Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, @DXWorldExpo, @ThingsExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Creating Your Digital Strategy | @CloudExpo #Cloud #DigitalTransformation

Companies of all sizes are struggling with how to deal with the accelerating consumerization of technology

For many corporations, welcoming the New Year also heralds the season of strategy development and budget distribution. This year, however, companies of all sizes are struggling with how to deal with the accelerating consumerization of technology and the mind numbing societal changes it brings. While each industry vertical has its own processes and business models to deal with, they all share a pressing need to develop an appropriate digital strategy. For 2017 this seems to be at the top of every executive to do list.

Business strategy experts around the world have categorically stated that data is now a strategic asset that can be sold and exchanged. In order to identify important data and manage it in a digitally driven future, companies will need to evaluate their organization's structure, go-to-market approach, and overall corporate identity. Accomplishing this task effectively requires these companies to first establish their role within the new data economy.  To do this, IBM experts have created the Data Economy Framework which is used to characterize companies, their roles, capabilities, and overall trends in how they act in the data-driven digital economy. Specifically, will your company become a:

  • Data Producer - generate data from IoT and traditional big data sources (i.e. business applications, social media, websites, open sources, financial transactions, surveys, censuses, and digitized hard copies);
  • Data Aggregator/Custodian - provide data normalization services that enables data collection from heterogeneous devices and efficient data distribution;
  • Platform Owner - provide application programming interfaces (APIs) for connectivity and ecosystem device discovery;
  • Insight Provider - design and development of the semantic models, analytics libraries and machine learning techniques necessary for taking efficient and effective action based on data; or
  • Data Presenter - make complex and large datasets easy for business users to consume. They also allow consumers to have intuitive access to the underlying data and its derivatives.

Once you have settle on your desired role, experts offer up four strategic pillars that must be addressed when executing on a corporate digital strategy:

  • Executing processes on a resilient digital platform that's secure, available on demand and easy to set up and use;
  • Offering anytime, anywhere digital insights, driven by analytics;
  • Creating a digital workforce platform of connected workers, using advanced monitoring, search and analytics tools; and
  • Proactively managing a digital innovation ecosystem comprising multiple partners to incorporate the latest technologies.

Digital transformation will also require reconfiguring both your corporate front and back office operations for digital executionMicroservices and serverless computing are at the heart of this process. Serverless computing, also known as Function as a Service (FaaS), is a cloud computing code execution model in which the cloud provider fully manages starting and stopping virtual machines as necessary to serve requests Requests are billed by an abstract measure of the resources required to satisfy the request, rather than per virtual machine hour. One of the leading serverless computing options is IBM's OpenWhisk. It uses business rules to bind events, triggers, and actions to each other. OpenWhisk actions run automatically only when needed. Its servlerless architecture is quickly instantiated with the scalability needed to meet the evolving demands of the modern user.


Microservices is a service-oriented architectures (SOA) specialization used to build flexible, independently deployable software systems. "Services" in a microservice architecture (MSA) are processes that communicate with each other over a network in order to fulfill a business goal. These services also use technology-agnostic protocols. This option represents a modern approach to software architecture for systems where continuous integration and DevOps are practiced. In its core, the microservice architecture advocates partitioning large monolithic applications into smaller independent services that communicate with each other by using HTTP and messages. The architecture pattern is a child of the continuous integration revolution and is designed for deployments that use a DevOps-based continuous delivery model.


In summary, developing a new digital strategy for you company requires you to:

  1. Select the right digital economy role for your company's business future;
  2. Design implementation steps that align with the four strategic pillars of digital strategy execution; and
  3. Reconfiguring corporate front and back office operations in ways that take advantage of microservices and serverless computing.

Make 2017 the year your company creates its digitally driven future.


This post was brought to you by IBM Global Technology Services. For more content like this, visit ITBizAdvisor.com.

Cloud Musings

(Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2016)

Follow me at http://Twitter.com/Kevin_Jackson

More Stories By Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson, founder of the GovCloud Network, is an independent technology and business consultant specializing in mission critical solutions. He has served in various senior management positions including VP & GM Cloud Services NJVC, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and VP Program Management Office at JP Morgan Chase. His formal education includes MSEE (Computer Engineering), MA National Security & Strategic Studies and a BS Aerospace Engineering. Jackson graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979 and retired from the US Navy earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Airborne Logistics and Airborne Command and Control. He also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide. Kevin is the founder and author of “Cloud Musings”, a widely followed blog that focuses on the use of cloud computing by the Federal government. He is also the editor and founder of “Government Cloud Computing” electronic magazine, published at Ulitzer.com. To set up an appointment CLICK HERE

CloudEXPO Stories
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addressed the challenges of scaling document repositories to this level; architectural approaches for coordinating data; search and storage technologies, Solr, and Amazon storage and database technologies; the breadth of use cases that modern content systems need to support; how to support user applications that require subsecond response times.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
With more than 30 Kubernetes solutions in the marketplace, it's tempting to think Kubernetes and the vendor ecosystem has solved the problem of operationalizing containers at scale or of automatically managing the elasticity of the underlying infrastructure that these solutions need to be truly scalable. Far from it. There are at least six major pain points that companies experience when they try to deploy and run Kubernetes in their complex environments. In this presentation, the speaker will detail these pain points and explain how cloud can address them.
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure using the Kublr platform, and how Kubernetes objects, such as persistent volumes, ingress rules, and services, can be used to abstract from the infrastructure.