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Monday, September 29, 2014

Grounding the Cloud: Basics and Brokerage


http://www.amazon.com/Grounding-Cloud-Brokerage-Todd-Lyle/dp/0615972187
"Picture Ben Franklin attempting to harness energy from a lightning-filled sky. The key tied to his kite was the middleman between electricity and the ground. This book details how using the cloud can be your key to finding or enhancing success."

Understanding cloud computing is hard enough. Cloud service brokerage, however, is the way forward for just about any enterprise. This book is an easy to understand overview that will allow you to harness the power of the cloud to advance your business goals using clearly defined concepts of cloud computing, easy to understand definitions, comprehensive checklists, and real-world success stories.

Written by my friend Todd Lyle, it explores the three cloud models (public, private, and hybrid) by showing how organizations of all sizes, from small private accounting firms to massive governmental agencies, can utilize the current IT revolution to greatly increase productivity by embracing the cloudʼs ecosystem of shared services. Earlier this month Todd and I discussed this in-depth during our interview with Dana Gardner of Briefings Direct.


Todd Lyle has become a leader in cloud computing with a focus on the human element. His fascination with the possibilities of information technology began when he was issued his first laptop computer while serving as a young officer in a U.S. Army aviation regiment in Korea. A bulky Zenith Supersport with only two functions was his first brush with “mobile” computing. After leaving active duty Lyle obtained a Master’s Degree in Risk Management and accepted a position with Microsoft, where he became a group manager responsible for Consumer Support. It was while working at Microsoft that Lyle became interested in the myriad ways that information technology can improve overall business productivity. 


Saturday, October 11th, 2014
1:00PM – 3:00PM
Fireside Book Shop,
29 N Franklin St
Chagrin Falls, OH 44022

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Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2012)
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Monday, September 22, 2014

"Connect 2 Connect" on Cloud Computing in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania

http://extensia-ltd.com/
http://techequityltd.com/
GovCloud Network is proud to be partnering with TechEquity and Extensia in presenting:

http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/connect-2-connect-2014-tickets-11759584233?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email_attendees&utm_term=event
This event is a partnership with the Ministry of Communications Science and Technology and the Tanzania National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB) and is being held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 30th September to 1st October 2014.
A key component of this event will be a series of  ‘Advisory Clinics’ that will run throughout the summit. These clinics are designed to provide attendees the opportunity to meet one-to-one with some of the industry’s leading advisors from critical areas of growth and development. GovCloud experts Dr. Sandra K. Johnson and Dr. Shiyghan Emmanuel Navti will be there to present three cloud computing focused clinics:

http://www.govcloudnetwork.com/expert-staff.html

Cloud Advisory Clinic

Cloud Hosting Capabilities - Partnership for Delivery



Tech Equity’s consulting partners were pioneers in enabling some of Africa's leading organizations to adopt cloud services cost effectively and securely. They can advise you on strategies to:

• Improve the agility of your business
• Increase speed of delivery of new products and services or enable new business models
• Ensure and improve security of your data
• Optimize your return on investment into the cloud through strategy and technical training and certification of your key Executives and Personnel
 
Tech Equity's engagements are vendor neutral and based on proven industry best practices. Tech Equity is our recommended solution provider for organizations seeking to develop cloud business and technology strategies that will enable them to achieve their objectives while minimizing risks. Tech Equity can also provide advice and guidance on companies with breakthrough innovation that eliminates known barriers to cloud adoption.

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Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2012)
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Cloud Services Brokerage: Adding Trust and Oversight to Complex Cloud Deals



According to the Gartner IT Glossary, "Cloud services brokerage (CSB) is an IT role and business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more (public or private) cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers of that service via three primary roles including aggregation, integration and customization brokerage". The value of these brokerage services are fueling a major debate in industry and this month in BriefingsDirect, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, is contributing to the discussion with a timely podcast in which he moderates a discussion between Todd D. Lyle, President of Duncan, LLC and myself on the value of CSBs with an emphasis on small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), regional businesses, and government.

No two businesses have identical needs, and so specialized requirements need to be factored into the use of often commodity-type cloud services. An intermediary brokerage can help companies and government agencies make the best use of commodity and targeted clouds and not fall prey to replacing an on-premises integration problem with a cloud complexity problem.To learn more about the role and value of the specialist cloud services brokerage, please listen to the podcast below.

TRANSCRIPT

An excerpt from our conversation that focused on cloud service brokerages and government agencies is provided below.


Government agencies

Gardner: Kevin you're involved more with government agencies. They've been using IT for an awfully long time. How is the adjustment to cloud for them? Is it easier, is it better, or is it just a different type of approach and therefore requires adjustment?


Jackson: Thank you for bringing that up. Yes, I've been focused on providing advanced IT to the federal market and Fortune 500 businesses for quite a while. The advent of cloud computing and cloud services brokerages is a double-edged sword. At once, it provides a much greater agility with respect to the ability to leverage information technology. But, at the same time, it brings a much greater amount of responsibility, because cloud service providers have a broad range of capabilities. That broad range has to be matched against the range of requirements within an enterprise, and that drives a change in the management style of IT professionals. You're going more from your implementation skills to a management of IT skills. This is a great transition across IT, and is something that cloud services brokerages can really aid.  



Gardner: Todd, it sounds as if we're moving this from an implementation and a technology skill set into more of a procurement, governance, contracts, and creating the right service-level agreements (SLAs). These are, I think, new skills for many businesses. How is that coaching aspect of a cloud service’s brokerage coming out in the market? Is that something you are seeing a lot of demand for?

Lyle: It’s customer service, plain and simple, and we hear about it all the time, but we also pass it off all the time. You have to be accessible. If you're a 69-year-old business owner and embracing a technology from your demographic, it’s going to be different than if you are 23 years old in the approach that you take to that person
As we all get more tenured, we'll see more adaptability to new technologies in a workplace, but that’s a while out. That's the 35 and younger crowd. If you go to 35 and above, it's what Kevin mentioned -- changing the culture, changing the way things are procured within those cultures, and also centralizing command. That’s where the brokerage or the exchange comes into place for this. Did I answer your question?

Gardner: Yes. One of the things that’s interesting to me is that a lot of companies are now looking at this as not just as a way of switching from one type of IT, say a server under a desk, to another type of IT, a server in a cloud.
It’s forcing companies to reevaluate how they do business and think of themselves as a processmanagement function, regardless of where the services reside. This also requires more than just how to write a contract. It's really how to do business transformation at a certain level.

Does that play into the cloud services brokerage? Do you find yourselves coaching companies on business management?

Jackson: Absolutely. One of the things cloud services is bringing to the forefront is the rapidity of change. We're going from an environment where organizations expect a homogenous IT platform to where hybrid IT is really the norm. Change management is a key aspect of being able to have an organization take on change as a normal aspect of their business.

This is also driving business models. The more effective business models today are taking advantage of the parallel and global nature of cloud computing. This requires experience, and cloud services brokerages have the experience of dealing with different providers, different technologies, and different business models. This is where they provide a tremendous amount of value.

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Cloud Musings
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2012)
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