enterprises, in particular, are turning to cloud computing motivated by the availability of affordable and convenient public cloud offerings.”

However, security concerns and the lack of trust in third parties to manage internal IT systems are dissuading some enterprises and governments from employing data centre services. This outlook is especially prevalent in conservative verticals, such as the financial services and healthcare sectors, where security and compliance are critical to business operations. Nevertheless, insurance companies and banks are beginning to move their less critical applications to the cloud to reduce costs.

“Non-core applications, such as email and customer relationship management, will be the most commonly migrated solutions as organisations look to test the reliability of cloud services,” noted Mokenela. “It will be crucial for service providers to demonstrate the security of their solutions in order to allay consumer concerns and boost uptake in the South African and Kenyan cloud computing domain.”

Source:http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2014/09/cloud-computing-set-for-massive-growth-in-sa-kenya/

The benefits of cloud computing for small businesses

February 3rd, 2014

If you are running a small to medium sized business, you will have probably heard of cloud computing.

Cloud computing means moving or extending your business IT systems over the internet, in order to increase the current capabilities, and improve efficiency.

More than just a passing trend, cloud computing has a large number of benefits if you want to manage your IT processes more smoothly, reduce your costs, and safeguard your business against unforeseen disasters.

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Here are some of the advantages of using cloud computing technologies:

Time saving

Cloud computing is a time efficient way for small businesses to manage IT. With cloud technologies, you can keep track of what is happening with your business from anywhere, at any time. You can hold virtual meetings, and manage remote employees. Small businesses are increasingly turning to outsourcing to expand their business operations, and keep their costs down.

Cloud computing allows outsourced and remote employees to share files, collaborate on projects and maintain close contact, which can improve team efficiency and help team members work together more effectively. This means more time to spend working on your core business activities, and less time spent managing logistics and dealing with staff IT issues.

Cost effective

With cloud computing, businesses can save on the costs of purchasing (little capital outlay) and maintaining servers, having dedicated IT staff on the payroll, and upgrading software. It’s also a way of accessing the most up-to-date software and applications, programs that you might put off installing due to the cost. The other major benefit of cloud computing is that it is scalable.

If you need additional resources to cope with a busy period or sudden growth, these are available and can be accessed as required without the need to upgrade your entire system in order to cope with the additionalworkload. Accessing cloud services simply requires a stable internet connection, and a monthly subscription.

Speed and convenience

Because working in the cloud means accessing applications via a web browser, it’s easy and fast to set up. There’s also generally no need for detailed training for your employees.

Data storage

One of the most advantageous aspects of cloud computing is its capacity for large amounts of offsite data storage and file backups. Work can be instantly backed up to offsite servers, which means that if there is a technical failure or other problem at your business premises, valuable data is still accessible. Using the cloud can also mean having a greater level of security for your data, depending on your current security system.

Cloud computing has many benefits for all businesses, but it can be particularly beneficial for small and medium sized businesses. Using the cloud can save you time and money, and give you the advantages of increased data security and the ability to scale your IT services up and down depending on your current circumstances.

Source:http://www.dynamicbusiness.com.au/small-business-resources/growing/the-benefits-of-cloud-computing-for-small-businesses-03022014.html

Is cloud computing almost too good to be true for banks?

January 7th, 2014

Banks are built on massive IT infrastructures that process huge volumes of data on a daily basis. The cloud’s most obvious benefits will enable banks to keep up with technology changes while reducing costs.outsourcing26

The digitisation of services is making it difficult for banks to ignore the cloud.

But concerns over a potential loss of control, availability and data security make moving to the cloud a massive leap in a heavily regulated sector.

At a recent meeting at the Financial Services Club (FS Club), Chris Skinner, chairman at the club, said the cloud is still misunderstood, despite it being a talking point in financial services for years. In 2009 the FS Club hosted a meeting about the cloud in financial services and 165 people attended.

“Cloud computing in financial services has been a hot topic for some time and you would think we would know what cloud is all about but we don’t,” said Skinner. “We still have a lot of misunderstandings and ambiguities.”

Legal aspects
Paul Hinton, commercial technology partner at Kemp Little, talked about the cloud in the legal sense.

He said the cloud is diverse and constantly evolving. No sooner do legal terms get to grips with one aspect and they must move on to the latest cloud trend. “SaaS is so commonplace we now understand how to do it and what it should look like from a legal perspective. But the cloud is much more than this.”

Utility computing is the next phase for the cloud with services being bought in a similar way to electricity, according to Hinton. “But banking and the things we buy through banking, from what I understand, are nowhere near that stage yet.”

There are lots of different pieces of legislation that can apply to the cloud, but there is nothing specifically about the cloud, said Hinton. “From a legal point of view the same rules apply to cloud outsourcing as outsourcing.”

He said there are common concerns among businesses. “These are potential loss of control, availability and access to data, data security, data location, auditing and exits.”

“There are a lot of efforts to create [legal] standards and hopefully we will have them soon. This is good but they are not here now and may not be for a while,” added Hinton.

Finance
A spokesperson at a major cloud service provider then talked about what it is doing in financial services.

He said there is a lot of ambiguity around the cloud but summed up what it meant to his company.

There is no reason why today banks should not be using the cloud in some way
“A cloud service should be something available over the internet, no up-front costs, pay as you go and with no long-term commitment.”

There is no reason why today banks should not be using the cloud in some way, he said.

“I do not see a huge difference in how financial services companies adopt the cloud they just have a different approach.”

He said when it comes to highly regulated services with customer data it takes a long time to move to the cloud. But he said there are many areas finance firms can start using the cloud easily.

“We look for the low-hanging fruit, not the most sensitive data. Finance firms can start to benefit from features, such as development and testing, because they don’t host sensitive data.”

“High-performance computing is another option because it normally involves systems that encrypt data. This means results can be delivered quicker,” said the spokesperson.

He added that developing new services can be done in the cloud faster and more cost effectively because the cost of failure of a new service is reduced. “With new lines of business you can test it out and if it doesn’t work you turn it off and there are no assets costing money.”

He said that the suppliers can become compliant with regulations so every company using it is also compliant, when using it.

Trust
The next speaker was from a large payments processing firm. He said maintaining trust and delivery to customers is vital.

He said customers expect their money when and where they chose.

“If you are running retail financial services you have to put the customer first. The customers get the cloud and they have certain expectations for service delivery,” he said.

He agreed that the cloud enables effective development alongside cost cutting.

“The cloud is a huge layer of facilitation for new services. Banks also need to manage costs more effectively, the cloud is faster to implement and cheaper so what is there to hate about it?” said the spokesperson.

The next speaker was from a small next-generation cloud-only financial services firm.

The company is a totally cloud-based financial service. It has taken a small piece of the banking chain, in this case international payments, and put the entire process on a cloud platform to offer to banks.

The cloud is just another form of outsourcing
New customers, which are financial services firms, only take two weeks to set up.

“We take a huge amount of cost out of the process,” said the spokesperson.

The company makes 10,000 transactions per day. “Using the cloud is no different from outsourcing. Offshore companies in India have customer data and there is uncertainty about security.”

He said there is still a “not invented here” attitude holding cloud uptake back. “Technology departments at banks want to build their own systems. It is not a rational debate but an emotional one. Some of these IT departments do not even use Agile methods and still use Waterfall techniques.”

He said you have to get these people to accept change and not fear the worst.

Former Accenture executive, Jim Odell, now a consultant at Kemp Little, then talked about hybrid IT departments and how organisations have to have a mix of in-house and outsourced IT.

“The cloud is just another form of outsourcing,” he said.

His advice to finance firms considering the cloud was: never outsource things that are not already fixed, make sure you know how to manage suppliers, don’t put everything in the cloud it can be expensive, and plan to leave when you sign a now contract.

Source:http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240212022/Is-cloud-computing-almost-too-good-to-be-true-for-banks

Cloud computing business models ‘will need to alter’

October 10th, 2010

The shift towards outsourced cloud services and changing customer expectations will require providers to radically modify their current outsourcing business models.

So says analyst firm IDC, which issued a report suggesting demand for access to new delivery models, such as the cloud and software-as-a-service, has become increasingly important for businesses.

With this trend, customers will expect higher levels of performance from providers and thus the relationship between the two sides will shift, IDC said.

In particular, “traditional” providers such as IBM, HP and Capgemini will need to drastically change their current outsourcing business models.

To be a successful provider in the outsourced cloud services market, competing companies will need to create “robust road maps” looking at how customers are planning to deploy services.

“Perhaps the greatest lesson of the Great Recession is the need for companies to be much more adaptable to changes in the market,” said David Tapper, vice president for outsourcing and offshore services market research at IDC.

“This fundamental need is a major force driving considerable shifts in the outsourcing industry – shifts that not only involve provisioning more targeted and innovative solutions – but also involve the transformation of the outsourcing industry from a labour-centric model of service delivery to more asset-based services involving cloud-based outsourcing.”

Talking about where businesses will head to for their cloud computing needs, Gartner analyst Rene Millman suggested many will initially look to the providers they have used for other IT services in the past.

“Many organisations will stay within their own levels of comfort,” he told IT PRO. “They’ll probably try to get cloud services from the people they have been to before.”

“If you’re happy with the relationship with your current suppliers it is probably going to make more sense to stick with them. But if [their services] are not fit for purpose, you’ll have to look further afield.”

Traditional software vendors working in the sphere would also need to stay relevant by developing apps for use across both the public and private cloud, Millman added.

Source:http://www.itpro.co.uk/627556/cloud-computing-business-models-will-need-to-alter

Cloud computing adoption among SMBs following outsourcing trends: survey

October 5th, 2010

Adoption varying by size of the business

Adoption of cloud computing services among SMBs is varying by size of the business and is following previously observed pattern related to adoption of outsourcing trends, a new survey by Techaisle revealed.

The survey found that the adoption of cloud services rises and falls as businesses first use these services and then as they grow they attempt to bring solutions in-house and use cloud services again in order to support growth.

The survey also found small businesses with 20-99 employees typically expand their use of cloud services and appear to maintain that level of usage until they hit 250 employees.

At this level, SMBs begin to bring services back in-house as IT investments rise and adoption of Cloud services rises sharply again as SMBs exceed 500 employees.

The report said that SMBs when looked at as a single group, are adopting some core infrastructure applications and applications specific to their industry.

Source:http://appdev.cbronline.com/news/cloud-computing-adoption-among-smbs-following-outsourcing-trends-survey_051010

Techaisle survey finds cloud computing adoption among SMBs is following outsourcing trends

October 5th, 2010

Techaisle’s recently completed comprehensive survey of SMBs shows that while use of Cloud services varies by size of business, the pattern of adoption appears to follow a previously observed pattern related to adoption of outsourcing. In both cases, rather than seeing greater adoption with business size, adoption rises and falls as businesses first use Cloud services then as they grow they attempt to bring solutions in-house and use Cloud services again in order to support growth.

The survey also found that the inflection point for adoption occurs at 20 employees. Small businesses with 20-99 employees typically expand their use of Cloud services and appear to maintain that level of usage until they hit 250 employees. At this level, SMBs begin to bring services back in-house as IT investments rise. Adoption of Cloud services rises sharply again as SMBs exceed 500 employees.

When looked at as a single group, SMBs are largely adopting some core infrastructure applications and applications specific to their industry. Security and additional storage appear to be the most popular applications along with industry specific applications and hosted email. The picture is substantially different for MBs (100-999 employees) and SBs (1-99 employees) taken separately. Mid-market businesses display a greater willingness to adopt hosted infrastructure and platform solutions than small businesses. Very small businesses’ (<10 employees) use of Cloud services is characterized largely by Industry specific applications and Cloud storage services.

The US SMB Cloud Computing report is now available for purchase. Surveys were also conducted in the UK and Germany

Source:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/techaisle-survey-finds-cloud-computing-adoption-among-smbs-is-following-outsourcing-trends-104314868.html

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