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Entries with tag cloud computing.

Companies Join Open Stack Alliance

Nineteen technology companies are joining the foundation for OpenStack, the open source cloud operating system, to provide technical and financial resources in furtherance of the project's long-term viability. In the past five years, OpenStack has celebrated five software releases from hundreds of contributors from more than 50 companies, and the cloud operating system has grown from two core projects to five core projects across computing, storage, and networking.

AT&T, Canonical, HP, IBM, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat, and SUSE have indicated their intent to join the OpenStack Foundation as Platinum members, and Cisco, ClearPath Networks, Cloudscaling, Dell, DreamHost, ITRI, Mirantis, Morphlabs, NetApp, Piston Cloud Computing, and Yahoo! as Gold members.

The OpenStack Foundation will be an independent body providing shared resources to help achieve the OpenStack mission by protecting, empowering, and promoting OpenStack software and the community around it, including users, developers, and the entire ecosystem. The companies involved in its formation are committed to the “OpenStack Way”: an open development process for OpenStack software that is driven by a technical meritocracy, supported by significant investments in community building and a focus on driving adoption.

Latin American Companies Lead Cloud Computing Charge

Large companies in Latin America and Asia Pacific are the most aggressive adopters of the cloud computing paradigm, while their European and US counterparts remain conservative about shifting applications to the cloud. A study by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) involving senior managers and corporate IT executives from over 600 large companies across the globe, reveals that while cloud applications are still in the minority of all applications, companies in Latin America and Asia Pacific have a much higher proportion of cloud applications to total applications.

The average Latin American company has almost two fifths (39%) of its total applications in the cloud. Asia Pacific follows closely behind with over a quarter (28%). In contrast, less than one fifth (19%) of the average US company's applications are hosted in the cloud. In Europe, the figure is closer to one tenth (12%).

The findings come from an extensive study conducted by TCS, a leading IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, into the factors driving companies to shift on-premis or put new applications into the cloud and the competitive advantages those applications are generating. According to the study, on average companies in all regions are deriving benefits from cloud. Yet, as the most aggressive adopters of cloud applications, Latin American and Asia Pacific companies also report greater gains.

N Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services, said: "We have reached the inflection point in cloud computing and there is no turning back. Cloud-based applications are already a substantial piece of large corporate IT infrastructure and the early benefits achieved are too substantial to ignore. There is huge scope for growth in both developed and emerging economies and we firmly believe that cloud computing will continue to open up opportunities for companies across many different functions.

The study also reveals that overcoming fear of security risks remains the key to adopting and benefiting from cloud applications. While companies globally admitted this is the biggest challenge to leveraging cloud today, those in the US and Europe remain especially conservative in their approach to cloud adoption for fear of data security breaches. Despite a significant shift to cloud applications, Western companies are also more sensitive about which applications they put in public clouds. Only a fifth (20%) of US and European companies would consider or seriously consider putting their most critical applications in public clouds. Yet two-thirds of US (66%) and almost a half of European companies (48%) would consider putting core applications in private clouds. Companies in Europe and in the US also showed a reluctance to put applications with customer data in the cloud.

Interestingly, customer-facing business functions are garnering the largest share of the cloud application budget. The study reveals that marketing, sales, and services capture at least two fifths of the budget across the four regions, with companies citing the desire to get closer to customers through cloud marketing applications as one example. The early returns on cloud applications are impressive. Companies using cloud applications are increasing the number of standard applications and business processes, reducing cycle times to ramp up IT resources, cutting IT costs, and launching a greater number of new products and processes. In industry terms, healthcare services, automotive and computer hardware are in the lead in leveraging the cloud.

The study also uncovers that cost cutting is not in fact the biggest driver of cloud applications. Indeed while IT cost reduction is an important factor for companies globally, the need to streamline and speed up processes was greater. In the US and Asia-Pacific, companies cited standardization of software applications and business processes as the main driver for shifting on-premis applications to the cloud. In Europe and Latin-America, the ability to ramp systems up or down faster was the motivation.

Cloud Computing to Generate 14 Million Jobs

Spending on public and private IT cloud services will generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide from 2011 to 2015, according to a new study by the analyst firm IDC. The research, commissioned by Microsoft, also found that IT innovation created by cloud computing could produce $1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues.

“The cloud is going to have a huge impact on job creation,” says Susan Hauser, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. “It’s a transformative technology that will drive down costs, spur innovation, and open up new jobs and skillsets across the globe.”

One way in which the cloud is helping companies to be more innovative is by freeing up IT managers to work on more mission-critical projects. In addition, many businesses are using the cloud to improve how they work with customers and partners.

Cloud-related jobs will accrue evenly to businesses with 500 or fewer employees and those with more than 500 employees. More than one-third of cloud-enabled jobs will occur in the communications and media, banking, and discrete manufacturing industries. And China and India will account for about half of all new cloud-related jobs.

Cloud Computing to Generate 14 Million Jobs

Spending on public and private IT cloud services will generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide from 2011 to 2015, according to a new study by the analyst firm IDC. The research, commissioned by Microsoft, also found that IT innovation created by cloud computing could produce $1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues.

“The cloud is going to have a huge impact on job creation,” says Susan Hauser, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. “It’s a transformative technology that will drive down costs, spur innovation, and open up new jobs and skillsets across the globe.”

One way in which the cloud is helping companies to be more innovative is by freeing up IT managers to work on more mission-critical projects. In addition, many businesses are using the cloud to improve how they work with customers and partners.

Cloud-related jobs will accrue evenly to businesses with 500 or fewer employees and those with more than 500 employees. More than one-third of cloud-enabled jobs will occur in the communications and media, banking, and discrete manufacturing industries. And China and India will account for about half of all new cloud-related jobs.

Group Issues Government Cloud Recommendations

The CLOUD2 Commission has released its detailed recommendations and buyer's guide to help the federal government adopt cloud computing technologies. The commission, led by led by salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff and VCE Chairman and CEO Michael D. Capellas, was composed of 71 of the country's top experts from industry and academia who dedicated over 2,000 hours of work both in person and in the cloud.

"The debate around cloud computing is over - everyone agrees the shift to the cloud is inevitable," said Benioff, the commission's co-chair. "The Cloud First Buyers Guide for Government provides the best practices for how agencies can evaluate and deploy cloud services, helping them make huge gains in productivity and efficiency."

Among the commission's 14 recommendations were several critical areas that need to be addressed, including:

  • Trust – individuals and organizations must be confident that the cloud can meet their needs including security, privacy and availability.
  • Transnational Data Flows – the cloud is not defined by national borders; businesses and data flow across international borders and the United States must lead by example in dealing with these challenges, ensuring the full realization of the cloud capabilities.
  • Transparency- cloud providers will earn confidence from corporate America and government agencies by providing users meaningful ways to evaluate cloud implementations and for vendors to share relevant and reliable information about their capabilities to build trust in the system.
  • Transformation – for full adoption of the cloud, there must be a change in how the federal government acquires technology; an investment in improving technology infrastructure including expediting broadband deployment and the move to IPv6; a commitment to ensuring that education and training priorities align with the needs of a cloud workforce; and creating incentives to encourage the global development and adoption of cloud technologies.
US Government Makes Strides in Cloud Adoption

Security remains the single biggest concern on the minds of government information technology decision-makers when it comes to cloud computing. However, despite these security concerns, 50 percent are now considering cloud applications for their agencies, versus only 12 percent a year ago, according to Lockheed Martin and its Cyber Security Alliance partners.

Two-thirds of participants cited security as the most important element in their evaluations. At the same time, those more familiar with cloud computing are more than twice as likely to trust it, 57 percent versus 24 percent. Concerns about security are not the only obstacle holding back federal agencies from moving to the cloud. At least three-quarters of participants identified dependability, availability, and the ability to continue using existing applications as elements that cloud-based solutions must address. Meanwhile, more than one-quarter of participants identified mission-critical data management, procurement, and financial management systems as applications they would never consider moving to the cloud.

The study funded by the Lockheed Martin Cyber Security Alliance and conducted by Market Connections, included in-depth interviews and an online survey. It explored comfort levels, cloud engagement, elements of importance and plans for cloud application migration among US federal government, defense/military, and intelligence agency technology decision-makers and IT contractors serving the federal government. Study findings reflect input from 196 participants from all military branches and a variety of federal civilian agencies.


Enterprises Wary of Public Cloud for Unified Communications

Large organizations remain wary of using public cloud services for unified communications, according to an independent survey of IT managers, directors, and CIOs that Osterman Research conducted on behalf of unified messaging service provider Azaleos Corp.

Among organizations not currently using a public cloud-based unified communications service, only 10 percent plan to deploy such a service within the next year, citing concerns over loss of customization, uptime, and security. Nearly half of those said they would deploy a private cloud as an alternative.

“This research revealed that larger organizations are interested in the benefits associated with public cloud unified communications--namely reduced management overhead, predictable cost of ownership, and simpler migration to new services--but are concerned about customization, uptime, and security,” said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research.

While the survey found that the majority of enterprises will continue to deploy email, calendaring and scheduling, voice/telephony, presence, and Web conferencing in on-premise and/or private-cloud infrastructures over the next several years, the public cloud-based messaging and collaboration market is slowly gaining popularity.

The primary reasons for not deploying a public cloud-based UC system are perceived loss of customization capabilities and IT control, doubts about claims of uptime in the public cloud, and fears about the security of customer data in the public cloud.

Cloud Computing Hiring Bucks Trend

While much of the US economy experiences a “jobless recovery,” the cloud computing sector shows a strong upward trend according to the Internet job hiring sites surveyed by eJob Description.

Amazon.com currently has job listings for more than 900 technical jobs, including at least 423 positions at Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing operation. Rackspace Hosting is looking to fill 100 available positions in various IT areas at an upcoming job fair, Rackerpalooza 2011. Most of the growth at Rackspace over the past year has occurred in the company’s cloud computing business, according to eJobDescription. Dice.com has 1,776 jobs posted with cloud in the job title, and Monster.com has over 1,000 jobs posted with cloud as one the job requirements.

A recent survey from accounting firm BDO found that cloud adoption was a factor in technology companies’ plans to boost hiring in 2011. Forty six percent of CFOs at tech companies said they expect to boost employee headcount this year, while just 7 percent expected staff to decrease.

The demand for cloud technologists may also lead to more poaching of experienced workers from competitors, eJobDescription points out. A recent survey by Dice.com found that 62 percent of hiring managers and recruiters anticipate that tech talent poaching will get more aggressive this year, while just 1 percent of respondents saw it receding. “There are few consequences for technology professionals should they decide to jump to a competitor,” Dice reports. “Only 11 percent of hiring managers said they would not allow a former employee to return after being poached.”

Coviello Outlines Strategy to Close Cloud Trust Void

In his opening keynote at RSA Conference 2011, Art Coviello, executive vice president of EMC and executive chairman of RSA, outlined a strategy to close the trust void that holds many organizations back from deploying mission-critical applications in cloud environments.

In both the opening keynote address at RSA Conference and in a new EMC paper, EMC challenges conventional thinking by affirming that the cloud can meet the security, compliance, and performance conditions of any business process, even those with the strictest regulatory requirements such as PCI. However, actually trusting mission-critical business to the cloud requires the ability to inspect and monitor actual cloud conditions first-hand, not just rely on outside attestations. This can be achieved by rethinking long-standing security beliefs and using existing technologies in creative new ways.

"Establishing control and visibility over clouds is the dominant security challenge preventing organizations from fully leveraging cloud environments today, and it's a fundamental problem that EMC is committed to solving," Coviello said. "The promise is that you CAN achieve safety in the cloud. The promise is that we CAN fundamentally do security differently than we've ever done before. The proof comes when leveraging virtualization technology we can demonstrate control and visibility, the key elements of trust, in cloud environments."

To gain this unparalleled visibility and consolidated control, Coviello said security in virtual and cloud infrastructure must align to three fundamental attributes:

  • Security becomes logical and information-centric, defending logical rather than physical boundaries and focusing on the protection of sensitive information and transactions rather than infrastructure.
  • Security becomes built into infrastructure and applications with security management controls becoming far more automated, essential to enabling security and compliance to work at the speed and scale of the cloud. Achieving this means building security into virtualized components and, by extension, distributing security throughout the cloud.
  • Security becomes risk-based and adaptive, in which organizations reduce their reliance on static rules and signatures and instead employ real-time analytics to predict threats and proactively adjust to them.
Cloud Computing to Transform Federal IT

The federal IT market over the next decade will transform from a slow but stable market to one that is continuously changing, according to the market-research firm INPUT.

Federal IT will deliver continuous services that can be accessed by an increasing variety of devices connected via clouds. Likewise, the federal hardware market will evolve as it is being pressed by unprecedented change and IT developments, as well as demand to process, manage, and store ever-increasing volumes of data. Mobility, especially, will transform that segment of the hardware market and present opportunities, INPUT said in its new annual report.

The changing hardware environment will introduce unprecedented change, including:
• New buyers dynamics as cloud providers become major buyers of federal hardware
• New business models as cloud computing takes off
• New opportunities for unique partnerships presented by new sales models such as converged infrastructure, and
• Opportunities for merger and acquisition activity as vendors seek to move to high-margin area.

Of those trends and drivers, INPUT identifies four as most uncertain or volatile critical drivers:
• Data proliferation, especially due to Gov 2.0 and national security
• Centralization and consolidation of IT and data centers
• Cloud computing adoption that changes the buyer dynamics
• Dramatic increase and changes in mobility and the emergence of federal teleworking.

INPUT also outlines the likely impacts of fiscal, policy, and cultural implications on the hardware forecast. This year’s report includes IT hardware market sizing and forecasts for the Civilian, Defense, and Intelligence communities and sizing and forecasts in the major markets of end-user computing and infrastructure hardware.

Security, Legacy Systems are Barriers to Cloud Adoption

Security and privacy concerns and existing investment in legacy systems are the reasons why many C-level executives haven't embraced cloud computing, according to a survey by the nonprofit IT Governance Institute.

More than 40 percent of C-level executives that ITGI surveyed use or are planning to use cloud computing for mission-critical IT services. But 35 percent said security and privacy concerns are a barrier to adoption, followed closely by legacy infrastructure investments. Organizations are also actively employing outsourcing, with 93 percent fully or partially outsourcing some of their IT activities.

“Emerging technologies such as cloud computing and outsourcing can be managed effectively by integrating good governance over IT. Organizations need to adopt new service delivery models to stay competitive, and this is fueling a strong commitment to enterprise IT governance across the C-suite,” said Ken Vander Wal, international vice president of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association.

The study polled 834 executives from 21 countries, divided almost evenly between business executives (CEOs, CFOs and COOs) and IT executives (CIOs and heads of IT). Of the C-level executives surveyed, 95 percent consider governance of enterprise IT important. This reveals an almost universally shared perception of IT as a critical contributor to overall business strategy.

Top tactics used to battle the economic downturn were a reduction in contractor and permanent staff numbers and infrastructure consolidation. 

Smaller Businesses Prefer Public Clouds

Small and midsized businesses that market-research firm Techaisle surveyed in the US, UK, Germany, and Brazil prefer using public clouds. Awareness of private clouds was higher (62 percent) than for public and hybrid clouds, however 44 percent of respondents preferred public clouds.

“As cloud computing vendors are pushing private clouds for enterprises, the same messaging seems to be trickling down to the SMBs,” said Techaisle’s Anurag Agrawal, adding that private clouds have advantages when it comes to security, data privacy, and control. However, public clouds are winning out due to their lower setup costs, scalability, and efficiency.

While the awareness of hybrid clouds is 43 percent among SMBs, their use is favored by only 21 percent. A higher percentage of mid-market businesses are adopting hybrid clouds as compared to small businesses. Both private and hybrid clouds require IT staff to maintain, making them unsuitable for smaller enterprises.

The usage of cloud services such as IaaS/PaaS varied by the number of employees. Among those SMBs that are using cloud computing, 37 percent are using IaaS/PaaS Cloud, and 31 percent are using CaaS. Public IaaS is predominant for all employee categories but is markedly higher for companies with from 1-49 employees. The sweet spot for vendors targeting public CaaS services is companies with 1-19 employees.

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