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Seven Ways Microsoft Redefined Azure For The Enterprise And Emerged A Leader

  • cloud startupsAs of Q2, 2016 Microsoft Azure has achieved 100% year-over-year revenue growth and now has the 2nd largest market share of the Cloud Infrastructure Services market according to Synergy Research.
  • Microsoft’s FY16 Q4 earnings show that Azure attained 102% revenue growth in the latest fiscal year and computing usage more than doubling year-over-year.
  • 451 Research predicts critical enterprise workload categories including data, analytics, and business applications will more than double from 7% to 16% for data workloads and 4% to 9% for business applications.
  • Cloud-first workload deployments in enterprises are becoming more common with 38% of respondents to a recent 451Research survey stating their enterprises are prioritizing cloud over on-premise.

451 Research’s latest study of cloud computing adoption in the enterprise, The Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud Transformation – Workloads and Key Projects provides insights into how enterprises are changing their adoption of public, private and hybrid cloud for specific workloads and applications. The research was conducted in May and June 2016 with more than 1,200 IT professionals worldwide. The study illustrates how quickly enterprises are adopting cloud-first deployment strategies to accelerate time-to-market of new apps while reducing IT costs and launch new business models that are by nature cloud-intensive. Add to this the need all enterprises have to forecast and track cloud usage, costs and virtual machine (VM) usage and value, and it becomes clear why Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are now leaders in the enterprise. The following graphic from Synergy Research Group’s latest study of the Cloud Infrastructure Services provides a comparison of AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM, Google, and others.

Cloud Infrastructure Services

Seven Ways Microsoft Is Redefining Azure For The Enterprise

Being able to innovate faster by building, deploying and managing applications globally on a single cloud platform is what many enterprises are after today. And with over 100 potential apps on their cloud roadmaps, development teams are evaluating cloud platforms based on their potential contributions to new app development and business models first.

AWS and Microsoft Azure haven proven their ability to support new app development and deployment and are the two most-evaluated cloud platforms with dev teams I’ve talked with today. Of the two, Microsoft Azure is gaining momentum in the enterprise.

Here are the seven ways Microsoft is making this happen:

  • Re-orienting Microsoft Azure Cloud Services strategies so enterprise accounts can be collaborators in new app creation. Only Microsoft is coming at selling Cloud Services in the enterprise from the standpoint of how they can help do what senior management teams at their customers want most, which is make their app roadmap a reality. AWS is excellent at ISV and developer support, setting a standard in this area.
  • Giving enterprises the option of using existing relational SQL databases, noSQL data stores, and analytics services when building new cloud apps. All four dominant cloud platforms (AWS, Azure, Google, and IBM) support architectures, frameworks, tools and programming languages that enable varying levels of compatibility with databases, data stores, and analytics. Enterprises that have a significant amount of their legacy app inventory in .NET are choosing Azure for cloud app development. Microsoft’s support for Node.js, PHP, Python and other development languages is at parity with other cloud platforms. Why Microsoft Azure is winning in this area is the designed-in support for legacy Microsoft architectures that enterprises standardized their IT infrastructure on years before. Microsoft is selling a migration strategy here and is providing the APIs, web services, and programming tools to enable enterprises to deliver cloud app roadmaps faster as a result. Like AWS, Microsoft also has created a global development community that is developing and launching apps specifically aimed at enterprise cloud migration.  Due to all of these factors, both AWS and Microsoft are often considered more open cloud platforms by enterprises than others. In contrast, Salesforce platforms are becoming viewed as proprietary, charging premium prices at renewal time. An example of this strategy is the extra 20% Salesforce charges for Lightning experience at renewal time according to Gartner in their recent report, Salesforce Lightning Sales Cloud and Service Cloud Unilaterally Replaced Older Editions; Negotiate Now to Avoid Price Increases and Shelfware Published 31 May 2016, written by analysts Jo Liversidge, Adnan Zijadic.
  • Simplifying cloud usage monitoring, consolidated views of cloud fees and costs including cost predictions and working with enterprises to create greater cloud standardization and automation. AWS’ extensive partner community has solutions that address each of these areas, and AWS’ roadmap reflects this is a core focus of current and future development. The AWS platform has standardization and automation as design objectives for the platform. Enterprises evaluating Azure are running pilots to test the Azure Usage API, which allows subscribing services to pull usage data. This API supports reporting to the hourly level, resource metadata information, and supports Showback and Chargeback models. Azure deployments in production and pilots I’ve seen are using the API to build web services and dashboards to measure and predict usage and costs.
  • Openly addressing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) concerns and providing APIs and Web services to avoid vendor lock-in. The question of data independence and TCO dominates sustainability and expansion of all cloud decisions. From the CIOs, CFOs and design teams I’ve spoken with, Microsoft and Amazon are providing enterprises assistance in defining long-term cost models and are willing to pass along the savings from economies of scale achieved on their platforms. Microsoft Azure is also accelerating in the enterprise due to the pervasive adoption of the many cloud-based subscriptions of Office365, which enables enterprises to begin moving their workloads to the cloud.
  • Having customer, channel, and services all on a single, unified global platform to gain greater insights into customers and deliver new apps faster. Without exception, every enterprise I’ve spoken with regarding their cloud platform strategy has multichannel and omnichannel apps on their roadmap. Streamlining and simplifying the customer experience and providing them with real-time responsiveness drive the use cases of the new apps under development today. Salesforce has been successful using their platform to replace legacy CRM systems and build the largest community of CRM and sell-side partners globally today.
  • Enabling enterprise cloud platforms and apps to globally scale. Nearly every enterprise looking at cloud initiatives today needs a global strategy and scale. From a leading telecom provider based in Russia looking to scale throughout Asia to financial services firms in London looking to address Brexit issues, each of these firms’ cloud apps roadmaps is based on global scalability and regional requirements. Microsoft has 108 data centers globally, and AWS operates 35 Availability Zones within 13 geographic Regions around the world, with 9 more Availability Zones and 4 more Regions coming online throughout the next year. To expand globally, Salesforce chose AWS as their preferred cloud infrastructure provider. Salesforce is not putting their IOT and earlier Heroku apps on Amazon. Salesforces’ decision to standardize on AWS for global expansion and Microsoft’s globally distributed data centers show that these two platforms have achieved global scale.
  • Enterprises are demanding more control over their security infrastructure, network, data protection, identity and access control strategies, and are looking for cloud platforms that provide that flexibility. Designing, deploying and maintaining enterprise cloud security models is one of the most challenging aspects of standardizing on a cloud platform. AWS, Azure, Google and IBM all are prioritizing research and development (R&D) spending in this area. Of the enterprises I’ve spoken with, there is an urgent need for being able to securely connect virtual machines (VMs) within a cloud instance to on-premise data centers. AWS, Azure, Google, and IBM can all protect VMs and their network traffic from on-premise to cloud locations. AWS and Azure are competitive to the other two cloud platforms in this area and have enterprises running millions of VMs concurrently in this configuration and often use that as a proof point to new customers evaluating their platforms.

Bottom line: Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure are the first cloud platforms proving they can scale globally to support enterprises’ vision of world-class cloud app portfolio development.

Sources:

451 Research: The Voice of the Enterprise: Cloud Transformation – Workloads and Key Projects

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide 2016 Reprint

Microsoft Earnings Release FY16 Q4 – Azure revenue grows 102% year-over-year

Synergy Research Group’s latest study of the Cloud Infrastructure Services

 

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Roundup Of Analytics, Big Data & BI Forecasts And Market Estimates, 2016

  • World map technologyBig Data & business analytics software worldwide revenues will grow from nearly $122B in 2015 to more than $187B in 2019, an increase of more than 50% over the five-year forecast period.
  • The market for prescriptive analytics software is estimated to grow from approximately $415M in 2014 to $1.1B in 2019, attaining a 22% CAGR.
  • By 2020, predictive and prescriptive analytics will attract 40% of enterprises’ net new investment in business intelligence and analytics.

Making enterprises more customer-centric, sharpening focus on key initiatives that lead to entering new markets and creating new business models, and improving operational performance are three dominant factors driving analytics, Big Data, and business intelligence (BI) investments today. Unleashing the insights hidden in unstructured data is providing enterprises with the potential to compete and improve in areas they had limited visibility into before. Examples of these areas include the complexity of B2B selling and service relationships,  healthcare services, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) of complex machinery. All organizations face the daunting task of integrating systems together to enable greater process visibility. enosiX is taking a leadership role in this area, offering real-time integration between SAP and Salesforce systems, giving enterprises the opportunity to be more responsive to suppliers, resellers, partners and most importantly, customers.

Presented below are a roundup of recent analytics and big data forecasts and market estimates:

  • The global big data market will grow from $18.3B in 2014 to $92.2B by 2026, representing a compound annual growth rate of 14.4 percent. Wikibon predicts significant growth in all four sub-segments of big data software through 2026. Data management (14% CAGR), core technologies such as Hadoop, Spark and streaming analytics (24% CAGR), databases (18% CAGR) and big data applications, analytics and tools (23% CAGR) are the four fastest growing sub-segments according to Wikibon. Source: Wikibon forecasts Big Data market to hit $92.2B by 2026.

Wikibon big data forecast 2016

analytics market shares

IDC FutureScape

  • The Total Data market is expected to nearly double in size, growing from $69.6B in revenue in 2015 to $132.3B in 2020. The specific market segments included in 451 Research’s analysis are operational databases, analytic databases, reporting and analytics, data management, performance management, event/stream processing, distributed data grid/cache, Hadoop, and search-based data platforms and analytics. Source: Total Data market expected to reach $132bn by 2020; 451 Research, June 14, 2016.

Worldwide total revenue by segment

overall adoption of big data

  • Improving customer relationships (55%) and making the business more data-focused (53%) are the top two business goals or objectives driving investments in data-driven initiatives today. 78% of enterprises agree that collection and analysis of Big Data have the potential to change fundamentally the way they do business over the next 1 to 3 years. Source: IDG Enterprise 2016 Data & Analytics Research, July 5, 2016.

Data Helps Customer Focused Organizations

  • Venture capital (VC) investment in Big Data accelerated quickly at the beginning of the year with DataDog ($94M), BloomReach ($56M), Qubole ($30M), PlaceIQ ($25M) and others receiving funding. Big Data startups received $6.64B in venture capital investment in 2015, 11% of total tech VC.  M&A activity has remained moderate (FirstMark noted 35 acquisitions since their latest landscape was published last year). Source: Matt Turck’s blog post, Is Big Data Still a Thing? (The 2016 Big Data Landscape).

big data landscape

  • IDC forecasts global spending on cognitive systems will reach nearly $31.3 billion in 2019 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55%. More than 40% of all cognitive systems spending throughout the forecast will go to software, which includes both cognitive applications (i.e., text and rich media analytics, tagging, searching, machine learning, categorization, clustering, hypothesis generation, question answering, visualization, filtering, alerting, and navigation). Also included in the forecasts are cognitive software platforms, which enable the development of intelligent, advisory, and cognitively enabled solutions.  Source:  Worldwide Spending on Cognitive Systems Forecast to Soar to More Than $31 Billion in 2019, According to a New IDC Spending Guide.
  • Big Data Analytics & Hadoop Market accounted for $8.48B in 2015 and is expected to reach $99.31B by 2022 growing at a CAGR of 42.1% from 2015 to 2022. The rise of big data analytics and rapid growth in consumer data capture and taxonomy techniques are a few of the many factors fueling market growth. Source: Stratistics Market Research Consulting (PDF, opt-in, payment reqd).

Additional sources of market information: 

Analytics Trends 2016 The Next Evolution, Deloitte.

Big data analytics, Ericsson White Paper Uen 288 23-3211 Rev B | October 2015

Big Data and the Intelligence Economy in Canada Big Data: Big Opportunities to Create Business Value, EMC.

The Forrester Wave™: Big Data Hadoop Distributions, Q1 2016

The Forrester Wave™: Big Data Hadoop Cloud Solutions, Q2 2016

The Forrester Wave™: Big Data Text Analytics Platforms, Q2 2016

The Forrester Wave™: Big Data Streaming Analytics, Q1 2016

The Forrester Wave™: Customer Analytics Solutions, Q1 2016

From Big Data to Better Decisions: The ultimate guide to business intelligence today (Domo)

Gartner Hype Cycle for Business Intelligence and Analytics, 2015

IBM: Extracting business value from the 4 V’s of big data

IDC Worldwide Big Data Technology and Services 2012 – 2015 Forecast

Opportunities in Telecom Sector: Arising from Big Data. Deloitte, November 2015

Who will win as Finance doubles down on analytics?

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