Category Archives: Technology

Top Startup Ecosystems – Cities Leading The Way

Top Startup Ecosystems – Cities Leading The Way

Top Startup Ecosystems

During the first few years of the 21st Century, the business rule book has been torn up and rewritten by startups which barely existed 15 years ago. Consider that companies like Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Twitter, Groupon, and even Apple to an extent (Pre ibook/pod/pad/phone era) were all startups or even non-existent at the turn of the century. Together, these modern giants now contribute nearly $1 trillion dollars to the annual US GDP.

The era of the startup is firmly upon us and one of the critical features of any startup is a sophisticated, nurturing ecosystem which allows the company to grow and expand into a global player. A new study by Compass, entitled the Global Startup Ecosystem Report raises some very interesting points about where growth is happening and how to expand it even further. “There has never been a better time to be a tech entrepreneur, as entrepreneurs are now blessed with the tools, resources, and market conditions to scale a company to billion dollar ‘Unicorn’ status faster than ever before,” according to the report.

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The United States still dominates globally, with 6 of the top 10 startup ecosystems, yet increasingly the startup ecosystem is a global phenomenon with governments around the world learning how to facilitate environments for this emerging work culture. Silicon Valley retains the top spot, followed by New York and then Los Angeles. Outside of the US, the cities of Tel Aviv, London and Berlin are the best places for startups to emerge and be nurtured.

The rise of startup ecosystems is unlikely to slow any time soon. “Information Era businesses have become the dominant source of economic growth, significantly automating or altering much of the industrial and service businesses of the previous economic era.

Hacking For Growth

Growth hacking is a key endeavor of all startups, which is defined by Wikipedia as “creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure”. The report discovered a number of key insights when developing the report about successful ecosystems and their ability to fast-track growth.

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Primarily, startup ecosystems have become much more interconnected and international, both in staff and investors. One third of all ecosystems have at least one funder from abroad and at the same time, one third of employees in a startup is foreign to the country where the startup is located.

The report states that “The ecosystems with the most growth in VC investments were Bangalore (4x), Boston (3.7x), Amsterdam (2x), and Seattle (2x). Almost all of the increase in Silicon Valley funding was in late stage Series B and Series C+ capital rather than early stage capital” which talks to the maturity of the Silicon Valley market.

Interestingly, it seems that being part of an ecosystem is more important than ever. More and more companies that start outside of an ecosystem seem to move into it in order to fuel further growth. Between 2012 and 2014, the number of startups moving into an established system multiplied by 8 times. “Overall, the trend for female entrepreneurs is significantly up—the number of female founders in the global startup ecosystem has grown by 80% over the last three years.” The number is still small but its growing fast and the glass ceiling for female employees appears to be cracking.

Ultimately, the report places a lot of faith in technology startups as the hope for humanity in the 21st Century, claiming that “they are the primary growth engine of the Information Era and nurturing startup ecosystems can keep the world on a path to greater prosperity.

By Jeremy Daniel

10 Innovations Shaking Up Law Firms

10 Innovations Shaking Up Law Firms

10 Top Legal Tech Innovations 

There has been a great deal of trepidation for a number of reasons when it comes to Financial and Legal firms adopting cloud services. Privacy and Security is without a doubt the biggest of all the concerns.  However, there is a silver lining with some promising trends.

Matt Spiegel, a Lawyer and Founder of My Case and CloudTweaks contributor indicates that things are changing. “Despite the hesitations of lifelong attorneys who are reluctant to change their tried and true practices or new attorneys hung up on certain anxieties around new technology, it’s undisputed that the industry at large is moving steadily toward widespread utilization of Web-based systems. One reason for this movement is a response to client needs. Even the most technologically skeptical of lawyers can see the advantages of giving clients options that help them better manage and understand their legal experiences…”

The global legal services market, according to MarketLine had total revenues of $610.4 Billion in 2013, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3% between 2009 and 2013 and is expected to drive the market to a value of $750.9 Billion by the end of 2018.

Attached is an insightful infographic by LexisNexis / Raconteur providing you with a nice breakdown of the top 10 innovations law firms are currently making.

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OpenText CEO Predictions For The Enterprise In 2016

OpenText CEO Predictions For The Enterprise In 2016

Predictions For The Enterprise

 

  1. The IoT will be reality

In 2016, we’ll work smarter, not harder. Human beings, appliances, homes, factories, cars, businesses, and cities will become more interconnected. If these items aren’t already, they’ll soon be “talking” to the Internet of Things (IoT). In a few short years, there will be more than 25 billion devices generating data about every topic imaginable. We’ll see broader enterprise adoption of the IoT due to its economic impact (which analysts estimate to be between $4 trillion to $11 trillion in the next few years), as well as in terms of opportunities to improve productivity and gain better business insight.

The IoT will cause massive disruption through better automation, integration, and communication. Insurance companies are deploying sensors and software to monitor how drivers behave and generate risk profiles using big data analytics that accurately align to or construct on-demand products to suit individual behavior. Thermostats communicate with residents and accumulate behavioral data to formulate the most energy efficient and comfortable schedules and settings. Software agents move money, stocks, goods, and people around the world, routing, optimizing, and transacting innumerable times a year—and these are just three examples already in enterprise use today. They will quickly evolve and proliferate into 2016.

IoT-CloudTweaks-Comic

As we move forward through 2016 and beyond, more devices, agents, sensors, and people will join the IoT. Perhaps we will even progress as a society to a post-scarcity economy and information itself will become our commodity of trade. Monetizing the exchange of information, micro-licensing, and transactions become prominent tasks as our automation and machine-to-machine networks take care of daily needs. Imagine algorithms as apps for applying big data analysis over the connected masses of information generated by the IoT and its billions upon billions of connected devices in every aspect of our lives. Owning the data, analyzing the data, and improving and innovating become the keys to corporate success—all empowered by a connected digital society.

Though this may have some Orwellian overtones, the IoT is really about the Zen of Things—our application of software and technology to help customers consume products and to help businesses build better products and deliver better services. In 2016, the IoT will continue to combine Big data, Analytics, The Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, and Automation to propel industries forward and create the next industrial revolution.

  1. Millennials enter the management ranks and reshape the world 

In 2016, we will see Millennials enter management-level roles. These young leaders will radically restructure all aspects of business—from productivity tools to HR policies (like working from home and remote offices), and organizational structure to corporate cultural—essentially reinventing the workplace as we know it.

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As managers, Millennials will be in a position to transform corporate culture, accommodating expectations like social media freedom, device flexibility, and a high tolerance for risk taking. Innovation will be a key competitive differentiator and its application will be based on new ways to collaborate that include crowdsourcing and co-creation with customers. Communication will be open, two-way, and always “on.” The office of the future will take root in 2016. Holographic images, interactive surfaces, and video conferencing will begin to replace the boardroom in earnest. The mobile office will replace the cubicle and work and life will reach an equilibrium and intermixing we haven’t seen before in this digital age.

As Millennials undergo a professional “coming of age,” the enterprise will follow suit. Culture will be a determining factor for failure or success in the digital world. Millennial managers will pull from a global pool of talent, hiring the best employees from around the world to create highly skilled, dispersed teams. Organizations with cultures that can attract (and keep) top talent will emerge as winners, changing the game and disrupting traditional business models—and even entire industries.

  1. Fast-growing, no-profit SaaS companies will collapse

The rise of Internet-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies over the years has been tied to a new model: cash over time, rather than the traditional cash upfront model. But, the aim of profitability remains the same: no more waiting. Cash is still king and businesses need profit.

Many of these so-called multi-billion dollar businesses have no revenue, no asset value, no employees and no chance of survival, as long-standing, cash, asset, idea, and employee-rich companies reorganize to compete. Nimble, fast, and flexible is great—and the startups have done a great job in cornering that market. Enterprises might learn slowly, but they learn. And the further along they are on their journey towards digitalization, the more market share they can win back. So, as quickly as the fast-growing, no-profit SaaS companies have appeared, they will now begin to collapse.

  1. Digital becomes top priority for CEOs 

cloud-connectedIt’s clear that in 2016 digital disruption will impact all markets. Earlier this year, I predicted that 50% of all market leaders will be obsolete in the coming decade because of digital disruption. Competition will come fast and furious from unforeseen sources. In a 2015 CEO survey, 58% of CEOs surveyed consider the rapid-fire rate of digital disruption a challenge to their business. But where there is risk there is also opportunity: 80% believe that disruptive technologies (Mobile, the Cloud, Analytics) will bring tremendous value to their business. That’s a heartening statistic.

To capitalize on opportunity, CEOs will need to understand how disruption impacts all functions of their organization. In 2016, CEOs will become the drivers of digital transformation initiatives, incorporating them in their corporate strategies and all parts of the business. Adaptive and creative leadership will succeed. Across the C-Suite, transformational leadership will overcome outmoded structures and old management styles to empower Millennials to self-direct, make decisions, experiment, innovate, and take risks; while providing the systems, structure and governance to protect the company, its assets and information from this ‘digital sandbox’ style cultural transformation. CEOs will have to obsess even more about the customer and rethink customer value and experiences. They will extend their ecosystems with a new willingness to partner to discover new consumers and markets.

Over the next five years, CEOs will lead by example, adopting a Digital Mindset. The Digital Mindset is driven by disruption, immediacy, and scale with centricity on journeys, experience, and a real-time-ness. Just like we have an IQ and EQ, organizations need to develop a DQ, a digital quotient, where strategy, culture, people, and capabilities converge. The CEO will lead this charge.

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mark-barrenecheaBy Mark Barrenechea , CEO / OpenText

As CEO of Canada’s largest software company, Mr. Barrenechea oversees the strategic direction of the organization and upholds the company’s position at the forefront of the industry. Under his direction, the company has grown both organically and through strategic acquisitions, into a $1.85 billion technology company.

Before joining OpenText, Mr. Barrenechea was President and Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Graphics International Corporation (SGI), where he also served as a member of the Board.

Competing Cloud Security Demands Call For Credentialed Professionals

Competing Cloud Security Demands Call For Credentialed Professionals

Cloud Security Demands Call For Credentialed Professionals

It is not possible to stare with absolute clarity into the future. None of us has a crystal ball. But there is certainty in knowing that the path to progress on which our future lies curves steeply upwards. Gordon Moore originated a concept, now called Moore’s Law, in 1965. It was intended to describe the constant doubling of processing power in semiconductor chips every two years in an exponential fashion. Although this law was originally designed to describe the progress of computer components, it has subsequently been adapted by numerous futurists to reflect the pace of human technological change in general.

Transistor_Count_and_Moore's_Law

Technologies such as the cloud, mobile devices, and the Internet of Things have not only increased collective processing power, but have also distributed it worldwide so that human beings from every corner of the planet can access and use the technologies. This is good news when efforts are applied to innovation and progress, but not so good news in terms of threats to network security.

Following the upward progression of Moore’s Law, security specialists face an ever-increasing variety and sophistication of attack vectors, happening 24 hours a day and mutating constantly. It becomes increasingly difficult to guard a castle when the attackers are so numerous, agile and versatile, but such is the life of the cloud security professional.

Cat And Mouse With Attackers

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For many organizations, IT-related security professionals play a game of cat and mouse with attackers, and this is usually performed in reactive, firefighting mode. At a senior management level, a lack of true understanding of the severity and frequency of attacks, combined with perpetual concerns over costs, have left many organizations understaffed in this area. The problem with this scenario, much like it is in any war, is that strategies cannot be deployed without a higher level vision and a long-range plan. Security specialists who exist purely in firefighting mode represent common foot soldiers, marching or running toward battle but with little overarching strategy of how to outflank the enemies in a more decisive fashion.

Cloud security is a profession that, possibly more than most, cries out for effective time management. Deficiency in this skill is generally not because of any ignorance of its importance, but simply a result of the workload at hand. Most security specialists readily state that given their choice they would prefer to invest a portion of their working time to research, education, and preparedness planning. This, they feel, would lead to far more effective security protocols, both in terms of technological barriers and also in teaching employees the correct techniques and habits for safe computing, password management and general network security hygiene.

Assignment of time in this fashion is an ideal implementation of the Pareto principle, otherwise known as the 80/20 rule, in this case, pointing to the fact that more could be achieved by dividing the workload into two camps: planning and preparedness (20%), and then action and deployment (80%). Only by allowing time for research, review and strategy, can a security professional and the employer gain the upper hand in the constant battle with cloud-based enemies.

Malware Fridays

A simple example of the strategic clarity that the 80/20 principle can deliver is the Friday effect. Network security company Cyren pointed out recently that Fridays are the most dangerous days for the delivery of malware.

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(Image Source: Shutterstock)

This is predicated on the fact that employees prefer to take their devices home with them for the weekend, and consequently turn to less-than-secure Wi-Fi connections for doing work and returning emails. When employees work outside a secure firewall, cyber criminals can exploit this weakness, leading people to unwittingly download malware, which is then reinserted into a company’s network upon their return to work on Monday. This type of strategy, which may appear fiendishly straightforward, has a pattern that can best be perceived through a higher level view, and is not available to be picked up by security specialists already overwhelmed by immediate crises.

Seeking Certified Professionals

As companies invest in cloud security, they should be seeking certified professionals, such as the Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP℠) from (ISC)2®, a global leader in information, cyber, software and infrastructure security certifications, who have the demonstrated experience, knowledge and skills to competently address the many challenges of this role – from reacting to threats to ongoing maintenance of secure cloud infrastructure to communicating effectively with business leaders. This is a lot to ask of any individual and, similarly, it is a lot to ask of a company: allowing time for the expert to prepare for the future while battling the present. It requires resources, and senior-level commitment.

The one constant, however, is that this will not change. In fact, it will only increase. A certified cloud security professional is there to establish and maintain appropriate defenses so organizations can benefit from the full power of cloud computing to grow their business.

For more on the CCSP certification from (ISC)2 please visit their website. Sponsored by (ISC)2.

By Steve Prentice

‘Tis The Season To Be Deploying Sensors

‘Tis The Season To Be Deploying Sensors

Deploying Sensors

Overhead the Christmas Drones are buzzing, delivering packages to the good girls and boys. Back at the main location people are analyzing the good and bad data collected over the year about each person. Data analytics that is creating a list, gathering all the data and then checking the data on that list (Twice). In the end to produce two lists. The good list of kids. The bad list of kids. I am pretty sure I am on the bad list, again.

Big-Data-Santa

Cyber Physical Systems Wishlist

It is the season of giving. So far this year I’ve gotten two colds and a wooden Jaguar. Needless to say I kept the Jaguar (it is actually quite nice) and have done my best to get rid of the colds. I decided to share my wish list for Cyber Physical Systems for the next year to help spread the Christmas cheer!

1. Other than my two front teeth I also want Cyber Physical System device security. Replaceable security modules that can be quickly replaced without requiring the organization replace the entire CPS device.

2. A bicycle and Cyber Physical System data management. Perhaps a standard for and support of on device data, cached data, data in transit and also data on that cell phone in your pocket.

3. Please don’t bring me ghosts again Santa, five years in a row is enough. Beyond no ghosts I would also like to see a Cyber Physical Systems integration standard. The growing number of CPS devices deployed make it really hard to integrate everything. Going forward the value of integration for the devices will be critical.

It’s a short list and frankly I hope to get all of them by the end of the year. The concept of replaceable security modules within CPS devices is a great opportunity. That way you won’t have to replace your CPS devices as security standards change. You just replace the security hardware.

connected-devices

CPS or the more consumer Internet of Things (IoT) represents a growing number of systems. As more and more of these devices are deployed the opportunity for a single unified management standard will be of significant value. A unified management protocol and standard would allow organizations to implement devices knowing they can quickly connect and manage them!

The next concept is that of integration is critical for CPS. Today there are 10 billion devices in the world. They offer services, data and connection in any number of ways. A standardized approach to integrating all these devices will be a great present.

Santa knows the value of CPS and supply chain management. I suspect if you asked him what his holiday list was about it would be just that. Taking the integration framework and management framework and applying that to the entire supply chain. Know where your parts are at all times. Create a JIT (Just-in-Time) supply chain that doesn’t have parts paid for and waiting for parts that are delayed or still in transit. Have a system where the parts arrive and are paid for at the same time. Reduce the time from ordering parts to selling your system by managing where parts are in the system and when they will be in your facility. I think Santa would like such a system. I might even get off the naughty list.

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

By Scott Andersen

Cloud Pinup: Jukedeck – A.I. Based Music Creator

Cloud Pinup: Jukedeck – A.I. Based Music Creator

Cloud Pinup: Jukedeck

Think of that beautiful piece of video you shot over the weekend. Wouldn’t it sound better with a piece of music to go with it? Of course it would. How long is the video? What style do you want it to be and how do you want it to make you feel? Uplifting folk music that finishes in 1 minute and 5 seconds? No problem. Click here and.…hang on…there’s your track. Original, made-to-order music delivered via the cloud and ready to be added to any platform you want.

Rights-free, original music at just the touch of a button.

That’s exactly what the folks at Jukedeck, a London-based startup, have just released, and if they’ve read the market correctly then they’re about to solve the problem of struggling to get music rights to a song or spending hours sifting through stock music folders to find the right kind of aural accompaniment. This is software as a service for the millennial, content-creating generation.

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It’s an intriguing notion and one that could find a receptive market for people who don’t have the time, energy or expertise to source a great soundtrack that can be uploaded with all its rights intact onto YouTube. Already Jukedeck claims that over 100 000 tracks have been recorded in 85 countries and it’s music has featured on clips with over 16 million views on YouTube.

You can try the software right here and right now with this link.

The company is the brainchild of Ed Rex and Patrick Stobbs, two Cambridge students who loved music and machine learning. The startup just launched its first product Jukedeck MAKE at TechCrunch Disrupt in London to solid acclaim and has closed a £2 Million round of funding ($3 Million USD), led by Cambridge Innovation Capital. At the heart of the system is machine learning, the effective use of artificial intelligence to create tailored, original music.

Producing On The Fly

The company has set its sights on the growing world of online video and its a huge market where anyone with a smartphone can produce and upload a broadcast-quality piece of video. YouTube is the industry leader and a 21st Century juggernaut but Facebook, Instagram and every other online site is increasingly moving towards the moving image. “300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, a number that’s trebled in the last two years,” they explain. “In addition more TV content and advertisements are being produced than ever before. And all this content needs music.”

The company estimates that the market for music for video is already worth US$2 billion and growing all the time. Of course, music is not only created for video. Think retail, training modules, gaming, all platforms which benefit from the addition of rights-free music.

Music & SaaS Evolution

The unique selling point here is the fact that machine-learning has enabled that music to be original. Music has been evolving into a SaaS business for some time now. The advent of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music ensure that the storage capabilities of the cloud and the slick delivery of content to users is central to the continued use of the product. As TechCrunch explained in its story on “The SaaSing of the Music industry’, “the streaming services also have to play the SaaS game to ensure subscribers don’t churn and join other streaming services. In many respects, the artists themselves become creative talent for iTunes, Spotify and others, much like engineers and product developers are the rock stars behind other SaaS providers, such as Uber and Airbnb.”

Jukedeck is a logical next step in that evolution and will provide a neat solution for thousands of amateur videographers looking to get better quality content online.

By Jeremy Daniel

DRaaS: Can Make Providers Life Easier

DRaaS: Can Make Providers Life Easier

DRaaS Planning

Earlier in Part 1 this week we’ve touched on “What Is DRaaS?”. Now we will explore this a little further. 

Disaster recovery situations are always high pressure, stressful affairs which require cool heads and excellent planning. What can service providers of DRaaS to do to make life easier for their customers and to plan ahead for any eventuality which might occur?

Let’s explore a few ideas in Part 2 of our analysis of the Disaster Recovery Software industry.

Firstly, it is a proven fact that the more you test your disaster recovery plan, the more likely it is to work when you need it to. So, allow us to test our disaster recovery whenever we want and stop charging us for it. The main reasons for not testing disaster recovery are the costs involved and the lack of time to run proper tests. By making the test free, you immediately eliminates one of the barriers. We could take that one step further. Let the cloud service provider offer to run the disaster recovery tests for the client and report back the results for a fee. Here’s a good article on the overall benefits of DRaaS.

Mission Critical

mission-control

DRaaS providers have copies of our servers already, so why not leverage those copies for making off-site backups? Many companies are required to maintain off-site backup copies of their data. Being able to leverage your DRaaS for these backups would be of great help. Not only would it offload backup services from your network and save you time, but you would eliminate the performance hit your network takes during these backup windows. Now I realize most companies do not have all their servers under a DRaaS contract, usually just the mission critical systems, but these are precisely the systems usually most important to have backup copies off-site for.

Provide us with a means to access the applications at the disaster recovery site in an effective and productive manner. As companies move to SaaS-based application delivery, the problem of application access during a disaster is eliminated. SaaS application are accessed via a browser easily from any computer. Not all applications are offered via SaaS or have been implemented with a browser front-end. For those applications not accessed via SaaS, a “thin client solution’’ is required to access these applications during a disaster. For companies not already using a thin client solution to deploy applications, having to install one specifically for disaster recovery is an expensive proposition.

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What if the DRaaS provider could offer thin client services as part of their disaster recovery offering? Better yet, they could only charge for the thin client infrastructure and licensing when you declare a disaster. That would really add value to the solution.

Failover And DRaaS

Finally, the most important addition that could be made to a DraaS is the ability to provide near instant server failover for a production server. How many times has a server failed or become corrupted during business hours, causing an outage that could have been avoided. With the size of today’s servers and growing quantities of data, it is not improbable for a single server restore to take 8 or more hours. During the restore process the server and applications it serves are unavailable. Imagine if that failed server was part of your disaster recovery plan and you could instantly fail-over to the corresponding server at the disaster recovery location. Granted, performance may be impacted but at least the server and applications would be available while the production issue is addressed. The DraaS offering could turn into a passive secondary data center solution for the cost of disaster recovery. This would be a tremendous value-add and is possible to deliver with a little extra work by the cloud providers.

As we can see, DraaS is now available to all enterprises regardless of size thanks to the new market of cloud providers. Now, let’s push these providers to take it to the next level and add more value to the offering and solve some real pain points of the IT community.

By Marc Malazia

Key Cloud Office Trends For 2016

Key Cloud Office Trends For 2016

Cloud Office Trends

The mass migration to the cloud is well under way and will only accelerate. Two giants continue to dominate the space and their market capitalization will dictate the roles smaller companies play in the market. IT tools and leaders in the field will enable larger numbers of organizations to fully embrace technology and money markets have read the writing on the wall.

wall-cloud-migration

Given how drastically IT and the cloud shift are evolving, what can we expect in 2016? Here are 3 themes that will prevail in the year ahead:

1. The cloud office wars between Google and Microsoft will continue.

Partners are going to need to support both suites in order to be successful, because it will become clear that both platforms serve specific market segments better than the other.

For example, Google tends to better serve small to medium businesses, while Microsoft answers the needs of larger enterprises). Google’s EA buyout offer demonstrates how much is at stake, and Microsoft has said they want the customers they lost back. These companies are fighting for the most important real estate, as messaging and collaboration is the foundation of the cloud stack, it’s the layer that everything else connects into. While these companies continue to battle, they’re going to make it even harder for the others in the space like Box and Dropbox to compete. These fringe competitors will need to find their place in the market, because the masses will become too expensive to attract as Google and Microsoft have too much leverage once they own the foundational layer. Many customers won’t go all Google or all Microsoft but the platforms are going to do their best to incentivize that behavior.

2. 2016 will be the golden age of IT.

In 2016, I believe IT people’s jobs will start changing en masse. There will be cloud-specific certifications, and more of the newer generation of IT people coming up in their organizations will step into leadership positions. This is the year when shadow IT will actually be embraced and seen as an opportunity to truly affect change in an organization. CIOs will be pushed to the cloud by their user populations, by their CEOs, and even by their boards as the market continues to produce success stories of organizations transforming the way they work by moving to the cloud. Every company in the world needs to be technology enabled and IT can be the enabler, and through that process change how they’re valued in organizations. SaaS applications will continue to give IT more time to focus on strategic tasks.

golden-age-tech

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

3. Consolidation will continue in all areas of the cloud industry.

There has been a huge increase in the number of SaaS applications and the money invested in them. From Sept. 3, 2014 to Sept. 3, 2015, startup funding increased 50% overall from $35.3 Billion to $53 Billion in 2015, according to Mattermark. And with scalable cloud infrastructure like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, products can be up and running as soon as they’re coded. That’s why more and more SaaS applications are really just features and not full-fledged products. Some are getting traction, but as the leaders get more traction and the VC market starts to slow down, many of these large players will need to add more functionality in order to increase ARPU and keep retention high.

Small companies may not have the financial runway or customer distribution in place to confidently turn down offers from these leaders. On the partner side, some cloud partners already have enough scale to build really big businesses. We’ve seen the first of these with Accenture acquiring Cloud Sherpas, and there will be many more partners getting to that scale in 2016. These partners have the expertise, relationships with SaaS vendors, systems to really build big businesses, and some of them have raised VC funding. In 2016, this group will look to scale even faster. Many of the smaller partners have been at it for years, and again we’ll probably see some consolidation and there will be 10 or so real players that evolve outside of the big consulting companies.

Cloud based applications and IT enablers have come a long way, and in 2016, both will continue to evolve into a more specialized and useful industry touching every level of the organization, large and small. Google and Microsoft will continue to lead, while competitors fill niche roles and are gobbled up by larger companies. I truly believe this is the golden age of IT and am excited to see how the market continues to evolve in the year ahead.

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david-politisBy David Politis, Founder and CEO at BetterCloud

David has vast experience launching and building high growth technology companies and an immense passion for enterprise cloud technology. David is a native of New York City and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Emory University. He has contributed to Mashable, VentureBeat, Forbes, The New York Times, BetaBeat and others and has a monthly column in TechRepublic’s Google in the Enterprise blog.

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The Future of M2M Technology & Opportunities

The Future of M2M Technology & Opportunities

The Future Of The Emerging M2M Here at CloudTweaks, most of our coverage is centered around the growing number of exciting and interconnected emerging markets. Wearable, IoT, M2M, Mobile and Cloud computing to name a few. Over the past couple of weeks we’ve talked about Machine to Machine (M2M) such as the differences between IoT and…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

New Report Finds 1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware

1 Out Of 3 Sites Are Vulnerable To Malware A new report published this morning by Menlo Security has alarmingly suggested that at least a third of the top 1,000,000 websites in the world are at risk of being infected by malware. While it’s worth prefacing the findings with the fact Menlo used Alexa to…

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Four Recurring Revenue Imperatives

Revenue Imperatives “Follow the money” is always a good piece of advice, but in today’s recurring revenue-driven market, “follow the customer” may be more powerful. Two recurring revenue imperatives highlight the importance of responding to, and cherishing customer interactions. Technology and competitive advantage influence the final two. If you’re part of the movement towards recurring…

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Three Challenges of Network Deployment in Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Private Cloud

Hyperconverged Infrastructure In this article, we’ll explore three challenges that are associated with network deployment in a hyperconverged private cloud environment, and then we’ll consider several methods to overcome those challenges. The Main Challenge: Bring Your Own (Physical) Network Some of the main challenges of deploying a hyperconverged infrastructure software solution in a data center are the diverse physical…

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

How The CFAA Ruling Affects Individuals And Password-Sharing

Individuals and Password-Sharing With the 1980s came the explosion of computing. In 1980, the Commodore ushered in the advent of home computing. Time magazine declared 1982 was “The Year of the Computer.” By 1983, there were an estimated 10 million personal computers in the United States alone. As soon as computers became popular, the federal government…

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

5 Things To Consider About Your Next Enterprise Sharing Solution

Enterprise File Sharing Solution Businesses have varying file sharing needs. Large, multi-regional businesses need to synchronize folders across a large number of sites, whereas small businesses may only need to support a handful of users in a single site. Construction or advertising firms require sharing and collaboration with very large (several Gigabytes) files. Financial services…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Three Factors For Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy

Choosing Your Long-term Cloud Strategy A few weeks ago I visited the global headquarters of a large multi-national company to discuss cloud strategy with the CIO. I arrived 30 minutes early and took a tour of the area where the marketing team showcased their award winning brands. I was impressed by the digital marketing strategy…

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Adopting A Cohesive GRC Mindset For Cloud Security

Cloud Security Mindset Businesses are becoming wise to the compelling benefits of cloud computing. When adopting cloud, they need a high level of confidence in how it will be risk-managed and controlled, to preserve the security of their information and integrity of their operations. Cloud implementation is sometimes built up over time in a business,…

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

The 80-20 Rule For Security Practitioners  Everyday we learn about yet another egregious data security breach, exposure of customer data or misuse of data. It begs the question why in this 21st century, as a security industry we cannot seem to secure our most valuable data assets when technology has surpassed our expectations in other regards.…