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El poder transformador de la nube

El cloud tiene la capacidad de transformar los negocios actuales, tanto por un factor de ahorro de costes, como por ser una plataforma para desarrollar la innovación aplicada al negocio.

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El poder transformador de la nube

  1. 1. Private shopping communities like fab.com (home accessories, USA) or Polyvore and brands4friends (design accessories, USA and Germany) are known for moving items within a few days, and sometimes even hours.To make sure all members get their fair shot at limited quantities, newsletters are sent to all registered users shortly before the sales. Once the newsletters go out, user numbers skyrocket. One study conducted at the FOM University of Ap- plied Sciences in Essen, Germany, found that site traffic is six to ten times higher during this presale interlude.The authors concluded that cloud tech- nologies are an especially viable solution for dealing with these types of traffic surges. In their final analysis, the verdict was clear: “Cloud computing has proven to be more economical, efficient, and flexible,” an endorsement that is backed by a com- prehensive costbenefit analysis. (Source: FOM Berlin Evaluation*) In today’s global hightech market environment, companies are constantly faced with new and even bigger challenges.When it comes to solutions, cloud services have repeatedly proven their merit as the foundation for powerful IT and a successful business. Larger data volumes, fastpaced markets, and new feedback channels such as the Internet, smart apps, and social media mean that companies need to continuously adopt new solutions and stra- tegies.They are also called on to manage the grow- ing number of digital interfaces with partners, suppliers, and customers that these channels require. According to Gartner’s list of strategic technology trends for 2014, companies will also need to deal with an increasingly diverse device landscape in terms of providing company data.The same applies for mobile apps. Digital networking will evolve into a veritable thicket, encompassing interpersonal links, as well as links between goods, information, and locations.The bottom line for businesses: IT needs to reflect these changes. (Source: Gartner PR Oct. 23, 2013) In addition to these factors, highly mobile custo- mers and employees who are Millennials bring new expectations to the table: business devices and apps need to offer the same level of intuitive handling that these users have come to expect from consumer products. To stay afloat in the global marketplace, companies need to make their IT more flexible and efficient. IT systems are ultimately the gatekeepers that grant greater proximity to customers, employees, and key decisions. Enhanced IT is an important interme- diate target that helps companies retain their competitive edge. The primary task of IT departments is to develop concepts for business trends such as big data, busi- ness intelligence, mobility, and collaboration, and to manage demanding projects – all while catering to the growing requirements of specialist depart- THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF CLOUD BUSINESS ON HIGH: HOW TO JOIN THE CLOUD EXECUTIVE BRIEFING Looking beyond costeffectiveness, businesses are increasingly opting for cloud solutions for more flexible and agile IT. Nonetheless, this transition requires thorough planning. A threestage approach is currently the best route for companies that want to get their IT environment cloudready. “Cloud computing has proven to be more economical, efficient, and flexible.”
  2. 2. 2 ments. At the same time, regular operations need to stay on track, usually based on an IT landscape with its own historic quirks. Data and information must remain secure for future tasks and applica- tions. In other words: CIOs need to walk a fine line between “keeping the engine running” – a task that already drains managerial resources – and design- ing and implementing innovations to make sure that their companies are fit for the future. TRADITIONAL IT LANDSCAPES NO LONGER EQUIPPED TO MEET NEW REQUIREMENTS It’s no easy task, but also an opportunity to en- hance competitiveness through innovative IT. The prerequisites: a flexible, powerful, and highly adaptable IT landscape. Numerous IT experts believe that cloud computing is the solution. “In a global, cutthroat and constantly changing environment, companies need to be able to adapt their business processes at the drop of a hat.Tradi- tional IT systems and applications are often heter- ogeneous and high maintenance – sometimes even obsolete.They are no longer equipped to meet today’s requirements. Cloud services, on the other hand, support dynamic business processes and mobile work,” states Matthias Kraus, research analyst at the market research firm IDC in Frank- furt, Germany, describing the advantages of cloud computing. (Source: IDC Recommendations*) The number of companies that use cloud has grown considerably in recent years. Based on an interna- tional analysis from the U.S. venture capital firm North BridgeVenture Partners, at the time of the survey in 2013, 75 percent of respondents used cloud services – compared to 67 percent in the pre- vious year. Further, U.S. market research company Gigaom Research projects 2014 revenues of about 115.5 billion euros for the cloud computing market. This represents a 126.5 percent increase from 2011. (Source: BusinessCloud*) Gartner has identified a clear shift in why compa- nies choose cloud computing: whereas costs were an important motivator when cloud was first intro- duced, now the transition is clearly driven by the desire for greater agility (Source: Gartner PR Oct 24, 2013) Figures from North Bridge confirm this assessment. According to the venture capital firm, only 48.1 percent of respondents (two percent less than in 2013) identified cost as the most important objective for their cloud activities. In contrast, 54.3 percent prioritized agility (Source: North Bridge Cloud*). “More and more managers are starting to see cloud technologies as a tool for strategic cor- porate development. Meanwhile, the cost-saving potential of cloud is a given,” states Sebastian Paas, InformationTechnology partner at KPMG Consul- ting, in an article published in CIO which draws from the study “The cloud takes shape”, a joint project from KPMG and Forbes Insights. (Source: KPMG Cloud*) Shifting priorities also have consequences for the future of cloud computing. Sameer Dholakia with the virtualization specialists at Citrix has comment- ed that these changes will involve “providing busi- nesses the flexibility to deploy across internal and external clouds, while seamlessly aggregating inter- nal and third-party SaaS services”.This approach will wind up “giving LoBs the agility and rapid response they need,” states North Bridge citing Dholakia in one of its presentations. SECURITY FEARS RECEDING Despite the obvious advantages, there are still cloud skeptics with a wide variety of reservations. These include fears of data loss, problems integra- ting new technologies in an existing IT infrastruc- ture, insufficient interoperability of cloud solutions, a vague legal standing, fears of losing IT expertise, general doubts about the usefulness of cloud ser- vices, and a presumed incompatibility with com- pany culture. But even though security is still the main reason for rejecting cloud services, the number of companies with reservations about security in the cloud is de- clining.With regard to the importance assigned to security, North Bridge recorded a decrease from 55 percent in 2012 to 46 percent in 2013. Cloud services – when correctly designed and deployed – indisputably usher in a number of advantages that go far beyond cost. New dynamics enabled by cloud computing make it possible for companies to implement innovative business pro- cesses and models more quickly and economically. Setting up a new server is just one popular example: in traditional IT environments, this process often took three to four weeks. By configuring a virtual machine in a virtual, automated cloud environment, it can now be accomplished in five to ten minutes. of the respondents prioritized agility. U.S. market research company Gigaom Research projects 2014 revenues of about 115.5 billion euros for the cloud computing market. 54.3% 115.5bn €
  3. 3. 3 Integrated development environments (IDEs) are an additional relevant application case for cloud. “Desktop/OS-specific IDEs can impede the devel- opment process … because they do not give devel- opers the flexibility and autonomy to work anytime from anywhere,” says Boni Satani from Cygnet Infotech in his blog. “It’s imperative in fast-paced, competitive business environments for developers to find a coding environment that is free from the challenges of specific OSes and machines.”The solution, Satani argues, can be found in the cloud: cloud-supported IDEs not only offer opportunities for collaboration, but also provide easy access to code and libraries, and can be accessed from all devices and browsers. In addition, IDEs offer a compact, centralized environment for program- ming. (Source: Satani IDEs*) Concrete scenarios can be found in the automotive industry.There, manufacturers have long simulated the effects of crashes on different vehicle materials and constructions.The smart twist: they perform these tests in the cloud and not on their own infra- structure.This gives developers far more compu- ting capacity, software costs are scalable, and the simulation environments can be accessed from different locations and edited collaboratively. LONG-TERM IMPROVEMENTS ARE THE REAL BENEFIT OF CLOUD In his commentary on the KPMG/Forbes cloud study, RickWright, Global Cloud Enablement program lea- der at KPMG, summarizes: “Indeed, gaining real cost savings from the cloud is about more than sim- ply moving from fixed costs to operating costs; the greatest cost savings – and, more importantly, the transformational business benefits – will come from the longer-term outcomes such as more efficient processes, more flexible operating models and fas- ter entry into new markets and geographies.” However, it is important to bear in mind – a point rightly noted by skeptics – that integrating cloud services in an existing IT infrastructure or transfor- ming IT landscapes that have emerged over time is no small task.While it is relatively easy to add indi- vidual cloud services parallel to existing systems, in reality an increasing number of employees use cloud computing – often bypassing their own IT department. In order to reap the benefits of cloud, certain groundwork is required. Core applications or businesscritical applications with complex data relations can only be moved to the cloud when the IT architecture is up to the task. To get IT cloud-ready, a progressive three-stage approach is currently the best fit for most compa- nies. Depending on the readiness of existing sys- tems, a direct transition can be made during the individual stages as well. CLOUD READINESS STEP 1: STANDARDIZE & HARMONIZE Complexity is virtually ubiquitous in modern IT. Silo architectures have almost always developed over decades. During this time, they have also added a steady stream of new adaptations and interfaces, increasing their interconnectedness. Each new tweak and new interface increases the level of complexity. For most companies, the result is a murky IT landscape that can only be serviced with an enormous effort and high costs. Given these factors, the first step toward cloud read- iness is standardization.This step should be as comprehensive as possible, ranging from hardware and software to interfaces and the harmonization of processes. One important objective is to elimi- nate any existing media and system discontinuities to order to achieve a faster and more economical data exchange. Ultimately, the goal is automated communication among systems. Standard software is always preferable and legacy systems should be replaced. If this is not possible, they should be set up as a black box with a standardized and documented interface. It almost goes without saying that organizational structure needs to be factored into a largescale IT standardization project.Thus, all processes need to be adapted to the new IT structures. ITIL provides solid guidance, especially for large companies. In this new world of IT and processes, certain long- standing habits like adhoc system changes will need to become a thing of the past. Consistently standardized and harmonized IT landscapes do not permit impromptu, oneoff changes. During this reorientation phase, cloud assessments and cloud readiness services can be helpful for companies looking to integrate their cloud objectives early on. Because security considerations play an important role in the cloud, this aspect must be included as a design element in conceptual planning.Otherwise, companies run the risk of no longer being able to optimally integrate security mechanisms that are In reality an increasing number of employees use cloud computing – often bypassing their own IT department.
  4. 4. 4 implemented at a later date.The result: complexity increases. CLOUD READINESS STEP 2: VIRTUALIZE & AUTOMATE Once the standardization and harmonization phase is complete, the next step is to increase the agility of the IT infrastructure with virtualization and automation.The rule of thumb: virtualize to en- hance flexibility, automate for speed. In addition to clear cost advantages, this combination results in a dynamic IT landscape that can address new requirements with greater precision and speed. At the outset of the conversion, strategy is requi- red.Which systems can be virtualized?Where does virtualization truly make sense? It’s also important to quickly discover which applications cannot be restructured. Not every system needs to be integra- ted in the cloud infrastructure. However, dynamic systems that are subject to frequent changes or systems required on a temporary basis should be strong virtualization candidates for cloud. At the same time, businesses need to identify which processes will be affected and how they need to be changed in order to interact efficiently with a dynamic and flexible IT architecture. During the conceptualization phase, external servi- ces from the public cloud should also be integrated into the new structure.This prevents new islands from springing up – for instance, when departments install their own SaaS solutions without consulting IT. If a company’s infrastructure is insufficient or not equipped to handle recurring peaks like seasonal business or quarterly or annual statements, IaaS (In- frastructure as a Service) can be employed to tem- porarily expand resources. Security aspects and legal issues must be taken into account – both for hardware and software as well as for data center lo- cations.Companies must consult carefully with their legal team and observe relevant national legislation. Overhauling IT also means comprehensive changes to the working environment for all parties – both in IT and in other departments.Virtualization and automation eliminate routine tasks and administra- tive work for IT personnel, allowing them to con- centrate on higher-value tasks. For non-IT person- nel, faster and more intuitive applications mean more individual freedom. Self-service portals are just one example: IT experts are no longer called on to install applications; employees can select and install the applications they need. Individual emplo- yees have more freedom to customize their appli- cation environment, while the task of IT experts shifts from simple installations to defining relevant standards in advance. CLOUD READINESS STEP 3: TEST & DEPLOY In the third phase, companies have already crossed the finish line: a simple, flexible cloud-based IT in- frastructure opens up new possibilities for handling business processes and doing business. IT can adapt more quickly to the requirements of the market and colleagues in other departments.The objective is not always a full launch of new processes and models: thanks to the new possibilities of dynamic, agile IT, new services can be set up for trial purposes at a speed that companies could only dream of in the past. Now, it’s possible to implement new busi- ness ideas and test their marketability with far fewer resources than those required in classic IT infrastructures. New concepts and models can be tested under real conditions and adapted to custo- mer needs and market conditions long before they go out on the market. On the whole, less complexity leads to better acceptance of company systems, since they become simpler, faster, and more transparent. As an added bonus, costs for maintenance and hardware decrease. Hardware expenditures go down because the systems no longer need to han- dle ultra-high loads and resources can be allocated as needed.With IaaS and SaaS, companies can simply pay as they go: unused cloud services don’t trigger any costs. CLOUD ENABLES NEW BUSINESS MODELS Runtastic is a prime example of the new systems and business models that burst onto the scene when cloud IT services meet new technologies. Runners, cyclists, and other recreational athletes can use the fitness portal to track performance data such as times, speed, calories burned and pulse and measure their improvement. Collected using apps, data are then transferred to the fitness portal, where analytics and statistical functions are applied to generate a detailed evaluation. Since its debut in 2009, the app has been downloaded more than 60 million times – 28 million downloads occurred in 2013 alone. Sports enthusiasts can even share their Not every system needs to be integrated in the cloud infrastructure. Since its debut in 2009, the app Runtastic has been downloaded more than 60 million times. >60m. downloads
  5. 5. 5 progress or goals with friends and fellow app users via Facebook and other social media. Because of its high user numbers, the key challenge for Runtastic is ensuring the maximum availability of its apps and portal.To complicate matters, user numbers also tend to spike on weekends, holidays, and with good weather. Health and fitness-conscious users among the 9 to 5 crowd normally take advan- tage of these days for sports. Although these fluc- tuations are predictable, responses to the launch of new products and services as well as traffic during sales and marketing campaigns are hard to plan. To ensure availability and thus customer satisfac- tion, Runtastic needed a flexible IT infrastructure model.The young company didn’t want to keep investing in new servers to handle traffic spikes, since they tie up large chunks of capital and remain unused when traffic is lighter.To solve this problem, Runtastic turned to cloud. In June 2013, Runtastic connected itsVMware virtualized infrastructure withT-Systems’ vCloud Data Center Services. Now the company is equipped to respond to temporary increases in demand. Resources can be flexibly scaled up or down, and costs are only incurred when the service is actually used. Runtastic app users can upload their data after workouts and can always access the portal to check their progress.The system is always availa- ble – even when faced with unexpected traffic – whether in the morning, evening, on the weekend, with sunny skies, or in the direct wake of marketing campaigns. GET ON BOARD – CLOUD IS A SURE THING IT experts have no doubts: cloud will conquer the business world. Gartner has predicted that cloud platforms and applications will make up the bulk of worldwide IT spending by 2016. Nearly one-half of all major corporations will have implemented cloud solutions by the end of 2017. It’s not only competitive pressure that is forcing companies to make their IT more flexible and make the shift to cloud computing. Internal pressure is also increasingly palpable: “IT departments shouldn’t waste too much time; the business units are already purchasing cloud services on their own. Plus, alongside management, these units will have a growing influence on IT investments,” IDC analyst Matthias Krauss warns. Outside IT, business units tend to think that it’s bet- ter to use a public cloud solution and get a modern application with the latest functions now than wait for years for the people in IT to get up-to-date. These types of solo efforts may pay off in the short term. In the long term, this is where CIOs come in with a role that is constantly changing with the re- organization of the IT world. As experts for corpo- rate goals and business processes, CIOs need to become advisors to the business units and set new business requirements in motion with technical solutions such as cloud services. “No matter what level they operate at within the company, CIOs need to understand the use of cloud as a holistic approach that affects both IT and busi- ness,” says IDC’s Krauss. As he sees it, improving the efficiency of IT is just the first shortterm benefit; with enhanced agility, the cloud will also become increasingly beneficial to business. The pathway to the cloud will doubtlessly be paved with a few setbacks.The transition will also have an impact on companies as a whole. Perhaps we’d do well to remember an old adage: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Enter- prises need to embark on increasingly difficult ventures to face global competition. Combined with innovative technologies such as big data, business intelligence, mobility, collaboration, and social media, cloud computing provides the basis for developing new business models that ensure longterm success in the marketplace. ©IDG Business Media GmbH, Germany 3/2014 *Sources: Boni Satani, Cygnet Infotech: 12 Cloud-Based IDEs Boost Productivity, ROI; blog entry from 12/23/2013 (Satani IDEs) BusinessCloud from 10/2/2013 (BusinessCloud) FOM Berlin: Evaluierung von Cloud Computing zur Bedie- nung von Lastspitzen einesWebservers im E-Commerce, www.WinfWiki.wi.fom.de (FOM Berlin Evaluation) Gartner Press Release, Oct. 23, 2013: Gartner Identifies the Top 10 StrategicTechnologyTrends for 2014, Oct. 23, 2013 (Gartner PR Oct. 23, 2013) Gartner Press Release, Oct. 24, 2013 Gartner Says Cloud ComputingWill Become the Bulk of New IT Spend by 2016 (Gartner PR Oct. 24, 2013) KPMG:The cloud takes shape, 2013 (KPMG Cloud) Matthias Kraus, IDC, cited from CIO.de: IDC-Empfehlungen: Die 5 Stufen zur Cloud-Transformation (IDC Recommenda- tions) North BridgeVenture Partners:The Future of Cloud Computing, 2013 (North Bridge Cloud) “IT departments shouldn’t waste too much time; the business units are already purchasing cloud services on their own.” IDC-Analyst Matthias Kraus