13 Virtualization Trends and Prediction Lists for 2013

Virtualization-2 As mentioned yesterday in my blog post “101 Technology Trends and Predictions Lists for 2013”, I have been researching top trends and prediction lists as part of my research to understand the top technology trends.  

Virtualization has been around for many years, but has just recently taken off.  Virtualization helps drive more business value from an IT infrastructure. By decoupling logical resources from physical assets, virtualization enables businesses to be more agile, allowing them to changing business conditions or changing business strategies. Most large enterprises have already successfully virtualized 20-30% of their servers and are now ready to push virtualization technology further in 2013 into other areas, including storage, network, desktops, and applications.

Today I am playing back to you the trends and prediction lists I have found and inventoried relating to Virtualization technology.  The list is certainly not all the Virtualization trend lists that are out there, but if you check out these posts, you should have a good feel for the state of adoption of virtualization technologies going into 2013.

Source Title of Article/Blog Post
DiscoPosse 2013 Predictions in Virtualizaiton and Server Technology
Midokura Midokura Predicts IT, Network Virtualization and SDN Trends for 2013
RedHat The Red Hat Take on Virtualizaiton Trends for 2013
Search Server Virtualization Server virtualization trends and predictions to watch for in 2013
Search VMWare Expect more SMB virtualization and hypervisor choices in 2013
Virtual Bridges Blog VDI Predictions for 2013: The Changing Face of VDI
Virtualization Journal Technology expert predicts cloud, virtualization to be big in 2013
Virtualization Journal 2013 Predictions: Private Cloud Is Really “Cloud-Washed Virtualization”
VMBlog.com Netop 2013 Predictions: Link Globally, Secure Locally
VMBlog.com Veeam 2013 Predictions: Hypervisor Coexistence and Enterprise Capabilities in the SMB
VMBlog.com VMware Predictions for 2013: Expect Even More Change Ahead
VMBlog.com Tegile Systems 2013 Prediction: Cloud Computing’s Impact on Virtualization
VMBlog.com Symantec 2013 Virtualization and Cloud Predictions: Innovation Out of Necessity

Tomorrow I will provide the trends and prediction lists I’ve found relating to Cloud Computing.

Virtualization Resources: IBM Websites, Social Sites, and White Papers

Virtualization is not a new trend (it’s been around in concept since the 1960’s), but it’s an important trend because it is a key enabling technology to implement cloud computing

VirtualizationVirtualization can be simply defined as the consolidation of numerous IT systems (hardware and software elements) on a virtual platform.  Virtualization can help IT leaders increase utilization rates while simplifying management of IT resources.   For business leaders, virtualization can improve business agility by better meeting shifting business demands on IT.   Ultimately, virtualization can save a company time, resources and money.   In a nutshell, it makes your IT infrastructure more agile and nimble to meet constantly changing business demand.  Who wouldn’t want that?

Because virtualization remains an important enabling technology trend, I thought I’d provide readers of this some links to IBM’s most current reports, websites, and social accounts related to the virtualization trend.  For me, it’s nice to have all this in one place.   The reports and sites below are all hotlinked.  If you see something that is missing, let me know and I will revise this post.

IBM Virtualization Websites

IBM Social Sites for Virtualization

Other IBM Virtualization Resources

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

HorizonWatching: Top IT Technology Trends For 2011

I’ve developed my list of top Information Technology Trends for 2011 to add to the trend lists that are being published at this time of year.  I came up with 11 trends this year on the list, rather than the customary ten. 

Slide2 The list below should not be a surprise to you all that much as most of the trends have been on my radar (and probably yours) for a number of years already.  Some of them are more mature in their adoption and development than others.  However, those that made my list are the trends that I feel will have the most impact on IT departments in 2011. 

For each of the trends, I’ve provided a short discussion of trend and what developments I expect in 2011.  I also provide you with links to sites where you can explore the trend topic in more detail.  All the text makes for a long post, but I like sharing more information rather than less.   With that in mind, here are the top IT technologies trends to watch in 2011.

 

1.  Private Clouds

The cloud computing ‘buzz’ has been going on now for 3 years.  Public clouds have been a major part of the discussion and experimentation.  However, more companies have begun adopting approaches to private clouds in parts of their businesses.  Many CIOs and business leaders are concerned with having their data residing outside their firewall.   In 2011 I 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.  The largest hurdles to cloud computing continue to be a lack of cloud standards and concerns regarding security, availability and performance.

For more information

 

2. Virtualization

Virtualized infrastructures are becoming 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.  In addition, a highly virtualized infrastructure is a prerequisite for private clouds so CIOs will continue to focus on virtualization.    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. 

For more information

 

3. Social Business

Social collaboration is changing the way business is being conducted.  Over the next 10-15 years, social computing capability will becomes part of every business function within the company.  Social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction.  All participants involved in a company’s business processes and transactions will have the ability to share content, comment on content, rate/vote on content, and collaborate in an open and sharing environment.  In addition, all this social activity will generate data that will be mined and analyzed in both batch and in real-time.  The insights generated will be a critical input into all business processes, including research, product development, marketing, sales, technical support, and even business processes like accounting, procurement, and legal.  Since social will eventually be embedded in every business process and transaction workflow, social computing capability will need to be a critical part of every business application.  As a result, I expect entire business application suites will be rewritten to make use of social collaboration features.

For more information

 

4. Mobile Computing 

5 years ago, mobile meant something entirely different than it does today, thanks to the introduction of the smartphone, the Iphone, Google’s introduction of Android, and just this past year, the iPad.   Mobile computing and the ecosystem that surrounds it is a major growth industry.  As smartphone adoption grows and the application infrastructure becomes more sophisticated, mobile will expand beyond messaging, and make mobile email, mobile websites and mobile applications viable channels in which to conduct business.  Enabling technologies will be new devices, faster networks, new location-aware technology, and improved mobile applications.  Some key mobile trends to watch in 2011 include Location Based Services, Mobile Apps, Mobile Gaming, Event-Based Mobile Marketing, and Augmented Reality.

  • Prediction that Smartphone Sales To Beat PC Sales By 2011 (see this)
  • Mobile Web usage more than doubling YoY (see this)

For more information

 

5. Storage Trends

The huge growth of videos, pictures, audio, social media and other unstructured data is taxing the storage systems of many data centers.   The cost of storage for most enterprises remains a high component of the overall cost of a datacenter, even though the cost of storage per gigabyte continues to drop.  In addition other trends are impacting storage, including Cloud computing, virtualization, energy costs, economics and performance.  In 2011, watch for increased adoption of storage technologies like data deduplication, flash, solid state disks and automating volume-level tiering.

For more information

 

6.  Advanced Business Analytics

While information overload was once a barrier to good decision making, today’s technology and analytics expertise make it a real benefit. The explosion of data that is taxing storage systems is also driving the requirement for advanced business analytics.  Business leaders are yearning for deeper knowledge and insights on all aspects of their business and they know that the information they need is available within all the data flowing through the company IT systems.  Advanced analytics solutions can help business leaders adopt a proactive versus reactive strategy, enabling them to predict future behaviors and events before they occur.   Insights generated can help business leaders optimize individual business decisions, processes and entire business models, as well as manage risk and fraud, with the goal of improving the development and delivery of products and services. In 2011 look for advancements in streaming technologies, mathematical algorithms and predictive modeling as applied to business analytic solutions. 

For more information

 

7. The Personalized Web

Thanks to the explosion of social media, how users are influenced, consume information, and make purchasing decisions has been altered forever.  Users are increasingly expecting company websites, products, and services to be tailored to their individual preferences, past experiences, and what they happen to be doing at this very moment.  This puts the demand on business and IT leaders to create a personalized and engaging experience for end-users across all channels, both online and offline.  In 2011, I expect business to focus on advanced solutions that can delivering a more personalized experience to end users.   These solutions will be designed to mine the customer’s profile, buying behavior, browsing behavior and other insights obtained through marketing analytics in order to deliver a more customized and personalized online experience.  Look for further improvements in technologies such as marketing analytics and predictive algorithms that can automatically deliver highly relevant, contextually aware, personalized content and recommendations to customers via both online and offline channels.

For more information

 

8. Video-enabled Business Processes

Video content continues to make its way into all business processes.  This trend will continue over the next 5-10 years.  It makes my list this year as it is crossing over from both a security tool and a marketing (e.g. YouTube) tool, into a tool that can be applied across business processes to improve the way businesses communicate, collaborate, and educate all stakeholders.  Visual communication can actively promote teamwork and accelerate problem-solving processes leading to better business decisions.  In 2011, I expect forward looking business leaders and business process reengineering consultants will begin to use video to transform key business processes in order to create competitive advantage, lower costs, and to reduce environmental impact, particularly by avoiding the need for travel.  IT departments need to start preparing now to be able to handle future video requirements.

For more information

 

9. Service Oriented Architecture

In 2011 (as in recent years), I expect continued focus on aligning information technology efforts with business objectives and SOA will be a big part of those discussions.  SOA has been around for years, so it is not a new concept at all.   What’s new is that 1) business processes are in need of reengineering as a result of the social, mobile, and video trends discussed above and 2) a service orientation is a prerequisite for private clouds.  This doesn't mean that a mature SOA must already exist before an enterprise can venture into the cloud, but rather that architecture strategies that involve cloud must have a service orientation.  A service orientation gives businesses the ability and flexibility to realign operations as business goals evolve from year to year.   This ability can mean a competitive edge in terms of time to market for products and services, responsiveness to customers, and customer satisfaction.  So in 2011, I expect to see increased interest in SOA policy governance tools, repositories, and business rules engines all driven by the need of businesses to become more agile and prepare themselves for private clouds.

For more information

 

10. Sustainability and IT

Government and Business leaders alike are looking across their operations, to the products and solutions they sell, to the way they manage supplier relationships in order to understand how to better protect Mother Earth. The sustainability trend is a big one and technology can play a big part in helping to eliminate wasted energy, wasted space, and wasted natural resources/materials.  New technologies are available that can help organizations become more energy efficient, implement new ways to source, manufacture and distribute goods and services in a more sustainable manner, and enable safe and renewable sources of energy. In 2011, I expect companies and governments to develop strategies to incorporate sustainability information technology solutions that include the capability to analyze data and synthesize information in a variety of forms required by different departments within an organization.

For more information

 

11.  Risk Management

Organizations are facing an ever evolving and increasingly sophisticated threat environment.  Adding to the complexity is the fact that organizations are installing new computing capabilities such as cloud computing, mobile computing, and social computing that are making applications  interconnected than ever before.  These new technologies are also introducing new risks that are compromising critical infrastructures, privacy and identity, requiring organizations to rethink how they deal with compliance, risk management and data protection. Business and IT leaders are realizing that they need to build security and risk management capability into the initial design of their infrastructure and their applications, rather than add them on as an afterthought.  In 2011, I expect organizations will increase their focus on employ technology solutions to help them manage risk and provide a more secure environment for business operations.

For more information:

 

So there you go, that is my list of the top IT related technology trends that I believe will have an impact on IT departments in 2011.  CIOs and their IT departments should be well aware of these trends and have plans to implement the enabling technologies that make up these trends.   I’m developing a slide deck version of this post and will be posting it to the HorizonWatching account at SlideShare http://www.slideshare.net/HorizonWatching  sometime in early January. 

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/

Deloitte: Seven Technology Predictions for 2010

Deloitte 2010 Tech Predictions Every year, Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Industry group publishes a set of predictions for the coming year.  So I was interested in taking a look at what was on their list for 2010 predictions. 

High on the list of predictions is the continued impact of the consumerization of IT, especially the trend where employees want their consumer devices to be able to access the corporate network.  Other hot trends include the rapid rise of mobile VOIP, mobile search, and advances in green technologies.

The Deloitte TMT team actually provides prediction lists in each of the three areas (Technology, Media & Telecommunications.  In this post I will focus on the predictions for Technology and save the media and telecommunications predictions for a potential future post.

Here’s a summary of Deloitte’s technology predictions

  1. Smaller Than A Netbook And Bigger Than A Smartphone: Net Tablets Arrive:  While the buzz last year was on netbooks, Deloitte says tablets will be the big story of 2010
  2. Moore’s Law Is Alive And Well In 2010.  Deloitte predicts the focus will be on developing chips that use less electricity, cost less, and are smaller.
  3. Cloud Computing:  More Than Hype, But Less Than Hyper.  Deloitte says growth will be strongest in consumer and SMB segments and has advice for cloud providers trying to reach large enterprise and government clients.
  4. Thinking Thin Is In Again:  Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDI) Challenge The PC.  Deloitte says 2010 could be a breakout year for VDI, with over 1million seats going thin.
  5. IT Procurement Stands On ITs Head.  IT will need to be more flexible as employees want their consumer devices to be able to access the corporate network.
  6. CleanTech Makes A Comeback, But Solar Stays In The Shadows.  Deloitte says Cleantech investments will grow in 2010, thanks in part to government spending.
  7. From Gray To Green:  Technology Reinvents Cement.  IT’s impact on reducing global CO2 emissions and construction costs can be significant.

With the Apple announcement looking like it is going to happen this week, I guess prediction number one is all lined up and ready to be realized.  The other 6 are good predictions/trends to highlight.   Numbers 6 and 7 are important, but I’m not sure our governments will continue to plow stimulus dollars into the economy.

For more information, you can access pdf reports of the technology predictions.  Deloitte offers both a summary report  and a longer detailed report.   For more on the Deloitte TMT predictions, check out the Deloitte Predictions website or listen to the 12 minute podcast

I’ve embedded the summary report mentioned above that I found out on slideshare.

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.