SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Gary Arora, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Blog Feed Post

Tune into the Cloud: Money for Nothing

Tune into: The Dark Side of Digital

For me the digital age began with the introduction of the CD (a Dutch invention BTW) and I still remember inserting my first real DDD (Digitally Recorded, Digitally mixed and Digitally Mastered) album into my first hard earned CD player. In hindsight we now know that digital – after a brief revival with the introduction of the CD – had a very dark side for the music industry. By providing the ability to endlessly copy songs without any loss of quality the economic model of buying music quickly eroded. And also in the broader economy we are now beginning to experience some of the drawbacks of ever progressive digitization.

One of the symptoms of this is the seemingly endless stream of RIFs (Reductions in Force) at once leading high-tech enterprises. Fortune recently rattled off a seemingly end-less list of tech lay-offs: 5500 at the largest provider of data center networking, 4000 at its equivalent in mobile networking, another 4,700 at one of the world’s largest software providers and no less than 6,500 at a producer of hard disks. And it is not limited to hardware and software companies, also in the area of IT services several historically very stable players are no longer able to escape this trend. And that an industry that most of us still deem to be the “market of the future”. It now seems increasingly likely that a majority of traditional high-tech companies may fail to find a recipe or modus operando for long-term success or even survival in tomorrow’s digital, open-source and cloud-inspired era.

And unlike in the past, these RIFs do not seem to be just a temporary reshuffle of the skills portfolio to the demands of a changing market. McKinsey recently came out with “Poorer than Their parents?”. A report which identified that, while between 1993 and 2005 only about 2 percent of the world population faced declining or steady incomes, that number increased to no less than 65 to 70 percent of all western households for the period between 2005 and 2014. A whopping 65% of all households that experienced no economic progress for years and years on end! And that despite the massive technical progress signified by smart phones, flat-screen TVs, voice activated assistants, electric cars and every bit of information and knowledge – always and everywhere – available on-line.

If these technological advances indeed lead to growth, then that growth is clearly not benefitting traditional businesses and –even more worrying in this context – completely bypassing their employees. One reason for this may be stagnation of the once seemingly endless growth in productivity per employee. Even though – thanks to innovations such as Blendle (another Dutch innovation) – we can all now start our morning much more informed by scanning five daily newspapers and an endless stream of weekly and monthly magazines, it does not necessarily seems to make us more productive. Something equally true for the endless stream of emails, instant messages, pokes, likes and other digital artifacts that (over)fill our days. With regard to productivity, office workers are now losing the war against technology and automation as fast as their blue collar colleagues before them. And the next group of war refugees – the tribe of knowledge workers that most of us will deem ourselves a member of – is only around the corner, with every major tech firm upping the pre-emptive arms race with massive investments in Artifical Inteligence and Cognitive Systems.

Looking for a more sustainable economic model for our (yours and mine) digital future, I therefore started reading Paul Mason’s “Post Capitalism”, especially triggered by its ambitious subtitle: “a guide to our future”. In practice the book feels more as a – very readable – refresher on Marxist theory, including political conspiracy theories and a plea for a non-work-related basic income (Money for Nothing) for everyone, rather than as a practical recipe for full employment and shared economic growth in a fully digital economy. So we continue our search – for example by revisiting the ideas of “Small is Beautifull” economist E. F. Schumacher – for a workable model to understand, predict and of course govern the increasingly Wall-E and Jetson-like future we are all heading into.

Mainly because it would be a distinct shame if a digital “Money for Nothing” scenario would for most of us pan out as “not having a dime to spend on anything”, instead of Mark Knopfler’s original intent of “receiving pay for activities that hardly feeling like work” while listening to an endless riff (but now spelled with double f) of “I want my MTV”.

“Money for Nothing” was the second track on Dire Straights’ first “all-digital” album “Brothers in Arms” in 1985. You therefore can imagine my surprise when I recently saw a remastered version turn up on Spotify. Turned out the original was still mostly mixed using an analog device. Not that my ears were able to register that, for sure not on the type of speakers I could afford at that time. And even now – on the compressed (but free) Spotify stream, I could not point out any significant differences.


Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Gregor Petri

Gregor Petri is a regular expert or keynote speaker at industry events throughout Europe and wrote the cloud primer “Shedding Light on Cloud Computing”. He was also a columnist at ITSM Portal, contributing author to the Dutch “Over Cloud Computing” book, member of the Computable expert panel and his LeanITmanager blog is syndicated across many sites worldwide. Gregor was named by Cloud Computing Journal as one of The Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing.

Follow him on Twitter @GregorPetri or read his blog at

Latest Stories
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure...
"Calligo is a cloud service provider with data privacy at the heart of what we do. We are a typical Infrastructure as a Service cloud provider but it's been designed around data privacy," explained Julian Box, CEO and co-founder of Calligo, in this interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leadin...
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.
DevOps has long focused on reinventing the SDLC (e.g. with CI/CD, ARA, pipeline automation etc.), while reinvention of IT Ops has lagged. However, new approaches like Site Reliability Engineering, Observability, Containerization, Operations Analytics, and ML/AI are driving a resurgence of IT Ops. In this session our expert panel will focus on how these new ideas are [putting the Ops back in DevOps orbringing modern IT Ops to DevOps].
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Most organizations are awash today in data and IT systems, yet they're still struggling mightily to use these invaluable assets to meet the rising demand for new digital solutions and customer experiences that drive innovation and growth. What's lacking are potent and effective ways to rapidly combine together on-premises IT and the numerous commercial clouds that the average organization has in place today into effective new business solutions.
Concerns about security, downtime and latency, budgets, and general unfamiliarity with cloud technologies continue to create hesitation for many organizations that truly need to be developing a cloud strategy. Hybrid cloud solutions are helping to elevate those concerns by enabling the combination or orchestration of two or more platforms, including on-premise infrastructure, private clouds and/or third-party, public cloud services. This gives organizations more comfort to begin their digital tr...
Keeping an application running at scale can be a daunting task. When do you need to add more capacity? Larger databases? Additional servers? These questions get harder as the complexity of your application grows. Microservice based architectures and cloud-based dynamic infrastructures are technologies that help you keep your application running with high availability, even during times of extreme scaling. But real cloud success, at scale, requires much more than a basic lift-and-shift migrati...
David Friend is the co-founder and CEO of Wasabi, the hot cloud storage company that delivers fast, low-cost, and reliable cloud storage. Prior to Wasabi, David co-founded Carbonite, one of the world's leading cloud backup companies. A successful tech entrepreneur for more than 30 years, David got his start at ARP Instruments, a manufacturer of synthesizers for rock bands, where he worked with leading musicians of the day like Stevie Wonder, Pete Townsend of The Who, and Led Zeppelin. David has ...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Addteq is a leader in providing business solutions to Enterprise clients. Addteq has been in the business for more than 10 years. Through the use of DevOps automation, Addteq strives on creating innovative solutions to solve business processes. Clients depend on Addteq to modernize the software delivery process by providing Atlassian solutions, create custom add-ons, conduct training, offer hosting, perform DevOps services, and provide overall support services.