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To Cloud, or Not to Cloud

That is the big IT question for a lot of companies

Wall Street Journal, 4/25/11

Mobile devices, social media, data mining, videoconferencing, virtual reality, blogs, tweets…

The list of technologies that could offer companies big-time benefits, or lead to big-time disasters, is daunting. So daunting, in fact, that top management might be tempted to throw up their hands and let lower-level managers referee the debate over information technology.

But that is exactly what they shouldn’t do.

In a digital economy, IT is the foundation for doing business. This is easy to see at born-digital companies like Amazon.com and Google. But companies of all types are discovering that how they manage IT is crucial to their competitiveness. It determines whether the company’s dealings with customers and suppliers are efficient, scalable and timely; whether employees have the information they need to do their jobs; and whether employees throughout the company see technology as a tool to move forward, or an anchor that keeps them running in place.

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Amazon's Trouble Raises Cloud Computing Doubts

The New York Times, 4/23/11

As technical problems interrupted computer services provided by Amazon for a second day on Friday, industry analysts said the troubles would prompt many companies to reconsider relying on remote computers beyond their control.

“This is a wake-up call for cloud computing,” said Matthew Eastwood, an analyst for the research firm IDC, using the term for accessing services and information in big data centers remotely over the Internet from anywhere, as if the services were in a cloud. “It will force a conversation in the industry.”

That discussion, he said, will most likely center on what data and computer operations to send off to the cloud and what to keep inside the corporate walls.

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Tech jobs boom like it's 1999

USA Today, 4/20/11

Some 20 recruiters sized up Scott Mersy as they would a star high school running back. But instead of timing his 40-yard dash or checking his percentage of body fat, they were interested in his stats in cloud computing and online marketing.

Prospective employers from Silicon Valley to New York lined up for the 5-foot-11 225-pound Mersy, who weighed offers from several of them before settling on Service-now.com, a cloud-computing company in San Diego.

“It’s as close as I’ll ever get to feeling like an athlete of any sort,” Mersy, 40, says, laughing. He joined as senior director of customer acquisition and industry marketing in February.

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Gartner Announces the IT Infrastructure, Operations and Management Summit 2011

June 13-15 at The Peabody Orlando in Orlando, Florida

Gartner Press Release, 4/20/11

Despite an improving economy, I&O organizations are under pressure to leverage existing resources and investments to grow and transform the business. The Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Management Summit 2011 delivers the strategies, tactics and how-to recommendations needed to take the right course of action and ensure the I&O organization is operating at its optimal best.

Hot topics to be covered:

Developing a Private/Public/Hybrid Cloud Computing Strategy
Virtualization — Next Steps
ITIL and Process Improvement
Managing Burgeoning Data Growth
Mobility’s Impact on I&O

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Accenture: High Tech Firms Need Multiple Business Models

Brainyard, 4/20/11

One-size-fits-all won’t work any more. A tech company may need 4-5 business models to survive.

The cloud changes much more than we have been prepared to admit. Some of the possibilities are just too disruptive and jarring. (Resistance may be futile, but it’s busy, nevertheless.)

IT teams inside companies are just starting to absorb the changes cloud computing might bring. Now Accenture comes along to say the big tech vendors are underestimating the cloud. Tim Jellison, an Accenture senior executive, has not named names. But in an interview he concedes that he exempts few of the big technology companies — Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, HP and SAP – from being behind the curve. The convergence of technologies known as cloud computing – the multi-core servers, virtualization, global broadband networking, multi-tenant applications, the ability to grant automated access to such resources – is pushing technology companies out of the groove in which they are most comfortable.

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The Business Market Plays Cloud Computing Catch-Up

NY Times, 4/14/11

The big spenders on technology are businesses and government agencies. They buy about 75 percent of the computing goods and services sold worldwide. Yet it is increasingly evident they are not driving the new ideas, excitement and powerhouse technology companies in ascent these days.

“The cutting edge of innovation is on the consumer side — digital technologies for consumption activity, play, entertainment and social-networked communication — and not in corporations anymore,” observed Timothy F. Bresnahan, an economist at Stanford.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in cloud computing, the technology industry’s buzz term for customers’ accessing information held in big data centers remotely over the Internet from anywhere, as if the services were in a cloud.

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The Path to the Cloud Is Laid by the Foundation of Virtualization, Driving the Virtualization Market Forward, According to IDC

Press Release, 4/12/11

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Server Virtualization Tracker, 19.4% of all new servers shipped in the fourth quarter of 2010 (4Q10) were virtualized, an increase from 18.4% in the fourth quarter of 2009. New server shipments virtualized in 4Q10 increased to 398,617 units, with the majority of the growth coming from emerging regions. And after declining 4% year over year in 2009, new server shipments virtualized experienced 28% year-over-year growth for the full year 2010. Virtualized server end user spending increased 23.3% year over year in 4Q10 and 13.5% for all of 2010, reaching $16.8 billion for the year.

Worldwide virtualization software revenue for all CPU types increased 36% year over year in 4Q10 to $877 million, due to the maturation of virtualization usage which mandates higher value virtualization software management tools. Virtualization licenses increased 13% year over year and 32% for all of 2010.

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DEMO Conference Announces DEMO Spring 2011 Programming Highlights

Marketwire, 1/28/11

The DEMO Conference, the world-renowned launchpad for emerging technology, is gearing up to head back to Palm Desert for DEMO Spring 2011. DEMO, one of the only launch conferences that has demonstrated proven impact on technology market trends, will take place February 27 – March 1, 2011 at the JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, Calif. Companies looking to get maximum exposure for emerging technology products have until February 1, 2011 to apply to launch or pitch their products at the semi-annual conference. Application forms can be found at http://www.demo.com [http://www.demo.com].

As DEMO’s credentials show, many of the products launched over DEMO’s twenty-year history are technologies that have streamlined the way we conduct business, enhanced day-to-day efficiencies and ultimately change the world. Organizations developing advancements in all aspects of the technology spectrum — from social media and clean tech to cloud computing and consumer electronics — can expect to be seen on the famous DEMO stage.

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Enterprise Social Media Set to Surge

MediaPost, 12/21/10

One of the interesting but (so far) often unnoticed aspects of the social media boom is the rapid growth of proprietary social networks established by businesses to facilitate online collaboration. While still a relatively small subset of the social universe, “enterprise” social media is expanding at a double-digit pace according to Gartner, which sees worldwide spending on enterprise social media software jumping 14.9% from $578.2 million in 2009 to $664 million in 2010. Looking ahead, Gartner sees spending on enterprise social media software increasing another 15.7% to $769.2 million in 2011.

Tom Eid, research vice president at Gartner, noted “the demand for flexible environments in which participants can connect, create, share and find people and information relevant to their work,” as well as the obvious benefits of maintaining a customer-facing social media presence. At the same time, proprietary social networks offer businesses more security, management and compliance features than consumer-oriented sites like Facebook and Twitter, according to InternetNews.com, which cited the example of Salesforce.com using a Twitter analogue called Chatter.

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Microsoft Signs Cloud Deals With California, New York City

IDG News Service/NY Times, 10/20/10

Continuing the progress that Microsoft is making in the state and local government sector, the company has signed cloud computing deals with the city of New York and the state of California.

For California, Microsoft will provide the state’s 200,00 employees with e-mail services through the company’s Business Productivity Online Suite. The state is consolidating its IT operations within a single agency and was looking for ways to use cloud computing to cut costs, wrote Gail Thomas-Flynn, the Microsoft U.S. state and local government vice president, in a blog post.

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