Enterprise investments in machine learning will nearly double over the next three years, reaching 64% adoption by 2020.
International Data Corporation (IDC) is forecasting spending on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will grow from $8B in 2016 to $47B by 2020.
89% of CIOs are either planning to use or are using machine learning in their organizations today.
53% of CIOs say machine learning is one of their core priorities as their role expands from traditional IT operations management to business strategists.
CIOs are struggling to find the skills they need to build their machine learning models today, especially in financial services.
These and many other insights are from the recently published study, Global CIO Point of View. The entire report is downloadable here (PDF, 24 pp., no opt-in). ServiceNow and Oxford Economics collaborated on this survey of 500 CIOs in 11 countries on three continents, spanning 25 industries. In addition to the CIO interviews, leading experts in machine learning and its impact on enterprise performance contributed to the study. For additional details on the methodology, please see page 4 of the study and an online description of the CIO Survey Methodology here.
Digital transformation is a cornerstone of machine learning adoption. 72% of CIOs have responsibility for digital transformation initiatives that drive machine learning adoption. The survey found that the greater the level of digital transformation success, the more likely machine learning-based programs and strategies would succeed. IDC predicts that 40% of digital transformation initiatives will be supported by machine learning and artificial intelligence by 2019.
Key takeaways from the study include the following:
90% of CIOs championing machine learning in their organizations today expect improved decision support that drives greater topline revenue growth. CIOs who are early adopters are most likely to pilot, evaluate and integrate machine learning into their enterprises when there is a clear connection to driving business results. Many CIO compensation plans now include business growth and revenue goals, making the revenue potential of new technologies a high priority.
89% of CIOs are either planning to use or using machine learning in their organizations today. The majority, 40%, are in the research and planning phases of deployment, with an additional 26% piloting machine learning. 20% are using machine learning in some areas of their business, and 3% have successfully deployed enterprise-wide. The following graphic shows the percentage of respondents by stage of their machine learning journey.
Machine learning is a key supporting technology leading the majority Finance, Sales & Marketing, and Operations Management decisions today. Human intervention is still required across the spectrum of decision-making areas including Security Operations, Customer Management, Call Center Management, Operations Management, Finance and Sales & Marketing. The study predicts that by 2020, machine learning apps will have automated 70% of Security Operations queries and 30% of Customer Management ones.
Automation of repetitive tasks (68%), making complex decisions (54%) and recognizing data patterns (40%) are the top three most important capabilities CIOs of machine learning CIOs are most interested in. Establishing links between events and supervised learning (both 32%), making predictions (31%) and assisting in making basic decisions (18%) are additional capabilities CIOs are looking for machine learning to accelerate. In financial services, machine learning apps are reviewing loan documents, sorting applications to broad parameters, and approving loans faster than had been possible before.
Machine learning adoption and confidence by CIOs varies by region, with North America in the lead (72%) followed by Asia-Pacific (61%). Just over half of European CIOs (58%) expect value from machine learning and decision automation to their company’s overall strategy. North American CIOs are more likely than others to expect value from machine learning and decision automation across a range of business areas, including overall strategy (72%, vs. 61% in Asia Pacific and 58% in Europe). North American CIOs also expect greater results from sales and marketing (63%, vs. 47% Asia-Pacific and 38% in Europe); procurement (50%, vs. 34% in Asia-Pacific and 34% in Europe); and product development (48%, vs. 29% in Asia-Pacific and 29% in Europe).
CIOs challenging the status quo of their organization’s analytics direction are more likely to rely on roadmaps for defining and selling their vision of machine learning’s revenue contributions. More than 70% of early adopter CIOs have developed a roadmap for future business process changes compared with just 33% of average CIOs. Of the CIOs and senior management teams in financial services, the majority are looking at how machine learning can increase customer satisfaction, lifetime customer value, improving revenue growth. 53% of CIOs from our survey say machine learning is one of their core priorities as their role expands from traditional IT operations to business-wide strategy.
83% Of Enterprise Workloads Will Be In The Cloud By 2020. LogicMonitor’s survey is predicting that 41% of enterprise workloads will be run on public cloud platforms (Amazon AWS, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and others) by 2020. An additional 20% are predicted to be private-cloud-based followed by another 22% running on hybrid cloud platforms by 2020. On-premise workloads are predicted to shrink from 37% today to 27% of all workloads by 2020.
Digitally transforming enterprises (63%) is the leading factor driving greater public cloud engagement or adoption followed by the pursuit of IT agility (62%). LogicMonitor’s survey found that the many challenges enterprises face in digitally transforming their business models are the leading contributing factor to cloud computing adoption. Attaining IT agility (62%), excelling at DevOps (58%), mobility (55%), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (50%) and the Internet of Things (IoT) adoption (45%) are the top six factors driving cloud adoption today. Artifical Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning are predicted to be the leading factors driving greater cloud computing adoption by 2020.
66% of IT professionals say security is their greatest concern in adopting an enterprise cloud computing strategy. Cloud platform and service providers will go on a buying spree in 2018 to strengthen and harden their platforms in this area. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) acquiring Niddel this week is just the beginning. Niddel’s Magnet software is a machine learning-based threat-hunting system that will be integrated into Verizon’s enterprise-class cloud services and systems. Additional concerns include attaining governance and compliance goals on cloud-based platforms (60%), overcoming the challenges of having staff that lacks cloud experience (58%), Privacy (57%) and vendor lock-in (47%).
Just 27% of respondents predict that by 2022, 95% of all workloads will run in the cloud. One in five respondents believes it will take ten years to reach that level of workload migration. 13% of respondents don’t see this level of workload shift ever occurring. Based on conversations with CIOs and CEOs in manufacturing and financial services industries there will be a mix of workloads between on-premise and cloud for the foreseeable future. C-level executives evaluate shifting workloads based on each systems’ contribution to new business models, cost, and revenue goals in addition to accelerating time-to-market.
Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are predicted to gain market share versus Amazon AWS in the next three years, with AWS staying the clear market leader. The study found 42% of respondents are predicting Microsoft Azure will gain more market share by 2020. Google Cloud Platform is predicted to also gain ground according to 35% of the respondent base. AWS is predicted to extend its market dominance with 52% market share by 2020.
Cloud computing is projected to increase from $67B in 2015 to $162B in 2020 attaining a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19%.
Gartner predicts the worldwide public cloud services market will grow 18% in 2017 to $246.8B, up from $209.2B in 2016.
74% of Tech Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) say cloud computing will have the most measurable impact on their business in 2017.
Cloud platforms are enabling new, complex business models and orchestrating more globally-based integration networks in 2017 than many analyst and advisory firms predicted. Combined with Cloud Services adoption increasing in the mid-tier and small & medium businesses (SMB), leading researchers including Forrester are adjusting their forecasts upward. The best check of any forecast is revenue. Amazon’s latest quarterly results released two days ago show Amazon Web Services (AWS) attained 43% year-over-year growth, contributing 10% of consolidated revenue and 89% of consolidated operating income.
Additional key takeaways from the roundup include the following:
Wikibon is predicting enterprise cloud spending is growing at a 16% compound annual growth (CAGR) run rate between 2016 and 2026. The research firm also predicts that by 2022, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will reach $43B in revenue, and be 8.2% of all cloud spending. Source: Wikibon report preview: How big can Amazon Web Services get?
Wikibon Worldwide Enterprise IT Projection By Vendor Revenue
Worldwide Public Cloud Services Forecast (Millions of Dollars)
By the end of 2018, spending on IT-as-a-Service for data centers, software and services will be $547B. Deloitte Global predicts that procurement of IT technologies will accelerate in the next 2.5 years from $361B to $547B. At this pace, IT-as-a-Service will represent more than half of IT spending by the 2021/2022 timeframe. Source: Deloitte Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions, 2017 (PDF, 80 pp., no opt-in).
Deloitte IT-as-a-Service Forecast
Total spending on IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switches) for deployment in cloud environments will increase 15.3% year over year in 2017 to $41.7B. IDC predicts that public cloud data centers will account for the majority of this spending ( 60.5%) while off-premises private cloud environments will represent 14.9% of spending. On-premises private clouds will account for 62.3% of spending on private cloud IT infrastructure and will grow 13.1% year over year in 2017. Source: Spending on IT Infrastructure for Public Cloud Deployments Will Return to Double-Digit Growth in 2017, According to IDC.
Worldwide Cloud IT Infrastructure Market Forecast
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) adoption is predicted to be the fastest-growing sector of cloud platforms according to KPMG, growing from 32% in 2017 to 56% adoption in 2020. Results from the 2016 Harvey Nash / KPMG CIO Survey indicate that cloud adoption is now mainstream and accelerating as enterprises shift data-intensive operations to the cloud. Source: Journey to the Cloud, The Creative CIO Agenda, KPMG (PDF, no opt-in, 14 pp.)
In Q1, 2017 AWS generated 10% of consolidated revenue and 89% of consolidated operating income. Net sales increased 23% to $35.7 billion in the first quarter, compared with $29.1 billion in first quarter 2016. Source: Cloud Business Drives Amazon’s Profits.
Comparing AWS’ Revenue and Income Contributions
RightScale’s 2017 survey found that Microsoft Azure adoption surged from 26% to 43% with AWS adoption increasing from 56% to 59%. Overall Azure adoption grew from 20% to 34% percent of respondents to reduce the AWS lead, with Azure now reaching 60% of the market penetration of AWS. Google also increased adoption from 10% to 15%. AWS continues to lead in public cloud adoption (57% of respondents currently run applications in AWS), this number has stayed flat since both 2016 and 2015. Source: RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report (PDF, 38 pp., no opt-in)
Public Cloud Adoption, 2017 versus 2016
Global Cloud IT market revenue is predicted to increase from $180B in 2015 to $390B in 2020, attaining a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17%. In the same period, SaaS-based apps are predicted to grow at an 18% CAGR, and IaaS/PaaS is predicted to increase at a 27% CAGR. Source: Bain & Company research brief The Changing Faces of the Cloud (PDF, no opt-in).
60% of IT Market Growth Is Being Driven By The Cloud
74% of Tech Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) say cloud computing will have the most measurable impact on their business in 2017. Additional technologies that will have a significant financial impact in 2017 include the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence (AI) (16%) and 3D printing and virtual reality (14% each). Source: 2017 BDO Technology Outlook Survey (PDF), no opt-in).
CFOs say cloud investments deliver the greatest measurable impact
Cloud investments are fueling new job throughout Canada
APIs are enabling persona-based user experiences in a diverse base of cloud enterprise As of today there are 17,422 APIs listed on the Programmable Web, with many enterprise cloud apps concentrating on subscription, distributed order management, and pricing workflows. Sources: Bessemer Venture Partners State of the Cloud 2017 and 2017 Is Quickly Becoming The Year Of The API Economy. The following graphic from the latest Bessemer Venture Partners report illustrates how APIs are now the background of enterprise software.
APIs are fueling a revolution in cloud enterprise apps
Public cloud platforms, business services, and applications (software-as-a-service [SaaS]) will grow at a 22% CAGR between 2015 and 2020, reaching $236B. Cloud platform revenues, whose 2020 total of $64B will be 45% higher than Forrester projected two years ago. The much larger cloud application market will also grow faster, with the 2020 total of $155B being 17% higher than their 2014 projection. Source: The Public Cloud Services Market Will Grow Rapidly To $236 Billion In 2020.
As 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.
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.
This year’s survey attracted an eclectic base of respondents, with median revenues of $4M a year, with 133 companies reporting less than $5M, and 57 over $25M. Annual Contract Value (ACV) across all respondents is $21K, with 17% of respondents reporting ACVs over $100K. Please see pages 3 & 4 of the study for a description of the methodology. Key take-aways from the study include the following:
SaaS GAAP revenue growth is accelerating in 2014 and is projected to increase further in 2015 from 44% to 46%. Median revenue growth in 2014 for all survey respondents was 44%, with the aggregate projected growth for 2015 reaching 46%. When SaaS companies with less than $2.5M in revenues are excluded, median GAAP growth was 35% in 2014 and is expected to reach that same level in 2015.
SaaS companies with mixed customer strategies are growing at 57% a year. Excluding respondent companies with less than $2.5M in revenues, a mixed customer strategy dominates all others. Concentrating on enterprises and small & medium businesses (SMBs) both drove 33% revenue growth of respondent companies this year.
40% of SaaS companies are using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to deliver their apps today. AWS is projected to increase to 44% three years from now, with Microsoft Azure increasing from 3% today to 6% in 3 years.
41% of all SaaS companies surveyed rely primarily on field sales. Factoring out the companies with less than $2.5M in revenue, field sales accounts for 32%.
Field sales dominates as the most effective sales strategy when median deal sizes are $50K or more. In contrast, inside sales dominates $5K to $15K deal sizes, and the Internet dominates deal sizes less than $1K. The following graphic provides insights into the primary mode of sales by median initial contract size.
16% of new Average Contract Value (ACV) sales is from upsells, with the largest companies being the most effective at this selling strategy. One of the strongest catalysts of a SaaS companies’ growth is the ability to upsell customers to a higher ACV, generating significantly greater gross margin in the process. SaaS companies with revenues between $40M to $75M increase their ACV by 32% using upsells. Larger SaaS companies with over $75M in sales generate 28% additional ACV with upsell strategies.
The highest growth SaaS companies are relying on upsells to fuel higher ACV. There is a significant difference between the highest and lowest growth SaaS companies when it comes to upsell expertise and execution. The following graphic provides an overview by 2014 GAAP revenue category of percent of ACV attributable to upsells.
60% are driving revenues with “Try Before You Buy” strategies, with 30% generating the majority of their revenues using this approach. On contrast, only 30% of companies generate revenues and ACV from freemium.
Bottom line: Big data is providing supplier networks with greater data accuracy, clarity, and insights, leading to more contextual intelligence shared across supply chains.
Forward-thinking manufacturers are orchestrating 80% or more of their supplier network activity outside their four walls, using big data and cloud-based technologies to get beyond the constraints of legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems. For manufacturers whose business models are based on rapid product lifecycles and speed, legacy ERP systems are a bottleneck. Designed for delivering order, shipment and transactional data, these systems aren’t capable of scaling to meet the challenges supply chains face today.
Choosing to compete on accuracy, speed and quality forces supplier networks to get to a level of contextual intelligence not possible with legacy ERP and SCM systems. While many companies today haven’t yet adopted big data into their supply chain operations, these ten factors taken together will be the catalyst that get many moving on their journey.
The ten ways big data is revolutionizing supply chain management include:
Enabling more complex supplier networks that focus on knowledge sharing and collaboration as the value-add over just completing transactions. Big data is revolutionizing how supplier networks form, grow, proliferate into new markets and mature over time. Transactions aren’t the only goal, creating knowledge-sharing networks is, based on the insights gained from big data analytics. The following graphic from Business Ecosystems Come Of Age (Deloitte University Press) (free, no opt-in) illustrates the progression of supply chains from networks or webs, where knowledge sharing becomes a priority.
Big data and advanced analytics are being integrated into optimization tools, demand forecasting, integrated business planning and supplier collaboration & risk analytics at a quickening pace. These are the top four supply chain capabilities that Delotte found are currently in use form their recent study, Supply Chain Talent of the Future Findings from the 3rd Annual Supply Chain Survey (free, no opt-in). Control tower analytics and visualization are also on the roadmaps of supply chain teams currently running big data pilots.
64% of supply chain executives consider big data analytics a disruptive and important technology, setting the foundation for long-term change management in their organizations.SCM World’s latest Chief Supply Chain Officer Report provides a prioritization of the most disruptive technologies for supply chains as defined by the organizations’ members. The following graphic from the report provides insights into how senior supply chain executives are prioritizing big data analytics over other technologies.
Using geoanalytics based on big data to merge and optimize delivery networks. The Boston Consulting Group provides insights into how big data is being put to use in supply chain management in the article Making Big Data Work: Supply Chain Management (free, opt-in). One of the examples provided is how the merger of two delivery networks was orchestrated and optimized using geoanalytics. The following graphic is from the article. Combining geoanalytics and big data sets could drastically reduce cable TV tech wait times and driving up service accuracy, fixing one of the most well-known service challenges of companies in that business.
Greater contextual intelligence of how supply chain tactics, strategies and operations are influencing financial objectives. Supply chain visibility often refers to being able to see multiple supplier layers deep into a supply network. It’s been my experience that being able to track financial outcomes of supply chain decisions back to financial objectives is attainable, and with big data app integration to financial systems, very effective in industries with rapid inventory turns. Source: Turn Big Data Into Big Visibility.
Traceability and recalls are by nature data-intensive, making big data’s contribution potentially significant. Big data has the potential to provide improved traceability performance and reduce the thousands of hours lost just trying to access, integrate and manage product databases that provide data on where products are in the field needing to be recalled or retrofitted.
Increasing supplier quality from supplier audit to inbound inspection and final assembly with big data.IBM has developed a quality early-warning system that detects and then defines a prioritization framework that isolates quality problem faster than more traditional methods, including Statistical Process Control (SPC). The early-warning system is deployed upstream of suppliers and extends out to products in the field.
One of the best ways to capitalize on cloud computing’s growth from a career standpoint is to constantly be learning and gaining new knowledge.
Being able to apply the technological aspects of cloud computing to business problems quickly, combined with constantly developing expertise on how to manage legacy systems and cloud platforms is a very valuable, marketable skill.
Many manufacturers I meet with are grappling with the high maintenance costs and time latency of legacy systems when their business models are accelerating faster than ever. Helping these enterprises bridge the gap between legacy systems and the urgent need for more accurate customer, supplier, pricing, and quality data creates many opportunities for career growth.
Free Cloud Computing Courses
The number and quality of free online cloud computing courses continues to grow, and lately the prices of fee-based online programs are dropping. Not across the board, but clearly the competition of online education programs is changing in favor of the student.
The table below profiles free online cloud computing certificate and degree programs. You can download a PDF of the full roundup of cloud computing courses here that also includes fee-based online programs. Please click on the graphic to expand it for easier reading.
Key take-aways from the roundup of cloud computing courses include the following:
Coursera and Vanderbilt University are offering Programming Cloud Services for Android Handheld Systems. This class signifies a broader trend by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) where cloud computing and mobility are often being included in the same course. This course includes instruction on how to apply patterns and frameworks to develop scalable and secure cloud services. Included is coverage of mobile and cloud communication, data persistence, concurrency and synchronization, synchronous and asynchronous event handling, and security. The bulk of the examples are in Java using the Spring Framework and Jetty middleware platform. The examples will be run on Google App Engine and Amazon EC2. This course is free.
Google Developer Academy – Self-based e-learning site that has an excellent overview of Google AppEngine, Python App Engine and Google+ APIs.
Microsoft Research Windows Azure for Research Training – An innovative training program aimed at academicians and researchers, this is going to be an excellent learning platform regarding the Microsoft Windows Azure Platform. Best of all, the course sessions and eventual online content are free.
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) – One of the most comprehensive collections of courseware available globally today, OCW is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.
One of the most common questions I get from students is where they can find free cloud computing and enterprise software research.
Few if any of my students work for companies who have subscriptions with the top analyst firms however. A small group of students are working on a start-up on the side and want to absorb as much market data as they can.
Many of my former students are also in IT management roles, and when they become interested in a specific cloud computing or enterprise topic over time, they write me and ask if I have any data on their subject of interest. I keep the following list updated from them too. To serve all these students I’ve been adding to the list shown below for a number of years. None of these companies are current or past clients and I hold no equity positions in any of them.
The requests are so prevalent in global competitive strategy courses I distribute this list at the beginning of the semester with the following disclaimers.
Many of the cloud computing and enterprise software companies pay to have white papers written and research done. Writing white papers and doing research for an enterprise software vendor client is a very lucrative business for many industry analyst firms. Ethical industry analysts will often insist that a disclaimer be included in the white paper and on the website stating that they and their firms were hired to write the paper or do the research and publish the report.
The reports are intellectual property of the firms publishing them. Enterprise software vendors often pay tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum for reprint rights and the right to provide them on their websites. I advise my students to seek out the copyright and quote policies of the research firm of interest if they plan on re-using the graphics in any published materials or in their blog posts. One for example, the Gartner Copyright and Quote Policy is shown here.
Pay attention to the methodologies used in each report and realize they change over time. This is especially the case with the Gartner Magic Quadrant and MarketScopes. Gartner has been very active this year in refining the Magic Quadrant methodology for example.
The following are the list of cloud computing and enterprise software vendor sites that offer free downloads of cloud computing and enterprise software research:
BMC Software – Many free reports from Gartner, Forrester, The 451 Group and other research firms covering advanced performance analytics (APA), cloud computing, IT Service Management and long-term technology trends. Link: http://www.bmc.com/industry-analysts/reports/
Computer Associates – An extensive collection of cloud computing and enterprise software research organized into the following categories: cloud; data management; energy and sustainability management; IT automation; IT security; IT service management; mainframe; project and portfolio management; service assurance and virtual organizations. CA requires opt-in on the latest research as they use this site as part of their lead generation strategy. Link: http://www.ca.com/us/collateral/industry-analyst-reports.aspx
Cisco Systems – Data Center and Virtualization; includes the latest Current Analysis, Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Lippis and Yankee Group research reports covering Big Data, blade servers, cloud computing, Hadoop, unified data centers and many other topics. Be sure to click across the Computing, Network, Orchestration/Automation, and Network Services tabs to find additional research: Link: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/ns340/ns857/ns156/ns1094/analyst_reports.html
Microsoft – Balancing the need to support their enterprise applications today and create demand for cloud-based initiatives now and in the future, Microsoft’s series of analyst reports reflect their evolving business model. Microsoft has licensed the latest research from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESDG), Forrester, Gartner, IDC, Ovum, Yankee Group and others listed on this site. Link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/itanalyst/
Oracle – The most comprehensive collection of industry analyst research online for any enterprise software vendor, Oracle has hundreds of research reports available for viewing under their reprint licenses for free, and also for download. The reports are organized into corporate, infrastructure, systems, services, solutions, industries, enterprise applications and regions. Link: http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/analystreports/index.html
SAS – The most extensive and well-organized online collection of analyst research on analytics and business intelligence (BI) available, SAS makes research available from fifteen analyst firms across six industries on this area of their website. You can find the SAS Analyst Viewpoints section of their website here: http://www.sas.com/news/analysts/
Symantec – Provides downloadable analyst reports in the areas of risk and compliance, endpoint security and management, information and identity protection, messaging security, backup and archiving, storage and availability management, services and emerging trends. ESG, Info-Tech Research Group, Forrester, Gartner and IDC reports are on this page for download. Link: http://www.symantec.com/about/industryanalysts/analystreports.jsp
Teradata – Extensive collection of industry analysis and research organized into the sections of Active Data Warehousing, Active Enterprise Intelligence, Enterprise Data Warehousing, Teradata Analytical Ecosystem and Teradata Integration Analytics. The latest market frameworks from Gartner, Forrester, IDC and other research firms are available for download. Link: http://www.teradata.com/analyst-reports/
The 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.
Evangelizing development on any cloud computing or enterprise platform is challenging, costly and takes a unique skill set that can educate, persuade, sell and serve developers at the same time.
The companies who excel at this exude technical prowess and as a result earn and keep trust. For Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform providers, getting developers, both at partner companies and at enterprise customers to build applications, is a critical catalyst for future growth.
Assessing Cloud Infrastructure as a Service Providers with Inquiry Analytics
From 4th quarter 2011 to 4th quarter 2012, Amazon Web Services showed just over 10% inquiry gain against the other vendors listed as leaders in the quadrant. Only five vendors can be compared at once using the Gartner Inquiry Analytics tool so the leaders were included in the comparison first.
A second pass through the Inquiry Analytics was done comparing Amazon Web Services to the other vendors in the quadrant. AWS had 63.6% of inquiries in the application development category during the 4th quarter of 2012 compared to non-leader vendors in the quadrant who were listed in the Inquiry Analytics database. It was surprising to find that a few of the vendors listed in the Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant don’t have data available in the Inquiry Analytics Statistics: Topic and Vendor Mind Share for Software, 4Q12 indicating inquiries. During this pass, Rackspace share of inquiries between the 4th quarter of 2011 to the 4th quarter of 2012 declined just over 5% and Dell declines approximately 2%.
Bottom line: The land grab for developers is accelerating on IaaS and will be a major factor in who establishes a long-term cloud platform for years to come.