Skip to content

Posts from the ‘SaaS’ Category

Making Analytics Pay In The Enterprise

global-analytics-300x2001With analytics and big data being so heavily hyped today, it is ironic the majority of business analysts often lack access to data and tools they need.

But things are changing with the next generation of analytics software coming to market.  A recent study by The Economist, “Big Data and the Democratisation of Decisions,” shows the severity of the big data analytics problem and which departments need the most support: customer service, human resources, marketing, strategy and business development.  The following is an infographic based on the study’s key findings. To be clear, all companies mentioned in this post are not and never have been clients of mine or companies I have worked for.

Unleashing Greater Insight in the Enterprise

The real analytics payoff in the enterprise begins when business analysts can achieve customer and market insights faster than their competitors.  In the consumer packaged goods industry, every week counts in a new product launch and product lifecycle.  In healthcare, lag times in customer service lead to patients seeking more responsive treatment alternatives.  The net result in each is lost revenue.

Analytics applications and platforms are increasingly being designed for self-service and the needs of business analysts first.  Instead of having to rely on IT for analytics, big data and advanced statistical analysis support, business analysts need to be able to complete projects on their own. Analytics applications are advancing quickly on this self-service dimension, making it possible for business analysts to get complex projects done in a fraction of the time it would have taken IT to staff and complete them.

Alliances and partnerships between analytics software providers are focused on getting business analysts the tools they need so they don’t have to rely on IT so much to get their work done.  The recent partnership announced between Alteryx and Revolution Analytics puts R-based predictive analytics directly in the hands business analysts is a case in point.

What’s noteworthy about this partnership above all others is the option it gives enterprises to integrate big data and other 3rd party sources into a common system of engagement. Business analysts can then use tools to design analytics and reporting workflows that align and stay in step with line-of-business needs over time.

alteryx-gallery1-300x1691Once an application or workflow is complete, business analysts can publish and distribute their analytics applications enterprise-wide. The Alteryx Analytics Gallery (shown to the right) gives customers the opportunity to share their analytics applications with each other.  The gallery is helping business analysts learn from each other, serving as a catalyst for broader analytic consumption.

This is the same model ServiceNow (NYSE:NOW) has been so successful with in the area of IT Service Management.  I attended Knowledge13 earlier this year and found their customer base to be one of the most enthusiastic I’ve ever met.  What ServiceNow has done IT Service Management, Alteryx is on its way to accomplishing in analytics.

Why All This Matters For Customers

Getting analytics applications and tools in the hands of business analysts significantly improves the customer experience and reduce errors at the same time. At Kaiser Permanente, business analysts focus on cost saving projects that improve customer service.

Kaiser has a continual stream of customer interactions across multiple channels going on daily.  Supported by legacy IT systems, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and manual processes to keep the entire system working, the healthcare provider was seeing patient satisfaction levels drop as they didn’t have a clear view of their customers.  The legacy and manual systems also made coordinating customer service teams very difficult and replicating analytics tools very difficult.

Alteryx-Workflow-21

Kaiser Permanente was able to aggregate and cleanse the myriad of data sources they rely on and gain greater insights into their customer’s needs. Creating analytics and reporting workflows that business analysts and lean leaders in their Service Organization use to stay on top of customer needs has led to a five-fold increase in customer service performance according to Greg Hall, Senior Service Optimization Leader.

Why Salesforce Is Winning The Cloud Platform War

300px-Salesforce_Logo_2009The future of any enterprise software vendor is being decided today in their developer community.

Alex William’s insightful thoughts on Salesforce Is A Platform Company. Period. underscores how rapidly Salesforce is maturing as a cloud platform.  And the best measure of that progress can be seen in their developer community.

(To be clear, Salesforce and the other companies mentioned in this post are not clients and never have been.  I track this area out of personal interest.)

DevZone force.com

The last four years I’ve made a point at every Salesforce Dreamforce event to spend the majority of my time in the developer area.  Watching mini hacks going on in the DevZone, mini workshops, the Salesforce Platform and Developer keynotes over the last few years has been a great learning experience.  An added plus: developers are often skeptical and want to see new enhancements help streamline their code, extend its functionality, and push the limits of the Force.com platform. This healthy skepticism has led to needed improvements in the Force.com platform, including a change to governor limits on Application Programmer Interface (APIs) performance and many other enhancements.  Despite the criticisms of Force.com being proprietary due to Apex and SOQL, the crowds at developer forums continue to grow every year.

I’ve started to look at the developer area as the crucible or foundry for future apps.  While the Cloud Expo shows how vibrant the partner ecosystem is, the developer area is where tomorrow’s apps are being coded today. The Force.com Workbook, an excellent reference for Force.com developers, was just released October 1 and DeveloperForce shows how far the developer support is matured in Salesforce.  In addition a new Force.com REST API Developer’s Guide is out just last month.

The Journey From Application To Platform

In visiting the developer area of Dreamforce over the last four years I’ve seen indications that Salesforce is successfully transforming itself into a cloud platform business:

  • Significant jump in the quantity and quality of developer attendees from 2010 to 2012.  The depth of questions, sophistication of code samples, calls for more flexibility with governor limits, and better mobile support typified these years.
  • Steady improvement to visual design tools, application development environment and support for jQuery, Sencha and Apache Cordova.
  • The steady maturation of Salesforce Touch as a mobile development platform and launch of Salesforce Platform Mobile Services Launched in 2011, this platform continues to mature, driven by developer’s requirements that reflect their customers’ needs for mobility support.  HTML 5 is supported and the apps I’ve seen written on it are fast, accurate and ideal for customer service.  ServiceMax has created exceptional mobile apps including their comprehensive ServiceMax for iPad app on the Force.com platform.
  • 2012: Rise of the Mobile Enterprise Developer.  Salesforce’s enterprise customers in 2009 weren’t nearly as active as they were last year with questions on legacy systems integration and how to create web services capable of integrating customer data.  2011 was a breakout year in mobile app development with 2012 showing strong momentum on mobile web services development.  I expect this year’s Dreamforce developer community to reflect the rapidly growing interest in mobile as well.

How Enterprise Applications Make The Salesforce Platform Work For Them

In speaking with Salesforce developers over the years one of my favorite questions continues to be “what is the real payoff of having a native Force.com application in your company?”  Initially I thought this was marketing spin from enterprise software vendors attempting to use features as benefits, however after a closer look it is clear that the platform has significant advantages, especially for any solution requiring global deployments or large numbers of users.  Here is what I found out:

  • The investments Salesforce.com has made in their cloud infrastructure over several years (and continue to make) has resulted in a platform that developers  are leveraging to rapidly deliver enterprise applications that deliver world-class performance, reliability, and security.
  • Of the many native Force.com applications that extend Salesforce beyond CRM, it’s been my experience the most challenging are Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) and contract management.  Creating a single system of record across these two areas is challenging even outside of Force.com, which is why many companies in this space have two entirely different product strategies.  Apttus is the exception as they have successfully created a unified product strategy on Force.com alone.  I recently had the chance to speak with Neehar Giri, President and Chief Solutions Architect.  “Apttus’ strategic decision to deliver our enterprise-class applications natively on the Salesforce platform has allowed us to focus on our customer needs, meeting and exceeding their expectations in both functionality and speed of innovation,” said Neehar Giri, president and chief solutions architect, Apttus.  “We’ve seen the platform evolve rapidly in its capabilities and global scalability.  Apttus’ customers have and continue to benefit from the true multi- tenancy, world class security, reliability and performance of the Salesforce Platform.”
  • Salesforce.com’s multi-tenant architecture allows for optimization of computing resources resulting in savings and significant gains in efficiency for global enterprises even over applications deployed on private clouds.
  • Native Force.com applications share the same security model as Salesforce apps.  Financialforce.com chose to develop their accounting, ordering and billing, professional services automation and service resource planning entirely on the Force.com architecture due to shared master data, multi- tenancy, world class security, reliability and performance.  This shared architecture also benefits enterprise consumers of native applications by providing best-in-class uptime.
  • Native Force.com applications are contributing to greater return on investment (ROI). IT often does not need to manage data integration or sync issues, upgrades to even large numbers of users are easily deployed, and users can remain in a familiar interface.   These benefits support faster and easier deployment as well as rapid user adoption both of which are critical to success and a high ROI for any solution. Enterprise developers have often mentioned the familiar interface and ease of deployment have led to higher rates of adoption than any other approach to delivering new application functionality.
  • Advanced APIs to support integration of legacy applications not on the Force.com platform.
  • Proven ability of Salesforce.com to support global deployments.  The company has expanded its global support centers.  Salesforce.com also publishes real-time statistics on system status: http://trust.salesforce.com/trust/.
  • A continuing acceleration of new capabilities resulting from increasing numbers of developers driving the advancement of the platform through their collective input, suggestions and requirements.
  • Ability to design applications that respond with greater customer insight and intelligence across mobile devices.  ServiceMax has an impressive series of mobile applications that do this today.  I had a chance to speak with David Yarnold, their CEO about his vision for the company.  He wants to give ServiceMax’s customers the ability to deliver flawless field service where every interaction is perfect.  By building on the Force.com architecture he explained how each service customers’ contextual intelligence can be seen in real-time by everyone involved in serving customers.  Clearly ServiceMax is capitalizing on the mobile development platform area of Force.com as well.

Bottom Line: Enabling developers to attain greater revenue growth, while creating an extensive mobile app development platform is further proof Salesforce has turned the corner from being an application company to a platform provider.

Top Ten Cloud Computing Skills Recruiters Search For

cloud-computing-jobsI recently had the opportunity to speak with Jennifer Bewley and Rachel Ceccarelli of Dice.com regarding the trends they are seeing in cloud computing recruiters’ searched-for terms on their sites.  They’re seeing exponential growth in cloud computing-related job listings today and provided an analysis of the top ten cloud computing skills recruiters are searching for.

From just 13 cloud computing-related jobs listed in May, 2008, their site has over 5,000 today.  The following graphic shows the growth in cloud computing job listings on their site over time.

 

The following are the top ten cloud computing skills searched for on Dice.com as of today:

  • Linux operating system
  • Chef – The open-source systems management and cloud infrastructure automation framework
  • Puppet - IT automation software that helps system administrators manage infrastructure throughout its lifecycle, from provisioning and configuration to orchestration and reporting
  • Cloud, Legacy System and IT Consulting
  • SaaS Programming – Java is the number one search term on the Dice.com site and is a common programming language cited in these searches.
  • Python
  • Perl
  • DevOps
  • Shell scripting
  • Ruby on Rails

Getting A 360-Degree View Of Potential Candidates

They also demonstrated Open Web, a unique new web application in beta right now that has the ability to aggregate all social networks, keywords, and published experience of technical professionals.  The accuracy and speed of Open Web is impressive; it’s been in beta since January and responds like a production-ready app.  Jennifer and Rachel mentioned that recruiters using Open Web today are seeing 30% response rates to their queries to in-demand technical professionals.

What’s unique about Open Web is that it provides a 360-degree view of potential candidates, including all social media they participate in, in addition to discussion boards and favorited or liked sites on Facebook. The following is what Open Web looks like today:

Bottom line:  Recruiting analytics and tools online are accelerating quickly, making it possible for companies searching for cloud computing talent to find it quicker than ever before.  For those searching for a job in the field, making every aspect of your online presence reflect cloud computing expertise can make you stand out in recruiter’s searches.

Note: Dice.com isn’t now and has never been a client. I chose to write this post to serve readers who frequently ask me to research hiring trends in cloud computing.

Lessons Learned From The 2013 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey

Pacific Crest SurveyDeveloping the ability to upsell existing customers into longer-term, higher value contracts that are multi-year in duration is one of the most critically important skill sets any SaaS business needs to attain.

These and other insights were gained from analyzing the 2013 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey, published earlier this month by David Skok.   The survey is based on responses from 155 SaaS companies, compiled by Pacific Crest Securities.   David’s blog For Entrepreneurs provides excellent content on SaaS metrics, start-up advice and a wealth on insight in the areas of sales and marketing, business models and the specifics of how to manage a SaaS business model profitability.

Key take-aways from the 2013 Pacific Crest SaaS Survey include the following:

  • Median GAAP revenue growth increased by 41% in 2012, projected to reach 47% in 2013 across all 155 SaaS companies included in the analysis.  When smaller companies whose revenue growth projections are excluded, median revenue growth for 2012 was 32%, projected to increase to 36% this year.  The following two figures illustrate distribution of revenue growth by number of companies.

  • The fastest growing SaaS companies have median contract sizes that are between $1K to $25K.  Companies’ with less than $2M in revenue were excluded from this analysis given the smaller deal sizes they generate.

  • The larger the median ACV (Annual Contract Value) the greater the reliance on field sales.  In results from previous surveys Pacific Crest found that mid-tier companies were more reliant on inside sales.  54% of respondents in the $5K to $25K ACV segment of companies this year are reliant on insider sales, up from 33% in 2012.
  • 13% of new ACV is generated from upsells across all SaaS companies, with the largest capable of expanding into other departments and divisions of existing customers.  SaaS companies with sales over $60M are generating 32% of new ACV from upsell strategies. It’s interesting to note that upsell is a more effective strategy at gaining market share versus marketing spending, and this hold true across sizes of SaaS companies.  The following graphic illustrates percentage of new ACV by size of SaaS company and an analysis showing the fastest-growth SaaS companies generate a higher proportion of new ACV from upsells compared to their peers.
  • 76% gross margins are being achieved across all respondents.  This does not change significantly when smaller companies are removed from the analysis.
  • Try-Before-You-Buy is used far more often than Freemium because it generates additional sales.  The following graphic shows the expected contribution of each to ACV in 2013:

  • Professional Services are 12% of 1rst year ACV across all customer segments.  Selling professional services into the enterprise generates 23% of first year ACV according to the study.  A graphic showing the distribution of first year ACV as a percentage of professional services by customer segment is shown below:

  • SaaS companies who primarily rely on Internet-based distribution methods are attaining the highest growth rates.  When companies with less than $2M in revenue were taken out of the analysis, those companies primarily based on inside sales grew 10% more than field sales.  The following graphic presents this analysis, excluding companies with less than $2M in revenue.

  • 37% of respondent companies rely on field sales as their primary means of distribution followed by inside sales (29%) and Internet sales (17%).  When smaller companies with sales less than $2M are excluded, field sales jumps to 50% of all respondents using this method as a primary means of distribution.  Inside sales (29%) and Internet sales (8%) are second and third.  While Internet sales is the cheapest form of distribution, it also leads to the highest churn rates (9%) recorded in the survey.

Predicting Enterprise Cloud Computing Growth

69% of enterprises who have separate budgets for cloud computing are predicting spending increases this year and into 2014.

This is one of several key take-aways from a research study published today by TheInfoPro, a service of 451 Research.  TheInfoPro Wave 5 Cloud Computing Study is based on research completed in the first six months of 2013, and relies on live interviews with IT management and primary decision-makers in midsize and large enterprises in Europe and North America. You can view details of TheInfoPro Cloud Computing Overview Program and methodology here.

Additional key take-aways from the study include the following:

  • The worldwide cloud computing market will grow at a 36% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2016, reaching a market size of $19.5B by 2016.
  • 38% of enterprises surveyed break out cloud computing budgets, while 60% include cloud-related spending as part of their enterprise-wide IT budgets.  TheInfoPro asserts that cloud computing’s benefits of greater business orchestration and reduced time-to-market have led to a change in budgeting approaches.
  • The median enterprise cloud computing budget is $675,000 and the mean enterprise cloud computing budget is $8,234,438.  The study found the largest enterprise cloud computing budget at $125M.  The following graphic provides a distribution of cloud computing budgets by range.

cloud-computing-budget

  • Internal Private Cloud (35%), Cloud Provider Assessments/Strategy Planning (33%), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) (31%) and Software-as-a-Service (30%) are the top four cloud computing-related projects enterprises are working on right now.  Cloud Provider Assessments/Strategy Planning have seen the largest increase, attributable to more enterprises looking to better support strategic plans with more agile, efficient IT organizations.

top-challenges-graphic2

  • 83% of enterprises face significant roadblocks that hold them back from moving beyond cost reduction to faster time-to-market and better orchestration of their businesses. Respondents mentioned that politics, budget, time and staff are the main sources of roadblocks to getting more value out of their cloud computing investments. The majority of these roadblocks are not related to IT.  They include lack of clarity regarding organization and budget (37%), resistance to change (16%) and lack of trust (visibility and reliability) (15%).  The following graphic illustrates the enterprise cloud journey as defined in TheInfoPro Wave 5 Cloud Computing Study.

deciphering-the-cloud-journey

  • Consistent with many other enterprise cloud computing surveys, security is the biggest pain point and roadblock to cloud computing adoption (30%).  Migration and integration of legacy and on-premise systems with cloud applications (18%) is second, and lack of internal process (18%) is third.  The following graphic shows a rank ordering of cloud computing-related pain points.

cloud-related-pain-points

Where Cloud Computing Jobs Are Today

career-start1Gaining insights into cloud computing hiring trends is invaluable to understanding the competitive landscape and direction of new application and platform development.

It’s also invaluable for any company looking to recruit cloud computing professionals.  For qualified job seekers, staying on top of these trends can and does lead to well-timed career moves, higher salaries and greater chances for professional growth.

Real-time business intelligence of the talent marketplace is a fascinating area to track.  Wanted Analytics is a leader in this field, and their analytics applications and advanced data sets are used for competitive analysis, sourcing new hires, analyzing employment and economic trends, and lead generation.  I’ve never worked for Wanted Analytics and they’re not a client.   They were kind enough to provide a test-drive account for this analysis. The Wanted Analytics platform is based on 25,000 employment sources that together account for 950 million job posts.

Here are the key take-aways from an analysis of cloud computing job opportunities:

  • For all positions that mention the term cloud computing as part of the description, requirements or prerequisites, the Hiring Scale is 72.  The higher the score on the scale, the greater difficulty employers are having in finding the right applicants for their open positions.  Wanted Analytics has published a white paper explaining the methodology of the Hiring Scale and you can download it here.
  • Average salary range for cloud computing jobs is $90,650 to $110,800 according to the Wanted Analytics.
  •  There are 10,077 positions open at 1,447 employers, with the average posting period being 47 days.   This analysis is based on all positions where cloud computing is mentioned as part of the job description, requirements or prerequisites.
  • The following map shows the distribution of job counts by Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and a table comparing the top 20 MSAs nationally.
cloud-computing-jobs-by-job-count1
cloud-computing-jobs-by-SMA1
 
  • EMC (17%), Amazon.com (16%) and Salesforce.com (12%) and their partners are the leading cloud computing employers currently looking to fill positions.  Software, services and system integration partners that work with these three companies will often mention them in their own job ads as well.  This distribution of jobs reflects the partner network these companies have each built in addition to jobs available with each of them.

top-ten-employers-with-cloud-positions-open

  • Top ten certifications include the following:
  1. Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS SCI) (863 ads);
  2. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) (385 ads);
  3. Project Management Professional (PMP) (209 ads);
  4. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) (193 ads);
  5. Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) (180 ads);
  6.  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) expertise (156 ads);
  7.  Business Process Management Programming Languages (BPM) expertise (137 ads);
  8.  EMC System Administrator (EMCSyA) (130 ads);
  9.  VMware Certified Professional (VCP) (109 ads);
  10. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) (108 ads).

451 Research: Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Fastest Growing Area Of Cloud Computing

public-cloud-computing-forecast-2011-2016The majority of cloud computing revenue in 2012 was generated from vendors with sales over $75M (66%) and who are privately held (77%), with Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) projected to attain a 41% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2016.

Market Monitor, a service of 451 Research, is also predicting 36% CAGR in cloud computing, growing from $5.7B in 2012 to $20B by the end of 2016 in their Cloud-as-a-Service overview report. Other research firms including Gartner have much higher forecasts for cloud computing in general and IaaS, PaaS and SaaS specifically.

Market Monitor relies on a bottoms-up forecasting methodology that includes revenue analysis and forecasts from 309 cloud-services providers and technology vendors across 14 sectors. Their taxonomy defining Cloud as a Service is shown in the following graphic:

taxonomy cloud as a service

Here are the key take-aways from the report:

  • The cloud computing market will grow from $5.7B in 2012 to $20B in 2016, attaining a 36% CAGR over the forecast period.  The following graphic from the report shows the breakout of revenue on a yearly basis throughout the forecast period.

forecast breakout

  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) will attain a 41% CAGR through 2016, generating 24% of total cloud revenues.  71% of PaaS revenues will be generated by vendors over $75M in sales according to the study.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) will attain a 37% CAGR through 2016, generating 51% of cloud revenue.  69% of IaaS revenues will be generated by vendors over $75M in sales according to the study.
  • SaaS will attain a 29% CAGR through 2016 and the distribution of revenue by vendor size shows how fragmented this area of the market is.  The following is a summary table from the report showing distribution of sales by vendor and category.

distribution table

Citrix Sees Strong Cloud Sales Growth, Snaps Up Reuven Cohen As Chief Cloud Advocate

saas-200x300Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) continues to successfully launch and manage products in the areas of cloud, desktop, mobile and networking, reporting net revenue of $730M for their latest quarter (Q2, 2013), up 19% from Q2, 2012.  Product license revenue is up 21% from Q2, 2012 to $227M for the latest quarter as well.  In the interest of full disclosure, I have never held a position in Citrix stock and do not today, and they have never been a client.

The following table is from their 2Q13 Financial Results presentation:

Managing Multiple Businesses And Making It Look Easy

Citrix continues to be a fascinating company to watch as it successfully competes across a broad range of businesses.  Cloud management, mobility and desktop management platforms, online collaboration, networking and security, and server virtualization are all revenue-generating businesses in the company today.

And while the majority of acquisitions in enterprise software struggle to deliver revenue or even fail, Citrix has been able to bolster is collaboration, enterprise mobility and telecom and networking businesses with solid additions.  Acquiring Zenprise in December, 2012 to bolster its mobile device management (MDM) strategy has led to increased sales, as has the acquisition of Podio in April of last year to augment its Online Services Division (OSD).  In June of last year Citrix also acquired ByteMobile, which gives the company entry into the telecom/carrier market.

At Citrix Synergy 2013 held May 22 – 24 of this year in Anaheim, California the company hosted the Citrix Financial Analyst Track.  You can download the presentation from this track here.  This presentation shows how challenging it can be to manage a business with multiple revenue streams across a broad base of technologies.  The following slide taken from the Citrix Financial Analyst Track illustrates just how quickly Citrix is growing and how mobile & desktop, SaaS and networking & cloud are contributing to their growth.

The addressable market opportunity for Citrix given the breadth of their product strategies is reflected in this slide, also from the Citrix Financial Analyst track:

Why Citrix Snapped Up Reuven Cohen

With so much growth potential in their cloud-based businesses, Citrix needed a seasoned veteran from the cloud computing industry who had both developed and managed new cloud platforms, products and services to the stack level.

They chose Reuven Cohen as their first-ever Chief Cloud Advocate based on his entrepreneurial expertise in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) including being the founder and CEO of Enomaly which was sold to Virtustream in 2012. He is also actively involved in the National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST) cloud definition, and is a GSA Cloud IaaS BPA awardee, presented Great Britain’s G-Cloud initiative to the Parliament, and is an active delegate in the Sino-EU America Cooperation Workgroup.

He is responsible for leading Citrix’s cloud advocacy efforts with a specific focus on increasing the volume, reach and influence of Citrix’s extensive portfolio of cloud solutions used by more than 260,000 customers and 100 million end users across the globe.  He’ll also be responsible for increasing the adoption of several Open Source initiatives at Citrix as well.   Here are a few of the current Citrix open source projects now underway:

Apache CloudStack, an open source software designed to deploy and manage large networks of virtual machines, as a highly available, highly scalable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing platform.

OpenDaylight, a community-led, open, industry-supported framework, for accelerating adoption, fostering new innovation, reducing risk and creating a more transparent approach to Software-Defined Networking.

The Xen Project, the home for various virtualization technologies powering the world’s largest clouds in production and is the foundation of many commercial products.

XenServer, an open source project and community managed by Citrix. The project develops open source software for securely running multiple operating systems and applications on a single device, enabling hardware consolidation and automation to reduce costs and simplify IT management of servers and applications.

Congratulations to Reuven on being named Chief Cloud Advocate at Citrix, I am sure he’ll accomplish much in his new role.

IDG Cloud Computing Survey: Security, Integration Challenge Growth

cloud computing survey 2IDG Enterprise recently published Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report, showing how enterprises continue to struggle with security, integration and governance while finding immediate value in collaboration and customer relationship management (CRM) applications.

IDG’s methodology is based on interviews with 1,358 respondents, stratified across CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld, and Network World websites, in addition to respondents contacted via email, and LinkedIn forums.  58% of respondents are from executive IT roles; 17% from Mid-level IT; 14% from IT professionals; 8% from middle-level business management and 3% non-manager roles were represented in the study.  High tech industries are the dominant industry represented with 18% of respondents, followed by financial services, government and manufacturing (each accounting for 10% of respondents).  Education (9%) and telecommunications & utilities (6%) are the other industries represented.

Key take-aways from the survey include the following:

  • 49% of executive-level management see cloud computing as transformational to their business strategies.  40% are currently having their IT staff investigate the potential of cloud computing contributing to their businesses, 5% don’t see cloud as an option and 6% aren’t sure.
  • Amazon (32%), Microsoft (23%) and Google (20%) are most often considered thought leaders in the field of cloud computing by respondents to the IDG survey.
  • Enabling business continuity (43%), greater flexibility to react to changing market conditions (40%), speed of deployment (39%) and improving customer support or services (38%) are the top four drivers of investment in cloud computing technology according to the survey.  The following graphic provides an analysis of each driver by level of relative importance.   This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.

  • Accelerating business value by providing access to critical business data and applications (56%); serving as a catalyst of IT innovation (56%); enabling greater employee collaboration (54%); and enabling greater levels of IT agility (54%) are the top four benefits enterprises are gaining from cloud-based applications.  The following graphic provides an analysis of how cloud computing technology is impacting each of the areas shown in respondent’s enterprises. This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.

  • Financial Services and high tech companies are projected to have the largest cloud computing budgets based on the survey.  Enterprises are expected to invest an average of $1.5M in cloud-based services during the 2013 – 2014 timeframe.  IDG projects that large companies will spend $2.8M relative to small and medium-sized businesses investing $486K on average.
  • Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) (35%) are the hardest to convince regarding the value of cloud computing, followed by the board of directors or equivalent (24%), the CEO (24%), and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) (16%) third. Chief Marketing Officers (CMO) are the easiest to convince, with just 6% of respondents mentioning this group of executives being a challenge to convince regarding the value of cloud computing.
  • The percentage of organizational IT budgets allocated to SaaS increased from 8% in 2012 to 13% in 2013 according to the last two IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing surveys.  Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) increased to 10% of overall IT budgets, up from 7% in 2012.  In aggregate, 44% of IT budgets are spent on cloud computing today, increasing to 51% by 2015 in the base of enterprises interviewed for the study.
  • Enterprises continue to migrate applications to the cloud that increase collaboration and enhance customer relationships first.  Collaboration and conferencing solutions (38%), e-mail and messaging (35%) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)/Sales Force Automation (SFA) (27%) are the top three applications being migrated to the cloud in the enterprises surveyed.  The following graphic shows which applications are moving to the cloud today and the plans for migrating applications in the next 12 months, and over the next 1 to 3 years.  This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.

  • 59% of enterprises are still identifying which IT operations are the best candidates for cloud hosting.  33% have identified all IT operations that they are comfortable having hosted in the cloud, given the current security of cloud infrastructure and application design.
  • The three most important factors in selecting a SaaS application provider include the ability to configure and customize the cloud application to meet specific business needs (40%), consistent cloud application performance and availability (38%) and security certification and practices of the SaaS provider (34%).
  • 61% of enterprises have at least one application that is cloud-based in their organizations today.  This increased from 57% in 2012.  24% of enterprises are planning to implement cloud applications in the next 12 months and 15% are planning to between 1 to three years from now.
  • In enterprises with less than 1,000 employees, CEOs (52%) are the most influential role in cloud purchasing, followed by the CIO (39%) and IT/networking staff (33%).  In enterprises over 1,000 employees, the CIO (60%), followed by the IT/networking management (47%) and CTO or IT network architect (45%) are the three most influential roles in the cloud purchasing process.
  • 42% of cloud-based projects are eventually brought back in-house, with security concerns (65%), technical/oversight problems (64%), and the need for standardization (on one platform) (48%) being the top three reasons why.
  • The top three challenges to implementing a successful cloud strategy in enterprise vary significantly between IT and line-of-business (LOB).  For IT, concerns regarding security (66%), integration stability and reliability (47%) and ability of cloud computing solutions to meet enterprise/industry standards (35%) challenge adoption.    The following table compares the perceptions of IT and line-of-business leaders.  This image is from Cloud Computing: Key Trends and Future Effects Report.

Coursera, edX Offer Free Online Courses As Cloud Computing Learning Options Proliferate

StanfordThe value and variety of online cloud computing programs being offered by leading colleges and universities is proliferating.

Focusing on the learning needs of IT professionals who need to apply cloud technologies to solve complex business problems, many of these programs and courses sell out before classes begin. This is because CIOs’ career paths are increasingly defined by how well they apply cloud technologies to the unique challenges and problems their businesses face. For CIOs and other members of senior management, getting a solid education on cloud computing’s business benefits is essential for managing effectively today, increasing their long-term marketability and career growth.

These programs are designed for C-level executives and senior managers to get up to speed quickly, often including guest CEOs of prominent software companies as part of the curriculum.  Stanford’s course offered this fall online and on campus has five different CEO guest speakers including Aaron Levie, CEO of Box.net for example.  These programs have an entirely different set of learning objectives versus certifications.  For an excellent analysis of cloud certifications please see David Linthicum’s recent post Are you on the right cloud computing career path?   Also excluded are vendor-sponsored certification programs as the intent of many of these is to promote a very specific view of cloud computing that aligns with their product and service strategies.

Here are key take-aways from following this area:

  •  Georgia Institute of Technology is partnering with Coursera, offering Health Informatics in the Cloud, beginning on September 16th for free.  Coursera is an education company that partners with many of the worlds’ leading colleges and universities to offer free online courses to anyone, anywhere.  They have partnered with 62 universities in 16 countries and offer over 300 courses as of today.
  • University of California, Berkeley is partnering with EdX offering Software as a Service (CS169.2X) beginning August 13th for free.  MIT and Harvard partnered to create EdX, a non-profit organization that is committed to bringing the best of higher education to students around the world.  EdX offers MOOCs (massive open online courses) in addition to interactive online courses in the subject areas of law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health, and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Stanford University’s CS309A looks like one of the best being offered this fall, with five different CEO guest speakers including Hamish Brewer, JDA Software; Godfrey Sulliva, Splunk; Bob Beardon, Horton Works; and Aaron Levie, Box.net.  Dr. Timothy Chou, former president of Oracle OnDemand and Lecturer at Stanford University for over three decades is teaching the course.
  • The following is a comparison of the cloud computing courses and programs designed for senior management starting this fall.  Those entries in green are the free courses that take just minutes to enroll in.  Please click on the image to expand it for easier reading.

Cloud Computing

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 14,850 other followers

%d bloggers like this: