Click here to close now.


Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Mobile IoT, Microservices Expo, @BigDataExpo, OpenStack Journal, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: Article

Top Five Cloud Computing Challenges for 2014

The right cloud strategy can significantly reduce costs, offer instant scalability, and improve business agility

For most organizations, developing a cloud strategy is no longer a matter of "if," but a matter of how. The right cloud strategy can significantly reduce costs, offer instant scalability, and improve business agility. But to get the most from the cloud and position their businesses for the future, IT leaders must understand the trends that are shaping the rapidly changing landscape. Here are five considerations that should be top of mind for any IT decision-maker in the coming year.

1. Providing the best possible user experience.
When it comes to cloud, there's only one thing that matters and that's the user experience. It's easy to forget about the end user while getting caught up in the "arms race" of building and brokering cloud services. When consulting about cloud strategy for a healthcare R&D firm, my colleagues and I were asked the question: "Amazon offers these services, so why don't we?"

At the end of the day, it's the user experience that matters, not the number of cloud services offered or the amount of features available. Spend your time focusing on the experience that best fits your users' needs and company culture rather than increasing the number of services offered.

2. Managing the convergence of mobile and cloud.
This year marks the beginning of a new phase of digitally realized experiences through the combined might of mobile and cloud. Among the most powerful trends in corporate IT, mobile and cloud are quickly becoming two sides of the same coin - one represents a more flexible experience, the other a more flexible platform.

Tablets and smartphones are only the beginning of a new era in which personal medical devices, smart cars, and even drones are all becoming part of the "Internet of things." These devices are by nature collaborative and communicative, and rely on "always connected" cloud services to be effective. How end users access and interact with the cloud on mobile devices is becoming more and more critical to their experience. Companies that wait to incorporate mobile into their cloud strategy will find themselves further behind as the mobile revolution we're witnessing accelerates.

3. Choosing the right mix of cloud for your business.
There are a tremendous amount of cloud service providers out there, and enterprises have many options when it comes to meeting varying workloads and service level requirements. Based on the criteria that matter most to your business, ask the question "where does my application best live?"

Often, a hybrid cloud approach works best: combining public cloud infrastructure and external cloud services with private cloud deployments and on-premises IT systems. Structuring hybrid IT services while maintaining control and assuring data governance as workloads transcend traditional data center boundaries will be a major area of focus for both vendors and enterprises in the coming year. Make sure it is one of yours.

4. Developing a security framework for the new world.
In the old days, the castle-and-moat model for enterprise security was well understood. You put the crown jewels in the castle and created a list of who you'd let the drawbridge down for. This was fine in the pre-cloud era when things inside the castle got updated periodically. In the new paradigm of cloud, however, security quickly becomes a complex web of interrelated policies, with firewalls hosting hundreds if not thousands of access-list entries that no one wants to touch. Workloads are constantly getting spun up (and down), moved to new places to maximize efficiency, and even split up between separate data centers. Control points for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) differ from Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), further complicating security frameworks.

Venture capital agencies have invested heavily in cloud security companies. Cloud security is seen as an emerging and lucrative frontier as IT ecosystems become ever more crucial and intertwined. How does an enterprise tackle this challenge today? Develop policies and a security framework that relates to the business and is easily understood and audited by people outside of IT security. As the security frontier evolves, your framework acts as a compass to evaluate what technology best fits your needs.

5. Keeping application performance high.
How long are you willing to wait for a video to load, or your mobile application to respond before you move on to another task? Chances are a few seconds - maybe a little more. Your users, most likely, aren't any different. If cloud services don't perform well, either they won't be adopted, or they will hamper productivity, causing users to seek alternatives.

Enter application performance management tools, which according to analyst group 451 Research "are following application workloads to the cloud to provide users visibility for modern distributed workloads." These services will be crucial in achieving transparency across an increasingly complex landscape of multi-cloud and multi-platform services. Remember, it's all about the user experience, and over the next year we will see more enterprises investing in tools to help make sense of their cloud application architecture and underlying infrastructure in real-time. Knowing your application and exactly how it maps to the infrastructure is more critical than ever.

More Stories By Anoj Willy

Anoj Willy is Director of Product Development at Trace3, a California-based IT solutions provider with deep expertise in data center, high-performance computing, and cloud technology.

Comments (1)

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
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and t...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessi...
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now ...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Y...
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion...