Welcome!

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal, @DevOpsSummit

@CloudExpo: 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
Continuous testing helps bridge the gap between developing quickly and maintaining high quality products. But to implement continuous testing, CTOs must take a strategic approach to building a testing infrastructure and toolset that empowers their team to move fast. Download our guide to laying the groundwork for a scalable continuous testing strategy.
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., and Logan Best, Infrastructure & Network Engineer at Webair, focused on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He gave an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He also outlined what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix ...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
"We view the cloud not really as a specific technology but as a way of doing business and that way of doing business is transforming the way software, infrastructure and services are being delivered to business," explained Matthew Rosen, CEO and Director at Fusion, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We provide DevOps solutions. We also partner with some key players in the DevOps space and we use the technology that we partner with to engineer custom solutions for different organizations," stated Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.