|By Shawn Douglass||
|June 22, 2013 06:30 AM EDT||
I have a confession. I am Shadow IT. I am the guilty party operations and security love to hate because I expense tens of thousands of dollars in cloud services...every month. Truth be told, my team and I couldn't afford to wait in line for IT to provision the resources we needed to begin work. We had goals to meet and objectives to achieve - all of which didn't include waiting in line for IT to give us virtual machines, development platforms or set up sandboxes so we could begin work.
With a lengthy approval process and cost justifications, there was no way I would have been able to secure either the physical infrastructure or cloud vendor approvals I needed to achieve the business unit's goals. And, honestly, the risk of choosing a vendor that would leak our data, or otherwise put the business at risk, seemed a lot lower than the risk of not getting my job done.
So, even though my monthly cloud bill continued to rise, it didn't surprise me too much that I was never questioned about the expense because my team was delivering. And, that is exactly what everyone from the business side of things cares about - is development creating new applications and/or services that can be brought to market before the competition? Can we secure ‘first-mover' status or market leadership because development is firing on all cylinders? These are the questions marketing, business development, and other teams ask. Not, did central IT get you those VMs you needed?
In talking to others, I know I'm not alone. And, yet, I intrinsically know there has to be a better way than to submit an expense report with fingers crossed every month. Which is why I am coming out of the Shadow.
The Real Problem
From my seat, the real problem is that the entire system is caught in a vicious cycle of process, governance and pig throwing. What do I mean? Limited central IT resources and a focus on infrastructure management limit the ability to allocate development resources and slows development's ability to innovate at the pace needed to match business requirements. Security and audit insert additional approvals and manual steps that need to be followed throughout the application lifecycle that adds drag to the system, and dev is often accused of throwing the proverbial pig over the wall to operations. And, anything and everything that goes wrong from that point forward is blamed on development's "pig".
The problem is exacerbated by pressure from the business - from beating small, nimble competitors to market to ensuring compliance and cutting budgets - that adds stress to the system. Operating in an "application economy" however, this system should run like a well-oiled machine.
Greasing System Dynamics with DevOps
DevOps may just hold the key in the application economy. In case you are unfamiliar with DevOps, it stemmed from Enterprise Systems Management and Agile software development methodologies, with an emphasis on communication, collaboration and integration between dev and IT Operations. And, most importantly, DevOps focuses on improving reliability and security while speeding development and deployment cycles at each phase of the application lifecycle--from conception and creation, to testing, QA, and product delivery.
DevOps also helps with release management by standardizing development environments, which gives development greater control because they can program to give apps the full knowledge of the supporting infrastructure. DevOps may well be the cure in the application economy because it automates as much of the operational process as possible, which speeds hand-offs, allows for automatic integration of processes and even governance and security controls.
When the Cloud Helps & When it Doesn't
While DevOps sounds great, when you couple it with some of the promises of cloud computing, it gets even better. For example, one of the core tenets of the cloud is IT-as-a-service, which translates into self-service access for development to the complete development platforms they need, when they need them. Take these resources, begin coding in your tool(s) of choice, and you are off to the races! One thing I learned when contracting with cloud service providers is that this full-service model is much better than renting Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) because the team was still responsible for managing middleware which is unnecessarily time consuming. If the VM is running, your provider is doing their job. Period.
Some IT organizations think IaaS is the place to start with DevOps. I'm of the mind that spinning up VMs faster is about as exciting as watching grass grow - I'm already getting that from the public cloud providers I've been covertly using. It gets you a fraction of the way there, but doesn't really address the spectrum of how DevOps can help break IT out of its box and create a dynamic system that is the rocket fuel of the company's growth. Let me break it down a bit. DevOps, supported by a self-service cloud environment, nets development:
- Standardized Environments: With on-demand access to entire application platforms that are already standardized and pre-configured to resemble IT's production environment, dev can create and deploy apps across the lifecycle without the tedium and bottlenecks that occur at each phase of the software development lifecycle today. Development can occur in any language, regardless of the final platform, and dev can focus on developing high-value, innovative applications. Between a greater focus on code, and access to standardized environments, apps are more likely to excel in quality and be less likely to need rework, or cause production hiccups.
- Streamlined Release to Production: A cloud-based DevOps model allows teams to automate release management, using an organization's existing approval processes supported by automatic provisioning of application deployment environments. By streamlining across the development-to-operations lifecycle, teams are able to keep pace with faster change by automating and standardizing tasks that are manually configured today, creating less room for ‘fat finger' errors and the resultant problem resolution.
- Built-In Business Policy: Cut the vicious cycle by working with IT and security to provision policies as part and parcel of the standardized environment. By integrating policy early, you increase confidence in the process across the board, eradicating operations' ability to label your new baby nothing but a pig with lipstick.
By working with IT across the software development lifecycle via cloud-based DevOps, development teams can decrease software bottlenecks, increase code output and be seen as drivers of the business. And, who doesn't want a well-oiled machine that drives the company forward? It's much better than holding your breath for a call from accounting about that $20,000 AWS expense.
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
Oct. 23, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,470
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,467
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire 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. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,511
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
Oct. 23, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 34,022
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium 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 Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (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 proces...
Oct. 23, 2016 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,310
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 & ...
Oct. 23, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 4,439
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...
Oct. 23, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,780
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn 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. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
Oct. 23, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 970
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Oct. 23, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 4,513
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Oct. 23, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 8,353
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Oct. 23, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 11,327
In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
Oct. 23, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 941
In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
Oct. 23, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,464
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Oct. 23, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 800
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service.
Oct. 23, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,030
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Oct. 23, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,510
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Oct. 23, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,828
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Oct. 23, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,344
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
Oct. 23, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 5,691
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
Oct. 23, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,112