The enterprise buying process is broken. And I suggest both customers and providers need to work at fixing it.
Let me back up and explain. The all-too-common traditional process that is no longer working typically looks like this: Customer has a need, finds providers that sell a product to fulfill that need, and then selects a solution based on price or a mixture of price and feature/functionality.
What I am proposing is that we take a more transparent and collaborative approach to the buying process. Something that would look like this: Customer talks to provider about what they are looking to do with their business (change in technology, new apps, outsourcing, etc.) and also shares critical things like business challenges, their forecasted growth and their current infrastructure environment. The provider then proposes possible solutions based on a holistic view and customer selects the one that works best for them.
During our cloud computing roundtable series we’ve covered a variety of topics from the technical benefits of cloud to the business risks. This range of topics brings us to an important point: the cloud discussion is very different for the business professional than it is for the IT professional.
In our final expert roundtable, we explore this dynamic. For the business person, cloud represents an opportunity to drive profitability, growth and product development. For the IT professional, the cloud represents a way to drive greater efficiencies, offload resources and ultimately provide another tool in the IT toolkit to support the business.
As we continue our exploration of cloud computing, we’ve hit a critical topic: connections. By that we mean the connections that will be required to make cloud computing a reality – whether that be connections between partners to provide a full end-to-end solution, industry standards connecting different vendors’ products or the connections between the network and the apps. Understanding how these connections work is essential in reaching a successful cloud computing model. It’s also a complex and little-discussed topic.
In this expert roundtable, Qwest cloud experts and Nemertes Research Senior Analyst Ted Ritter answer the following questions:
- What is the role of standards in the development of cloud services?
- Is the Internet the ideal platform for the cloud?
- What is the role of the network in the cloud? As Ted asks, is it still just a “thing” in the middle of an architect’s network drawing?
We all know that security is the No. 1 concern for enterprises considering cloud computing. Technology decision makers must balance risk management strategies with the high availability and performance of cloud-based resources.
In the second of four roundtables between Qwest cloud experts and Nemertes Senior Analyst Ted Ritter, we focus on public, private and hybrid clouds and the security considerations enterprises must keep in mind, including:
- What risk management strategies to consider
- How to evaluate which resources and processes should move to the cloud.
Continuing with our focus on cloud computing, we brought together our cloud experts with Nemertes Senior Analyst Ted Ritter for a tough question and answer session. This is the first in a series of roundtables focused on cloud computing. In this video, our execs answer the following questions:
- What is cloud computing?
- How does cloud affect the enterprise?
We’ve been talking a lot about cloud computing here at ThinkGig and we’d like to share an example of how we are moving to the cloud with our Salesforce.com implementation.
It begins with the classic story. The Software as a Service (SaaS) implementation replaces a homegrown funnel management system whose performance had been steadily degrading. Managers lacked visibility into the sales cycle and tools for coaching. Users wanted the ability to manage customers from a Smartphone without losing performance. The tool wasn’t able to scale up quickly as the user base grew and changes to the application took longer than we’d like.
What are the benefits we found by moving to the cloud?
In our last blog post, we talked about cloud computing’s potential to foster the kind of innovation that we saw on the Internet in the 1990s. We suggested that enterprises ask, “How can we use cloud technology to do something different?”
Now we want to dig into one of cloud computing’s core components – Platform as a Service or PaaS – and look at how this flavor of cloud computing is enabling innovation.
First, let’s define PaaS. It’s a technology that combines hosted infrastructure with a development platform such as Java or APEX, purposely separating the development environment from specific operating systems or hardware.
In a challenging business environment, it’s tempting to focus solely on how technology innovation can help companies reduce expenses and work more efficiently. I think it’s also time for additional focus, to consider how new technology can foster growth, innovation and a new energy in the business landscape.
At Qwest, we believe that cloud computing offers as many opportunities to shake things up as the birth of the commercial Internet did 15 years ago.