Category Archives: Technology

General Electric’s Predix Cloud – Building IoT Applications

General Electric’s Predix Cloud – Building IoT Applications

General Electric’s Predix Cloud

This week, General Electric has launched its first hosted cloud service. Designed for building applications for the Internet of Things, GE has differentiated itself from market-dominating services such as Amazon’s AWS by targeting the industrial market, and will be focusing on applications related to medical equipment, jet engines, wind turbines, and locomotives. Named Predix Cloud, this product is an addition to GE’s Predix developer tools, initially designed for use only with GE equipment, expanding the Predix Internet of Things platform to deliver Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Predix Cloud is both a place to run applications and a platform for building IoT integration applications quickly and easily.

Industrial Application


(Image Source: Shutterstock)

GE is well-placed to offer this service, already manufacturing large equipment and machinery loaded with sensors that generate vast amounts of data. Though Predix was initially designed as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) allowing customers and third-party developers to put all of this data to use, GE believes providing the infrastructure for running these applications is of benefit, and CTO of GE Software Harel Kodesh notes that a primary selling point of this new infrastructure offering is that it works well with the software development segment of the platform. Furthermore, having built them, GE already has a comprehensive understanding of how many of the large pieces of equipment work. Predix is thus able to process the enormous amounts of data generated by these devices, and understand and predict the impact certain data will have on equipment based on workload, temperature, composition, and such factors.


Wired remarks that GE’s new cloud may be particularly appealing to hackers, with current security fears surrounding IoT heightened since Chrysler’s recall of 1.4 million vehicles after a security vulnerability allowing hackers to control remotely Jeeps came to light. Both the hacking of devices and theft of data are serious concerns, and with their focus on high-value industrial applications, GE is making security the priority. GE will follow standard practices such as encrypting data flowing between devices and the cloud, and goes further by using software defined networking which separates every layer of an application and observes and limits the data each layer has access to. Kodesh remarks, “Each layer will go with the stringent assumption that every other layer has already been breached.” Additionally, the limitation of customers to an exclusive set helps reduce the number of entries into the system, diminishing the risk of attack.

Market Needs

With the Predix platform generating software revenue of $4 billion last year, GE isn’t criticizing the competition but instead intends to address a neglected market. Kodesh has reported that they use Amazon Web Services internally and have built their Predix platform for a different and particular need. Reported by the New York Times, head of GE’s software business, William Ruh, states, “We think it will change the industrial world. We’re talking about where an industrial company goes to get its applications.” GE isn’t alone in the IoT market. Amazon’s subsidiary 2lemetry and Google’s Brillo compete with IBM and Microsoft’s own IoT initiatives, though these all concentrate on different aspects of IoT, and GE may be a forerunning with their focus on industrial equipment.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Digital Marketing Driven by Cloud, Big Data and IoT

Digital Marketing Driven by Cloud, Big Data and IoT

Digital Marketing

Successful digital marketing campaigns are being driven largely by trending technologies, specifically the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and The Cloud. These may be used for a huge number of marketing applications, from optimizing the performance of sports teams to improving science and research, even helping to aid law enforcement.

Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) premier partner 2nd Watch, which focuses on shifting enterprise workloads into the public cloud, has released the results of a survey relating to 500 marketing and IT professionals that use big data. All those included in the survey are mid- to large-size companies that use trend-setting technology to drive their digital marketing initiatives and support digital marketing programs and plans. All source huge data volumes from machines, apps and websites, enabling the marketing specialists to develop highly targeted digital promotions and campaigns.

The result of the survey overall shows that there is a definite increase in confidence when it comes to using these trending technologies. The survey also indicates that companies have increasing success when it comes to using the technologies.


(Infographic Source:

Use of Trending Technologies for Digital Marketing

The overall message of the survey is that companies are intending to expand into big data, IoT, and cloud-based technologies to improve their digital marketing programs. For instance:

  • 50 percent of respondents said they will probably use big data soon
  • About 33 percent said they will definitely use data-based digital marketing programs in the future
  • More than half (53 percent) indicated they will use IoT-based programs in future
  • Less than half (40 percent) said they use IoT to support digital marketing
  • Only 38 percent said they use big data to support their digital marketing initiatives

However, those companies that are expanding into the trending technologies are not doing so very aggressively.

What Companies Use Trending Technologies For

The 2nd Watch survey indicates that nearly a third (29 percent) of those companies using big data find that it helps them to understand customers better. Big data also helps them to improve supply chains. However less than half (47 percent) of the companies surveyed said that this form of digital marketing had been effective when it came to meeting their customer demand generation and engagement goals.

When it comes to IoT, 29 percent of respondents indicated that it helped them get a better understanding of the preferences of customers. Similarly, 24 percent found it was useful to power promotions and campaigns; and 14 percent said they used IoT to drive their mobile and customer-facing web apps. These stats might appear low, but the survey found that 70 percent had been successful in either exceeding or at least meeting their IoT-based digital marketing goals.

Perhaps not surprisingly, 41 percent of those participating in the survey said they would probably use a cloud-based data warehouse for their digital marketing efforts quite soon. Only 15 percent of respondents are already doing this. More (49 percent) said they would include internal IT resources and a third-party provider that has better (deeper) knowledge than them to manage a cloud-based data warehouse. Currently only 18 percent currently outsource all the management of their cloud-based data warehouse at the moment.

How Much Money Matters in Digital Marketing

The 2nd Watch survey found that cost is a major factor when it comes to implementing IoT-based and big data marketing programs. A total of 40 percent said cost was the biggest consideration, while 21 percent said a lack of executive support was their biggest challenge. A lack of technical skills was also identified as a huge disadvantage.

Ultimately, quite a high percentage – 39 percent – said that cost was the top benefit to use a cloud-based data warehouse to do their digital marketing. Of these, 35 percent said that flexibility was key, and 26 percent cited scalability.

By Penny Swift

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) – Urged To Embrace The Cloud

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) – Urged To Embrace The Cloud

Managed Services Providers (MSPs) 

If you’ve been observant of the MSP industry over the last two years, you’ve no doubt noticed that it has had significant difficulty expanding its service capabilities and growing its revenue stream around cloud computing. At least that was the analysis of recent market research studies assessing the status of cloud computing within service provider businesses. Service Leadership Inc. — who’s website ticker displays the most recent four quarters of financial performance and headcount for Solution Providers — reports that the cloud, on average over the last year, accounted for only 6.6% of solution provider revenue. Furthermore, according to TechTarget’s John Moore, Autotask which last month released the results of its annual MSP market study, found that 62% of its 1,800 survey respondents generated 30% or less of their revenue from cloud services and 42% said they generated less than 15 percent of their sales from the cloud. Lastly, a 2014 study of Keseya’s MSP State of the Union found that only 18% of “world-class” MSPs were offering cloud services as part of their product portfolio.


So what’s causing this barrier to revenue growth and what’s preventing MSPs from taking advantage of the over 12,000 cloud services (unofficial count) available to businesses and consumers? Does the answer lie with MSP mergers and acquisitions, that is, why find the client when we can buy them?

So, I’ve been thinking about this for some time. Then I recently networked with a CEO of a mid-sized MSP and after listening to him, I understood the fundamental problems that MSPs face and also realized that they may never be able to “rise to the occasion.”

As he described – a few years ago, the dilemma surrounding the cloud was a relatively easy one to address for MSPs, especially when their clients were asking questions about what is cloud computing and how could it ultimately benefit them. That was then, but now most businesses are serious about adopting the technology, and they are driving to make it happen. The following are several impediments and challenges that are preventing MSPs from generating significant revenue and successfully fulfilling their client’s and prospects demands for cloud services.

If you look like an MSP, and sound like an MSP – you are an MSP!

Building a private cloud is not the path to success. I do find it fascinating how many MSPs “convince” themselves that, by building a self-hosted virtualized infrastructure, they can call themselves a cloud services provider (CSP). And by the way, a private cloud is no more than a self-hosted virtualized infrastructure. Under the cloud model, the value proposition is about delivering high-quality service and agility, not just a hosted environment – so uptime, availability, disaster recovery, and security are critical. Further, cloud services should have modular service-oriented architectures which incorporate billing and management capabilities. Lastly, the cloud model dictates that the provider’s website / portal is no longer just the place where you get product and company information. It must be piece of the product and the start of a dynamic customer experience. You show me a MSP that does all the above, and I’ll show you a CSP.

I find your lack of focus disturbing!


MSPs are seeing the same problems that enterprise IT departments face when implementing cloud services – lack of focus on skills geared for business than technology, lack of financial modeling focus (CAPEX vs OPEX), lack of focus on development and business processes. The reason the large public clouds (and the companies that provide services to manage them) have grown so quickly is that they are primarily focused on helping make developers and business process more agile and automated. Conversely, MSPs are still only focused on deploying VMs or host commercial applications (Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, etc.), thus primarily concentrated on helping IT do their job in a more automated and consistent way rather than center on better business and development practices.

It’s about the strategy, stupid!

Like with political campaigns, it’s all too easy to concentrate on what you think your constituent’s biggest concern is. Typically, the first thing every managed service providers believes will solve their clients’ needs entails IT infrastructure. As a result, MSPs that go with this route usually forego partnering with any cloud provider and instead build a private cloud or hosted application solution. This scenario may seem unnecessarily basic, but it’s true that many MSPs simply don’t have the vision in place on how to deliver cloud computing to the client. Businesses require a partner that will assist them to generate additional revenue. They are not only looking for help to use technology more efficiently, but also more strategically. Businesses need support to make their processes more agile so they can keep up with the pace of change in today’s business environment. But unfortunately, as my CEO friend said, MSPs are not incentivized to identify the right type of cloud approach or service that works best for their clients.

Rather, it’s about: Margin Margin Margin!

And just like Marcia in the Brady Bunch, so too does margin get all the attention with MSPs. Fueled by cloud solutions, businesses are quickly moving beyond the traditional approach to managed service pricing. However, many MSPs still remain fixated on overhead, legacy pricing, and margin rather than a customer-oriented value model. And again, MSPs usually forego partnering with any cloud providers and instead build “homegrown” private cloud solutions. They develop a false notion that using this strategy will allow the MSP to retain absolute control over every aspect of the solution. However, the downside is typically financial in nature — building and maintaining a cloud is a major investment, and it will take a long time or never to see a return on that investment.

Clearly, the overall global business model towards technology is quickly evolving, and MSPs are falling behind. MSP consolidation may help in the short term, but business acquisition is not a sustainable model in this vertical. MSPs need to move toward being valued by customers for their technology “business” advice as opposed to lifecycle management and support. And unfortunately, it’s my opinion, that this is too big a chasm for the majority of them to cross.

However, although I feel the future looks bleak for MSPs, Nature does abhor a vacuum. Stay tuned next month, when I discuss the IT business paradigm that can build on and surpass the MSP model while becoming integral business partners with their clients.

By Anthony Pagano

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

Cost of the Cloud

Cloud computing is more than just another storage tier. Imagine if you’re able to scale up 10x just to handle seasonal volumes or rely on a true disaster-recovery solution without upfront capital.

Although the pay-as-you-go pricing model of cloud computing makes it a noticeable expense, it’s the only solution for many use cases that were previously unthinkable. Costs affiliated with the cloud may be rising, but enterprises not willing to explore and embrace this opportunity may lose out big time, as competitors are able to lower operating costs and, in turn, lower their prices.

Determining the Necessity of the Cloud

Don’t just jump into a cloud-framework solution without research. A large amount of planning is necessary to ensure an efficient and cost-effective migration.

Be sure to answer these three questions before moving to the cloud:

1. What are your company’s compliance requirements?


Some industries, such as Healthcare and Finance, have stricter regulations than others. Data security is important for every organization and individual; however, even strict requirements such as the Federal Information Security Act of 2013 can be addressed with a cloud solution. Breaking a compliance regulation can be disastrous and costly, so ensure compliance needs are met over anything else. Note, keeping some data on premises may be your only option in some cases.

2. Where are you in your application-refresh cycle?

Most enterprises work with dozens of proprietary applications, and a legacy application that wasn’t designed to move to the cloud will likely be a costly investment. In these cases, align the move of specific workloads with refresh cycles to ensure the proper project management process can be performed.

3. How well versed is IT?

Training and development need to start at the IT level. A weak Data Management team or static DevOps process adds to the associated costs of cloud computing. Be sure every team member understands both on-site and cloud data storage processes. Additionally, all lines of business need to be involved in the migration process to avoid any loss of resources. Once you’ve determined that cloud services are the right way to go for your company, it’s time to think about the costs.

Establishing Baseline Cloud Costs

Comparing costs of cloud services across different providers can be frustrating, and mapping use cases to compute types (such as CPU, flash, etc.) — especially new ones — can be difficult. With both cloud and data transmit prices constantly fluctuating, elastic load balancing is the best way to optimize costs. Capacity on both the internal and cloud frameworks can be adjusted and shifted constantly. It’s more work than static private infrastructure, but it’s a much more dynamic approach to business.

Once again, DevOps training will be the key to reducing costs. Low monthly subscription fees can deceptively make data storage seem like less of a concern, but unused space needs to be sought out and deleted aggressively to avoid high recurring overhead costs. Planning and training are the keys to successful and cost-effective migrations. The cost savings don’t come from a blind move onto the bandwagon. It takes a concerted effort and constant monitoring, so solid IT and DevOps processes need to be in place.

Applications designed to be scaled up and down dynamically improve the overall situation, and monitoring applications for resource provisioning optimizes costs for given service level agreements (SLAs). Seasonal businesses with wildly fluctuating business cycles, along with any organization looking for cost-effective ways to scale, will find a lot of leverage in the cloud. Ensuring each level of the business understands how to transition to cloud-based applications and storage makes the process seamless and repeatable.

The Bottom Line

Cloud computing provides some great benefits, including short-term scalability at a relatively low cost. It allows large enterprises to remain as nimble and quick as smaller competitors.

It’s important to remember that not all sensitive data can go to the cloud, and this should be considered in your audit process. Cloud computing can also be expensive if you go in blindly, so you will need to research vendors. Make sure to understand if the provider can meet your compliance, access and security requirements, and if you can seamlessly migrate to the cloud and to different on-site and other data-storage tiers.

In the event of any risk scenario, a hybrid solution utilizing both cloud and on-site storage deployments is the most optimal configuration. By properly balancing loads and training your staff, your company will be prepared to face the leaner, more aggressive competition of the future.

By Vineet Jain

The Modular Drone Concept In Action

The Modular Drone Concept In Action

The Modular Drone Concept

As the Internet of Things (IoT) world explodes around us, it is interesting to think about new ways of solving old problems. For example, drones allow for a potential solutions to a number of long-standing problems. Aerial drones that can carry modules are appearing. These new modular drones have a number of functionalities that will make them more and more useful. Their biggest advantages are flexible payloads and the ability to carry data-gathering sensors that enable information flow form the drone back to the user.


Steve Collender /

Fishing With Drones

First off, we could easily equip a modular drone with Sonar technology to use in fishing. A drone carries line and a bobber out, with sonar pinpointing where fish are. You simply press a button and you are fishing where the fish are. Or you can use the drone to map out areas of the lake or pond that are too shallow or risky for a boat but a flying drone doesn’t hit obstacles in the water.

Secondly, drones have a lot of potential for search and rescue operations. If someone falls into water through ice, a drone could carry a rope out and drop it to the person. A drone could bring short-term medical and survival supplies to people trapped on mountains while a rescue team gets ready.

Radar, sonar, infrared and other measuring and mapping tools can be built as small modules. The drone then simply lands, you swap out the battery and the module, and you keep going. Imagine using infrared-equipped modules for your drone to spot lost campers or hikers in the woods. You wouldn’t need the complex flying yoke used by larger drones although that would be something to consider for heavier loads. The smaller drones’ maximum carrying capacity is equal to approximately the weight of a camera. (Flight time is dramatically impacted by the additional weight of the modules.)


But imagine searching 100 square miles with 100 drones. Assuming you had extra batteries and were close enough to the area you were searching, you could very quickly use three distinct sensors and locate what you were looking for. GPS, camera and infrared would allow you to run day and night. The images of the search are streamed back to people checking them. Looking for a lost hiker would be completed very quickly without having to send a team of people out into the woods.

Every fifth drone in your search fleet could have an ultralight survival kit that could be flown down to within inches of the hiker and dropped. The advantage: no risk of wind sweeping the supplies away from a hiker who can’t move. Two-way communication would be possible through a speaker and microphone on the drone. GPS location would be relayed back to the basecamp by the other drones.

The modular drone represents a great addition both for hobbyists and for professionals. In fact, you can convert any drone currently available to a modular drone. You simply remove the camera (most of them are camera drones) and attach other modules. Not many kinds of modules are on the market today, but they wouldn’t be hard to make. For instance, you can simply take a portable sonar unit that broadcasts via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and stores images on the memory card.  There are a number of such devices available which allow you to connect to the drone via a camera mount cradle.

Practically any IoT sensor that exists can be added to a drone and flown. You can measure anything you want quickly. Search and rescue teams can leverage drones to expand their search areas quickly. People who love fishing can leverage the sonar and carry their line beyond the break or further away from where they are. You can manage all the information from a single device (your tablet or smartphone). It is an aerial extension of the connected world that is IoT. Now you have to look up as well when wondering where that IoT sensor is.

By Scott Andersen

Top Trending Mobile Resources – Mobile Apps For Business

Top Trending Mobile Resources – Mobile Apps For Business

Mobile Apps for Business

Expensify’s founder and CEO, David Barrett, testified this week at a Small Business Committee hearing about how app technology is benefitting small businesses, stating that congress is well-positioned to help small companies build products that benefit small businesses by targeting reforms to patent, internet tax collection, immigration, and crowdfunding. As mentioned by Barrett, small businesses are able to profit from smartphone technology growth and the associated mobile apps thanks to their rapid adoption of new technology.

Investing In Mobile App Development


Today, many customers expect businesses to have their own mobile app, and those without them are considered to be trailing their competitors. Along with brand credibility, having your own mobile app provides direct access to your customers with statistics showing that nearly two-thirds of American adults own smartphones. Mobile applications deliver access to real-time marketing in any environment and give businesses the resources they need to provide top notch service and sales support to their customers. Aside from the resources these applications deliver to businesses, mobile apps also increase customer engagement with your brand and raise interest through easy-to-use, anytime access. Businesses are now able to tap into a much larger market, and provide convenient access to their products and solutions as suits customers, though at incredibly low costs. Finally, the data available to businesses through correct mobile application development and usage is invaluable, and effective apps are providing businesses with as much information as the consumers they target.

Mobile Apps For Business


(Image Source: Shutterstock)


This expense tracking app allows you to photograph receipts and then stores them in the cloud in expense categories. Integration with QuickBooks, Xero, and credit card accounts makes this mobile application a practical and convenient business tool.


Use your smartphone or tablet as a virtual notebook to save photos and documents, record dictation, and write up notes as necessary. With cloud storage, you don’t have to worry about losing any important information, and it’s retrievable from just about anywhere.


No matter where you are, DocuSign ensures you can sign vital documents when necessary. Should you be away from the office, a link is emailed to you, giving you access to the relevant documents and the ability to sign.


Accepting payment is simplified with Square. With an Android and iOS app available, a dongle can be used to swipe debit and credit cards. Additionally, tips can easily be included, and invoices can be created and sent through the app.

What To Watch Out For

As with every potential service, there is also the potential for fraud. Thousands of apps in Apple, Windows Phone, and Android app stores have been found to be running sophisticated and potentially harmful advertising fraud. Forensiq claims to have discovered ad fraud termed “mobile device hijacking” which is legitimate-appearing software that runs in the background servicing hundreds of ads at up to 20 ads per minute. The cost to advertisers is severe, and businesses creating and using mobile apps must ensure their own and their consumers’ protection. Top Trending Mobile Resources for Summer 2015 is available for free to all those wishing to develop and use mobile applications to their advantage.

By Jennifer Klostermann

5 Tips For Getting Millennials Onboard Your SaaS

5 Tips For Getting Millennials Onboard Your SaaS

Getting Millennials Onboard Your SaaS

Why are Millennials the key demographic that SaaS companies should focus on? For one, they are quickly making up a larger share of your total user base. However, it is more than just a shift towards a younger generation; it is a shift in ideology. Millennials approach information much differently compared to Boomers. According to a research conducted by Forbes (2013), 74% of non-Millennials stated that Millennials offer different skills and add inherent value to workplaces. A big reason for this is that they grew up with personal computers, Internet, and are generally more receptive to multi-tasking and rapid absorption of information.

Courtesy of: IntelliResponse

Therefore, in order to be successful as a SaaS company, software must be developed with Millennials in mind.

Here are 5 tips for increasing SaaS adoption for Millennials.

1 – Know Where You’re Going – Set End Goals

During the early stages of training, it is vital to have self-contained, easily understood objectives for the end user. Getting off on the right foot will make the overall adoption process much smoother. More specifically, the design should appeal to Millennials and their inherent qualities.

Since your end users will typically be more tech-savvy and connected, you should ensure that your software offers a similar experience that they are used to. This means a stronger emphasis on clean UI, optimized media, mobile connectivity, upfront and easy-to-find objectives, and a knowledge base with a wide breadth.

2 – Know How You’re Doing – Monitor Performance

Perfect SaaS onboarding strategies cannot be made inside a vacuum. They take a careful blend of observation, and re-evaluation. Likewise, improving adoption of SaaS follows these same methods. You should monitor user performance during and after training. This allows training managers to provide more nuanced support whenever issues arise. Monitoring software can include databases, and integrated tests.

Once initial training ends, you should evaluate whether or not the original training objectives were met. This clues you into what was successful in the training program, and what could use some polishing. Also, feedback from the end user is important to get a gauge on how well the training program was received. Ideally, this monitoring and re-evaluation feedback loop should occur at regular intervals in order to improve training methods efficiently.

3 – Go Digital – Offer Online, Real-Time Help with Problems

Instead of offering paper worksheets and static instructions as a part of training, look towards more dynamic, real-time training methods. This can include automated walkthroughs, context sensitive tutorials, and other collaborative multimedia functions. These methods do not have to be strictly web-based either, since there are resources like online flowcharts that are simply digital analogues of paper versions. Real-time mentoring can be beneficial along with other online methods. The main factor to consider is that training materials are adaptive and easy to absorb.

Another benefit of dynamic approaches is that they are more convenient to update as information becomes outdated. This makes it cost-effective and aligns closer with Millennial expectations of adaptive material. Millennials can be described like sponges, soaking up information, coaching and tips.

4 – Bridge the Gap – Implement Cutting-Edge Tools


Staying on the cutting edge of technology has several benefits for Millennials. New toolkits help provide support for advanced users and can help in providing better real-time support, or monitoring user improvement as mentioned in the previous tips. Not only do these tools tend to offer better cost-to-performance ratios, they are also more appealing for Millennials from a technological perspective.

Neuro-linguistic artificial intelligence functionality such as Apple’s Siri are quickly becoming popular options among these tools. While they aren’t perfect solutions, they help bridge the gap between tech-savvy Millennials and older generations of your workforce. Context sensitive assistance tools like WalkMe are another option for bolstering your training suite – they teach your users how to use applications, like CRMs, through step-by-step guidance balloons that leads a user through the site.

5 – Don’t Stop! –Offer Continuous Training

The key to great training programs is that they aren’t simply complete after the initial training period ends. Long-term training keeps users sharp and adaptive as new tools, technologies and market forces change. It reinforces what was learned, instead of placing it in the backburner, and it reduces the amount of initial training stress.

Applying and sticking to the right training methods and technologies are essential if you plan on attracting Millennials into your user base.

By Boaz Amidor

Global Cloud Development An Open Question

Global Cloud Development An Open Question

Global Cloud Development

Statistics and projections from Cisco’s Global Cloud Index show that the world’s data centers are already processing 4.7 zettabytes (4.7 million petabytes) per year. Cisco research says this amount will continue to grow by 23% annually for the next few years.


(Inforgraphic Source:

If we project these numbers over the next 25 years, we find an astonishing 830 zettabytes to be processed in the year 2040. A slightly higher growth rate would put us into The Yottabyte Age by that time.

It’s thus incumbent on technology providers to develop much more efficient ways of building and operating data centers.

Data centers already account for about 2% of North American electricity usage, and are impacting electricity grids throughout the world as well. Growth such as that outlined above would demand several more times electricity than provided by today’s entire global electrical grid.

This is no secret, and efficient design is a top-of-mind issue for data center designers and operators, who will be convening this week at the DCD Internet Summit in San Francisco.

The Need for Openness

I’m co-chairing a new track at this event, called StackingIT. I’ll be co-announcing a new program developed by event’s organizers and the Tau Institute, which I founded in 2011.

This program will outline the need for open technology for data centers and a community-centered method to measure it. Technologies range from operating systems and frameworks to chips to large-scale data center designs themselves.

Open development fosters innovation, increases security and support options, prevents vendor lock-in, benefits buyers, and enables market hypergrowth, in our opinion.

Hypergrowth It Is


Hypergrowth is the issue here, and it’s implicit that cloud computing’s highly distributed architectures are the catalysts in this projected growth. With mobile and cloud computing in all their forms gaining enormous traction in enterprise and consumer IT, coupled with a developing Internet of Things and the (really) Big Data and analytics it spawns, the onslaught of data has only just begun.

What a pity it would be if our data centers and electrical grids are not up to the task.

A Big Switch

Our research over the past few years has shown that smart, equitable technology development is the key to equitable socio-economic development throughout the world. Despite recent gains in reducing global poverty and its ill effects, there is still a very long hill to climb.

Today, for example, the developed world represents 18% of the world’s population yet consumes 47% of its electricity. The developing world (not including China) represents 63% of the population and 28% of the electricity use. China has 19% of the population and 25% of electricity use.

Optimistic projections in which the developing world continues to grow more quickly than the developed world show global electricity demand more than doubling by 2040, with the developing world consuming almost half of the world’s electricity by then.

Even this optimistic projection will require many trillions of dollars of investment in the developing world, and will still bring 68% of the world’s population up to a usage level of only 10-15% of that of the developed world. But even this level of progress will not happen unless our technology becomes much more efficient.

We run many scenarios, with divergent results. All of them point to a critical need for enormous improvements in the efficiency of the chips we build, the software that runs on it, and the data centers that form the core of our connected world.

The only viable method to meet that need, in my opinion, is the open method. Our new program will measure openness and market leadership, with the hope that we can help the technology community continue to move the needle in the right direction.

By Roger Strukhoff

CloudTweaks Comics
The Cloud Above Our Home

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Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

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Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

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Cloud Computing Myths That SMBs Should Know

Cloud Computing Myths That SMBs Should Know

Cloud Computing and SMBs Cloud Computing is the hottest issue among IT intellects of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). Like any other computer-orientated technology, Cloud Computing has some misconceptions and myths that often kick-start arguments among the two opposing groups: Cloud Supporters and Cloud Opponents. Both of these groups have their own ideology and reasons…

Protecting Your Web Applications In A Hybrid Cloud Environment

Protecting Your Web Applications In A Hybrid Cloud Environment

Protecting Your Web Applications It’s no secret that organizations are embracing the cloud and all the benefits that it entails. Whether its cost savings, increased flexibility or enhanced productivity – businesses around the world are leveraging the cloud to scale their business and better serve their customers. They are using a variety of cloud solutions…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Ending The Great Enterprise Disconnect

Five Requirements for Supporting a Connected Workforce It used to be that enterprises dictated how workers spent their day: stuck in a cubicle, tied to an enterprise-mandated computer, an enterprise-mandated desk phone with mysterious buttons, and perhaps an enterprise-mandated mobile phone if they traveled. All that is history. Today, a modern workforce is dictating how…

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…

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

How Formal Verification Can Thwart  Breaches Formal verification is not a new concept. In a nutshell, the process uses sophisticated math to prove or disprove whether a system achieves its desired functional specifications. It is employed by organizations that build products that absolutely cannot fail. One of the reasons NASA rovers are still roaming Mars…

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

5% Of Companies Have Embraced The Digital Innovation Fostered By Cloud Computing

Embracing The Cloud We love the stories of big complacent industry leaders having their positions sledge hammered by nimble cloud-based competitors. chews up Oracle’s CRM business. Airbnb has a bigger market cap than Marriott. Amazon crushes Walmart (and pretty much every other retailer). We say: “How could they have not seen this coming?” But, more…

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Don’t Be Intimidated By Data Governance

Data Governance Data governance, the understanding of the raw data of an organization is an area IT departments have historically viewed as a lose-lose proposition. Not doing anything means organizations run the risk of data loss, data breaches and data anarchy – no control, no oversight – the Wild West with IT is just hoping…

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Achieving Network Security In The IoT

Security In The IoT The network security market is experiencing a pressing and transformative change, especially around access control and orchestration. Although it has been mature for decades, the network security market had to transform rapidly with the advent of the BYOD trend and emergence of the cloud, which swept enterprises a few years ago.…

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

Lavabit, Edward Snowden and the Legal Battle For Privacy

The Legal Battle For Privacy In early June 2013, Edward Snowden made headlines around the world when he leaked information about the National Security Agency (NSA) collecting the phone records of tens of millions of Americans. It was a dramatic story. Snowden flew to Hong Kong and then Russia to avoid deportation to the US,…

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Beacons Flopped, But They’re About to Flourish in the Future

Cloud Beacons Flying High When Apple debuted cloud beacons in 2013, analysts predicted 250 million devices capable of serving as iBeacons would be found in the wild within weeks. A few months later, estimates put the figure at just 64,000, with 15 percent confined to Apple stores. Beacons didn’t proliferate as expected, but a few…