|By Ray DePena||
|February 17, 2010 08:00 PM EST||
In Part 1 of Innovation and Risk in the Clouds, I focused on the alignment between strategy, organizational culture, innovation, and cloud computing.
In part 2 we will discuss some of the risks and challenges cloud computing presents.
Do you remember the last time you took a risk? The first time? Do you remember the first time you saw your company take a meaningful risk?
In business there are some very memorable moments in risk taking. Which ones do you recall? One of my favorites is the Apple, Xerox, Microsoft, and IBM story told in the Pirates of Silicon Valley docudrama.
It’s a classic tale of a large enterprise not fully recognizing the value of technology, and a smaller organization being sufficiently bold and nimble to capitalize on that mistake.
As a former project manager, one of the activities I enjoyed most when managing projects was risk planning. It slowed us down and forced us to think through our activities, identify risks, analyze the risks, and plan appropriately. Some believe the speed of being a first mover, and its advantage, is enough, but it’s not simply the fastest car that wins the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Monaco Grand Prix; it’s the team that best manages the risks inherent in participating at such events. The risk of a tire blowout is very real, and is a risk that needs to be properly managed.
Similarly, organizations need to be structured with the people, resources, processes, and strategic focus to adopt risk-taking endeavors in an acceptable and measured way.
The discipline of risk management focuses on addressing organizational risk inherent in its people, process, systems, and external environment. Some of those areas of risk include:
- Strategic (M&A),
- Regulatory Compliance,
- Financial (Cashflow) and Operational (IT systems, Supply Chain)
- Environmental, Political, Economic, Technological, and Competitive
Corporate transformation to a more creative culture leveraging the latest cloud computing model is not without risk. The consequences of the transition, chance of success, and impact on the business needs to be weighed, and planned for appropriately.
The good news is that cloud computing represents a positive risk shared with the cloud service provider, enhanced with key partnerships, and exploited for corporate benefit while leveraging service level agreements (SLAs) to mitigate risks. Risks, such as, hardware and software technological obsolescence, are transferred; although many considerations, including security, interoperability, lock-in, business process governance, and management remain, and need to be properly evaluated.
Security: I have heard it said that up to 70% of security threats are from unauthorized access by internal employees, so perhaps the focus on external attacks in a cloud computing environment should be re-evaluated.
Enterprise security, governance, risk management, and compliance has enabled many large government and financial service organizations to meet their audit requirements while reducing risk and improving operational efficiency. I have no reason to believe that cloud service providers (CSPs) meeting the same audit criteria will fare worse in this regard.
Lock-In: The risk of vendor lock-in given the lack of interoperability standards, while real, should be kept in context. Is the absence of lock-in worth an expensive choice of multiple hardware and software providers? Are you willing to pay a multiple to not be locked-in? Interoperability will eventually come to the cloud, while legacy service providers are moving to their own solution bundles given the acquisitions we have seen – Oracle/Sun, Dell/Perot, HP/EDS.
Business Process Governance: In this area, Salesforce.com announced the Force.com Visual Process Manager, and Makara announced its cloud application deployment and management platform, you can expect many developments here as organizations race to provide a variety of solutions in this area. I have written on this topic before, the original blog entry is found here.
Management: Ultimately, for some, managing Clouds will offer the appearance of control – dashboards, and real-time reporting mechanisms, all provided by Cloud Service Providers with the degree of detailed monitoring determining the costs incurred by the client.
For others, that will build and support their own enterprise cloud environments, the dynamic nature of cloud computing – with servers, networks, and storage dynamically showing up and disappearing from the environment, it will be a difficult and challenging model to manage; particularly if the organization does not adapt its legacy business management culture and approach, for the new environment.
Though by far, the greatest risk that I see is the failure to recognize the potential that lies within cloud computing to transform organizations.
In part 3 we will discuss the organizational challenges of innovation in the cloud.
-Tune The Future-
Most companies hope for rapid growth so it's important to invest in scalable core technologies that won't demand a complete overhaul when a business goes through a growth spurt. Cloud technology enables previously difficult-to-scale solutions like phone, network infrastructure or billing systems to automatically scale based on demand. For example, with a virtual PBX service, a single-user cloud phone service can easily transition into an advanced VoIP system that supports hundreds of phones and ...
May. 25, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,864
"We have developers who are really passionate about getting their code out to customers, no matter what, in the shortest possible time. Operations are very focused on procedures and policies," explained Stan Klimoff, CTO of Qubell, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 25, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,927
Agility is top of mind for Cloud/Service providers and Enterprises alike. Policy Driven Data Center provides a policy model for application deployment by decoupling application needs from the underlying infrastructure primitives. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, David Klebanov, a Technical Solutions Architect with Cisco Systems, discussed how it differentiates from the software-defined top-down control by offering a declarative approach to allow faster and simpler application deployment. Davi...
May. 25, 2015 05:45 AM EDT Reads: 6,155
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
May. 25, 2015 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,381
Sematext is a globally distributed organization that builds innovative Cloud and On Premises solutions for performance monitoring, alerting and anomaly detection (SPM), log management and analytics (Logsene), and search analytics (SSA). We also provide Search and Big Data consulting services and offer 24/7 production support for Solr and Elasticsearch.
May. 25, 2015 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,001
Plutora provides enterprise release management and test environment SaaS solutions to clients in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Leading companies across a variety of industries, including financial services, telecommunications, retail, pharmaceutical and media, rely on Plutora's SaaS solutions to orchestrate releases and environments faster and with integrity. Products include Plutora Release Manager, Plutora Test Environment Manager and Plutora Deployment Manager.
May. 25, 2015 05:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,034
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize sup...
May. 25, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,021
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects - scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e....
May. 25, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,148
WSM International is launching a DevOps services division that offers assessment, consulting and implementation to large enterprises and organizations with complex infrastructures. This is the first independent services company to create a dedicated practice to help organizations looking to transition to the DevOps model. The concept of DevOps is to blend information technology (IT) software development with operations to optimize the computing infrastructure according to the specific needs of ...
May. 25, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,808
WSM International has launched a DevOps services division that offers assessment, consulting and implementation to large enterprises and organizations with complex infrastructures. The concept of DevOps is to blend information technology (IT) software development with operations to optimize the computing infrastructure according to the specific needs of the organization. According to a recent press release from Gartner, "By 2016, DevOps will evolve from a niche strategy employed by large cloud ...
May. 25, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,138
Cloud is not a commodity. And no matter what you call it, computing doesn’t come out of the sky. It comes from physical hardware inside brick and mortar facilities connected by hundreds of miles of networking cable. And no two clouds are built the same way. SoftLayer gives you the highest performing cloud infrastructure available. One platform that takes data centers around the world that are full of the widest range of cloud computing options, and then integrates and automates everything. J...
May. 25, 2015 04:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,220
With the arrival of the Big Data revolution, a data professional is expected to master a broad spectrum of complex domains including data processing, mathematics, programming languages, machine learning techniques, and business knowledge. While this mastery is undoubtedly important, this narrow focus on tool usage has divorced many from the imagination required to solve real-world problems. As the demand for analysis increases, the data science community must transform from tool experts to "data...
May. 25, 2015 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,902
SYS-CON Media announced today that 9 out of 10 " most read" DevOps articles are published by @DevOpsSummit Blog. Launched in October 2014, @DevOpsSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dy...
May. 25, 2015 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,217
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading in...
May. 25, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,876
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, de...
May. 25, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,488
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
May. 25, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,863
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
May. 25, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,379
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 25, 2015 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 6,318
The truth is, today’s databases are anything but agile – they are effectively static repositories that are cumbersome to work with, difficult to change, and cannot keep pace with application demands. Performance suffers as a result, and it takes far longer than it should to deliver new features and capabilities needed to make your organization competitive. As your application and business needs change, data repositories and structures get outmoded rapidly, resulting in increased work for applica...
May. 25, 2015 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,957
Docker offers a new, lightweight approach to application portability. Applications are shipped using a common container format and managed with a high-level API. Their processes run within isolated namespaces that abstract the operating environment independently of the distribution, versions, network setup, and other details of this environment. This "containerization" has often been nicknamed "the new virtualization." But containers are more than lightweight virtual machines. Beyond their small...
May. 25, 2015 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 6,294