Welcome!

@BigDataExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Jeev Trika, Kevin Benedict, Elizabeth White, Philippe Abdoulaye

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

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 director/senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting. He brings 35 years of technology experience in designing, building, and implementing large complex solutions. He has significant expertise in systems integration, Internet/intranet, and cloud technologies. He has delivered projects in various 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
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The bedrock of Secure Channels Technology is a uniquely modified and enhanced process based on superencipherment. Superencipherment is the process of encrypting an already encrypted message one or more times, either using the same or a different algorithm.