Welcome!

Big Data Journal Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, Linux, Virtualization, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Cloud Expo: Article

The Cloud – Is It Your Actual Destination?

Remember, the cloud is not the destination – it’s the conduit to help you get there

How often have you heard someone say ‘We're moving to the cloud' or ‘It's all in the cloud now'? Going to the cloud has become part of the vernacular in everyday conversation. The cloud is the place to go, the place to be. If you haven't gone to the cloud you are being left behind. There is no denying, the cloud is a growth industry. Gartner predicts that the bulk of IT spend will be for the cloud by 2016. They also believe that ‘nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.' IDC forecasts ‘Worldwide Public IT Cloud Services Spending to Reach Nearly $108 Billion by 2017.'

Given all that, it's not hard to understand the desire to ‘go to the cloud.' Those numbers are what drive vendors to slap the word ‘cloud' on just about anything, providing us with yet another wonderful buzzword, ‘cloud-washing.' But, ask yourself, is the cloud an actual destination? Is it the end point, that just by going there, all my business challenges are resolved? The cloud itself is not the true destination. The true destination is solving business challenges and providing value to the business. The cloud is simply a vehicle, a conduit that can help you reach that destination. The cloud can offer a variety of ways to help you get to your destination depending on where you want go in solving the challenges and providing value to the business.

The multiple dimensions of ‘going to the cloud'
One of the reasons everyone is ‘going to the cloud' is the multitude of ways the cloud can provide value to a business, or help solve a business challenge. At its simplest, the cloud is a model for on-demand access to a shared pool of computing resources. These resources allow for on-demand access to many business services from many sources to many devices. It is the underpinnings of the SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud) technology disruptions of today, what Gartner refers to as ‘The Nexus of Forces.' Cloud offerings/solutions are usually defined by one of three key service models:

  • IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service
  • PaaS - Platform as a Service
  • SaaS - Software as a Service

These models can be viewed through different perspectives of purpose, abstraction, visible value to the end user, as well as control and governance when crossing the dimensions of public through to private clouds.

So many choices, so little time
As you can see by all these dimensions, in the cloud world there is a large multitude of ways to provide business value and solve the challenges. Add to this dilemma the pressure of time; the need to deliver this value as quickly as possible. Combining these two challenges can and for some businesses already has led to ‘cloud sprawl.' Cloud sprawl is exactly what it sounds like. It is the unplanned, uncontrolled spreading of applications and services into the cloud for a company and/or organization. As many of you that have read my earlier blogs know, one of my favorite mantras is ‘no technology negates the need for good planning and design.' Cloud is no exception. You need to determine the business drivers, what the challenges are you need to address, and what the business value is you are trying to achieve.

Doing this is not a trivial effort. As a colleague of mine, Zach Slayton, recently wrote in his blog Accelerating Business Value by Architecting for the Mobile Web - ‘architecting for the mobile web is hard work.' Planning and designing for the cloud is hard work. It's our responsibility as technologists to do that hard work. We need to help the business reach their destination and achieve the value they need in today's rapidly changing Nexus of forces.

When planning a trip or vacation, you don't choose how you are going to get there before you decide where you are going to go. Remember, the cloud is not the destination; it's the conduit to help you get there. Figure out where you are going first, and then plan on how to get there.

More Stories By Ed Featherston

Ed Featherston is a senior enterprise architect and director at Collaborative Consulting. He brings more than 34 years of information technology experience of designing, building, and implementing large complex solutions. He has significant expertise in systems integration, Internet/intranet, client/server, middleware, and cloud technologies, Ed has designed and delivered projects for a variety of industries, including financial services, pharmacy, government and retail.

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.


@BigDataExpo Stories
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
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, will discuss 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 ...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...
Cloudwick, the leading big data DevOps service and solution provider to the Fortune 1000, announced Big Loop, its multi-vendor operations platform. Cloudwick Big Loop creates greater collaboration between Fortune 1000 IT staff, developers and their database management systems as well as big data vendors. This allows customers to comprehensively manage and oversee their entire infrastructure, which leads to more successful production cluster operations, and scale-out. Cloudwick Big Loop supports ...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation...
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Bitium was founded by Kriz and Erik Gustavson. The 1,500 cloud-based application using Bitium’s analytics, app management, and single sign-on services include bug trackers, customer service dashboards, Google Apps, and social networks. The firm states website administrators can do multiple tasks online without revealing passwords. Bitium’s advisors include Microsoft’s former CMO and the former senior vice president of strategy, the founder and CEO of Li...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, will address the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. How important are public, private, and hybrid cloud to the enterprise? How does one define Big Data? And how is the IoT tying all this together?
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.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, da...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. Over the summer Gartner released its much anticipated annual Hype Cycle report and the big news is that Internet of Things has now replaced Big Data as the most hyped technology. Indeed, we're hearing more and more about this fascinating new technological paradigm. ...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
The Internet of Things needs an entirely new security model, or does it? Can we save some old and tested controls for the latest emerging and different technology environments? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, will review hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal privacy options and a new risk balance you might not expect.
The information technology sphere undergoes what we like to call a paradigm shift, sea change or plain old ‘upheaval’ roughly every five years or so. Don’t ask anybody why this half decade cyclicality exists; it just has to be so. Accept that reinvention happens constantly and that major seismic shifts are tangibly felt by us human beings roughly every 1826.21 days… and we can move on.
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 6th Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, to discuss how IoT, B...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Objectivity, Inc., the leader in real-time, complex Big Data solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Objectivity, Inc. is the Enterprise Database leader of real-time, complex Big Data solutions. Our leading edge technologies – InfiniteGraph®, The Distributed Graph Database™ and Objectivity/DB®, a distributed and scalable object ma...