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Chief Information Officer: One Day, I Will Collect Information

As mentioned previously in this blog, cloud portfolio management company RightScale has now completed its third run of the State of the Cloud Report. In the spring, the firm questioned 1068 computing executives throughout a spectrum of industries. Amazingly, a total of 94% of the organizations represented by respondents were using a cloud: 29% public, 7% private, and 58% a combination of both. (Since large companies often behave differently from smaller ones related to technology, it’s noteworthy that only 24% of survey participants were with firms that have a workforce in excess of a thousand people.) As the cloud grows, the general IT landscape rapidly evolves. One basic fact of the evolution is that the job responsibilities of many professionals are changing, so the skillsets that are most needed are under revision as well. Family Dollar CIO Josh Jewett notes that enterprises no longer need individuals who excel at putting together hardware. Instead, they need computing professionals who have a knack for monitoring a third-party company that is in charge of the hardware. Jewett said that the process is basically the same but performed by another party: “You go from managing outcomes yourselves to managing outcomes through others.” Ann Bednarz [...]

Breaking News: The Cloud is, in Fact, Cloudy

Judy Scinta wrote a piece published October 13 by the Buffalo Law Journal on the topic of cloud computing use by local attorneys. The article reveals a certain murkiness to the cloud and a somewhat gray color in various areas. There is no mention of the cloud’s incredible fluffiness or its many areas of whiteness that peak out from behind the sun at businesses, letting them know there is a clear, blank space in which they can store their data. In fact, the universally unhelpful answers provided by the experts Scinta interviews point to a truth about new technology that is often left undiscussed: no one seems to want to simplify explanations so that we all know what we are talking about. Distributed virtual computing is a vast sea of possibility. There is no reason to focus on the gray areas. Let’s just stop being confused all the time. We need to put on a strong front so that our children don’t grow up thinking they were adopted by aliens. I’m taking this somewhat random piece from a local trade publication to better understand general conversation related to this innovative computing model. Let’s explore section by section to see what [...]

How Intellectual Property is Adapting to the Cloud

Cloud computing is no longer an alternative technology. The virtual distribution model of hosting has become so prevalent that it now stands abreast of the traditional, hardwired, legacy system. The 2014 State of the Cloud Report, released in April by RightScale based on interviews of IT professionals conducted two months earlier, revealed that the cloud is “reaching ubiquity,” with 94% of firms using some type of cloud application. We’re not just in the age of the public cloud anymore, as is clear with the RightScale data. The research team found that 48% of organizations are either currently using or are developing strategies to deploy hybrid clouds. That information is consistent with a Gartner study released last year that forecast hybrid clouds would be adopted by just under 50% of enterprises by 2017 (although notably that latter statistic is specific to larger companies). Hybrid solutions have become popular because they combine the public and private cloud structures. What’s important to understand about the growth of cloud is that firms are trending toward types of systems that pay more attention to data isolation. Regardless of that trend toward more sophisticated, privatized systems, the New York Times recently reported that public cloud has [...]

Matching Your Cloud Ideas to Deployment

Cloud is huge, absolutely huge. Just take these two statistics from an overview of forecasts and survey results published by tech blog SiliconANGLE: As reported by InformationWeek, revenue for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is positioned to exceed $180 billion next year. Although cloud is streamlined, hardware is still needed, with component spending expected to hit almost $80 billion in 2018. You can also look at the perspective of cloud portfolio manager RightScale in its 2014 State of the Cloud Report, which described the business cloud as “reaching ubiquity,” with 94% of firms using it in some manner. As evidenced above, just about everyone agrees that cloud computing is the best solution for at least certain types of IT projects (such as storage or developmental projects). Since the general question of cloud adoption is already answered, the conversation is shifting from the benefits of the cloud itself to the best possible cloud strategies. Carlos Granda penned an article for NetworkWorld in June, in which he provided lists of actionable suggestions for organizations in various stages of “cloud maturity” – using a crawl/walk/run model that roughly reflects the Cloud Beginner/Cloud Explorer/Cloud Focused categories used in the State of the Cloud. Cloud Adoption – The [...]

Checklist for a Business-Friendly Cloud

“Disruption of entire industries.” That’s one way that Matt Watts describes the vast potential of cloud computing in an October 6 CIO article. The cloud represents spectacular strengths in several areas – irrefutably, mathematically outperforming alternatives in ways such as the following: Speed – You may know that Indiana University is renowned for its supercomputers (the latest of which was Big Red II), so it’s notable that IU computer scientist Geoffrey C. Fox, PhD, reports that cloud computing typically outperform the speed of supercomputers. Numerous calculations can be performed simultaneously, without waiting in line, since resources are widely distributed. Cost-Effectiveness – These parameters are really all derived from the incredible efficiency allowed by cloud computing. Speed is due to the efficiency with time that is optimized by quickly grabbing available resources and completing tasks, standardizing high-availability as a reasonable expectation. Because everything is performed rapidly and kept compact time-wise, costs can remain extraordinarily low. Cloud computing is so drastically, revolutionarily advantageous to other options (especially considering the growing rate of private cloud use) that the impact for business is not just a computing concern but can offer a competitive edge for the organization. In fact, as Watts insists, this technology [...]

State of the Cloud 2014, Part 2: Hybrid Cloud Bonanza

Note: Part 1 Can be Found Here – Cloud Adoption Reaches 94% Continuing with our exploration of the RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Report, we will now look at the growing interest in hybrid clouds, further describe the systems of a Cloud Focused organization, and assess challenges such as policy development and misalignment of perspectives within companies. Before we get into additional discussion of the results of the survey, we will first provide further description of the Cloud Maturity Model, as indicated in Part One. Cloud Maturity Model – 4 Stages RightScale break businesses up in terms of different stages of integration with the cloud: Cloud Watchers, Cloud Beginners, Cloud Explorers, and Cloud Focused. These distinctions are somewhat important because the researchers found that the more cloud-mature an organization is, the more likely it is to experience increasing value with cloud solutions along with diminishing challenges related to new cloud deployments. Here’s what each one entails: Watchers – Businesses that are interested in the cloud and considering various approaches but do not yet have any active cloud systems. Beginners – Organizations that have taken their first steps into cloud technology and are either testing solutions or working in their [...]