Forrester: Top 10 Trends in Enterprise Architecture

forrester_logo Forrester recently released a report by Brian Hopkins, Principal Analyst titled: “The Top 10 Technology Trends EA Should Watch: 2012 To 2014″ that caught my eye.   The report identifies trends that are expected to have a strong impact on IT over the next few years.

Forrester sorts the ten trends into four technology categories: Application platforms, integration, infrastructure and operations, and mobile computing,

Application Platforms

1. Elastic Application Platforms Emerge.  Automatically scaling processor and storage resources up or down, depending on workload.

2. Platform as a Service Crosses the Chasm.  Application-development tools abstracted from the underlying cloud infrastructure, freeing developers from many of the tedious details with which they would otherwise have to cope.

Integration

3. Data Services, Virtualization Reach Critical Mass.  Extending enterprise data warehouse or to operate in a multitechnology environment with a mix of physical and virtual data stores

4. Holistic Integration Enables Agile Enterprises.  More comprehensive tools to achieve application, process and data integration

5. Social IT Becomes Enterprise Plumbing.  Social interaction will become part of normal workflows, and applications must be architected from the inception to enable this

Infrastructure and Operations

6. Improved Virtualization Sets Stage for Private Cloud.  Expect more focus on virtualization maturity to raise utilization rates, standardization and automation.

7. Always On, Always Available Is the New Expectation.  Building highly available infrastructures that can deliver continuous services to end users by leveraging technology improvements such as cloud-based disaster-recovery services.

8. Network Architecture Evolves to Meet Cloud Demands.  Building fundamentally different networks to accommodate advances in server and storage virtualization that pave the path to cloud computing.

Mobile Computing

9. Personal Device Momentum Changes Mobile-Platform Strategy.  Information workers are an increasingly empowered group and will dictate the technology used to solve business issues.

10. ‘App Internet’ Ushers in the Next Generation of Computing.  Improvements in the underlying mobile-platform technology to fully enable context-aware and secure application-based mobile computing.

The full report can be accessed at “The Top 10 Technology Trends EA Should Watch: 2012 To 2014

10 Cloud Computing White Papers From IBM

image Cloud computing continues to be a disruptive trend in the information technology industry so I like to keep up to date on the IT and business issues related to the adoption of this trend.  

Cloud computing promises a new approach to IT economics—but also presents new challenges.  All IT users have come to expect a new standard from information technology, including masking complexity, providing enterprise-class security, delivering “dial tone” reliability, and wrapping it all in a friendly, easy to use self service package.  Fulfilling these expectations is a monumental task for IT departments.

I recently visited IBM’s Cloud Computing page looking for content about the cloud computing trend.   Here are some cloud computing white papers that are featured on the ibm.com site that discuss the key issues involved in adopting cloud computing technology and services. 

Get started with cloud through the right business based IT strategy (May 2011).  This is a 4 page Solution Brief written by IBM’s Strategy & Transformation Services team.  Cloud affects all dimensions of your organization, from business and operations, to technology, organization design and communication.  IBM’s Strategy and Change Services for Cloud Adoption uses proven methods to address these dimensions in creating your end-to-end cloud strategy.

Capturing new cloud business opportunities – with the right strategy.   (May 2011)  This 4 page solution brief from IBM’s Strategy & Transformation Services team says now is the time to act. Market leaders see the potential of cloud and are moving fast to get there first. Partnerships and alliances are quickly taking form. Those who are the last to move risk being excluded from this new, networked world. '

Getting cloud computing right: “The key to business success in a cloud adoption is a robust, proven architecture”.  (April 2011)   Making full use of an integrated  public compute cloud depends on how well customers can leverage the software assets they already own.  This 7 page white paper, written by IBM’s Global Technology Services team, acknowledges that CIOs and business leaders face a big challenge making sense of all the vendor offerings in the marketplace about cloud computing.   The white paper points out that it is important to remember that cloud computing is not just about data center technology. It’s about streamlining business processes to make organizations and people more strategic, more responsive to change and more oriented to service delivery.

Private Clouds Float with IBM Systems and Software (February 2011).  This white paper was written for IBM by IDEAS International.  The primary challenge for most IT departments is to stage the gradual adoption of private clouds in a way that allows the benefits of cloud computing to be accrued as quickly as possible. By methodically addressing the operational requirements at every level of private cloud infrastructure, IBM provides the necessary foundation to fulfill much of the economic promise of cloud computing.

How IBM is shortening the gap between customers and development value (February 2011).   Cloud computing will be a journey for IT departments, not a destination.  This 9 page white paper, written for IBM by Allan Krans of TBR Software Practice, examines the challenges CIOs, IT managers and  application development managers face as they attempt to select a cloud computing vendor that can help them address development and test requirements.

How IBM Smart Business Cloud can be a catalyst for IT transformation (January 2011).  This paper was written for IBM by Stuart Williams of TBR Software Practice.  This white paper examines the challenges CIOs and IT Managers face as they attempt to select a cloud computing vendor that can help them address their immediate requirements, as well as address their long-term needs for a holistic computing strategy.

Strategies for assessing cloud security (November 2010).  This is a 5 page Thought Leadership White Paper from IBM Global Technology Services.  Although the benefits of cloud computing are clear, so is the need to develop proper security for cloud implementations—whether public or private.  Cloud computing introduces another level of risk because essential services are often outsourced to a third party, making it harder to maintain data integrity and privacy, support data and service availability, and demonstrate compliance.  Embracing cloud computing without adequate security controls can place the entire IT infrastructure at risk.

IBM Cloud White Paper Cloud computing insights from 110 implementation projects (October 2010).  This is a 12 page white paper from IBM’s Academy of Technology.  The survey represents the findings from 110 case studies of cloud computing implementations in a survey conducted in August 2010.  The case studies are mainly from mature markets and mainly from companies with more than 5,000 employees. With the exception of the chemical and petroleum industry and industrial products, virtually every industry is represented.

Integrated service management and cloud computing: More than just technology best friends (September 2010).  This is a 12 page white paper from IBM’s Global Technology Services that discusses the importance of an integrated service management strategy to a successful cloud computing implementation.  Integration is crucial to success in cloud environments because of the need to orchestrate the actions of partners, vendors and customers in keeping with the firm’s strategic intent for IT. The requirements are clear: Integrated Service Management is more, not less, important in a cloud environment. In fact, it is indispensible.

Leveraging security from the cloud:  The who, what, when, why and how of cloud-based security services (July 2010).  When it comes to delivering information security, cloud computing provides several advantages relative to on-premise security software and appliances.  This 6 page white paper reveals how security can be used to reduce risk, optimize resources, improve flexibility and address regulatory requirements—without breaking the bank.

For more on IBM and cloud computing, go to it’s main cloud computing website: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/

Virtualization Continues To Be An Important IT Trend

Virtualization, while not a new trend, is an important IT trend for 2011.  It will continue to transform IT infrastructures, impacting servers, storage, desktop, and applications in 2011.

Virtualization is one of the best ways to get more business value from an IT infrastructure. Virtualized infrastructures are popular not only for cost savings, but because they can enable quick changes to business models, operating structures and the way that business processes are enabled.  By decoupling logical resources from physical assets, virtualization can empower an exceptionally swift response to changing business conditions or changing business strategies.  In addition, a highly virtualized infrastructure is a prerequisite for private clouds (See Cloud Computing In 2011: Private Clouds Are An Important Trend) so CIOs will continue to focus on virtualization.   

Adoption Drivers: 

  • Desire to reduce IT operational costs,
  • Desire to move towards cloud model.
  • Networks and servers are better equipped to handle this technology.

Inhibitors to Adoption:

  • New roles & responsibilities,
  • Security of virtualized environment,
  • Requires more sophisticated virtualization Management and Utilization techniques

Implications:

  • IT Departments must understand their environment completely and this requires good communications between IT and Business Leaders
  • Security becomes more complex in a virtualized environment. It become more difficult to manage and make sure every asset is utilized efficiently.
  • Enterprises should thoroughly evaluate how business processes, administrative rights, capacity planning, performance monitoring tools and security strategies will need to change.

Analyst Quotes

“The next "big thing" will be automating the composition and management of the virtualized resources”. – Gartner (Link)

“Server virtualization is the 'killer app' for the datacenter and has forever changed IT operations” – IDC (Link)

“Virtualization will continue as the highest-impact issue challenging infrastructure and operations through 2015, changing how you manage, how and what you buy, how you deploy, how you plan and how you charge.” – Gartner (Link)

For More Information

Over the last 3-4 years we’ve seen server virtualization really take off as a trend and now it is almost standard technology in the data center.  While security concerns remain a hurdle to deployment, we’ll continue to see a focus on virtualization across the entire infrastructure in 2011. 

Cloud Computing Is Enabling The Next Phase Of The Internet Evolution

Carlota Perez wrote a book titled “Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital” (2002) that is a real interesting read.  Perez says that there have been five historical waves of economic and social transformation in the developed economies of the world. Each of these waves have what she calls an Installation phase followed by a crash of some sort and then a Deployment period. 

HorizonWatching - Carlota Perz 5 Waves

Perez says that our global economy has now entered the deployment phase of the fifth technology investment cycle, which she says is the Age of Information and Telecommunications (see embedded picture).  Perez says that this will be a period of adjustment when novel business models will exploit the new IT infrastructure that is now being put in place that enable more porous, open, collaborative approaches that seek to leverage the economics and flexibility of global sourcing.  She expects enterprises of all sizes will employ technology to help them transform their business models, processes and operations.

As mentioned, Perez says we are entering this Deployment phase. As we do there are some key characteristics across our global economy that is impacting how this phase develops. The firms that will succeed are the firms that will embrace these characteristics and the change that is happening in order to innovate and leapfrog competition.

Important characteristics of our global economy includes:

  • A level, global economic playing field presents new opportunities, challenges and competitive technologies
  • New technologies, services and skills are emerging…and they are quickly being integrated into every aspect of business and everyday life
  • The pace of change is dramatically compressing “windows of opportunity” for real competitive advantage.
  • Billions of skilled people are entering the world’s economy, fundamentally transforming the mix of the global workforce
  • The interconnected nature of our world’s economy means businesses must be prepared to respond to – and capitalize on – changes in real time, with unprecedented flexibility.

While all this is happening, we are moving into what I believe is the third stage of the Internet. Call it Web 3.0 or whatever you wish, but cloud computing is perhaps the most important technology.  In fact, I believe that cloud computing is the key enabling technology for this next technological wave and the next phase in the evolution of the Internet.

HorizonWatching - Private Clouds Enables Next Wave of the Internet

Back in the mid to late 1990s companies were just concerned with getting websites up so they could have a presence on the Internet. It was all about providing very basic information to the public. But soon the so called e-commerce trend arose and business was being conducted on the Internet. Then Web 2.0 came into play and all users realized that they could share their ideas, create content, and collaborate online.  We are now well into this next phase of the evolution where the enabling technologies will be cloud, analytics, mobile, video, and semantic capabilities.  This so called Web 3.0 phase will provide applications that are much more immersive, social, and collaborative in nature.  Combined that with an explosion of networked sensors and advanced predictive analytic and all the Smarter Planet initiatives will become a reality. 

But the most important enabler will be the combination of private and public cloud computing infrastructures that will be the ‘engine’ of the future Internet.

Cloud Computing In 2011: Private Clouds Are An Important Trend

The cloud computing ‘buzz’ has been going on now for 3 years. IBM Cloud White Papers Benefits include reduced costs, improved service delivery and an enablement of business innovation.   Public clouds have been a major part of the discussion and experimentation.  However, many CIOs and business leaders are concerned with having their data residing outside their firewall.   So, in 2011, I expect we’ll see more companies adopting approaches to private clouds in parts of their businesses.  

Adoption Drivers

  • Commoditization and standardization of technologies,
  • Virtualization and the rise of service-oriented software Architectures,
  • Dramatic growth in popularity/use of the Internet and the Web.

Adoption Inhibitors

  • Bandwidth, Complexity, Standards, Security, Privacy, Compliance, Performance, Loss of Control of Data outside the firewall.

Analyst Perspective

As can be seen by the quotes below, more companies have begun adopting approaches to private clouds in parts of their businesses.  Analysts agree that enterprises will be interested in learning more about how to leverage private clouds within their own ecosystems.

“Almost one-quarter of the infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals polled in our Forrsights Hardware Survey, Q3 2010 said that building a private cloud is a high or critical priority for them. Five percent said it is critical.” – Forrester Research (Link)

“According to recent IDC survey results, almost half of respondents, 44%, are considering private clouds.” – IDC (Link)

“The cloud market is evolving rapidly, with 39 percent of survey respondents worldwide indicating they allocated IT budget to cloud computing as a key initiative for their organization” – Gartner (Link)

“Private clouds’ are a natural next step in the evolution of data centers over the last ten years, toward consolidated, virtualized and automated IT service delivery environments.” – Frank Gens, IDC (Link)

“there is still some lingering apprehension over issues like integration, availability, security, and costs. These concerns, and how they are addressed by IT vendors, will continue to guide the adoption of cloud computing over the next several years.” – IDC (Link)

So the analysts agree that a growing number of organizations are turning to clouds to manage basic applications. Core business apps, IT infrastructure services, analytics, and app dev/test/deploy are next in line. However, as mentioned, since CIOs and business leaders are concerned with having their data residing outside their firewall, 

What To Expect In 2011

  • Expect to see mid and large-sized businesses to increase their experimentation and implementation of private clouds as the promise of the cloud delivery model is one that is just too good to pass up. 
  • There’s also a growing interest in private ‘community clouds’ hosted for a group of organizations who trust each other.
  • Something else to watch out for this year is how cloud computing will impact the mobile infrastructure and ecosystems in 2011.

Since cloud is a disruptive new way to deliver software & services, cloud will enable both new opportunities as well as new competitors in all areas of business.

For More Information

Frost & Sullivan: Global Megatrends Shaping Our Future

Today I attended a webinar offered by research firm Frost & Sullivan that was titled “Mega Trends that will Shape the Future of the World”.  The stated purpose of the webinar was to discuss the most important global mega trends, potential scenarios of specific trends in 2020, and the implications of these mega trends in transforming society, markets and cultures. 

The webinar was jointly led by Frost & Sullivan Partner Sarwant Singh and Frost & Sullivan Team Leader Archana Amarnath. For those of you who want to view the webinar, at the end of this post I have the embedded the webinar, courtesy of Frost & Sullivan and Bright Talk.

I really enjoyed the webinar.  Here is my review of the megatrends covered during the webinar.

1)  Urbanization.   Frost confirms a trend that we’ve seen mentioned by others.  That is that the world’s population is increasingly shifting towards an urban environment.  Frost says that this trend will result in mega cities, mega regions, and mega transportation/business corridors.   Technology will be applied to enhance living and business activities within these mega-environments.

As a result of the urbanization trend, technology companies will try to address issues that impact consumer and business activities.  Frost predicts there will be an increased focus on making cities ‘Smarter’.  There will be over 40 global cities to achieve a designation of being “SMART” by 2020.  Frost says that more than 50% of the smart cities of 2025 will be from Europe and North America.   As the worlds businesses competes to realize the smart city opportunity, Frost expects there to be a convergence of smart city technology that will ultimately lead to convergence of competition in three different industries 1) Energy Infrastructure Players, 2) IT Players, and 2) Automation/Building Control Players.

2) Social Trends.  Frost mentioned three sub-trends here 1) Geo Socialization, 2) Generation Y and 3) Reverse Brain Drain.   

Geo Socialization.  Frost says Geo Socialization services will become an important part of the landscape in 2020 as we’ll see all sorts of location based services being pushed to mobile consumers and mobile business workers.

Gen Y.  There will be an increased focus placed on new and innovative products and services that cater to the values, beliefs, interests, and lifestyles of the younger generation.  A prime market will be the younger generation in India and China, who are increasingly displaying four key characteristics as consumers

  • Personalization and Individualization
  • Techno Savvy and Connected 24×7
  • Civic and Environmentally Friendly
  • Demanding and Impatient – “Fast and the Furious

Reverse Brain Drain.  Frost expects there to be a migration of skilled and educated workers from developed companies back to their homelands to fill a shortage of CXO Positions In BRIC countries.  Frost also says that many Europeans and Americans will seek jobs in these developing countries in the future in order to participate in the huge growth economies that are materializing.

3) Increased Satellites In Orbit.   Frost expects that by 2020 there will over 900 satellites will be launched annually around the globe. While this will cause a traffic jam in space, all those satellites will enable a whole set of new and innovative applications and services.

4) Cyber Warfare.  Frost is concerned that by 2020 cyber warfare will become an everyday occurrence.  In fact, Frost says that if there is a World War 3 in our future, cyber warfare will play an important part. 

5) Robot Technology.   Frost paints a strong future for robots across all sectors of the economy.  Future robots will utilize artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to be able to help us with everyday decision making.  The top applications for industrial robots will be in Robots in Space, Military, Healthcare

6) Virtual Worlds.  Frost says that by 2020, 3D simulated environments will be used to significantly enhance consumer and business activities.   Simulation and virtual world technology will change the way we interact with users and data.  For example, virtual shopping will allow customers to try products without leaving their homes.   Virtual surgeries will allow doctors to train for new types of procedures just like airplane pilots train in flight simulators today.  Frost explained that haptic technology is an an enabling technology for these immersive virtual and simulation environments in the future.

7) Cloud Computing.   Frost says we will have smart clouds by 2020.  These will be flexible and customized clouds created by consolidation of different off premise hybrid cloud services.  Cloud computing will allow future information technology infrastructures to  be scaled up or down as the workload demands.  Key enabling technologies will be  API standards and cloud security standards.

8) Innovating to Zero.   As we move towards 2020, there will be a focus on using emerging technologies to minimize failures.  Governments and businesses alike will strive to reach a level of zero security accidents, zero facility failures, zero emissions, zero accidents.   Frost mentioned initiatives in Norway as well as initiatives in the power generation generation industry to enable innovative zero emission technologies including Wind energy, Solar PV Cells, Ocean energy, Geothermal Energy, Bio Fuels, and Travelling Wave Reactors.

9) Infrastructure Development and New Transportation Corridors.  Frost expects higher spending on travel, transportation, and utilities infrastructures.  Frost mentioned the highest spending may be in water management systems, but also mentioned power generation/distribution, Road & Rail, and Air/Seaports.    Frost provided the example of the Trans-Siberian railroad.   This new transportation corridor will result in industrial and business hubs along the railroad, much like “Route 66” did to the American landscape.  Development of Trans-Siberian railroad will have significant socio economic and business impact to Russia. 

10) E-Mobility.  Frost expects that over the next decade all sorts of new forms of personal transportation vehicles will make its way to the economy.  Many of these will target urban commuters who just need to get to work and back.  Frost says that 40 million electric 2 and 4 wheeled vehicles will be sold annually around the globe by 20120.   

11) Healthcare:  Spending will rise globally.  Frost says that if the current spending trend continues, Healthcare spending will almost double by 2050.  Some countries will end up spending 20-30% of their GDP on Healthcare.   Spending will transition away from treating and more for predictive analytics that will be used to help diagnose and monitor conditions before they become serious.


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Gartner: Top Technology Trends You Can’t Afford To Ignore

Successful business leaders do a good job of understanding and preparing for the potential futures.  They take time to figure out what the potential disruptive trends are today…and what trends will cause disruption in the future.   They understand not only those disruptive trends that will impact their business, but those that will disrupt their customers businesses as well.

Gartner - Tech Trends You Cant Ignore Gartner regularly holds a webinar about every 2-3 months entitled “Top Technology Trends You Can’t Afford To Ignore”.     During these hour long webinars, Gartner presents it’s most current list of the top ten technologies.   The list changes from year to year ever so slightly, so when Gartner held one of these webinars last month, I attended.

To make this top ten technology trend list, Gartner says the technology has to be disruptive in nature.  Gartner defines a disruptive technology as one which drives major change in business processes or revenue streams, consumer behavior or spending, or IT industry dynamics.  These trends have the potential to significantly alter the competitive environment in an industry.

During the webinar I attended,  Raymond Paquet, Managing Vice President at Gartner,  1) defined the trend, 2) described the impact the technology has on business and IT, and 2) provided recommendations on how leaders should begin using the technology.

Here’s the list of Top Technology Trends You Can’t Ignore from the recent Gartner webinar of the same name.

  1. Virtualization – This trend, which used to be focused just on servers, is maturing across all elements of an information technology infrastructure.
  2. Data Deluge – The explosion of unstructured data is causing the emergence of a whole set of new emerging technologies designed to manage all data inputs and make sense out of the chaos.
  3. Energy and Green IT – There’s an increasing awareness on energy efficiency measurements.
  4. Complex Resource Tracking – Monitoring energy consumption so that you can dynamically move workloads to save energy.
  5. Consumerization and Social Software – Gartner says this trend is impacting business in a great way and business leaders need to incorporate social computing across their business.
  6. Unified Communications – Tightly integrating all forms of communications into all business applications and organizational processes.
  7. Mobile and Wireless – The explosion of mobile smart devices is leading to an explosion of mobile applications, causing a whole new set of requirements on the infrastructure. 
  8. System Density – Blades are evolving into componentized, data-center-in-a-chassis solutions and therefore the trend is towards high density application of blades resulting in maximum use of floor space.
  9. Mashups and Portals – Lots of creativity going on here with focus being placed on both visualization integration and content integration into a personalized, customized portal.
  10. Cloud Computing – Gartner says cloud technology is an important one for businesses to implement.  Private clouds will dominate and will allow businesses to improve agility.  Leaders should ignore the hype and focus on results.

For more information, you can access the replay of the webinar I attended:   Technology Trends You Can't Afford to Ignore (website registration may be required).  You can also access the full library of Gartner webinars (upcoming and replay archives) at the following URL  http://my.gartner.com/portal/server.pt?objID=202&open=512&mode=2&PageID=3428358  (website registration may be required). 

My Thoughts on the Cloud Computing Trend

Last month I posted "IBM Cloud Computing White Papers".  In that post I provide summaries and links to a number of white papers IBM has posted on the Cloud Computing topic. 

SWSC16 As I mention in that post, I did a bunch of research on the topic of Cloud Computing back in late 2007 and 2008.  The post last month gave me the opportunity to reflect on the cloud computing trend.  In 2008 it was an emerging buzzword in the IT industry.  Today, 2 years later, the concept is a little more defined and the hype has died down a bit. 

Yes, there is more that needs to happen before the true potential of cloud computing becomes a reality, but there is no question that we all need to pay attention to the vision of cloud computing…because cloud computing (or whatever it ends up being called) is the future of the IT industry. 

Why you ask?  There are a number of reasons.  But primary in my mind is that it offers businesses the promise of business agility.   Agility enables the business to respond quickly to customer requests for new products and services.  It also allows businesses to partner more quickly to reach new markets faster.  And it also allows businesses to quickly change in the face of competition.  Here are some basic reasons why the cloud computing concept will take off.

  • Economics: Clouds will require a very small up front investment.  Usage will be be billed by consumption.  The resulting reduction in Total Cost of Ownership will allow businesses to pursue improvements in operational efficiency and productivity.
  • Risk Management:  In some cases, there will be no fixed time commitment.  This will allow businesses to try many new services faster.  This reduces big failure risks and allows clients to be innovative.
  • Time to Market:  Businesses will be able to adopt new services quickly for pilot usages and then scale quickly to a global scale.
  • Information Society:  Cloud computing will provide business executives value-added information generated by the collection and analysis of massive amounts of unstructured data.
  • Ubiquitous Society:  The cloud treats all devices the same making the cloud accessible via a heterogeneous set of devices (sensors, kiosks, PC, mobile device, telematics..)

In today's fast world, new competitors, with innovative business models (e.g. Google, Amazon, etc.), seem to be able to rapidly change their business.  To match these types of competitors, businesses must have a business architecture and an IT infrastructure that is flexible enough to respond quickly to all opportunities and threats.  The emerging cloud computing concept enables businesses to become more agile because it offers the ability to get to market quickly, and with a lower capital expense.  It also assures that as demand increases, resources can be added incrementally, without the need for major architecture changes.

From an IT standpoint, business agility implies the ability to rapidly build and configure tailored solutions which span internal and external systems.  Cloud computing can enable the development of applications in real-time and then also enables them to be quickly deployed globally to any device from sensors to mobile device to PCs.  Once developed, Line of Business executives need those applications to execute in real-time, scaling to meet the needs of the business.   Follow on generations of applications must be able to handle increasingly higher amounts of data as the user base grows.  Once running, applications in the cloud offer non stop operation.  Users aren't burdened by HW and SW upgrades.  

In the future, there will be all sorts of new types of services enabled because of computing clouds.  Services we can''t even imagine right now.  The fact is that the more applications and services that are deployed in the cloud, the more opportunities there are to leverage services provided by others in the same or other clouds.

The biggest 'hurdles' to realizing the vision of cloud computing is security, privacy, & risk Management issues.  These issues can be HUGE to overcome.  The security issues will be very complex to solve and a number of the white papers I summarized in the post "IBM Cloud Computing White Papers" discuss those security issues.

I do believe that we will solve the 'hurdles' and businesses will learn to trust running our systems in the 'clouds'.   Remember the initial fear you had of buying things online with your credit card?  I bet you do that now with much less fear.  Perhaps you don't even think about it.

Anyway, Cloud Computing is a disruptive force in the Information Technology industry and it is one of the trends I will continue to watch closely.

IBM Cloud Computing White Papers

IBM Cloud White Papers In 2008 I was focused on researching and analyzing the Cloud Computing marketplace, which back then was just emerging.  It was a year of hype with vendors scrambling to define it and rename their offerings with the Cloud name somewhere in the offering.   The cloud topic was featured in many posts here during the 2008 calendar year.  While I no longer am focused on cloud, I still try to keep abreast of what is going on. 

The fact is that cloud computing is no longer just hype.  It is recognized as a key transformational trend in IT today.  The adoption of private, public or hybrid cloud environments can help significantly help organizations reduce IT management complexity and skill requirements; share resources among multiple applications; accelerate time to market; and support both existing and emerging, data-intensive workloads.

Here are some cloud computing white papers from IBM.  IBM has been an leader in the push towards enterprise-based cloud computing.

  • Dispelling The Vapor Around Cloud Computing     IBM conducted a survey in June and July of 2009 of 1,090 IT and line-of-business decision makers around the world.  The objective was to better understand the current rate of adoption, as well as drivers, barriers, and considerations that are influencing the adoption of cloud computing.  This white paper shares the survey findings and provides IBM’s point of view regarding key steps and considerations for cloud adoption.  A nice feature of this white paper are two sections near the end.  One section covers key success factors in implementing cloud and the other covers a list of steps required to the adoption of cloud computing
  • Security and Cloud Computing.  Although the benefits of implementing the different cloud computing models are clear, so is the need to develop proper security for cloud implementations.  Many organizations are embracing both public and private cloud computing models by integrating the two models into ‘hybrid clouds’.  These hybrid cloud implementations are designed to balance both business and technology requirements, helping to optimize security
    and privacy with a minimum investment in fixed IT costs.  This white paper provides an overview of key security issues related to the different cloud
    computing models, discusses the IBM Cloud Security Framework, and concludes with IBM’s thoughts on how to implement a secure cloud architecture and environment.   For those wanting more detail, there is an IBM Redbook available by the title of Cloud Security Guidance:  IBM's Recommendation for the Implementation of Cloud Security
  • Capturing the Potential of the Cloud   This paper comes from IBM’s Global Services team and discusses how cloud computing models are helping enterprises,
    governments and industries meet current challenges by focusing in on what the paper calls ‘Cloud Value Drivers’.  The paper says that organizations should take a holistic approach to developing a cloud strategy due to the broad impact cloud can have on an organization’s business models, operating principles, processes, technology and organization design.   Understanding the key cloud value drivers can help business and IT leaders jointly develop a framework for building successful business and IT strategies.
  • Business Strategy for Cloud Providers  -  This white paper is targeted towards companies that are hoping to provide cloud computing services as part of their offering strategy.    The paper answers questions such as
    • What are the key attributes of a winning cloud • provider business strategy and model?
    • How can partnering across the ecosystem accelerate my success?
    • What are the implications if I do not act now?
  • Benefits of Cloud Computing (634kb)   This paper examines the challenges facing IT leaders today and then discusses the benefits to enterprises that implement cloud computing technology.  The paper drives home the point that cloud computing is not just about data center technology.  It’s more about streamlining business processes in order to make organizations and people more competitive, more responsive to change and more oriented to service delivery.
  • Beyond the Platform:  Choosing the Right SaaS Delivery Partner.  The
    cloud market is broad and fragmented with thousands of suppliers
    offering products and services that fulfill niche needs.  As such, ISVs
    are often daunted by the process of researching providers' and
    consultants' offers.   Stratecast, a Division of Frost & Sullivan,
    has just published an IBM commissioned white paper entitled "Beyond the
    Platform: Choosing the Right SaaS Delivery Partner".  Author, analyst
    Linda Stadtmueller examines the fragmented and still evolving
    cloud-based Software as a Service market.  The white paper looks at the
    pitfalls and benefits to ISVs, along with considerations to guide the
    decision to enter the cloud.  Finally, it highlights the IBM ISV Partner
    Program as a high-value option for helping ISVs build and execute a
    SaaS strategy.  

For more on IBM and cloud computing, go to it’s main cloud computing website: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/

IDC: Worldwide SMB Market Top 10 Predictions 2010

IDC SMB 2010 Predictions I attended IDC’s Worldwide SMB Market Top 10 Predictions 2010 conference call today.  The call was led by Raymond Boggs, Vice President, Small/Medium Business and Home Office Research, but included a long list of analysts from IDC’s Small Business team.

IDC predicts that while SMB IT spending will recover, the impact of the recession will linger, impacting spending.  The conference call provided insights into how SMB spending on IT is changing by company size, by geography, and by technology.

Here’s a summary of the top predictions as presented on the conference call.

  1. IT Spending Recovers, But Not Enough To Make Up For 2009 Decline:  IDC forecasts SMB IT spending will grow 3.7% over 2009 (decline in 2009 was 4.3%).  Total IT spending by SMB will reach  $509.6 billion in 2010.
  2. Developed Regions:  SMB spending recovery will be more modest in developed regions.
  3. Developing Regions:  IDC forecasts that we’ll see more dramatic SMB spending gains in developing regions, including CEMA at +9.9%, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) at +7.3%, and Latin America at +7.1%. 
  4. Mid-Sized Firms:  IDC says that IT spending growth in mid-sized firms will outpace spending in smaller firms. .
  5. IT Spending Categories:  IDC says all IT spending categories will benefit from the increased SMB spending in 2010.  IDC expects services, software, and PCs/peripherals will benefit most, with 3-4% gains.
  6. Workforce Productivity:  IDC expects growth in spending for productivity tools to support remote workers and mobile employees.
  7. Cloud Computing and Software-as-a-Service: IDC says spending for Cloud and SaaS will gain traction in 2010, especially among medium-sized businesses. .
  8. Social Media:   IDC predicts that the use of social media will rise as SMBs figure out how to use it to reach new customers and learn about new technology.
  9. Focus on Innovative Solutions with Near-Term Benefits:  IDC says SMBs will be looking for alternative approaches to solutions and productivity tools that can provide near term benefits.  Social computing, mobility, personal storage, advanced networks, Cloud computing and SaaS all can add new productivity capabilities to SMBs, but SMBs will be looking to implement those solutions that can provide quick benefits.
  10. IT Infrastructure:  IDC expects that SMBs will continue to focus on building infrastructure capabilities (storage, security, and network resources) in order to support initiatives.

I have a big place in my heart for SMBs as that is the market where I ‘cut my teeth’ in the early 80’s when I joined IBM as a S/34 Systems Engineer and worked later as a Sales Rep.  Back then there were many, many SMBs that I called on that did not even have a computer in house.  Getting some of them to install GLAPPR and BICSARSA applications was a major sales effort.  There’s no question that the market for selling and servicing SMB organizations has totally changed since the early 80’s!!

For more information:

  • You can listen access a replay of the conference call Worldwide SMB Predictions 2010
  • Watch the IDC website for the release of the document Worldwide SMB 2010 Top 10 Predictions: Challenging Economy Will Sharpen Technology Focus on Near-Term Productivity Gains
  • Check out the SMB IDC website “Solving the SMB Puzzle

IDC: 2010 Predictions for Infrastructure Software

IDC - System Infrastructure IDC’s System Infrastructure analyst team held its annual predictions call for System Infrastructure 2010 today.  During the call, I heard IDC’s Top 10 predictions for the worldwide system infrastructure software market (system software, virtualization, and system management software ) in 2010.  

Here’s my summary of the top ten predictions reviewed on the call:

  1. Cloud Computing:  IDC says that the hype around Cloud Computing will calm down as management tools start maturing
  2. ROI Drives Decisions:  In 2010, short-term ROI will continue to make or break system infrastructure software purchasing and investment decisions.
  3. Windows 7 Is A Key Transition Point:  IDC expects that the transition to Windows 7 will mark a sobering transition point where traditional PCs begin to loose the position of the primary access device.
  4. Say Goodbye To Unix:  Unix will become a permanent casualty of the economic downturn of 2009
  5. Client Virtualization:  IDC says that the client virtualization trend will have a breakout year, thanks to Microsoft
  6. Converged Infrastructure Platforms:  IDC says that the hypervisor wars will end in 2010 and converged (cloud) infrastructure platforms will take off
  7. End-to-End Application Performance and Visibility:   IDC expects that these objectives will become a major priority across public and private infrastructure and services
  8. License Management:  IDC says that in 2010 vendors will exploit weak software license management environments
  9. Availability Software:  Will increasingly adapt to a virtualized x86 server world
  10. Sustainability and Power Management:   Will become critical green IT differentiators across the system infrastructure software landscape

So there is a ton of activity going on in the software infrastructure marketplace.  Cloud and Virtualization are kind of the megatrends. 

I joined IBM back in the days when the Operating System was a major control point.  All vendors had a closed and proprietary OS.  Those days are gone.  Competitive differentiation in the future will be based more on the flexibility and functionality of the administrative management capabilities, how well the infrastructure platforms deliver operational savings and operational flexibility, and, I believe, how well these platforms enable collaboration.

For more information, you can register and view a recording of the webinar IDC Predictions 2010: Infrastructure Software where you can download the slides.  For even more detail, you can access the IDC document: Worldwide System Infrastructure Software 2010 Top 10 Predictions

Baseline: Top 10 Technology Trends for 2010

Baseline Top Trends A recent article written by Samuel Greengard in Baseline outlines the top tech trends for 2010.  The article is based on a survey conducted by Ziff Davis Enterprise Research with almost 1,200 technology and business managers.

  1. Green Computing and Energy Efficiency.  There’s been an increased commitment across IT manufacturers to produce Green IT products, data centers and end-user devices.
  2. Public and Private Cloud Computing.  Baseline mentions that IDC expects spending on IT cloud services to grow almost threefold, reaching $42 billion by 2012.
  3. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI).  There’s been an increase in attention on VDI solutions.  However, VDI is more complex to implement than server virtualization. 2010 might be a turning point.
  4. Mobility, Telecommuting and Virtual Meetings.  Adoption of mobile computing devices (e.g. iPhones, BlackBerrys, netbooks, etc.) continues at a rapid pace.  Enabling this adoption is the availability of higher wireless bandwidth.  Concerns in 2010 will include control and security.
  5. Centralization, Standards and Governance.  This trend is a direct result of the economy downturn as IT departments try to deal with increasingly fragmented computing resources.
  6. Knowledge Sharing, Business Intelligence and Social Networking.  Web 2.0 continues to transform the way we collaborate and share information.  In 2010 organizations will start to recognize the tremendous value in online communities, Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter and other services.
  7. Security, E-Discovery and Business Continuity.  There are growing need in these areas, but cost remains a big issue.
  8. Advances in Application Infrastructure.  The open source movement continues it’s momentum, playing a more and more important role in today's computing world.
  9. Investments in Hardware Infrastructure.  Virtualization has directly impacted the state of hardware infrastructure consolidation. In 2010 watch what impact Intel’s Nehalem processor will have.  Also watch how Fibre Channel over Ethernet and solid-state drives will impact the virtualization trend.
  10. Collaboration, Workflow and Productivity.  The 2010 story will be focused on how mobile apps impact productivity and workflow.  This should be a huge trend. We are rapidly moving beyond e-mail into content and collaboration applications.

You can read the full article (contains a real good writeup) by going to 10 Trends for 2010 – Piecing Together a Strategy