When Building for Big Data, Remember to Think Small

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • With a continued focus on top down, company-wide all-encompassing projects, big data is in danger of turning into the next service oriented architecture (SOA) – a good idea that simply cannot be realized.
  • Conversely, Microsoft’s diminutive self service business intelligence solution, Power BI for Office 365, highlights the potential in thinking small with big data.

I never win anything. For that reason I never gamble and have never, ever entered the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. But last week on a whim I requested a beta invitation for Microsoft’s forthcoming self service business intelligence (BI) service (Power BI for Office 365 preview). Lucky me, I won an invite and immediately began pawing through the available documentation and downloading a few samples. What did I find? Sometimes the biggest insights can be found in the smallest of packages, even the seemingly unpretentious spreadsheet itself. Read more of this post

Cloud Formations over Europe: Supply-Side Trends Align with Enterprise Demand

John Marcus

John Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • Almost every week, a new survey is released which reports on growing enterprise demand for cloud services in Europe, or in a particular country market.  Service providers in the region are in many ways reacting to this data with new investments in infrastructure, channels, and services.  Since October 2012, we have tracked service provider events in the space, resulting in supply-side data points that help complete the picture.
  • Out of 159 cloud service provider announcements in Europe over the last nine months, more than half (94) had a pan-European or global impact.  Among country-specific activity, the UK was home to the most activity, with Germany and the Netherlands next but well behind.  Overall, Northern Europe accounted for far more activity than Southern or Eastern Europe.
  • In terms of the types of events, new and enhanced infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions have surpassed software-as-a-service (SaaS) launches, which had led the pack back in in Q4 2012.  Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) accounted for the fewest events over the last nine months, but two announcements in June suggest PaaS activity might start to increase. Read more of this post

Government ‘Cloud Mandate’ Could Jumpstart Lagging Adoption in UK Public Sector and Beyond

John Marcus

John Marcus

Summary Bullets:

  • The UK government’s G-Cloud Programme has suffered from setbacks, leading to limited uptake so far.  However, two recent developments – the commencement of the new G-Cloud iii framework, doubling the number of approved CloudStore suppliers, and the confirmation by the government last month of its ‘cloud first’ procurement strategy – should jumpstart British public sector migration to the cloud.
  • Increased cloud adoption by government organizations, and indeed the high-level policy directive behind it, should have a knock-on effect within the enterprise market, first in semi-state and non-profit organizations and then increasingly in SME and corporate enterprises.

The G-Cloud Programme is a cross-government initiative led by two UK cabinet ministers (Justice and Home Office) as part of the official Government ICT Strategy, designed to leverage public cloud resources to reduce public sector spending and consolidate data centres.  The initial focus is on introducing cloud ICT services into government departments, local authorities and the wider public sector via a new procurement framework for IT services.  These services can then be reviewed and purchased through the G-Cloud’s CloudStore, which offers over 7,000 services from more than 700 suppliers in the areas of infrastructure (IaaS), software (SaaS), platform (PaaS), and specialist services. Read more of this post

Cloud-based MEAP is a Viable Alternative to Homegrown/Pure Play Software

Charlotte Dunlap

Charlotte Dunlap

Summary Bullets

  • Cloud-based services wiggle into the MEAP market segment
  • Salesforce.com will leverage and extend its successful cloud platform for mobile app development

The mobile app platform market just got a little more crowded and a little more interesting with a couple heavy hitters entering the space from a cloud services perspective. Salesforce.com and HP have just announced separate mobile cloud services, aimed at eliminating the cumbersome software development process involved with traditional software products. Read more of this post

Look for Operators to Lead Cloud Ecosystems

Jerry Caron

Jerry Caron

Summary Bullets:

  • Network operators are trusted sources in the consumer world; can this translate into the business world?
  • There is an opportunity for operators to be leaders in the cloud services ecosystem given their technological position.

A recent, exhaustive, global study by Ericsson’s ConsumerLab research group indicates that – perhaps somewhat surprisingly – network operators are tops when it comes to trust.  The context is information privacy and data security, and the issue is what online companies such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and all the others should be allowed to do with the information shared by the consumer in their application environments. Read more of this post

Microsoft Jumps on the Development Fasttrack with SharePoint, but Risks Leaving Some Users Behind

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • The future of software development lies in the cloud, where rapid release cycles and easy upgrades are possible.
  • The present reality for many premises-centric customers, however, is much slower and more painful.

Prior to last week’s Microsoft SharePoint conference in Las Vegas, I was of the mind that faster was always better. Not just for cars and planes, but software development in particular. I felt that lengthy software development cycles were getting in the way of innovation. The prototypical 18 month product update schedule for on-premises, perpetually licensed software, where bug fixes take precident over the introduction of new features, seemed extremely antiquated when compared to current cloud-based development models capable of rushing new features to market every 90 days or less. Read more of this post

Beware of Public Clouds Bearing Too Many Gifts

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Public cloud services break the typical 18 month product revision cycle down into smaller, more rapid releases, a practice that varies widely among vendors in terms of frequency, focus (bugs vs. new features) and flexibility.
  • To avoid heavy deployment, training and support issues stemming from quick revision cycles, customers must demand options typically found in on-premises software.

Last week brought an animated and often heated blow up between Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Salesforce.com’s Marc Benioff over the best way to deliver a public cloud offering. The argument, which played out publicly across keynotes given by both men during Oracle’s OpenWorld 2011 conference in San Francisco, centered upon whether or not Salesforce.com’s cloud was indeed open and whether or not Oracle’s newly launched Public Cloud platform was in fact a public cloud. Such a public debate can only serve to ultimately make things easier for enterprise IT departments by exposing many of the often overlooked issues associated with cloud-borne software such as partial multitenancy or API-induced data siloing. But to this analyst’s mind, the debate missed what is the biggest hidden ‘gotcha’ – the breakneck speed at which cloud-centric vendors revise their software.

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