Tag Archives: Cloud

Boundary-free Enterprises and the Big Storm of 2015

With Clouds come storms, and big storms tend to blow things around.  Back in 2012, we began building our “Boundary-free Enterprise™” business concept to illustrate the concept of how much Cloud and its related technologies will “blow away” many, if not most, of our traditional business and technological boundaries.

A new Strategic Perspective for Saugatuck Technology’s subscription research clients looks at the four types of boundaries most likely to be buffeted by these storms, as follows:  Continue reading

Public Cloud Benefits vs. Exposures

Public Cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google, promote their offerings as the best choices for most IT situations. Given the broad and sometimes contradictory messages ranging across the spectrum of Cloud offerings from Private to Public to Hybrid, it is not surprising that selection can be challenging. In a recently published Strategic Perspective, Saugatuck offers guidance to any Enterprise IT organization considering a Public Cloud offering.

Saugatuck characterizes Public Cloud benefits in the following areas: Continue reading

Dell Marketplace Opens for Business Beta-style

Dell hosted its Dell World 2014 conference in early November at the Austin Convention Center. And while in previous years Dell rolled out the high-tech star power – Elon Musk and Steve Ballmer delivered past keynotes – this year’s model was all business. Michael Dell hosted and made multiple appearances, and the opening panel featured McKinsey Global Institute’s Michael Chiu, Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly and Palantir Technologies’ President Shyam Sankar.

One reason why things are different this year is the leveraged buyout.

A little over a year ago, Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners completed a nearly $25 billion buyout of Dell shareholders and took Dell private. The stated reason for going private was to enable Dell, formerly publicly traded for 25 years, to accomplish its shift beyond personal computers to the diversification, synergy and higher profit margins provided by software, services and other networking tools – without the scrutiny or interference of Wall Street.

The underlying themes haven’t changed though. Dell still trumpets the mantra of Transform, Connect, Inform, Protect and still links its products and services directly to that powerful messaging.

One of the most impactful announcements at Dell World 2014 was made by Nnamdi Orakwue, vice president, Software Strategy, Operations and Cloud: Dell Marketplace has opened its public beta phase. Orakwue hopes that Continue reading

Docker versus DevOps – A Shortcut to Nirvana or Hype?

Saugatuck attends and participates in a large number of vendor conferences around the globe and a Saugatuck analyst recently was present at a New York City conference hosted by a leading Infrastructure provider. During the festivities, we were astonished to hear that “With Docker all you really need is coders. It effectively eliminates the need for DevOps.”

We should first say it was not Docker making that claim. We are certain that no one at the Cloud technology vendor, least of all Solomon Hykes, Docker’s Founder & CTO, would make that claim. Nevertheless, Docker does change the way Digital Businesses will develop and deploy Cloud solutions. Hykes makes the analogy of the shipping container and how it has eased moving cargo from place to place.

One of the capabilities that organizations long have needed to ensure their investment in the Cloud is the easy migration of workloads. Docker solves this problem by providing a multi-language, agile, and cost-effective containerization solution. Furthermore, Docker delivers an open platform for developers and IT operations to build, ship, and run distributed applications, and enables the continuous delivery and integration of solution components.

On the other hand, Docker doesn’t wash your windows, cut your grass or walk your dog. And, for the moment, it runs only on Linux. However, before long we expect to see Docker available for Windows and for Continue reading

IBM’s 3Q2014 Earnings Debacle: Our Take and What Was NOT Stated

What is Happening?          

On October 20th IBM announced its 3Q2014 earnings, which were down 4 percent year-over-year and missed analyst consensus EPS by a sizable margin. This is the 10th consecutive quarter of declining earnings at IBM. Not surprisingly, the NYSE reacted quickly to the news of another IBM revenue and profit decline. Most financial and industry analysts focused on the details of the earnings and opined that IBM has been woefully slow to capitalize on the growing popularity of Cloud computing, which is gaining traction across both software and infrastructure IT spending.

More importantly, Saugatuck sees IBM’s earnings announcement as representative of the challenges all traditional IT providers are facing. Unique to IBM, however, was the announcement that IBM would back down from the RoadMap 2015 EPS plan put in place by former CEO Sam Palmisano – which has caused a broad array of financial engineering as the firm has attempted to meet its very aggressive targets, including significant share buybacks.

What the announcement indicated or stated:

  • This earnings announcement was no doubt significant as evidenced by the fact that Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, personally participated in the announcement. This was a first for an IBM CEO.
  • On the earnings call, and in a subsequent CNBC interview, Rometty emphasized that the shortfall was due to an execution failure in the month of September. She reiterated that the core business was solid, in her opinion.
  • At the same time, IBM re-emphasized its commitment to its strategic growth areas of Cloud, analytics, and Watson, and announced that to help focus its efforts it will create a new Cloud division – and will trim staff (eliminate layers of middle management) as it focuses resources on growth areas, and moves to become more agile in response to changing customer requirements.

Continue reading

IBM, the Cloud, SAP, and IT Provider Re-Invention

It’s no secret that IBM’s financial performance has disappointed investors and company leadership. We see part, if not much, of the blame being placed on a perception that IBM has been late in, or unable to, transition to being a Cloud-first provider of IT.

A new Strategic Perspective research note for Saugatuck subscription research clients examines this perception through the lens of the recent IBM-SAP HANA deal, providing insight into how both firms have been reinventing and repositioning themselves to be very competitive with Cloud-based business IT offerings. For example:  Continue reading

Private Cloud: Benefits but Not a Free Lunch

As a result of ongoing discussions with IT managers and providers, Saugatuck has identified the increasing popularity of Private Clouds particularly among large enterprise IT organizations. In a recently published Strategic Perspective, Saugatuck offers guidance to any Enterprise IT organization considering a Private Cloud. Assessments are provided for areas of comparison between Private Clouds and infrastructure virtualization.

Saugatuck characterizes two basic factors to that make Private Cloud attractive to typical enterprise IT organizations: Continue reading

Cloud and Mobile Shape a New Vision of Innovation

Recent surveys have shown the increasing importance of Cloud and Mobile technologies in fostering innovation. While these exist within a cluster of mutually supporting technologies, such as Analytics, APIs, and an overall Digital Business context, they deserve a closer look as platform components for a new vision of innovation.

As the need for innovation becomes increasingly acute, and the profitability window continues to shrink, businesses need to look beyond idea sources to the processes supporting innovation and new product development. Cloud and Mobile technologies can play an important supporting role in energizing the traditional gated innovation process. These changes can make innovation more efficient and more effective, bringing some of the simplicity and rapid response that we have seen in Agile software development to the critical process of developing next generation products and services. Continue reading

Managing Complexity in the Cloud: DevOps + Non-Functional Testing

What is Happening?          

Complexity in the Cloud is growing significantly beyond simple hybrids of Cloud-to-Cloud or Cloud-to-On-Premises integrations. Cloud integration and loosely-coupled systems can create management challenges, particularly in an era of continuous deployment. As Figure 1 illustrates, interfaces to business processes and external APIs proliferate, new challenges arise for IT security, quality assurance and for IT management.

Figure 1: The Growing Challenges of Cloud Complexity

Cloud Complexity

source: Austrian Science Fund FWF

Moreover, as complexity increases, so does risk, particularly in two areas: One, security breaches; and Two, systems failure or degradation of performance – both potentially costly and undesirable outcomes, but both manageable by a pair of emergent approaches: a strong DevOps regimen, and “non-functional” testing techniques. Continue reading

IBM Needs to Learn the “Other” Software Business

A recent IBM briefing for Saugatuck helped to clarify the breadth and depth of IBM’s Cloud / SaaS portfolio, business strategy, approach, and results. We came away with two key net takeaways:

I.         IBM certainly has a broad, deep, useful, and valuable SaaS portfolio. Almost quietly, it’s long-standing positioning as a provider of software, but not applications, has shifted. Mostly through SaaS acquisitions, IBM today is a very significant and competitive business applications provider. One big example: the $1.3 billion acquisition of HCM / Talent Management SaaS provider Kenexa in 2012 (see Forbes article).

According to our recent briefing, IBM’s SaaS portfolio now includes over 120 busienss applications – across a range of functional roles (e.g., customer service, finance, human resources, marketing, procurement, sales) and solution categories (e.g., advanced analytics, BPaaS, Smarter Cities, Watson). By our estimates, IBM is already realizing more than $1B in annual revenues from this portfolio, and we expect Big Blue to at least double their current SaaS revenues within the next 18 months as this portfolio continues to grow (by acquisition and internal development) reach 150-200 by YE2015.

II.         But given the acquired nature of much of that portfolio, IBM still faces substantial needs for, and challenges in, organization, coordination, integration, and go-to-market approaches for the assembled Continue reading