|By Ajit Gupta||
|December 4, 2012 04:45 AM EST||
While the adoption of cloud computing in the enterprise offers all sorts of benefits, too many organizations are forgetting about risks. Yes, the benefits of cloud computing are very real. I’m certainly not a cloud denier (and they, like Flat Earthers, do still exist), but one costly misstep as you move to the cloud could quickly eliminate all of those benefits you were hoping for.
I’m not talking about security risks. Those have been dissected almost as thoroughly as the cloud’s benefits. Rather, I’m talking about business risks. If you move a mission-critical application to the cloud, what happens if you don’t have enough available bandwidth to meet demand? What if your headquarters now must suffer with the poor performance that your branch office managers have been complaining about for years?
What if your Internet service provider’s network is compromised? The service provider will invariably tell you that redundancy and failover capabilities are built into their systems, but should you trust them?
Recently, two severed fiber optic cables in Sprint’s network grounded Alaska Airlines for much of a day. What are the chances that two different fiber optic cables in two completely different regions of the country accidentally get cut on the same day? The chances aren’t great, but they obviously were greater than zero.
The risks don’t have to be that severe, however. Access to critical applications is essential to knowledge workers. If your ERP, CRM or SFA application performs poorly because you’ve moved it to the cloud, what have you gained other than headaches?
Legacy apps drag down cloud efforts
Even as we’ve started the full-scale migration to a cloud-centric world, most applications aren’t ready. Most applications were not designed to reside away from your office, outside of your firewall and in the cloud. Even newer versions of software that has “cloud ready” slapped on it are often not cloud ready. Sure, the software can be hosted in a cloud environment, but can it perform at a high level in that environment?
Remember, cloud-based apps must now perform over the chaotic public Internet, rather than over your tightly controlled, high-throughput LAN. Latency, dropped packets and congestion can all seriously degrade app performance – routinely.
To overcome this problem, deep-pocketed organizations invest in expensive MPLS lines, WAN optimization equipment or CDNs. These solutions aren’t cheap. Remember all of that money you hoped to save when you moved to the cloud? How quickly it can evaporate.
If this has you thinking that you should just go back to the on-premise status quo, I have more bad news for you. It’s not going to be possible. Many software providers are moving to a services model, meaning you won’t be able to host your own versions even if you want to, and, meanwhile, organizations of all types are becoming more and more decentralized.
Outsourcing is no longer a trend, but a mundane reality. Telecommuting is on the rise. Even traditional office workers often work a day or two a week from home. The workforce is becoming more and more mobile. And newer businesses, in order to compete with incumbents, are avoiding the overhead of big office spaces, instead opting for small headquarters, smaller branch offices, and many mobile and work- from-home employees.
In other words, the cloud is shifting the cost center away from apps (which will be consumed on a pay- as-you-go model) to networks, which are consumed on an overprovisioning one.
Putting your head in the sand and hoping that the old ways will suffice will simply let more nimble competitors catch you, pass you, and pick your carcass clean during your bankruptcy.
The cloud may be the problem, but it’s also the solution
Fortunately, cloud computing is not a static innovation. If applications can be delivered as pay-as-you- go services, why can’t network services be delivered the same way? Why can’t you avoid purchasing expensive WAN optimization equipment or signing up for expensive CDN contracts, instead consuming each as needed?
The answer is simple: as in any other established space, the incumbents resist change. WAN optimization vendors make money off of that expensive equipment. MPLS providers want you to buy those expensive links. CDN providers thrive on those expensive contracts, which are all the more juicy when you under-utilize the services.
However, that doesn’t mean that change isn’t coming.
These services will move to the cloud – they already are starting to – and the incumbents know it. Many will even tell you that they are actively preparing for this new reality, but until they face enough competition from either startups or some underperforming incumbent needing to shake up their business model, the market leaders will be slow to move. It’s just the way these things work. After all, Saleforce.com, AWS, Dropbox and NetSuite weren’t overnight hits, and they faced serious skepticism on the road to success.
How to prepare for the future
In an economic climate as cut-throat as this one, where a startup in India could just as easily threaten you as one in Silicon Valley, it’s not enough to simply embrace change. The winners will help drive it.
If your cloud-based applications are underperforming, don’t believe the experts when they give you a limited list of options, all of them expensive, all of them more suited to yesterday’s technologies and work patterns. Network virtualization is happening. It took a while for server virtualization to mature and move out of the science-project phase. Now, every business under the sun understands the importance of server virtualization. Fortunately, the adoption phase for network virtualization should be much shorter. After all, it’s a heck of a lot easier to be the second group traveling over the Oregon Trail than the first.
So, the first thing you should do is simply not accept the status quo, and distrust anyone who tells you there is no other way.
Second, if vendors try to sell you expensive hardware or lock you into inflexible contracts, push back. Remind them that everything from expensive CRM suites to engineering testing and development has moved to the cloud.
Why haven’t application delivery services? Why haven’t network services? Why haven’t WAN optimization and CDN services?
Chances are the vendors you’ll work with already have these things on their roadmaps anyway. Why not force their hand?
Finally, negotiate for a win-win. In the end, embracing these new delivery models will not only be in your best interest, but in theirs too. After all, if they drag their feet and insist on stale business practices, you won’t be working with them for very long because they simply won’t be around to work with.
Resisting change in an era of innovation is the risky choice. It’s a cutthroat, winner-take-all economy we’re in, and those who are too risk-averse are actually the ones who end up courting risk. It’s a cruel irony, but your less risk-averse competitors won’t have much sympathy as they steal your market share.
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 20, 2017 01:00 AM EST Reads: 5,121
China Unicom exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE FDD, TD-LTE), fixed-line broadband, ICT, data communica...
Feb. 20, 2017 01:00 AM EST Reads: 738
Zerto exhibited at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which took place at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, in June 2016. Zerto is committed to keeping enterprise and cloud IT running 24/7 by providing innovative, simple, reliable and scalable business continuity software solutions. Through the Zerto Cloud Continuity Platform™, organizations can seamlessly move and protect virtualized workloads between public, private and hybrid clouds. The company’s flagship product, Zerto Virtual...
Feb. 20, 2017 12:15 AM EST Reads: 870
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Feb. 20, 2017 12:00 AM EST Reads: 1,313
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, looked at differ...
Feb. 19, 2017 10:30 PM EST Reads: 6,065
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. 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 June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Feb. 19, 2017 09:30 PM EST Reads: 757
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often un...
Feb. 19, 2017 08:00 PM EST Reads: 2,766
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Feb. 19, 2017 06:45 PM EST Reads: 3,093
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Feb. 19, 2017 06:15 PM EST Reads: 1,024
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SSL, peer-to-peer, mob...
Feb. 19, 2017 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,345
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
Feb. 19, 2017 05:45 PM EST Reads: 5,310
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Feb. 19, 2017 05:45 PM EST Reads: 886
The security needs of IoT environments require a strong, proven approach to maintain security, trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vic...
Feb. 19, 2017 05:00 PM EST Reads: 8,092
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Feb. 19, 2017 05:00 PM EST Reads: 1,557
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
Feb. 19, 2017 04:15 PM EST Reads: 2,033
Building a cross-cloud operational model can be a daunting task. Per-cloud silos are not the answer, but neither is a fully generic abstraction plane that strips out capabilities unique to a particular provider. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Wolf, VP & Chief Technology Officer, Global Field & Industry at VMware, will discuss how successful organizations approach cloud operations and management, with insights into where operations should be centralized and when it’s best to decentraliz...
Feb. 19, 2017 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,357
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, will discuss how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees will learn how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He will also look at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers ca...
Feb. 19, 2017 02:30 PM EST Reads: 1,158
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, will discuss how to use Kubernetes to setup a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace....
Feb. 19, 2017 02:30 PM EST Reads: 2,186
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jared Parker, Director of Financial Services at Kinetica, will discuss how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich inf...
Feb. 19, 2017 02:15 PM EST Reads: 1,015
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Feb. 19, 2017 02:00 PM EST Reads: 988