Posts tagged ‘cloud world forum’

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt…#CloudWF

Guest Blog with NCC Group

Author: John Parkinson, NCC Group

During the Cloud World Forum event in London on 24 July, we discussed the opportunities for Software as a Service businesses to become more successful. Focussing on the neglected issue of commercial security, we asked how the SaaS market can provide answers to potential supply failure in the market.  By anticipating, understanding and addressing the risks for customers who rely on outsourced application services, we argued that providers can contribute more to enhancing trust and confidence in the Software as a Service market.

How are SaaS businesses reacting to the issue?  In our experience, there are three broadly different attitudes:

  1. It was Mark Twain who perceptively wrote that ‘Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt’. The Risk Deniers perform according to type in asserting that it just won’t happen. ‘I haven’t failed yet and have no plans to do so’. Said with conviction it is likely that they have convinced themselves. As Isaac Asimov once wrote, they cling to the view that the easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists
  2. The largest group, the Agnostics, take a more considered view. They concede the possibility and see the wisdom of having a plan, but only if someone raises the question.  Whether hoping against hope, firmly in the wait and see camp or just too busy with other stuff, they generally accord with the opinion elucidated by TS Eliot that humankind cannot bear too much reality.
  3. Last but by no means least are the Innovators. They align instinctively to the perspective of Peter Drucker that innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. Salmon Software is one good example of a business that recognises this. John Byrne, the Salmon MD says ‘we understand the needs of our customers and the potential impacts of them not having access to the application’. Similarly Wazuko MD, Simon Hill asserts that the objective is ‘to show our existing customers and prospects that stepping into the cloud with Wazuko is simple and secure.’ Operating in a highly regulated sector of finance is Banking system provider, Mambu. MD Eugene Danilkis in a blog article commented: ‘Regulators have rightly recognised the critical role that technology providers play to support key business processes.  In turn, technology providers need to ensure consistent and reliable delivery of these services that financial institutions depend on to reinforce trust and extend the potential for future innovation and growth.’

As a SaaS Provider, which category do you fall into – a Denier, an Agnostic or an Innovator And which type of business would you trust when outsourcing your software services?

Original NCC Group blog here

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NCC Group were a Visionary Sponsor at the Cloud World Forum 2015, which took place on the 24th – 25th June.

The Cloud & DevOps World Forum delivers speed and continuous delivery to Europe’s Digital Enterprises, and will take place on the 21st – 22nd June 2016, at Olympia in London.

Register your interest for 2016 here

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The State of the Cloud: Already Everywhere, and Lots of Room to Grow #CloudWF

Guest Blog with Equinix

Enterprise cloud usage is nearly universal, but there’s still significant room for cloud growth.

That sums up one of the key findings of RightScale’s 2015 “State of the Cloud Report.” The survey of 930 technical professionals indicates the enterprise has moved past its initial cloud skittishness and is getting quite comfortable investigating what the cloud can really do.

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The survey showed 93% of respondents have adopted cloud, roughly the same as the prior year. Hybrid cloud is also the preferred strategy of 58% of respondents, compared to 30% who are public cloud-only and 5% who are private cloud-only.

One key difference from 2014 is that 38% of cloud users are now classified by RightScale as “cloud explorers,” compared to 25% just a year ago when “cloud beginners” was the biggest category. “Cloud explorers” already have multiple projects and applications in the cloud and are looking to expand and improve their cloud use.

The survey also found plenty of room for cloud expansion, with 68% of enterprise respondents reporting that less than a fifth of their applications are currently running in the cloud. Most respondents (55%) also report that another fifth of their applications are already built on cloud-friendly architectures.

Here’s more of what we found most interesting in the State of the Cloud report:

Going public, staying private

Public cloud is being used by 88% of organizations, while 63% are using private cloud. But private cloud is still carrying a heavier workload, with 13% of enterprises running more than 1,000 virtual machines (VMs) in the public cloud and 22% running more than 1,000 virtual machines in private cloud. The survey also indicated enterprises are expecting to grow public cloud workloads more quickly.

Central IT gets more cloud comfortable

The survey authors note that in 2014, business units envisioned a more limited role for central IT in cloud purchasing decisions, likely because they felt central IT was generally too cautious. But central IT’s view of the cloud may be evolving. The survey indicated central IT concerns about cloud security have dropped, with 41% now reporting it as a significant challenge, compared to 47% a year ago. In addition, 28% of central IT respondents report public cloud as the top priority in 2015, compared to 18% in 2014.

More of the same

Respondents cited the same cloud benefits and challenges in 2015, but in many cases mentioned them more frequently. For instance, “greater stability,” “faster access to infrastructure,” and “high availability” were again the top three benefits, but each was cited by a greater percentage of respondents:

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A similar pattern was seen when respondents were asked about cloud challenges. “Security,” “lack of resources/expertise” and “compliance” again appeared as major concerns, but were referred to by a greater percentage of respondents, compared to last year:

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Learn more about how Equinix can help your enterprise realize cloud benefits and meet cloud challenges.

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Equinix will be at the Cloud World Forum on Stand D170, taking place on the 24th – 25th June 2015. Don’t miss their session on ‘An Expedition through the Cloud’ in the Employee Experience Theatre at 10.35am on Day 2.

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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The 6 hidden costs of cloud IT services #CloudWF

Guest Blog with Intermedia

The 6 hidden costs of cloud IT services

So you’re considering moving email, file management, or archiving to the cloud. You even have quotes from a few providers you’re checking out. Great! It’s a step in the right direction to support your company’s growth. But be careful: what you end up paying might not always match your quote. There are costs beyond the monthly service fee.

The good news is that those hidden costs are avoidable. To help you with your due diligence, we compiled a list of the costs you may encounter.

  1. The cost of migrating data to the new service

Let’s say you’re switching email providers. You might think data migration is free. And it might even be—in the sense that it’s not a line item in the invoice. But if you have to do it yourself, it will cost the valuable time of your IT staff. And what if you need assistance? Some providers may only help for a fee, and others will refer you to a third-party consultant. So make sure you ask about data migration, and make sure your provider will includes white-glove service for free.

  1. The cost of downtime imposed by low reliability

When an essential IT service is unavailable, your business incurs extremely high costs: your employees can’t do their jobs, your customers get angry, you lose sales, and IT resources are diverted to cope with the crisis. Many providers promise 99.9% uptime. And while this may sound good, it actually adds up to more than 525 minutes of unplanned downtime per year. Consider this and make sure you settle for no less than a 99.999% uptime guarantee— which is less than 30 seconds of downtime a month.

  1. The cost of not getting enough support

When you’re experiencing a problem, regardless of its severity, you need quick answers or your productivity suffers. You can’t be productive if you’re on hold—or if you’re pushed to self-help support portals. However, many providers only offer phone support for critical or tier 2 issues. Even then, support centers are often outsourced or staffed with non-certified personnel. These factors add up to costly unproductive time. A good support plan will include 24/7 live support, short hold times, and skilled, certified staff.

  1. The cost of sub-par security and protection

Security breaches are not just a costly drain on time, they create risk that could hurt your business. So where security is concerned, you must be confident that your business cloud provider has you covered. However, many providers use lesser-known security tools and fewer still help respond to eDiscovery requests. Make sure you get the nitty-gritty details on security procedures from your provider and don’t settle on less than the gold standard and the best-known names.

  1. The cost of management inefficiency

Your cloud management console should be powerful enough to support your IT needs, but simple enough to use that you can easily use it—and, indeed, that you can delegate certain tasks to non-technical resources. Otherwise your IT staff is wasting precious time on tasks that should be trivial. When you look at management consoles, they can be quite complicated and most provide no ability to manage additional third-party services. Make sure you get a solution that balances ease-of-use with granular control to avoid imposing undue labour costs on your IT team.

  1. The cost of services that lack integration

Your business is probably adding more and more cloud services. But as you add more services, you introduce more support, billing and management complexities. And so you end up in a tangle of services that you have to untie. Compare this to top providers with integrations that let you share user and device settings across services. Without this, the cost of managing your IT can skyrocket.

Choose your cloud provider carefully.

As the customer, you have a choice. Choose a cloud-based IT services provider that offers you transparent and worry-free service. Insist on getting the full range of services with no hidden costs, including migration, security, and management. Make it easy for your IT staff to get the support they need: look for 24/7 phone and chat support for admins, handled by certified staff. And don’t settle when it comes to the service level agreement: make sure you get “five nines” uptime. That way, you can focus on growing your business.

www.intermedia.co.uk
+44(0)203 384 2158

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Intermedia will be exhibiting at the Cloud World Forum taking place on the 24th & 25th June 2015, on Stand D160.

REGISTER YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE.

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Top 5 Sources of Cloud Data Loss #CloudWF

Guest Blog with eFolder

“But it’s in the cloud, isn’t it backed up already?”

Author: Trace Ronning, Content Marketing Manager, eFolder

In 2015, businesses have continued their rapid adoption of cloud/SaaS applications with no signs of slowing down. A study completed by the Aberdeen Group concluded that 80% of businesses use at least one cloud application. Usage has also increased. In 2014, 51% of IT workloads took place in the cloud, marking it the first year that the cloud owned a majority of IT workloads according to Silicon Angle.

The advantages of the cloud are clear, with most companies experiencing greater employee productivity, mobility, and improved collaboration as a result of adopting cloud applications.

There is, however, one major issue that the cloud has not eliminated for organizations: data loss. While the inherent securities of SaaS services, such as Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, and Box are minimizing outages and random data loss, human error is still the primary source of lost data. In 2013, 32% of companies using cloud services reported losing cloud data, an overwhelming majority of which came as a direct result of human intervention.

How exactly are businesses losing this cloud data, and how can they prevent it from happening again? Let’s take a dive into the top five sources of cloud data loss and find out.

1. User Error

We know that humans are not perfect. Checking in as the top reason for cloud data loss is user error, which accounts for 64% of all cloud data loss. The two primary examples of user error include accidental deletion or accidentally overwriting a file. We all make mistakes now and again, so it is ill-advised to operate under the assumption that by adopting cloud applications, people will become immune to the human condition and never lose a file again.

2. Hackers

Hackers, defined as outsiders who get into the system with nefarious intent, are responsible for 13% of all cloud data loss. As cloud adoption and usage has grown, so has a hacker’s willingness to attack companies of all sizes, not just giant enterprise businesses, such as Sony or Home Depot. As of now, 50% of data breaches occur at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, with the most common type of attacks consisting of a hacker breaking into an organization’s instance or acquiring administrator credentials. Malicious activity such as this often results in sensitive data being compromised, jeopardizing the customers of the company, as well as its ability to keep its doors open and continue doing business.

3. Closing an account

At 10%, the third most common kind of cloud data loss occurs when a business closes an account. We define this action as a user de-provisioning a user within a cloud application or discontinuing the service. Without deploying a backup service to save former users’ data or a solution that helps migrate data from one application to another, respectively, organizations run the risk of losing data in transition phases.

4. Malicious Delete

Think your business is immune to frustrated employees going rogue? Think again. 7% of all cloud data loss occurs when an employee intentionally deletes files or folders. This type of deletion is often initiated by an unhappy employee or a recently terminated employee who has retained access to organizational cloud applications and data. At all levels of a business there are examples of employees who don’t value company data as much as IT managers or executives do, especially in roles with high-turnover.

5. Third-Party Software

The fifth most common reason for cloud data loss is the unexpected result of using a third-party software on one of your SaaS applications. Occasionally, a data overwrite or deletion will occur when running third-party software. A classic example is a Salesforce administrator running Demand Tools and inaccurately identifying a prospect as a duplicate account and permanently deleting that prospect’s record. Third-party software is generally used to make daily use of the most common business applications easier, but sometimes the side-effects include the loss of important data.

How

You may be reading this blog post and thinking, “But if my data is in the cloud, can’t I just easily recover it if a file is deleted or overwritten? Why should I be concerned with cloud data backup?”

There is a common misconception that data is retained in the cloud forever, but that is simply not the case. Most cloud applications do keep some type of “recycling bin,” but this bin often has a storage limit, automatic purge function, or can be manually cleared.

Automated, off-site backup to a second cloud location is the most reliable way to ensure that the sensitive data you store in the cloud is recovered, regardless of which cloud data disaster hits your organization. By employing a solution that allows for full-text search across multiple cloud applications, direct, point-in-time data restores into the cloud application of choice, and a military-grade off-site backup location, your organization can both protect data, and empower IT admins to better use that data on a daily basis.

Don’t let cloud data loss become the problem you didn’t know you had. Make it the problem you know you that you’ll never have with cloud-to-cloud backup.

eFolder

Bryan Forrimageedit_2_7919550340ester, Senior VP of Sales at eFolder will be speaking on the 25th June at 12.35pm in Theatre D at the Cloud World Forum about the Top 5 Sources of Cloud Data Loss & How to Protect Your Organisation.

Don’t miss the chance to take advantage of all the knowledge and networking opportunities presented by EMEA’s only content-led Cloud exhibition.

 

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE!

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Exclusive Interview Available with Mark Evans, Head of IT at Rider Levett Bucknall #CloudWF

imageedit_3_4837170161 Rider-Levett-Bucknall

Mark Evans, Head of IT, Rider Levett Bucknall.

Mark Evans is Head of IT at global property and construction practice Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), the largest employee-owned business consultancy in the Construction industry.

The Q&A presents the insight into supporting BYOD, the need for standards in the cloud sector and the impact of working with large data models on the technology choices the firm has to make.

View our exclusive interview with Mark here.

Having worked as an IT Manager in the NHS, a regional manager for Orange Personal Communications and Global Infrastructure Director for a container shipping company, Mark has operated in disparate industries, acquiring a broad overview of what actually works in business, as opposed to what works in a sales pitch.

Recognised as being outspoken on matters related to Cloud and acknowledged as a true, forward-thinking IT Director, Mark is happy to challenge the received wisdom with tenacity and a sense of humour – he doesn’t ‘do’ sales pitches, but offers a pragmatic view of what is really happening in the darkest corners of professional practise in business consultancy.

Don’t Miss… Mark will be speaking at the Cloud World Forum on the 25th June within the Keynote Theatre.

Register your free exhibition pass here.

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The channel must embrace cloud to build for the future #CloudWF

Channel-300x240With cloud acceptance growing, more and more businesses are dipping their toes in the water and trying out cloud based services and applications in a bid to work smarter and lower IT expenditure. But with recent research suggesting that four in ten ICT decision-makers feel their deployment fails to live up to the hype – more needs to be done to ensure cloud migration is a success.

This is where the channel has a vital role to play and can bridge the knowledge gap and help end-users reap the benefits that cloud technology can provide.

With the cloud becoming a mainstream solution for businesses and an integral part of an organisation’s IT strategy, the channel is presented with a huge opportunity. Offering cloud services to the market has the potential to yield high revenues, so it’s vital that the channel takes a realistic approach to adopting cloud within its portfolio, and becomes a trusted advisor to the end user.

We have identified three key reasons why resellers shy away from broadening their offering to encompass cloud for new and existing customers. A common barrier is a simple lack of understanding of the cloud and its benefits. However, if a business is keen to adopt this technology, it is vital that its reseller is able to offer advice and guidance to prevent them looking elsewhere.

Research by Opal back in 2010 found that 40 per cent of resellers admit a sense of ‘fear and confusion’ around cloud computing, with the apprehension to embrace the technology also extending to end users, with 57 per cent reporting uncertainty among their customer bases. This lack of education means they are missing out on huge opportunities for their business. A collaborative approach between the reseller and cloud vendor will help to ensure a seamless knowledge transfer followed by successful partnership and delivery.

The sheer upheaval caused by offering the cloud will see some resellers needing to re-evaluate their own business models and strategies to fulfil the need. Those that are unaccustomed to a service-oriented business model may find that becoming a cloud reseller presents strategic challenges as they rely on out-dated business plans and models that don’t enable this new technology. However, failing to evolve business models could leave resellers behind in the adoption curve, whilst their competitors are getting ahead. Working with an already established partner will help resellers re-evaluate their existing business plans to ensure they can offer cloud solutions to their customers.

Resellers are finding it challenging to provide their customers with quick, scalable cloud solutions due to the fact that moving existing technology services into cloud services can be time consuming, and staff will be focused on working to integrate these within the enterprise. However, this issue can easily be resolved by choosing a trusted cloud provider, and in turn building a successful partnership.

Although resellers will come across barriers when looking at providing their customers with cloud services, these shouldn’t get in the way of progression. In order to enter a successful partnership with a cloud provider, there are some important factors resellers should consider before taking the plunge.

Scalability

Before choosing a prospective partner, resellers need to ensure it has the scalability and technology innovation to provide a simple integration of current IT services into the cloud. Recent research has proved that deploying cloud services from three or more suppliers can damage a company’s business agility. UK businesses state a preference for procuring cloud services from a single supplier for ease of management. It’s important to make sure the chosen provider has the ability to provide one fully encompassed cloud service that can offer everything their customers require.

Brand reputation

Choosing a partner that offers not only a best-of breed private, public and hybrid cloud solution, but also has the ability to provide the reseller with a branded platform will give an extra layer of credibility to the business for not only existing customers, but future ones as well. Resellers are more likely to choose a cloud provider that gives them control over the appearance, as well as support and access to infrastructure of the cloud platform.

Industry experience

It’s vital to ensure the cloud provider has extensive industry experience and knowledge with a proven track record in order to meet the required criteria of scalability and performance. The partner must have the knowledge in order to educate and offer advice to the reseller. If they are able to do so, the reseller can therefore pass this knowledge on to their own customers.

By not offering the cloud, resellers will miss out on vast opportunities and in turn, lose potential revenue as well as new and existing customers. The channel must now embrace the cloud and take advantage of the partnerships available in order to succeed.

Written by Matthew Munson, CTO, Cube52

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXHIBITION PASS HERE!

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The Cloud World Forum visitor ticket is now officially published! #CloudWF

The Cloud World Forum 2015 visitor ticket is here! Download for the full agenda, speaker line-up, exhibition news, sponsor list and NEW visitor features…

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Download your copy to view the full agenda, speaker line-up, exhibition news, sponsor list and NEW visitor features. Start planning your day at the Cloud World Forum, taking place on the 24th and 25th June 2015 at Olympia Grand, London.

DOWNLOAD YOUR VISITOR TICKET HERE!

 

Co-located with Enterprise Apps World, the Cloud World Forum 2015 theatres respond to the investment areas and trends discussed on 100+ calls with C-Level IT decision makers, operations and development teams, as well as the market’s leading technology pioneers.

The show’s content powers the digital enterprise through best practice in Cloud, IoT, DevOps, Data Analytics, Security and Comms & Collaboration end user case studies, as well as much, much more.

By expanding the show’s content in 2015, we ensure need-to-know information is delivered to meet the demands of the senior IT professionals attracted to our show.

This year there is a particular focus on enterprise application development and mobility, with a dedicated DevOps and Containers theatre, as well as two theatres running throughout the 24th and 25th June within Enterprise Apps World.

The Enterprise Mobility Strategies and Enterprise App Development theatres focus on strengthening organisations’ mobility, application and API strategies, in addition to teaching developers how to achieve that necessary edge in the lucrative and increasingly competitive enterprise market!

See you in June!

The Cloud World Forum Team.

REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE EXPO PASS HERE.

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