SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adrian Bridgwater, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal, DevOps Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

The Grand Challenge: Simplifying IT to Unleash Innovation

How the cloud helps businesses spend less time worrying and more time creating

I don't listen to music before I buy it anymore. I don't need to - as long as I'm purchasing it from Amazon. Based on algorithms that crawl my purchasing history, the online retailer knows what I like as well as I do and, dare I say, better than my wife.

A company develops this intimate knowledge by using Big Data to improve the customer experience in an economical and adaptable way. Amazon has integrated this agility into every aspect of its business, from running its warehouses to its revolutionary ability to publish on demand.

Game-changing innovation happens when you simplify everyday processes. But managing a large, traditional application portfolio - however crucial it is to your business - disrupts innovation.

The cloud virtualizes your software, protecting you from the inefficiencies associated with IT. As a result, you spend less time and money introducing and maintaining applications and more resources innovating and advancing your business. Whether you implement a software-designed data center, a hybrid cloud approach or and end-user computing strategy, you're taking the burden off of your own team and into the virtual world.

Conventional application integration is exhausting. Each has to be written, architected and incorporated into the existing structure. Then it must be tested, and tested again. Then you need to install, monitor and archive it, and manage and restore the archives to make sure they work. The whole thing gets complicated fast, so you need specialists who understand the management processes.

Multiply these processes by the thousands - on the high end, healthcare companies typically use 10,000 applications - and it's no wonder IT has a reputation for slowing down business.

More than 80 percent of traditional IT costs are driven by the people and processes involved in managing it. The cloud flips the equation. Eighty to eighty-five percent of the costs instead go toward infrastructure because the cloud automates everything. You're untethering the applications from the computers on which they run.

It's comparable to the impact standardized shipping containers had on modern trade. Every port could work with the same containers, streamlining the process as freighters received and delivered goods across the globe.

The cloud - the virtualized data center - does the same thing with applications. It puts collections of apps in standardized containers, complete with the machines and storage necessary to run them, and automates the management so you're not worrying about things breaking or delivering an unexpected result. Instead of automating thousands of apps individually, you handle entire containers all at once. You can seamlessly move the containers from a damaged machine to a working one. And business goes on.

The ramifications are fundamentally transformative. Innovation speeds up when businesses function unencumbered by the disruptions of traditional IT. Acquiring new technology is no longer a barrier because you're not devoting time to the cycle of writing, architecting, integrating, testing, installing, monitoring, archiving and restoring. You're just creating.

Today you can have a good idea, register as a corporation, get applications, manufacture products and launch an enterprise without leaving your home. The cloud provides global access to the IT necessary to build a business. It's faster, cheaper and lower risk - the three ingredients that propel innovation.

Consider the rise of Netflix. Blockbuster dominated the movie rental business for two decades, making it simple for customers to watch films in their home almost any time they wanted - as long as they were willing to trek to the store.

Netflix took the DVD rental business online and slashed the bottom out of Blockbuster's model. Movies came directly to customers' homes with a reasonably priced monthly subscription and no threat of late fees. As a result, Blockbuster announced last fall it would be shuttering all but 50 franchised stores in the U.S.

But Netflix didn't rest on its laurels. It recognized the threat of iTunes' pioneering streaming business. Netflix bifurcated its model, maintaining its mail-order DVD option while venturing into streaming. It used data gleaned from customers' viewing habits to create original content that aligns with not just what they watch but how they watch. Data revealed viewers liked streaming multiple episodes of TV shows in marathon sessions, prompting Netflix to release in one day entire seasons of dramas such as House of Cards.

This is what the cloud enables. Companies can use technology as a weapon of mass disruption. If you don't take advantage of it, you're at risk of not being able to grow and stay competitive. Rather than let technology happen to you, use it to become the agent of change.

How do you do that?

Software-defined data centers let customers quickly, safely and inexpensively deliver the right applications. A hybrid cloud strategy offers a choice between running applications in a software-defined data center, within the public cloud or another proprietary cloud. And an end-user computing strategy creates a safe, secure and compliant environment for application consumption.

Simplify IT, and you'll unleash innovation.

More Stories By Paul Strong

Paul Strong is VP, Office of the CTO, at VMware, where he helps guide architecture strategy and R&D innovation programs.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
This builds on Puppet Labs' first class Windows support, including native .MSI packages for x32 and x64 operating systems, modules to extend common Windows server management tools, including Powershell, and integrations with Microsoft Azure and Visual Studio. By automating common Windows administration tasks, Puppet Labs is enabling users to adopt DevOps practices, thereby reducing the time needed to deploy applications from weeks to hours.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big D...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Skytap blog on "DevOps Journal" exceeded 84,000 story reads. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that comp...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.