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Cloud

computing

The power behind decisions

october 2013

business-technology.co.uk

Business in the cloud: how do you juggle it?


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

Business Technology October 2013

2 | Cloud computing

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Opening shots Richard Stacy Back in 2000 I did some communications consultancy for a company that called itself an application services provider (or ASP). At the time the ASP, or the concept of providing software as a service, was being hailed as one of the new big things in IT. The communications challenge was to create a one-sentence description of the problem an application services provider solves, without using the words “application”, “services” or “provider”. As it turned out, the concept of the ASP didn’t really take off. This may have been because we didn’t really crack the communications challenge, or it could have been because the climate wasn’t right at the time: it wasn’t cloudy enough. The ASP was an early iteration of cloud computing, but back then the cloud was a distant and unfamiliar concept. These days, however, almost everyone has part of their lives lodged somewhere within the cloud. Familiar names are encouraging us to use cloud-based services: for example, a few weeks ago Google took all of the music that sits on my computer and, at no immediately identifiable cost to me, gave it a home in the cloud and thus a form of immortality. I am writing this article on, or in, the cloud, because I am saving it within a Dropbox folder. I have even written a book in the cloud. It was great because no matter what disasters unfolded here on Earth (putting the USB drive through the wash, say), the text of my book could always sail serenely above it all. However, this ethereal image does mask a more prosaic reality. A friend of mine used to

And now for the forecast: cloudy, with a chance of gain work for a firm that makes much of its revenue from creating bits of cloud. It does this by filling shipping containers with racks of servers, installing a heavy duty cooling system and carting them off to any one of the major cloud providers where it is plugged in, switched on and sits alongside rows of other such containers in a parking lot. This is sort of the trailer-trash end of the cloud. At the other end of the spectrum (or should that be rainbow?), the cloud boasts five-star accommodation. WikiLeaks, for example, is hosting its data within a data centre carved out of a large rock hill in Stockholm. It has a single entrance with half-metre thick metal doors and backup generators pulled from German submarines. This is a situation not without irony, given the manner in which WikiLeaks obtained, and now shares, data and its attempts to prevent at least one other part of its operation from being likewise securely locked up in Sweden. Cheap jokes aside, this highlights an important point. The cloud is not a single thing, with a

Richard Stacy is the author of Social Media and the Three Per Cent Rule

single set of rules, or indeed any rules. Like the internet itself, no one can say with certainty who owns it, where it lives or what happens to stuff that gets put there. All we can say is that if you put anything in the cloud, any benefits will come at the expense of either losing some control or opening yourself up to some form of exploitation. And, as a general rule, the more you pay for your accommodation, the less likely this is to happen to you. You can buy my book for Kindle but, if you do, you won’t actually own it. All you will be buying is a licence to access it. The book actually lives in the cloud so, even as you read it, Amazon will be gathering information on how you are reading it. Kindle is really just an RSP (reading services provider) which has solved the communications challenge.


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

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October 2013

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Cloud computing | 3

The only way is up for the cloud-based economy By Joanne Frearson

There is plenty of room for growth in cloud computing, especially in the UK, as companies realise it can help them implement projects faster for their customers without the need to use a lot of resources. Cloud computing is being used for applications or services offered over the internet. Research by International Data Corporation (IDC) shows cloud computing is an evolving technology and is still at the early adopter stage. A study by the IDC found 20 to 25 per cent of companies have implemented some form of cloud computing, while another 40 per cent were exploring it. Joseph Pucciarelli, vice president and IT executive adviser at International Data Corporation (IDC), says: “It is an emerging technology that companies are continuing to explore. Companies are looking at it and using it for a lot of different strategies, and they are doing it because it is so advantageous in terms of what it does for their business. “It is about cost, time and scalability – the ability to bring a vast amount of computing system on stream very quickly. Those are the principal advantages.”

Speed of delivery has been one of the reasons why companies have been using it. Media companies have been one of the fastest adopters of the cloud. Television shows such as The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Dancing On Ice all use cloud services to stop the system crashing when people phone in to vote for contestants. Companies can use the cloud by asking for more services when they are undertaking a project and then switching it off when they do not need it anymore. Cloud technology allows businesses to be flexible. Ger Burns, vice president of customer operations at Flexiant, a provider of cloud orchestration software, says: “You can manage the peaks and troughs in your business. Flexibility for company growth is a huge benefit of the cloud. Gone are the days where you need access to a large company with a big IT budget and team. It allows applications that are very low-entry cost, which means you can bring new ideas to market quickly.” Increasingly, retailers are using it more and more in the run-up to Christmas sales. Richard Davies, chief executive officer at cloud server provider Elastichosts, says: “If you are running any online retail business there are going to be more people buying more stuff on your website in the run-up to Christmas than there are in February. In the traditional world you would have bought that capacity for the whole year. In the cloud infrastructure world you can scale it up and scale it back down.” However, the UK is

Publisher Bradley Scheffer.......................info@lyonsdown.co.uk Editor Daniel Evans.....................................dan@lyonsdown.co.uk Production Editor Dan Geary.............d.geary@lyonsdown.co.uk Reporters...................................Dave Baxter and Joanne Frearson Client Manager Alexis Trinh...................alexis@lyonsdown.co.uk Project Manager Grant Scheffer...g.scheffer@lyonsdown.co.uk Syndication .....................syndication@theinterviewpeople.com +49 (0) 8161 80 74 977

Cloud technology can benefit retailers during busy periods such as Christmas

still a little behind when it comes to using the cloud for business. Research in February by open cloud computing firm Rackspace Hosting found that the US is leading the way in the deployment of open cloud, with a response rate of 70 per cent. The UK had a rate of 42 per cent. Pucciarelli says the lag in the UK in cloud has been mainly due to the slower “economic situation” and that “companies were not feeling a need to expand as quickly”. But he expected things to pick up once growth prospects improved, and for the UK to catch up with the US. The Asia-Pacific region was another fast adopter of cloud, Pucciarelli says, “because these countries do not have a large amount of technology infrastructure in place”, so they are moving to the cloud instead.

Business Technology


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

Business Technology October 2013

4 | Cloud computing

IT world demands new security concept

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The inner geek

INDUSTRY VIEW Mobility, cloud applications and social networks are eroding the network perimeter. Employees embracing these trends bypass appliance-based network and security devices to connect directly to thirdparty networks and cloud services. The concept of the Everywhere Enterprise is born, which goes along with new security requirements. The Direct-to-Cloud Network (DCN) from Zscaler enables enterprises to safely conduct business beyond the corporate network by embracing mobility and cloud trends. The DCN illustrates the evolution away from the traditional hub-and-spoke enterprise network and security model. Currently, enterprise network structures are predominantly based on a centralised hub, typically run over the corporate HQ with many decentralised access nodes built by the branch offices. The web traffic is handled by an MPLS backbone to connect distributed users to proprietary applications hosted on corporate data centres. This approach made sense in the old centralised IT world but it serves as a chokepoint as business evolves to the cloud. The global nature of business requires a global presence but, if all of these global users have to communicate with a central hub before connecting to the internet, then this hub-and-spoke model is neither efficient nor scalable. This inefficiency is greatly compounded by the cloud-based services that so many organisations have deployed in the spirit of productivity and cost savings. +44 (0) 20 7849 3105 www.zscaler.com

Moz & Bradders

In-house IT will be a thing of the past as software goes remote

The traditional IT Crowd approach is being slowly replaced by cloud technology The IT Crowd, Channel 4 © 2013

By Joanne Frearson

Cloud computing is helping companies to achieve economies of scale and is being used to reduce budgets and increase the flexibility they have in technology. A white paper report by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), which provides best practice and education for people in the industry, found the level of existing investment in IT and constraints in capital or operational expense budgets all influenced decision making for or against the cloud. Andy Burton, founder of CIF, says half of organisations’ goals in adopting cloud technology is to “improve cash flow”. He says: “Just under half of

them say it is to reduce the need to invest in further IT, 31 per cent say it is reducing pressure on internal personnel and 30 per cent say it is to give them more resilience around data and reduce the risk of data loss. A quarter say it is to improve service and online availability.” However, when people were asked what they actually achieved in the cloud, Burton says: “The number one thing which people cited as the most successful for them was increasing flexible access to technology, followed by improving application time and reliability of IT, then improving service levels and, lastly, reducing capital expenditure.” Although flexibility might be high on the achievement list, a switch to using cloud services could reduce the number of people in IT departments

and firms that are in traditional IT hardware and software services. George Knox, chief executive officer at Flexiant, a provider of cloud orchestration software, says: “More and more enterprises are not going to be running their own IT services. Applications are going to be managed by service providers. This shift is just starting to happen, but over the next few years it is going to accelerate. “All the choice of applications for businesses to buy are going to be software as a service [SaaS] or cloud-based. It will become much harder to buy a product installed on your hardware. There are going to be a number of technology changes, market changes and cost changes that these businesses are going to have to deal with. “So why do businesses need their

own IT people? There is going to be quite a seismic shift. Cloud is an economic shift moving from a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to a much more operational expenditure(OPEX) based approach. Business people are buying applications on cloud services. This is going to have a lot of casualties among the traditional technology players.” Knox expects this change to be “across the board”, although the traditional banking industries, which have very large commitments to existing infrastructure, will be the slowest to adopt. He says: “[Industries such as] retail, logistics and hotels that are selling lower-margin products will get the maximum benefit from the cloud. There are huge economic benefits by not having to run infrastructure.”


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

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October 2013

Business Technology

Cloud computing | 5

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Security the priority By Joanne Frearson Security is still a major worry for companies looking to adopt cloud technology into their IT strategy, and major firms are reluctant to use it for highly sensitive business-critical information. But companies are not alienating the cloud altogether – rather, they are adopting a hybrid approach to using it, and it remains popular for less business-critical services. Industry specialists are saying the risks associated with moving services to the cloud are no more than what they may already have within their own network. Recent news that cloud storage solutions provider Nirvanix voluntarily sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and that customers had until October 15 to seek an alternative solution, has provoked reactions by many concerned about the potential for businesses to lose valuable data by using this type of service. Research reports have equally shown security is a worry in the cloud industry. A survey called The Notorious Nine: Cloud Computing Security Top Threats in 2013 by not-for-profit firm Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), which provides best practices and education for people in the industry, found that the worry of data breaches was the top threat, followed by data loss and account hijacking. In May 2013, the CSA set up the Cloud Vulnerabilities Working Group, a global working group chartered to conduct research in the area of cloud-computing vulnerabilities. The group released a white paper examining news articles on cloud computing-related outages between January 2008 and February 2012. It showed the top three vulnerabilities were “insecure interfaces and application programming interfaces (API)”, “data loss and leakage” and “hardware failure”. These accounted for 64 per cent of all incidents. Zahl Limbuwala, CEO at software company Romonet, says: “In the last 18 months, we have seen the issues to adoption have primarily been security. How secure is my data going to be within the cloud? Is it going to be in the right protection jurisdiction? Those types

Data breaches and loss a fear for firms – but is it justified?

of adoption issues have not fallen away so much.” But Limbuwala says that, although security issues are still on the mind of chief investment officers, firms are adopting a different approach to using the cloud. “We are seeing a move towards taking the less essential services the CIO looks after for a business, and outsourcing them to a cloud provider,” Limbuwala says. “If a CIO or a business looks to outsource things to the cloud, it is not a case of saying, I have to put all my data in the cloud,

business-critical or otherwise. “They are saying, why don’t we move just the things for which we are not so worried about data security, either because it is not sensitive or not competitioncritical and is not going to cause the business to fail?” Studies by the Cloud Industry Forum have also shown firms do not wish to move all their systems to the cloud, and are adopting a hybrid approach. When asked if participants had any plans to move all services to the cloud, around 50 per cent said they would, but

with caveats as to when, while the other half had no intention to move everything online. The things companies normally move to the cloud, says Andy Burton, founder of the Cloud Industry Forum, include: “Desktop email, instant messaging and video – the technologies which are born for cloud. That type of technology is first adopted for the cloud service. Then, once they are confident about those brand-new technologies and low-risk projects, based on their experience and comfort zone with the service provider, they start

moving more business-critical applications.” Companies are taking steps to mitigate worries about security. Gavan Egan, vice president of sales at Verizon Terremark, which provides enterprises with IT infrastructure and security solutions, says: “If you look at giving someone else a job to do, there are security issues that come with that. You have to look at your cloud provider and say, do they increase my security or decrease my security? How do I know what I want to trust a provider with?” Egan says Verizon Terremark works with companies from “their own business perspective” and what supports their business

‘I don’t think it will be more of an issue than the security risks that exist within networks today. The internet has a much bigger issue in terms of security in general’ – Zahl Limbuwala, Romonet Software strategy. “The key thing is transparency. Companies want to see what level of security controls are around their data,” says Egan. “How they can map it back to what they are used too, how they can report it in their risk or security compliance reports. We work very heavily with customers to help them map the controls we have in place to what they need. “Different companies have their own core competencies in what they want to do. A lot of companies are looking at hybrid cloud – they are going to put some data in the cloud and some they are going to keep.” Although security risks are a concern, industry specialists say the threat should not be perceived as bigger than the normal worries firms face. “There will always be security risks for the cloud,” Limbuwala says. “To be honest I don’t think it will be any more of an issue than the security risks that exist within their own networks today. The internet has a much bigger issue in terms of security in general – these are fundamental issues, not a cloud-specific or privately hosted issue.”


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

Business Technology October 2013

6 | Cloud computing – Industry view

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The new cloud Instead of relying on a single vendor to do all their jobs, customers now choose the best applications in each category to solve their problems

C

ompetition is generally good for customers, but that hasn’t been the case in one of the largest segments of the IT industry, enterprise software. While competition between heavyweights such as Oracle, SAP and IBM over the past 20 years has been passionate, it’s also been fought largely through consolidation. The biggest players have aggressively bought emerging firms and expanded into adjacent categories. Today they each push their own vast empire of allor-nothing, fully integrated bundles of applications into the market. In other words: the competition may be intense, but the choices are severely limited. The good news is that, in the shadow of all this consolidation, a new cycle of innovation is rising in the form of cloud computing. The cloud is about to unlock an entirely new kind of competition in the $300billion enterprise software market. In fact, it’s the kind of generational shift that’s happened before in enterprise software. And, like previous transitions, it’s opening up the door for new players to lead the market.

Register now: Business Without Boundaries: London, Nov 6 At this thought-provoking event, you’ll hear how leading cloud technologies are becoming an integral part of IT architecture. Then learn how Box, Jive, DocuSign, Good, MobileIron, NetSuite and Okta are partnering with leading enterprise technologies to enable businesses to operate without boundaries. Hear from Geoffrey Moore (right), author of Crossing The Chasm and Inside The Tornado, on his vision for the future of cloud technologies in business.

For more information and to secure your place now, visit www.BWBLondon13.com

XL Video turns to the The Challenge

To understand what is happening now, we need to look back at the history of technology. Tech ecosystems tend to follow a pattern. For example, Andy Grove explained that in the mainframe era companies “competed in this industry as one vertical proprietary block against all other computer companies’ vertical proprietary blocks. Salesmen would show up and offer their vertical combination of things, and the company they were selling to would decide to buy one proprietary line and not the others.” There was a very compelling reason for this approach. Because of the level of integration between the components that made up mainframes and a lack of industry standards, vendors had to source, build and define most of the components themselves to compete. It was the only way to reduce the complexity for the customer and create value for them. However, at some point, the underlying technology becomes, in Clayton Christensen’s famous phrase, “good enough”, producing a disruptive innovation that changes the game for the established players in a given market. It’s in the wake of a disruptive innovation that we see ecosystems move towards more open approaches, and this is exactly what happened with the rise of the Win-Tel platform. Instead of buying an entire stack of hardware, operating system and apps from a single vendor, we moved to a world where it was significantly easier to combine best-ofbreed chips with a packaged computer and choose a variety of software to run on top. The result was a democratisation of technology – more companies could buy access computing – and vibrant competition, at least in the software application space where the leadership ranks would include companies like Siebel, PeopleSoft, BEA, Great Plains and Lotus. Eventually, though, this more modular model reached its own breaking point. All of the successful software companies developing for Win-Tel made for diversity and choice, but it also meant complexity. CIOs and IT teams had to become experts in all manner of infrastructure, services, and integration. Ultimately, the need to support and deploy solutions from disparate vendors became cost- and time-prohibitive. And the pendulum swung back once more. Oracle, whose database was the core infrastructure for so many of these applications, was the first to recognise the opportunity to sell customers on a consolidated bundle of applications from

• XL Video provides large-scale video services at major events for clients such as U2, Coldplay, and even the Queen, projecting onto Buckingham Palace for the Diamond Jubilee. With nearly 300 fulltime staff in Europe and the US and a host of freelancers, XL Video needed a way to collaborate securely, streamline workflows and set unique access permissions for discrete user groups. • Because XL Video’s client contact is often a single person, the client tended to determine which file-sharing technology was used on a given project. Rather than be the corporate behemoth that couldn’t accommodate its clients’ technical preferences, XL Video wanted to be as easy as possible to work with. • XL Video’s private network was useful for employees within each office, but the VPN was frustratingly slow when they tried to access files from other locations. In addition, the internal corporate network wasn’t accommodating the company’s many external freelancers. • At XL Video, file sizes can run into tens of megabytes. For a long time, email served as the sharing tool of choice, but it was clogging the company’s servers. • Each job at XL Video begins with a single point of contact, and files relating to projects were often stored locally, on one person’s hard drive, or in a random shared folder that wasn’t publicised. When other employees joined the project, collaboration was not efficient. • With so many different collaborators on any project, XL Video has to be careful about permissions, providing just the right level of access to each contributor.

a single vendor, and they aggressively began acquiring their own stack of apps (not surprisingly, there were lots of companies to buy, given the richness of the Win-Tel era app ecosystem). Hence began the wave of mass consolidation in the enterprise software industry. There’s no doubt this was a great period for giants like Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft. They captured more market share and profits. But it did little for businesses and the products they were using. With limited competition comes limited innovation,

XL Video produced the projections during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

The Solution

• XL Video turned to Box, a cloud file-sharing and collaboration solution. After an encouraging initial trial run, IT manager Ian Woodall decided to roll out Box to the entire company within three months.

which brings us back to where we are today. In the highly consolidated on-premises era, integrating enterprise solutions entailed vast amounts of complexity for every new solution implemented. So getting your applications for human resources or customer relationship management from varied vendors really was a nearimpossible task that led to overdrawn budgets, delayed projects and incomplete systems. Vertical integration made sense. But that all changed with the cloud. With the cloud a customer can light up any


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

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October 2013

Business Technology

Cloud computing – Industry view | 7

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stack is rising cloud for secure content collaboration “SharePoint has always been a bit clumsy for us – and Box is allowing us to get rid of it.” Ian Woodall, group IT manager, XL Video

XL Video produced the projections during the Tate Modern Make Poverty History Live 8

or where in the world they happen to be. Even better, it allows freelances to join their team instantly, with one-stop access to everything they need. • Woodall is shifting the company from email to Box as the go-to file-sharing tool. Currently, email at XL Video has a 20MB limit, but over time Woodall plans to scale it down to 2MB to encourage the use of online storage and sharing links. • Workflow has also become much more efficient at XL Video. Now, when a project is launched, a folder is opened on Box, and all documentatwion relating to that project is stored there. When employees are added to the project, they can instantly access all associated files. • With Box, XL Video can offer its clients easy-to-use, secure file-sharing that works on any platform. With unlimited storage, XL Video doesn’t have to ask collaborators to create accounts with other storage providers. As a result, there’s no technological friction during the creative application near instantly (a user of Workday, for example, no longer has to worry about the servers, storage, networking or middleware that goes into delivering a world-class HCM system). It all comes for “free”. And given the low friction, thousands of enterprises are now running their businesses through a mix of these cloud-based best-of-breed technologies: HCM on Workday, CRM on Salesforce, ERP on Netsuite, support on Zendesk, social on Jive, business intelligence on GoodData, and so on. The cloud has democratised computing in the same way that the Win-Tel standards did

process, and clients find XL Video a willing collaborative partner. • By turning to a cloud solution like Box, XL Video is able to share and store files securely and access them immediately, no matter what their employment status in an earlier era, and the results are similar. Instead of relying on a single vendor to do all their jobs, customers now choose the best applications for them in each category to solve their problems. CIOs who’ve embraced this approach don’t need one-stop shops for all their technology needs anymore. The cost and time burden to implement new solutions and integrate them becomes incremental. Further, most cloud services have created a web of interlocking parts and open standards: an update in Salesforce prompts an action in Zendesk; a new record

• Woodall has set up the company’s Box account with all of the company’s shared files. With user groups he created in XL’s own internal Active Directory (which is integrated with OneLogin), he’s able to map each user to a group — and, instantly, appropriately provision that

user via OneLogin and into Box, all via the company’s network simultaneously.

The Results

• By moving to a cloud-based solution, XL Video is phasing out SharePoint, which will streamline workflows, enable greater access from multiple platforms, and save the company time. • Because Box allows employees in every time zone to have any-time access to their files, the lag time in international collaboration has greatly decreased, and the company has significantly increased efficiency and productivity. • The Active Directory integration between OneLogin and Box has saved Woodall a great deal of time, by allowing him to provide users with access across all the company’s files and apps at once. • In the future, XL Video plans to use Box’s APIs integrate between Box and Zendesk and to integrate Box with its internal ERP system.

in SAP shoots off an update to Yammer; a document in Box can be accessible from Jive. This is the direction the world is moving in. From this diversity of systems, customers will get choice, and with this choice we’ll see better applications and solutions emerge. It’s a new era for enterprise IT where there’s still plenty of heated competition, but it’s actually benefiting customers. This is the new cloud stack. 0808 189 0504 www.box.com


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

Business Technology October 2013

8 | Cloud computing

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Scaling up and powering down, the

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way… By Joanne Frearson

A

s I walk into Facebook’s offices in Covent Garden, London, I’m reminded of all the photos I’ve seen of Mark Zuckerberg. Everyone is dressed casually, and a few people are wearing hoodies. I am ushered through a door which seems to have the security of Fort Knox, with another door behind it leading to a conference centre. This is obviously a very important room – filled with comfortable chairs, video-conferencing equipment, a kitchen and a games area – where people meet to talk about new ideas. I am here to listen to Frank Frankovsky, Facebook’s vice president of hardware design and supply chain operations, speak about the Open Compute Project and the firm’s approach to data centre management. Open Compute, of which Frankovsky is also chairman, was set up by a small team of Facebook engineers two years ago to tackle the challenge of how to scale computing infrastructure in the most efficient, economical way possible. The project’s mission is to share intellectual property ideas to design and enable the delivery of the most efficient server, storage and data centre hardware designs for scalable computing. It is a project that is important to the cloud industry. Companies with

cloud computing data centres such as Intel and Rackspace are involved, as well as chip manufacturer AMD, which has two million processors deployed in cloud environments worldwide, which is helping design efficient server solutions at the lowest possible costs. Frankovsky says: “More and more customers are choosing to outsource their workloads to cloud computing and that is a trend I do not see reversing any time soon. I am bullish about how broadly Open Compute is going to have an impact in the industry over the next three to five years.” One of the reasons Facebook decided to launch the project was to solve the problem of storage. Frankovsky explains there have been “no innovative ideas” in data centre design for decades to make them work more efficiently. Internet use is growing and popular cloud-based services such as email, social networking, video streaming and a growing array of dedicated applications all demand data storage. “If you look at the way people engage over the internet, it is way faster than the pace of innovation and pace of any one company can keep up with,” Frankovsky says. “It would be a shame if the underlying infrastructure got in the way of being able to deliver those really rich experiences.” Statistics from International Data Corporation (IDC) show worldwide total spending on storage systems, software and professional services by public cloud service providers will increase at a 21.9 per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $12.2billion in 2016. The cloud is increasingly being used for the business world and for big-data analytics. In a survey of IT professionals and primary decision-makers at large and mid-size enterprises in North America and Europe by

Servers in Facebook’s data centre at Forest City, North Carolina.

The InfoPro, a service of 451 Research, of those that have a separate budget for cloud computing, 69 per cent expect spending to increase in both 2013 and 2014 compared with the previous year. One way Facebook is achieving this is by making its data centres more energy-efficient by reducing power usage effectiveness (PUE), a measure of how efficiently a computer data centre uses its power. The industry gold standard PUE is 1.5, but by eliminating the need for a central uninterruptible power supply and by not running air conditioning, Facebook achieved a PUE of 1.07. “One of the goals of Open Compute is to keep that pace of innovation going so that we can always continue to deliver what end users want without wrecking the planet,” Frankovsky says. “You can deliver it, but you are going to have to deliver it with a ton of infrastructure unless you do it in a really smart way. “In most data centres they run air conditioning. This is what frustrates me the most – you need a jacket to go in. Servers do not need to be that comfortable – in many cases, servers are having more comfortable lives than humans in some parts

of the world. That does not make sense to me.” The first data centre which Facebook constructed using ideas to make them more environmentally and economically friendly was in Prineville, Oregon. The team built its own custom-designed servers, power supplies, server racks and battery backup systems. It was so successful it used 38 per cent less energy to do the same work as Facebook’s existing facilities, while costing 24 per cent less. The Open Compute Project was launched as a result of this success. Facebook wanted to share this knowledge to the entire industry and improve upon what they were already doing. The company now holds an annual summit and has engineering workshops to help people get involved. “We have shared all of this, how to build more efficient data centres,” says Frankovsky. “The benefits of being open far surpass any benefits from trying to keep this private. Now other companies are doing the same thing. “A better way of doing things is if we engage whole communities of people, both from Facebook and from the outside. On a daily basis we are seeing great ideas come in from everywhere.”


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October 2013

Business Technology

Cloud computing | 9

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A silver lining for the logistics cloud By Matt Smith

Much of the hype around the cloud relates to the ease of connectivity it brings, so it seems fitting that it has found a home in logistics. GT Nexus is a solution that brings the data shared by businesses and their suppliers together into the same format, making it easier to process, and thereby improving supply chain visibility. Over $100billion of goods belonging to 25,000 businesses are managed on the cloud platform, which enables companies to connect once to manage multiple supply networks. And in a world where such networking saves time and money, the company’s vice president of corporate communications, Greg Kefer, has lofty ambitions. “The systems companies have used for the last 30 years are probably OK, but they need to rethink the way they extend those systems,” he says. “I think that eventually it is all going to be cloud. In the next decade it is going to be the norm, rather than the exception.” Kefer compares working with new suppliers using GT Nexus to adding friends on Facebook – everybody’s information is presented in the same

“More customers are choosing to outsource their workloads to cloud computing, and that is a trend I don’t see changing any time soon” – Frank Frankovsky

way, making it more compatible. Once these huge amounts of information are organised, they can also be used to make supply chains more efficient and remove excess stock. “Companies carry extra inventory because they can’t run out of parts,” Kefer explains. “They keep extra stock as padding. But if you have extra control you can lower this amount.” This helped machinery giant Caterpillar to remove 15 per cent of its in-transit inventory from its supply chain so it could be used elsewhere in the business. The cloud means that information such as this, which can save businesses time and money, is readily available, easily organisable and primed for big-data analysis. And with other high-profile businesses such as adidas, Pfizer and Abercrombie & Fitch also using the solution, the revolution seems to be well and truly underway. “I have been at GT Nexus for 13 years and for five years we were lone wolves howling in the distance. IT departments did not trust the cloud,” Kefer says. “But people are beginning to talk about the cloud and see it as good. Consumers talk about it. It’s not a matter of if but when it expands.”

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an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

Business Technology October 2013

ExpertInsight

10 | Cloud computing

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Xtravirt enables an express start A pragmatic approach to cloud adoption INDUSTRY VIEW

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ow can the cloud benefit your organisation, and where do you start? Xtravirt has created CloudStart EXPRESS, a packaged service which provides a structured framework for identifying and adopting cloud strategy and services. Security and compliance continues to be a concern for many organisations considering the cloud, so CloudStart EXPRESS provides guidance from a technology and management perspective, ensuring that any risks are identified and mitigated. According to IT research firm Gartner, enterprise cloud adoption will be dictated by the need to solve specific business problems as time goes on, rather than a push for large-scale IT infrastructure overhauls. Xtravirt created CloudStart EXPRESS to determine

what combination of cloud computing the business requires; Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). “Many organisations are thinking about how the cloud can help their business, but don’t know where to start. Cloud is not just about technology, but a mindset change within the business. CloudStart EXPRESS will review an organisation’s current environment, with all relevant stakeholders, and produce a high-level business justification and roadmap to support the recommendations,” says Gavin Jolliffe, co-founder and CEO, Xtravirt. Like all services provided by Xtravirt, CloudStart EXPRESS is vendor-agnostic and evaluates relevant

Why the cloud is right for your business Fifosys offers defined borders in a challenging world INDUSTRY VIEW

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louds suggest undefined borders, changing shapes, drifting with the wind. Not the traits normally associated with successful business management... Business likes certainty. It likes definition and boundaries, firm foundations, plans and controls, minimal risk, reliable operation, proven outcomes. We’re confident that a hybrid cloud solution can help you achieve all those objectives. We appreciate, however, that handing your data, systems and applications over to something as seemingly nebulous as a cloud could be seen as fraught with risk. Clients ask us two main questions: how do we get into the cloud and where should we start? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. With a hybrid approach, starting with a few discrete applications, everyone can adjust to the change, monitoring results and building confidence as the benefits appear.

The important thing is to start with the right help, with an expert partner who understands not just the technology but what you want it to do for your business. Fifosys public and private cloud services are secure and reliable, hosted in UK data centres accredited to ISO 27001, with full back-up and live replication activities. Our cloud solutions give you fast, on-demand services without the need for long-term commitment in resources and applications. They help you support mobile employees as well as office-based teams and give you the flexibility and scalability to grow your IT services at low risk. So yes, we know about fluffy, drifting clouds, but if you have a properly managed environment hosted by a reliable, expert supplier, we believe the cloud can deliver strong ROI for your business. The cloud may simply be the wrong name for what could be absolutely the right move for your business IT. So start your cloud journey with confidence. With Fifosys, IT starts here. Mitesh Patel is managing director of Fifosys 020 7644 2610 www.fifosys.com

cloud strategies and services without any bias towards providers. Xtravirt has a pedigree in working with customers to deploy technology to meet business requirements, and this structured engagement allows the IT leader to report back to their board and articulate why the organisation should or shouldn’t move forward with cloud, what needs to happen, and when. “As a seasoned C-level executive, I have faced these challenges frequently over the last few years, with the emergence of cloud as a compelling strategy. Xtravirt’s CloudStart EXPRESS directly addresses the relevant needs of organisations today, safely guiding them through the pitfalls and opportunities cloud presents,” adds consulting CIO Robin Gardner. www.xtravirt.com information@xtravirt.com

Cloud data control: it’s with the customer Encryption and identity management is key INDUSTRY VIEW

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loud computing, as with many innovations, can be hugely important for SMBs with little or no computing and networking knowledge. The cloud has already created significant benefits, which apply across all business sectors. But it can also mean new headaches for decision-makers looking to avoid business risk. As one industry expert argues, businesses must be aware of the risks they face. Mayukh Gon, CEO at PerfectCloud, which provides encryption and security for cloud data and mobile apps, believes cloud users are exposing themselves to new threats. “The cloud is as vulnerable as anything else on the internet,” he says. “It presents big opportunities, but there are also risks. Firms going into the cloud could see some immediate benefits to grow their businesses without the need to invest in new infrastructure or an expensive technical team to maintain it. “But, on the downside, cloud users are putting their security and privacy at risk, as they are placing their business data in the hands of an external entity.” His company, PerfectCloud, offers a platform consisting of “SmartSignin” (a single sign-on, identity and access management solution) along with “SmartEncrypt”

(an enterprise file-encryption and secure-sharing application), that together can help organisations meet requirements for a secure cloud as well as a secure mobile workforce. Its patent-pending SmartKey encryption, developed in a joint-venture with GANITA Labs at the University of Toronto, facilitates a new class of security and trust for the cloud. Gon says: “Our solution is based on a very innovative architecture that allows us to simultaneously provide a high level of security as well as privacy. Our key management sets us apart from other cloud providers who can access their customers’ keys and data. “With PerfectCloud, no one but you can access your keys and data. We provide our customers with complete control over their data. And, we do this in a secure, simple plug and play environment.” 020 3239 1746 contact@perfectcloud.io


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

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new platform enables clinicians to store, access and exchange patient and diagnostic information from virtually anywhere over a highly-secure infrastructure. Matt Oakley, who leads Accenture’s medical imaging practice in the UK and Ireland, says: “The growing demand for imaging means that radiologists are confronted with increasing workloads and the challenge of processing larger amounts of data.

An avid player of games, Dogberry is anxiously following Phil Spencer, corporate vice president at Microsoft Game Studios on Twitter, after he revealed in a tweet that they have “things incubating that are primarily cloud based”. There are not many clues about what this could mean, but Spencer did say to look at Ascend – a cloud-powered Xbox game. Ascend is part of Xbox Live’s portfolio of free-to-play offerings. Dogberry is a big fan of the game, which involves three gods battling for sole control of the Earth. In the game, players can join forces with each other to roam the desolate peaks, mountains and deserted valleys in the Kul Highlands to fight for the gods.

“This cloud-based solution will enable clinicians across the region to share patient data, which can be crucial in urgent cases, such as stroke or major trauma. “It also will enable trusts to concentrate on providing the best care to patients, rather than having to worry about maintaining an IT system.” Roughly 73 per cent of healthcare organisations are expected to shift medical imaging data into the cloud in some capacity, according to a recent Accenture survey.

Back in black BlackBerry has previewed a multi-platform cloudbased enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution that will enable businesses to easily secure and manage corporate and personal devices at the Gartner Symposium/Itxpo 2013. Gartner predicts that half of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes by 2017 and predicts that through 2014 employee-owned devices will be compromised by malware at more than double the rate of corporateowned devices. BlackBerry’s cloud-based EMM solution will give business

email dogberry@lyonsdown.co.uk

ExpertInsight

Dogberry is delighted to hear Microsoft has a software donation programme for non-profit and non-government organisations. “We are donating to non-profits and NGOs access to Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools, enabling them to spend fewer resources and time on IT and focus on their missions addressing global issues, such as disease eradication, education and literacy, and environmental sustainability,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president at Microsoft International. “Non-profits operate in the same way as any other organisation; the donation of Office 365 allows them to be more effective and efficient in the work they do.”

the ease, flexibility and cost controls to support devices, allowing employees to enjoy the content and apps they demand, while maintaining the security requirements and productivity gains of mobilising, for the organisation.

Business Technology

Cloud computing | 11

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Inspector Dogberry A cloud-based Radiology Information System (RIS) for five hospitals and 23 facilities within the NHS trust in the South West is being deployed by multinational management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture. The

October 2013

By Matt Smith, web administrator

u Editor’s pick CloudTweaks www.cloudtweaks.com A cloud blog with a sense of humour, CloudTweaks provides insight on the cloud and its applications through articles and infographics, including pieces aimed at dispelling the myths surrounding the technology. Watch out for the site’s wellwritten occasional cartoon, The Lighter Side Of The Cloud.

IBM Thoughts on Cloud

Government G-Cloud blog

http://thoughtsoncloud.com

http://gcloud.civilservice.gov. uk/blog

This collection of opinions from IBM experts aims to create a discussion with its audience by raising interesting questions about the cloud and its uses. You’ll find opinions on everything from security and big data to how the cloud is transforming the roles of IT leaders.

Follow the process of the government’s G-Cloud initiative, which aims to change the way the public sector works with IT on this blog. You’ll also find details of how to submit cloud services to be included in the G-Cloud Cloudstore directory of available applications.

TechNet cloud blogs http://blogs.technet.com/b/ cloud-blogs

LG Cloud (Free – Android/iOS)

Rackspace Cloud (Free – Android)

Link your smart TV, Android devices and computer and view multimedia content anywhere with 5GB of free storage.

An example of a mobile interface for your cloud infrastructure, meaning that you can manage your servers on the move.

Follow the TechNet Cloud Blogs section for the latest from the Microsoft team on cloud technology and its most innovative uses. Subjects include new tech, tips on cloud solutions, and even ways to submit your ideas to influence the technology giant’s next projects.

Home of the cloud NGD has more than enough resilience in place for cloud services INDUSTRY VIEW

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he excitement generated by the scalability and flexibility of cloud services sometimes obscures the more mundane fact that they are only as good as the data centres that support them. South Wales-based data centre operator NGD is under no illusions about the potential fragility of the cloud. The company has invested millions in building the biggest and most secure data centre in Europe for powering cloud, web and data-hosting services on behalf of all types of organisations – day in, day out. But, unlike most other data centres in the UK, its giant facility, NGD Europe, is well away from London and the South East. Such a move has served to

enhance its formidable security credentials while also allowing customers much lower pricing and access to plenty of reliable power. And, in NGD’s case, all power is sourced from renewable energy. Already home to some large companies providing hosting services – BT, IBM and Wipro included – NGD is also fast becoming a

haven for smaller IT providers who are keen to offer their own cloud services as quickly, reliably and competitively as possible. The vast 750,000 squarefoot building provides the space and flexibility to allow customers to house either a few or hundreds of the server racks necessary to power cloud services. As far as bandwidth is concerned, there is a wide choice of high-speed communication links available for seamlessly connecting users over any distance. And with business continuity in mind, when even the briefest downtime presents potential headaches for service delivery, NGD has more than enough resilience in place. But, just to be sure, the Tier 3+ category facility is underpinned by a massive 180MVA power supply that is directly connected to the National Grid. With facilities such as these it’s perhaps not surprising NGD is becoming known as the home of the cloud. www.nextgenerationdata.com +44 (0)1633 674 518


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

12 Business Technology October 2013

Business

NEWS...VIEWS...INSIGHTS...OPINION...REPORTS...NEWS...VIEWS...INSIGHTS...OPINION...REPORTS...NEWS...VIEWS Cloud computing

Video bonus

Business in the cloud – New Scientist http://youtu.be/z2TfxOVvTL8 New Scientist takes us on a tour of what the cloud means for business.

United States

IT leaders in emerging nations are more upbeat about the cloud than the developed market and are focusing on its transformational and innovative potential, according to a Cisco/Intel study about the impact of the cloud on IT consumption models. Emerging market respondents of the study believe that the greater use of cloud services would not necessarily marginalise IT departments and that the full-time IT headcount would increase. In addition, emerging market respondents say that the role and responsibilities of IT would increase relative to third parties in areas such as systems integrators or cloud service providers. The number one core driver for the cloud in emerging markets is to increase business agility and productivity. Respondents say they are more interested in the wider potential business transformation which the cloud enables.

The United States government plans to use cloud computing to help consolidate similar business functions in different agencies, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC). Shawn P McCarthy, research director at IDC Government, says: “When governments do business they normally do it around somewhat similar functions. We are seeing common business functions such as accounting, financial management and human resources consolidating into shared services. When you have a shared service it can be moved to the cloud.” McCarthy expects one of the quickest growth areas in cloud for the US government is going to be in online storage. The US Treasury is spending the most on cloud computing services compared to other government agencies. “The tax offices need to interact a lot with the public, not necessarily accepting payments or anything like that, but everything from downloadable forms to questions and answers and emails,”

ExpertInsight

South America

Emerging markets are embracing cloud computing

he says. “The US Treasury department has offloaded a lot of that to the cloud.” The second-biggest money spenders on cloud are the Agricultural Department and Homeland Security. Private cloud is also preferred by the US government, but McCarthy expects this to change after 2016. He says private cloud is popular right now because there is a “trust issue”. “The reality is, cloud providers are getting better about what they provide and meeting certain security standards.

There may be a time in the not-so-distant future where the security difference between public and private is a moot point, but we are not that yet.” Spending increases for cloud have been scarce over the past two years as budget issues have made it tough to get funding for new projects. But government spending on cloud computing in the United States is expected to spike after 2014.

US government cloud spending is increasing, particularly at the Treasury

It’s important to combine IT and business The cloud can tame costs, says IET INDUSTRY VIEW

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rom councils to tech start-ups, the cloud is causing a stir across businesses. Bosses, including those who know little about the technology involved, are becoming increasingly excited about what they can do using the cloud. While the cloud confuses some, the business benefits are becoming more obvious. Even companies without vast technical knowledge could use it to improve how they operate. Graham Knight, a business systems consultant and a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and member of the IET’s information technology policy panel, says that, while the advances in personal computing and departmental systems have demonstrated enormous business value, they have also created new business costs. The cloud can help to tame some of those costs. “Personal and departmental computing has gradually become universal,” he says. “But for a company, managing lots of individual computers is a very expensive business because they have to be maintained, kept free of bugs and the data on them has to be managed. “Using cloud-based services can help

to put you back in control. Potentially you only pay for what you use – the cloud provider manages the systems and new systems can be commissioned very quickly.” But entering the cloud is more complex than firms may expect. Cloud services vary in terms of what infrastructure, platforms and software are used. There is also a big difference between the private cloud and the public cloud. Knight says: “Private cloud facilities can be used by a company itself – for example by teams of IT developers. Public cloud services run by companies such as Google and Amazon can provide whole suites of applications. The problem with the public cloud is you have no idea where your data are and whether your private information is secure and being properly managed. It’s all about trust. Do you believe what the salesman told you?” Companies can also use hybrid cloud services – keeping sensitive data in the private cloud and less important data in the public cloud. Dr Martyn Thomas, chair of the IET’s information technology policy panel, argues that firms need to focus on due diligence to avoid risks. “To me the big issue is the importance of carrying out the due diligence and knowing what you want to achieve,” he says. “I have a particular concern about security and resilience issues. If you lose data in the cloud, it’s quite easy for a business to fold. “If the cloud provider has collapsed and

they provide your IT functions, for example, your business could be in trouble.” Knight believes firms need to bring together their business decision-makers and IT experts, so they can make an informed decision when choosing a cloud provider. He says: “There has to be a business and IT combination. The IT people can look at issues such as performance, technical specifications and security, while the business teams can concentrate on the business requirements – informing each other as the work progresses.” Firms are unlikely to forget about the cloud. Using it can have huge benefits – but looking at the service you want, and the company providing it, is vital. For more information, visit www.theiet.org/cloud


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

October 2013 Business Technology 13

World

S...INSIGHTS...OPINION...REPORTS...NEWS...VIEWS...INSIGHTS...OPINION...REPORTS...NEWS...VIEWS...INSIGHTS...

India The market for the healthcare cloud in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3 per cent between 2012 and 2018, according to research from business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Healthcare is opening its doors to cloud technologies. Research by the business consulting firm showed that the Asia-Pacific region is looking at innovative solutions that support patientcentric care. Natasha Gulati, connected health industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific, says: “Healthcare providers are cognisant of the long-term cost benefits of cloud solutions. What they are looking for now are reliable technology partners who can address their concerns over data privacy and security.” Gulati says there will be three

major industry transformations as a result of the new cloud solutions. The first is vertical clouds for the healthcare industy, a type of cloud-computing solution designed for a business sector or model. In the healthcare industry, the adoption of electronic

medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs) have spurred a wave of interest in vertical clouds as these can help extract maximum value from the digitisation of healthcare. The second is telehealth and remote patient monitoring. Ageing populations and rising incidence of chronic disease is driving Asia-Pacific consumers to seek tools for continuous health monitoring and assurance. Not only do cloud technologies provide the software and infrastructure required to share vital information over a distance, they also enable real-time analysis of information gathered from remotely located systems Lastly is the consumerisation of healthcare. Consumers are still waiting for the day when a single, convenient biometric identifier or a mobile phone will be sufficient to secure healthcare services. The study found data collaboration is a critical component which is missing from the whole healthcare infrastructure.

The Fifosys Cloud team

Giving you the confidence you need to start your journey into the Cloud... In the last year we have helped over 25 businesses successfully move all or part of their IT services, data and applications into the Cloud Fifosys private and public Cloud networks are all based in secure, resilient UK data centres with full back-up and live replication services Our data centres and the Fifosys operation are accredited to ISO 27001, giving you the reassurance of fully accredited information security and data integrity We can provide flexibility to access and control your Cloud It’s not what we do that differentiates us - it’s how we do it! For guidance, and to start YOUR journey into the Cloud, call Mitesh Patel 020 7644 2610 or visit our website www.fifosys.com to read about our services and our specialist, skilled team

European Union The European Commission is funding a project to boost the take-up of cloud computing across the region under its Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Cloud for Europe will give a clear v ie w on t he publ ic s e c tor requirements and usage scenarios for cloud computing. It is supported by stakeholders from all sectors and both private and public organisations from 10 countries will get together to form the strategy. The main objectives of the programme are to remove the obstacles for cloud adoption as well as to jointly identify the requirements from different public organisations

beyond their own countries. Pre-commercial procurement for services will follow the scoping of requirements that are identified as missing or that need to be adopted for government use. Cloud for Europe will also establish suitable contractual terms and conditions for future cloud procurements. Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, says: “If we seize the opportunity, cloud computing could give the European economy a boost worth up to €250billion a year. And the benefits for the public sector are particularly promising – offering citizens services that are better, more integrated and more effective, at less cost.” The launch conference for Cloud-for-Europe will take place on November 14 and 15 in Berlin.


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

Business Technology October 2013

BizTech Zone

14 | Cloud computing

Nicholas Negroponte, technology guru

Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living.

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The future

Putting you at the heart of the digital age

Picture perfect Taopix enjoys a new direction with Workbooks INDUSTRY VIEW

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aopix Limited is a leading provider of superior photo book and photo gift software to printing companies. Over the last few years, Taopix has grown significantly and now has offices across the globe and a network of more than 30 partners. Taopix had in place a network of separate databases and spreadsheets to manage its business processes. However, with the company growing rapidly, it became evident that the existing systems were inhibiting growth and making it difficult to manage the business, share information and have a joined-up view of the customer. With many manual processes, a considerable amount of employee working hours were invested into the business’s basic operation. Taopix shortlisted 20 CRM vendors, including established brands such as Salesforce and Microsoft, from which the Workbooks cloud-based CRM came out on top. The cloud model was important in order to give easy access to Taopix’s employees around the world, and to allow for quick and easy deployment. Using the Workbooks CRM system, Taopix has been able to significantly grow its sales. Workbooks provides the sales staff with the tools they need to effectively manage their

pipeline, create quotations and raise orders. By automating previously manual tasks, including lead capture, lead distribution and the monthend invoicing run, Workbooks has significantly reduced Taopix’s operating costs and saves its staff valuable time. One of the other benefits of adopting Workbooks has been an improved way of working for the Taopix support team. Workbooks provides automated support ticket management, which empowers Taopix to offer a better level of service and keep track of their service-level agreements. A key benefit of Workbooks is its powerful reporting capabilities, allowing

the Taopix staff and management team to gain real insight into key business metrics such as sales, billings, renewal dates and much more. James Gray, CEO at Taopix, concludes: “Workbooks has transformed the way our business runs and has started to pay for itself, providing an instant reduction in IT spend and resources allocated to manual tasks. Workbooks has equipped us to focus on delivering the best service we can for clients, and the future looks bright with a renewed sense of direction for Taopix.” 0118 303 0100 www.workbooks.com

In focus: The cloud changes everything

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nalysts predict that by 2015, 90 per cent of large enterprises will have moved to the cloud – savvy enterprises will take advantage of the agility and cost reductions the cloud can offer. And it’s more than cost savings…

Innovation – fail fast After years of marketing promises of “utility computing”, true pay-asyou-go consumption of IT infrastructure is available. The ability for an organisation to have an idea, execute on that idea and “fail fast” has never been greater.

As barriers to investigating new initiatives come down, low-risk and low-cost innovation can thrive.

Raising productivity With competition fierce, organisations recognise employees as their number one asset. The cloud lets staff collaborate in real time with friendly, familiar, convenient applications.

Making it happen The cloud requires a different mindset, and at Cloudreach we live and breathe cloud applications. Whether you are looking at collaboration, CRM, infrastructure, test and development,

disaster recovery or big data analytics, the cloud changes everything – from forward-thinking consultancy to seamless data centre migrations and application development through to 24/7 managed services. With key partnerships with Amazon Web Services, Google and Salesforce.com, we provide support for our customers at every step of their journey from helping you assess your suitability to supporting your cloud estate. Pontus Noren (left) is co-founder of Cloudreach 020 7183 3893 pontus.noren @cloudreach.co.uk

Imagine a world where your interaction with any organisation is one where they not only provide you with an excellent personal and immediate service but they do so in a manner that makes you feel as though they truly care. Then imagine that whichever way you choose to interact – via telephone, internet or mobile, in a shop, by letter – the organisation knows who you are, what you have done previously, and what they may need to do next. Most of all, imagine they treat your information with the utmost respect to your privacy and security. Every day, we enable organisations in the UK to offer that immediacy and excellence of service. In some cases, it requires them to redesign the way they deliver customer experience. In others, they recognise their own business processes are not yet geared to provide accelerated decisionmaking and connectivity that allow their employees to deliver the customer service needed. For some, we drive the digital transformation of the workplace to better enable every employee to do their role in the most productive way. The logic is of a happy and digitallyenabled work environment that promotes the delivery of a positive customer experience. Cloud computing is at the heart of this digital revolution. It has greater flexibility and more effectively aligned commercial models, allowing organisations to accelerate change. Atos, recently named in the Top 10 Digital Leaders in Industry, is working hard with its Cloud services in Canopy to help those organisations embrace the Digital Age and focus their efforts on you. 020 7830 4444 rob.price @canopy-cloud.com


an independent report from lyonsdown, distributed with the sunday telegraph

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October 2013

Business Technology

Cloud computing | 15

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The debate

What is the future of the cloud? David Quantrell SVP and GM EMEA Box

Chris Hay Solutions architect Allied Telesis

Rodrigo Vaca Vice president of marketing Zoho

Kate Craig-Wood Managing director Memset

The cloud is a great enabler of choice for the consumer of IT services, and we all want choice. The choice to use the apps we want, when we want, where we want, accessed from the device we want. Within the enterprise the IT department has traditionally restricted that choice to the services it offers, but the evolution of the cloud is challenging IT’s monopoly. Savvy business users are changing the way they procure and consume services. To keep control over company information the CIO must transform the internal IT department from being just a service provider into a broker of private and public cloud services. Acting as a broker, the IT department will maintain the visibility, governance and control required to build an application ecosystem that aligns with business strategy. The brokerage model allows the CIO to keep IT budgets central and maintain application interoperability, security and compliance while giving users the freedom to make the choices they want.

We’re in the most exciting period of technology history, and it’s only just getting started. The first 30 years of bringing personalised computing and networks into the enterprise were, in a sense, just preparing us for what’s to come. With the rise of mobile devices, we have instant access to an unprecedented amount of information. The velocity of information in an era of cloud doesn’t just affect us as individuals - it also remakes our organisations. The cloud has created a shift away from closed on-premise solutions toward integrated offerings that are more scalable and effective. For example, an update in Salesforce prompts an action in Zendesk; a document in Box can be accessible from Jive. This is the direction the world is moving. From this diversity of systems, customers will get choice, and with this choice we’ll see better applications and solutions emerge. A new cloud stack is rising.

The cloud has been a major influence within the ICT industry over the past few years and today it is playing a pivotal role in changing the way we work. Looking ahead, the cloud will not exist as we now know it. The cloud will simply be the way that we all create and use a plethora of data, applications, tools and systems in business. Network infrastructure, applications and IT resources will be connected without being in one location. Companies should not be asking if they should move to the cloud, but how. The cloud will have an intrinsic role in organisations and this will put network infrastructures in the spotlight, placing an emphasis on high levels of reliability and security. Ensuring a business is fully able to embrace the benefits offered by cloud services is vital to promote growth across the enterprise market. This is especially true in these early days, so you can ensure that your business is ready when cloud-based services become standard.

In the past, customers were subject to just a few inflexible, expensive and ugly business software options that were hard to integrate. In the past, you worked hard to keep your software alive. That is changing. The future of the cloud is software that is simple, beautiful and easy to use – but not less powerful because of it. The future of the cloud is software that is smart enough to talk to the other pieces of software you have. Your CRM talks to your email system, your accounting to your projects system and your HR software will talk to everything – without you having to spin big IT projects to make that happen. The future of the cloud is software that is flexible. Forget required multi-year contracts. Forget even yearly contracts. Pay as you want, pay only for what you need. The future of the cloud is software that works for you, so you can focus on the most important things.

Cloud computing is undoubtedly the future for individual, company and government consumption of ICT services. Remember that it is not some mysterious technical marvel: “cloud” is just the term to describe computing’s natural evolution into a world with ubiquitous network connectivity. By breaking down silos, sharing centralised resources and accepting that most people and organisations actually have very similar software needs, cloud brings enormous cost and efficiency savings. G-Cloud, the UK’s public sector cloud services market place, often provides 80-90 per cent savings compared with what government departments are accustomed to paying for ICT systems. Cloud services are also more resilient and secure – as providers we are vastly more experienced in security than a company’s IT department. If Prism worries you, then buy British. The movers and shakers I know, be they Cabinet Office top brass or the young entrepreneurs of Tech City, have a “cloud first” policy. You should too.

0870 777 0017 www.GlassHouse.com

0808 189 0504 www.box.com

0844 800 7699 www.alliedtelesis.co.uk

www.zoho.com Twitter: @zoho

0800 634 9270 www.memset.com

ExpertInsight

David Boyd Enterprise architect GlassHouse Technologies UK

Change the way you work with cloud INDUSTRY VIEW

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oday’s businesses are going through a revolution. Increasingly, organisations are being required to become more agile while driving gains in productivity. Martin Bishop, Telstra Global’s head of cloud computing, believes that, when it comes to the cloud, the most successful businesses will always consider the three Cs: connectivity, consistency and control.

Connectivity: combining the flexibility of cloud computing with a world-class global network According to Bishop, Telstra Global customers can feel safe in the knowledge that their cloud capabilities are award-winning and among the largest and most diverse in Asia-Pacific. “Our cloud infrastructure platform is built on one of the world’s most extensive telecommunications networks – one that reaches over

1,400 points-of-presence and provides access to 230 countries and territories,” he said.

Consistency: on a global scale through a standardised approach to technology and service When operating across the world, CIOs are likely to encounter operational inconsistency, with simultaneous projects and initiatives sometimes causing IT organisations to lose focus and thus waste resources. The cloud helps to make the complex simple by acting as a globally consistent platform upon which applications can be built and delivered according to the same or similar specifications worldwide. “We have a consistent approach to

technology, service and application performance which means our customers can seamlessly deploy applications and deliver business processes across multiple locations,” Bishop says.

Control: scale your cloud infrastructure depending on your business needs Greater visibility and control over servers, storage and network consumption can help IT departments to reduce the total cost of ownership and adopt a “right-sized” approach to infrastructure. As Bishop explains: “Instead of wasting time and money managing IT systems, our customers can simply log on to their cloud management console and with the click of a mouse, quickly add or remove capacity to meet their changing business needs.” 0800 856 2120 www.telstraglobal.com/cloud



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