Tag Archives: IDC

The New Business Paradigm—Cloud Networking

The concept of cloud networking is not new. It is even now several decades old. However, cloud networking assumes new avatars as users innovate and exploit the power of cloud networking in new ways. Today businesses are using cloud networking to drive down costs and improve productivity in ways that was never imagined before. Cloud service providers are eager to woo customers by adding new and differentiated features to their cloud offerings. Cloud networking is fast becoming the new business paradigm.

From the perspective of the organisation, cloud computing is the roadmap of the future. As organisations become more and more mobile and BYOD policies are being adopted, platform independence and multiple device connectivity are gaining prominence in organisational decision making. IT decisions today are being made factoring in the power of the cloud and taking into consideration the possibility that employees and branches of the organisation may want to login to a centralised enterprise database. Applications that were custom made for on-premise use are being retired in large numbers to give way to applications that can be deployed over the cloud and accessed by individuals working from the other side of the globe.

“As an interesting side note, IDC forecast that worldwide spending on public IT cloud services will be around $40 million by 2012. This figure has been exceeded and is fast approaching the predicted figure of $100 billion for 2016. The growth rate for cloud applications today stands at 24.6%. Gartner’s IT spending survey report for SaaS usage matches IDCs.”

Cloud service providers eager to market their services are anxious to still any security and privacy fears that may be voiced. Service providers want to reach out to customers and assure them that cloud networking is entirely safe and secure and is the right way to go. They are assuring their customers through websites, blogs; discussion forums; social media sites and even offering trial runs of their software to bolster this assurance and attract customers to their unique products. They guarantee high availability, scalability, flexibility and security. Elaborate SLAs testify to their commitments and attention is drawn to their reputation as cloud service providers par excellence.

In short, cloud networking is changing our world. It is transforming business and globalising even small and medium businesses.

Global Smartphone Shipments Set New Records for 2013

Recent statistics show that there has been a huge surge in the number of smartphones that were shipped during 2013.

According to statistics that were released from International Data Corporation (IDC), 1.004 billion smartphones were shipped in 2013. This is an increase of 38.4% from 2012 where a total of 725.3 million smartphones were shipped.

Therefore, the sales of smartphones accounted for more than half of the overall total of mobile phones sold in 2013 which totaled 1.8 billion.

Ryan Reith who is the program director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker stated, “Among the top trends driving smartphone growth are large screen devices and low cost. Of the two, I have to say that low cost is the key difference-maker. “

Reith added, “Cheap devices are not the attractive segment that normally grabs headlines, but IDC data shows this is the portion of the market that is driving volume. Markets like China and India are quickly moving toward a point where sub-$150 smartphones are the majority of shipments, bringing a solid computing experience to the hands of many.”

Samsung led the way by capturing 32.3% of global smartphone sales in 2013 with Apple achieving 15.5%.

Neil Mawston who is an Executive Director at Strategy Analytics stated, “Apple grew a sluggish 13 percent annually and shipped 153.4 million smartphones worldwide for 15 percent market share in 2013, dipping from the 19 percent level recorded in 2012. Apple remains strong in the high-end smartphone segment, but a lack of presence in the low-end category is costing it lost volumes in fast-growing emerging markets such as India.”

Smartphones have become more popular over the years due to the multifunctional features they provide as they can be used for both business and personal purposes. As a result of this, there has been a large increase in the amount of data that is being stored on them. It is therefore vital that the owner of the smartphone takes responsibility to ensure that the device is properly protected and that a secure backup of the data on the phone is taken regularly.

By taking a regular backup of the data, the owner can be assured that the data on their phone will not be lost regardless if it is lost, stolen or becomes damaged.

Big Data: Big Decisions

Over recent years the digital world has exploded and the use of IT in day-to-day life has increased exponentially. According to a study carried out by IBM, we produce 2.5 quintillion(2,500,000,000,000,000,000) bytes of data everyday, leading to volumes of data that we have never experienced before. This comes as a result of information being constantly monitored and measured, which then creates a surge of more unstructured data.According to theIDC, the amount of information created, captured or replicated in 2007 exceeded the available storage for the first time.

In relation to enterprises, overseeing the expansion of storage space and ensuring that data is adequately backed up and securely protected has become a huge task. Some environments now consist of hundreds or even billions of small files. How can we overcome this problem? Is it possible to create an IT infrastructure that is able to support and protect these big data realities?

Unfortunately, the traditional approach of buying more storage, i.e. tapes or disk, simply does not work. This method of data management results in exorbitant costs and increased manual intervention by IT teams. This not only causes various inefficiencies across the entire enterprise but also limits the potential of controlling large amounts of data.

Meanwhile, the data growth explosion is not slowing down. Researchers say that the volume of digital data is growing at a rate of 40-60% per year. Moreover, a survey carried out by Gartner in November 2010, found that almost half of the respondents ranked growth as one of their three biggest daily challenges. Subsequently, the drive for backup needs is increasing, exerting a greater need for a next generation IT infrastructure. In order to do this, enterprises need to pick a vendor that knows big data and a backup solution based on big data needs.

A longstanding option for organisations that is now becoming more common is to virtualise their assets in order to protect them by migrating them to a virtual environment. In doing so, organisations can take advantage of the benefits ofcentralised data management such as centralised backup and replication.Users, and partners, can access the same data set from different locations. Smart data management gives enterprises many additional benefits when it comes to big data. Even though access to the data is distributed, the data is better protected since its management is centralised. Furthermore, it is easily recoverable and all accessible locally to data analysis tools, which allows IT teams to enjoy more flexibility and frees up time for them to focus on other initiatives. This method also has enormous cost savings.

In the face of the data growth explosion, is your business struggling to protect its data?

How will Cloud Computing Affect IT Distribution

As Cloud Computing becomes more prevalent onsite hardware sales will feel the impact. However the Cloud has manifested itself in many forms and distributors will not necessarily suffer on all fronts.

Distributors must stay relevant to solution providers as the technology landscape shifts. The danger for distributors is that solutions providers start dealing directly with Cloud providers, and miss out the distribution middle man.

Cloud Computing is not just another fad which distributors need to slightly adjust their business model to. In the past businesses tweaked their models through charging for services they had produced for free, such as tech support.

The Cloud phenomenon is different and appears to be here to stay, leading to distributors having a bit of an identity crisis. They want to get in on the action, especially as the industry is set to become a $241 billion industry by 2020. However they are unsure where they fit into the equation.

UBM estimate that up to 38% of all IT expenditure is going to move to purchasing off-premise solutions by 2013. To meet this a third of all solution providers are aiming to change their business model within this time period.

Where distributors may not loose out so badly is within the Private Cloud space. In this market companies are buying hardware in order to produce a Cloud infrastructure behind their own corporate firewalls. IDC estimates that Private Cloud implementations will grow at an annual rate of 28.8% through to 2015.

It is the SMEs which are more likely to jump two footed into a Public Cloud solution hosted by a 3rd party provider, producing no need for a distributor. This is the market where distributors they will loose out, and could be labelled as unnecessary purchasing mechanisms.

So what about the distributors who are supplying the Cloud providers themselves? There is a harsh irony in the way that IT distributors have supplied Cloud providers in the past few years inadvertently supplying the force that hopes to steal their sales. However distributors have no choice other than to supply the future.

For distributors the future is unsure but may not be a gloomy as some would have you believe. In the past they have proven to adapt well to changes in computing. The task now is to establish a firm identity in the Cloud space. Perhaps the safe option would be to specialise in working with companies implementing Private Cloud solutions.

Adoption of virtualisation is set to increase in 2011

Experts in the field have predicted a big rise in both server and Desktop Virtualisation technologies in coming years as businesses try to gain efficiency and optimise their computing facilities. Gartner in particular predict that Server Virtualisation will have a comparable impact on business to that of the advent of e-commerce, and that the concept is completely re-forging IT operations.

According to research tech firm IDC, 2010 has been was the first year whereby over half of all applications were installed on a virtual machine. Despite this 2010 is seen by many as the pilot period, while 2011 is predicted to be the year of mass implementation. By 2014 it is thought that 23% of all servers shipped worldwide will support Virtualisation upon installation.

All in all Virtualisation applications will amount to a $19.3 billion industry by 2014. Despite the global economic down turn creating havoc within the majority of IT markets, demand continues to rise for Virtualisation technologies. Desktop virtualisation is becoming increasingly recognised as a superb way to reduce IT cost, empower employees and increase enterprise productivity. With few servers requiring maintenance IT teams can now concentrate on innovation rather then maintenance.

The advantages of Virtualisation are clear and as Microsoft emphasise adopters in the mid-market can benefit from the same economies of scale that the big players can. An added benefit is that Data centre and storage Virtualisation allows clients to take advantage of geographical variations in energy pricing.

Soaring VMware profits are testament to the uptake of Virtualisation and in their last quarter report the company claimed a 46% increase in revenue. Furthermore VMware is making additional revenue from rising sales in areas such as Cloud Computing

When considering the future of Desktop virtualisation it is crucial to consider the impact that personalised devices such as the Ipad are having. IT service providers are increasingly being forced to cater for such devices, providing a huge boost to the Desktop Virtualisation market. It is now becoming a reality to manage a secure corporate environment on a personal device and this is a trend we continue to observe in the New Year.

Laptop breakages causing data loss and costing businesses billions, study finds

Close to a fifth of the laptops that private sector organisations use are damaged each year, affecting business continuity as a result of data loss and hampered levels of productivity, according to a new report.

Panasonic commissioned the report and although it has an ulterior motive for inflating the figures to sell its durable range of laptops, it is an interesting and seldom analysed area of business continuity.

Analyst firm IDC concluded that it costs a business nearly 1600 to repair a laptop, recover the lost data and make up for the impact in productivity resulting from the damage. Across the UK this figure is said to total more than 2 billion annually, with damage occurring most frequently as a result of a laptop being dropped from a work surface.

Interestingly, the study points out that the calculation of costs does not encompass the impact on customer relations or the potential to lose clients because a laptop and its stored data have been taken out of action in an accident. It finds that business continuity planning, including regular laptop backup, may be able to account for such eventualities, but identifies that this too will cost firms in the long term.

More than nine and a quarter million laptops were sold to businesses over the last three years and Panasonic believes that if each one had been protected with a more rugged design then only six per cent would have been rendered inoperable after a fall. However, the current estimates of a total casualty quota of 14 per cent are significantly higher.

In a survey conducted by IDC it was discovered that hard drives and other important internal components were damaged in 50 per cent of all laptop damage incidents, although a greater deal of punishment was endured by external hardware such as displays and keyboards.

In addition to being dropped from a table or whilst being carried, laptops suffered liquid spillages in 66 per cent of cases, with human error almost always the underlying cause of the damage.

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