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/

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). 

McKinsey: Ten Tech Trends That Business Leaders Should Watch

McKinsey Ten Trends Aug2010 About three years ago, McKinsey published Eight business technology trends to watch, which summarized it’s view of important tech trends for businesses.   About a month ago, the firm updated their list in the article “Clouds, big data, and smart assets: Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch”.  

McKinsey has always been an interesting source for business trends for me and so I was interested to take a look at their latest list.  And recently the firm has been increasing its research and content on IT and technology related to solving business issues, so I was interested in reading it’s latest list of business trends.

I’ve summarized the list below (based on my own understanding of the stated trends) and have provided my own perspectives. 

  1. Distributed Cocreation move Mainstream: Web 2.0 has evolved into a Social Media and Social Networking trend and there are significant implications for businesses and how they maintain relationships with all stakeholders.
  2. Making the Network Organization:  The Networked Organization is not a new concept, but with the advent of Social Networking, it’s importance is magnified.  All the social tools, platforms, and capabilities now play an important role in “Making the Network Organization”.
  3. Collaboration at Scale – This trend is related to the fact that technology alone does not drive greater collaboration.  There needs to be a better understanding of how collaboration is enabled, how knowledge is obtained as a result, and how to manage that knowledge once obtained.
  4. The Growing “Internet of Things”:  We are in a new phase in the evolution of IT systems where there are billions of devices and everyday objects will become interconnected and networked via the Internet.  More on this trend here The Internet of Things.
  5. Experimentation and Big Data:  All those devices that will be connected and networked (via #4 above) will lead to mountains of data.  Businesses will need advanced analytic capabilities in order to make sense of all the data.  Successful businesses will use that capability in order to experiment and drive innovation across enterprise processes.
  6. Wiring for a Sustainable World:  Business leaders need to figure out how to use technology for sustainable growth.  IT can be a means to increase sustainability through things like smart grids, smarter buildings, smarter transportation, etc.
  7. Imagining Anything as a Service:  Cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS) are undeniable trends in IT today and will drive new business models we have not even thought of today.
  8. The Age of the Multisided Business Model:  This trend is directly related to trends 2 and 3 above.  As networked collaboration evolves, companies will increasingly find that they are playing multiple roles in multiple networks.
  9. Innovation at the Bottom of the Pyramid:  As emerging markets are the growth engine of the global economy, we should expect innovation to come from those markets.  Successful business leaders will incubate and nurture efforts to look for growth outside of their home markets and customer segments.
  10. Producing Public Good on the Grid:  Technology has an important part to play in creating and providing public goods and making this world a better, safer, and more productive place.  For examples of how technology can enable these benefits, see IBM’s Smarter Cities initiatives.

To read the complete McKinsey article and/or check out a wealth of other resources, please click here to sign up for a free online subscription to The McKinsey Quarterly.

Ten Popular IBM Smart Service Oriented Architecture SOA Articles

IBM SOA Newletter - July I’m on a distribution list for the IBM Smart SOA and BPM Newsletter, which is a great newsletter (it received a 2009 Hermes Award in the e-newsletter category). 

The June 26, 2010 newsletter had a number of interesting articles, including:

  • How agile companies create and sustain high ROI
  • Connect cloud and on-premise applications
  • Resources for smarter banking

However, the one article that caught my eye was an article titled “Top IBM Smart SOA articles”.  I’ve been interested in Business Process Re-Engineering topics since leading a early-mid 1990’s IBM team on a journey to rewrite and deploy new marketing management processes.  That was a multi-year effort that spanned every division and geography in IBM.  I learned a bunch from that experience about how to architect a business for marketing management processes.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a great tool that we did not have in the mid 1990’s.  SOA promises to create greater alignment between IT and line of business while generating more flexibility – IT flexibility to support greater business flexibility.   We all know that the explosion of the Internet is creating new business models and this is causing business processes to change faster and faster.  To be competitive, businesses requires the flexibility that SOA can provide. 

The article “Top IBM Smart SOA articles” provides a nice list of the most popular articles (as downloaded by readers).  The list covers a wide range of topics related to SOA and the articles are great reading for any business or IT leader that is passionate about improving business processes.  I’ve summarized the list here for you.

  1. Managing the complexity of business processes  This article discusses an approach to controlling the development and maintenance efforts for business processes by limiting their complexity.
  2. SOA and integration in the cloud bring agility and value down to earth.  Leveraging a cloud-based integration solution delivered as a service provides an easily scalable approach to business integration.
  3. Make a BPM business case and learn 11 habits for success
    Links to two new white papers that help you make a case for BPM and understand how to be successful.
  4. Getting started with BPM: Find the best entry point
    In this article, IBM describes three common entry points to BPM, helping you understand how to get started with BPM.
  5. Advanced case management and BPM: Better together
    This article describes two concepts and how they relate to each other 1) the value that business process management (BPM) brings to the knowledge worker, and 2) the value of the additional technology components behind advanced case management (ACM)
  6. Ideas for innovation from the Smart Work Jam
    This article provides an overview of the highlights and insights as harvested from the Smart Work Jam, where for 72 hours, more than 2,000 participants from 68 countries "jammed" with nearly 5,000 posts across seven topics around the topic of working smarter.
  7. Outperforming companies share new way of working
    This article summarizes findings from an IBM Institute for Business Value study called "A New Way of Working: Insights from Global Leaders."   The study was designed to find out what makes leaders more dynamic, collaborative and connected; and the common barriers that prevent them from working smarter.
  8. Making SOA governance fit your organization
    This article helps you tailor Service Oriented Architecture governance to your organization, with tips from a book by IBM authors, based on their experiences with customers. 
  9. How SOA can ease your move to cloud computing
    This article helps those of you wanting to get started with cloud computing.  It describes how taking time to set up your SOA environment can give you an important jump start on cloud computing.
  10. Serious games for smarter skills: The future of learning
    Gaming is only for play time.  this article describes how gaming technology can play a role in helping us improve business processes.

So if you are thinking your business processes need some re-engineering, I’d recommend taking a look at applying Service Oriented Architecture methodologies upfront.  SOA can provide your company with an architectural model for integrating business partners’, customers’ and suppliers’ services into an enterprise’s business processes.

You can access the online issue of the whole newsletter, IBM Smart SOA & BPM Newsletter – Vol. 43.  You can also access all back level issues of the newsletter via http://www-931.ibm.com/bin/newsletter/tool/parchive.cgi?nlId=10481 where you can also set up a subscription for yourself so you get the newsletter emailed directly to you every month.

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/

Network World: 10 Start-ups to Watch in 2010

NetworkWorld NetworkWorld recently published its Outlook 2010 issue.  One of the articles included in that outlook featured a look at emerging companies in start-up mode.   The article 10 Start-ups to Watch in 2010 was written by Jon Brodkin.  Here is a summary of the ten companies mentioned in the article

  1. CloudSwitch:  Moves existing applications to public clouds, without having to rewrite them.  www.cloudswitch.com
  2. Dasient:  Has a new web security service designed to identify legitimate Web sites infected by malicious code.  www.dasient.com
  3. Eucalyptus Systems:  Offers open source software that aggregates infrastructure into private clouds and allows end-user customization and self-service provisioning.  www.eucalyptus.com
  4. HyTrust:  Offers a virtualization security tool that provides a centralized point of control. www.hytrust.com
  5. MeLLmo: Offers “Roambi”, which takes business intelligence data and converts it into interactive visualizations for the iPhone.  www.roambi.com
  6. MobileIron: Offers a Virtual Smartphone Platform that provides IT department visibility into mobile devices and their data.   www.mobileiron.com
  7. Vineyard Networks:  Offers NetCore On Demand, which is a SaaS network management tool.  www.vineyardnetworks.com
  8. Viridity Software:  Viridity helps reduce energy usage by mapping the connections between applications and specific IT equipment. www.viridity.com
  9. Wanova:  Offers virtual desktop software enabling better performance and offline desktop use for mobile and remote workers.   http://wanova.com
  10. Zetta: Provides a cloud storage service with enterprise-class features. http://www.zetta.net

As you can see, cloud, virtualization, and mobile are some common threads.

For more on these companies, check out the article 10 Start-ups to Watch in 2010  and the slideshow.

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: Top 10 Storage Trends for 2010

IDC IDC is well into its top 10 trends  and predictions season.   Last week they held their conference call on Storage trends for 2010.  On the conference call were leaders from the IDC Storage team 

This was a very useful conference call that helped me understand the key trends in storage.  As we all know, the volume of data being created globally is going through the roof.   Storage requirements are being stressed and that trend will continue for some time.  Enterprises need to have a solid storage strategy.  Those that are successful can build a competitive advantage via a dynamic information-centric environment based on intelligent analytics.

Here’s a summary of IDC’s Top Ten Storage Trends

  1. Decapitalization of IT:   Focus will be on reducing capital costs
  2. BU To Re-establish Independence From IT:  Expect solutions focus to drive increased use SaaS  
  3. Digitization Of Major Industries Will Lead To Enable Operational Effectiveness:  Look for specific vertical industry solutions from Storage Solution Providers
  4. Acceleration In The Adoption of Storage-efficient Technologies:  Including technologies like:  Deduplication, Thin Provisioning and Storage Tiering 
  5. VM Will Drive New Management And Optimization Of Data Access:  Focus on managing how and where associated data will be accessed.
  6. Focus On Datacenter Density Improvements:  IDC expects SAS form factor will be shipped as a primary disk interface.  Also expect increased shift towards the 2.5” HDD form factor. 
  7. Improved And Expanded Use Cases For SSD. Compliments the push for improved performance, storage utilization, and reduced power consumption.
  8. Personal Storage Will Look To SMB For New Opportunities:  IDC says personal storage vendors realize their is money to made in SMB.
  9. Consolidation of Protection, Recovery, and Retrieval:   In the midmarket, backup and archiving will come under a common management framework
  10. Storage Vendors Will Go-To-Market With Turnkey Packages: Expect combination of compute, network and storage packages.

For more information, check out IDC’s Worldwide Storage Predictions 2010: Capitalizing on Transformation

On Twitter, you can follow IDC’s storage team at:  https://twitter.com/idcstorage.  Follow all of IDC on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/IDC

IDC: Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) Top Ten 2010 Predictions

In 2010, it will be the organization that is able to transform itself to effectively partner with complimentary industries, enable its sales force to sell across multiple business units, and finally create flexible pricing and delivery models that will come out on top.”  – Simon Piff, director, Enterprise Infrastructure, IDC Asia/Pacific.

IDC IDC has published their list of 2010 predictions for the Asia Pacific region excluding Japan.  In publishing the list, IDC says that two themes will dominate events in the IT and telecommunications markets in 2010:  recovery and transformation.   In 2010 IDC says we should expect modest growth to return to IT and telecommunications spending.  While IDC does not anticipate spending levels to return to levels that we saw before the economic crisis , opportunities do exist.

IDC points out that economic crisis we have seen over the last year has resulted in a shift by businesses to a more customer-centric decision-making process when determining new corporate initiatives.  With that has been an emphasis on customer-driven analytics, Web 2.0 and other social media components. 

With that as background, here are IDC’s 2010 top 10 predictions for the AP marketplace (excluding Japan).

  1. The Maturing Cloud Will Need Five 9 Service-Level Agreements and Enterprise-Grade Cloud Services
  2. Business Analytics Will Emerge as a Key Technology Area
  3. Enterprise Use of Social Media Will Increase
  4. Converged Fabric and Evolving Datacenter Will be Centerpieces of Transformation
  5. Evolutions of SaaS to Kaas: It Will be all About Business Process Transformation
  6. Smartphones in Emerging Markets Will Rise
  7. Converged Hardware Will Herald the Dawn of the Enterprise Alliance
  8. Chargeback 3.0 Will Receive Renewed Interest from the CFO
  9. Intelligent X Will Emerge: Building a Smarter and More Measurable World
  10. Machine To Machine Interaction Will Get More Traction

The full report Asia/Pacific (Excluding Japan) 2010 Top 10 Predictions   http://www.idc.com/research/viewtoc.jsp?containerId=AP381114S

Fortune: 4 Tech Trends To Watch

Fortune Magazine recently published an article, 4 tech trends to watch by Michael V. Copeland, a senior writer.  The premise for the article is to help investors find companies to invest in by advising them to find the companies best positioned to execute on massive shifts in the way consumers and businesses use technology.

With that piece of advice in hand, the article provides a discussion on four key technology trends that we should monitor.

  1. On-demand software.  Software as a service = software delivered over the internet = the wave of the future.
  2. The rise of the smartphone.   Smartphones are replacing traditional handsets.  Those companies controlling the smartphone ecosystem will have a huge advantage.
  3. Data, data, everywhere.  The companies that can capture, store, manage, and make sense of the growing volume of data are going to be sitting pretty in the coming decade
  4. Electricity gets smart.  Our electric grid needs an overhaul if it is to become smarter.

Check out the full article for more discussion and analysis of companies to watch http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/04/technology/tech_stocks.fortune/index.htm

Forrester’s Top 15 Technology Trends For Enterprise Architects To Watch

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Last month, Forrester published a report The Top 15 Technology Trends EA Should Watch that listed 15 technologies with the greatest potential for business impact over the next three years.   The report was presented on a November 4 conference call by two Forrester VPs, Alex Cullen and Gene Leganza. 

Forrester opened up the presentation by discussing the reasons why companies need to monitor new and changing technologies.  Simply said, IT organizations need to understand how changes in technology will impact IT and business operations, both short-term and long-term.

To come up with the list of 15 technologies, Forrester used three criteria during the selection process.

  • Impact on the Business and/or IT Operating Model
  • Newness of the Technology, which translates into lack of understanding/experience
  • Complexity of the Technology, which can minimize ability to leverage the technology or can translate into risk of failure

Forrester grouped the list of 15 into five major themes.  Here is the list of 15 below.

Theme No. 1: Social Computing In And Around The Enterprise.  The social computing trend will have a huge impact on business…as it is having in our personal lives

    1. Collaboration platforms become people-centric
    2. Customer community platforms integrate with business apps
    3. Tele-presence gains widespread use

Theme No. 2: Process-Centric Data And Intelligence.  This theme emphasizes the shift from batch analytics to real-time business analytics.

    1. Business Intelligence goes real-time
    2. Master data management matures
    3. Data quality services become real-time

Theme No. 3: Restructured IT Service Platforms.  This theme is about providing greater scalability and flexibility while reducing support costs.

    1. Sass Will be ubiquitous for packaged apps
    2. Cloud-based platforms become standard infrastructure- and platform-as-a-service
    3. Client virtualization is ubiquitous

Theme No. 4: Agile And Fit-To-Purpose Applications.  This theme signals that improving a firm's application flexibility is getting easier for EAs

    1. Business rules processing moves to the mainstream
    2. BPM will be the Web-2.0-enabled
    3. Policy-based SOA becomes predominant
    4. Security will be data-and content-based

Theme No. 5: Mobile As The New Desktop.   During the next three years, mobile computing will expand dramatically as a business platform.

    1. Apps and business processes go mobile
    2. Mobile networks and devices gain more power

The list above (especially the themes) really hit home with me.  I like the list and plan on using this list as input into my 2010 Trends report I'll be delivering in January.

For more information, you can