Cloud Interoperability, APIs & Standardization

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(Originally posted on the Engility Corporation Blog) There's a lot to gain from cloud computing, but success requires a thoughtful and enterprise focused approach. Cloud computing decouples data and information from the infrastructure on which it lies. A process that is a LOT more involved than dragging some folders from your desktop to a shared drive. Cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one. As an organization moves from local information hosting to the cloud, one of the most important challenges is addressing cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one. Cloud computing isn't a new technology. It's a new way of consuming and provisioning information technology services. Adopting cloud computing means paralleling your mission processes, rethinking the economic models and abstracting your applicati... (more)

Blockchain Business Innovation | @CloudExpo #Cloud #FinTech #Blockchain

Is there more than bitcoin to blockchain? Absolutely, because today's blockchain is opening up a pathtowards the delivery of trusted online services. To understand this statement, you need to see blockchain as more that it's more famous bitcoin use case. As a fundamental digital tool, blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions. If used in this fashion, it can enable transactional applications that can have embedded trust, accountability and transparency attributes. Instead of having a Bitcoin blockchain that is reliant on the exchange of cryptocurrencies with anonymous users on a public network, a Business blockchain can provide a permissioned network with known and verified identities. With this kind of transactional visibility, all activities within that network are observable and auditable by every network user. This end-to... (more)

Business Chatbots Taking Over | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #IoT #M2M #Cloud

Chat apps characteristics make them very appealing to businesses and marketers. Prominent ones include their size, user retention, usage rates, and user demographics. In fact, the combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than that of the top four social networks. Chat apps also have higher retention and usage rates than most mobile apps. Finally, the majority of their users are young, an extremely important demographic for brands, advertisers and publishers. These chat app traits have accelerated the blending of artificial intelligence and business service functions to create the modern chatbot. Recent advances in this area include: A chatbot's ability to conduct engaging human conversations which has allowed businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers; The greater suitability of chatbots with mobil... (more)

Digital Transformation Driven by ITaaS | @CloudExpo #Cloud #ITaaS #DigitalTransformation

When executing an effective digital transformation strategy, management is tasked with placing the right workload into the most appropriate IT environment. This represents a shift from buying parts for self-assembly to composing services through self-serve consumption and pay-per-use models.  Quite often this transition also leads to the adoption of software defined environments across the enterprise infrastructure. Software defined infrastructures do, however, bring with them some very unique challenges. Many of the most prevalent issues are centered around the relatively immature state of the technology itself. The most significant aspect of this challenge is the lack of industry standards for device control. Control software must know the status of all network devices and trunks, no matter what vendor equipment is being used. While OpenFlow stands today as the d... (more)

The BYOD Problem | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Mobile #Security

Everyone wants their device of choice right there next to them 24/7.  To an employer, however, that smart device is nothing more than a dagger posed to rip apart every shred of corporate security. This reality of modern business was highlighted by the Information Security Community on LinkedIn through their 2016 Spotlight Report on "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD). The key trends influencing enterprise BYOD and mobile security line up as follows: Increased employee mobility (63%), satisfaction (56%) and productivity (55%) dominate as the top drivers of BYOD. These employee related drivers are considered more important than reduced costs (47%). Security (39%) and employee privacy (12%) are the biggest inhibitors of BYOD adoption. 20% of surveyed organizations have suffered a mobile security breach, primarily driven by malware and malicious WiFi. Security threats to BYOD... (more)

The Enterprise Network | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #DigitalTransformation

Photo credit: Shutterstock The computer and the network that connects them are both inextricably linked to the success of any business.  This truth is at the heart of our contemporary connection economy. "The computer patiently measures and reports. [T]he network creates value in connection. The connection economy values the bridges between the nodes as much as the nodes themselves." - Seth Godin This train of thought explains why Uber is worth more than the independent cars it connects.  It also describes the imperative for enterprises to redefine their network in order to operate in the modern data economy.  The instantiation of today's data economy lies in the digital supply chain that links customer demand and organizational products. This reality surfaces the need for organizations to transform their supply chains into demand and product networks. This strate... (more)

Smart Manufacturing Is Cloud Computing | @CloudExpo #IoT #Cloud #DigitalTransformation

As cloud computing simultaneously transforms multiple industries many have wondered about how this trend will affect manufacturing. Often characterized as "staid," this vertical is not often cited when leading edge technological change is the topic. This view, however, fails to address the revolutionary nexus of cloud computing and the manufacturing industry. Referred to as Digital Thread and Digital Twin; these cloud driven concepts are now driving this vertical's future. Digital Thread is a communication framework that connects traditionally siloed elements in manufacturing processes in order to provide an integrated view of an asset throughout the manufacturing lifecycle. Digital thread implementation also requires business processes that help weave data-driven decision management into the manufacturing culture. A Digital Twin is a virtual representation of a man... (more)

Is Data Classification a Bridge Too Far? | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #BigData

Today data has replaced money as the global currency for trade. “McKinsey estimates that about 75 percent of the value added by data flows on the Internet accrues to “traditional” industries, especially via increases in global growth, productivity, and employment. Furthermore, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that about 50 percent of all traded services are enabled by the technology sector, including by cross-border data flows.” As the global economy has become fully dependent on the transformative nature of electronic data exchange, its participants have also become more protective of data’s inherent value. The rise of this data protectionism is now so acute that it threatens to restrict the flow of data across national borders. Data-residency requirements, widely used to buffer domestic technology providers from internation... (more)

Quantum Computing Delivered from the Cloud | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #DL

IBM Cloud is now providing developers with the infrastructure and portal to a 5 qubit quantum computer. This equips them with the ability to build interfaces between classic computers and IBM's quantum platform. Quantum computers make direct use of quantum-mechanical phenomena, such as superposition and entanglement to perform operations on data. Quantum computers are different from binary digital electronic computers based on transistors. Whereas common digital computing requires that the data be encoded into binary digits (bits), each of which is always in one of two definite states (0 or 1), quantum computation uses quantum bits, which can be in superpositions of states. IBM also announced today: The release of a new API (Application Program Interface) for the IBM Quantum Experience that enables developers and programmers to begin building interfaces between it... (more)

Cloud Computing Forensics Readiness | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #Security

In today's globally connected world, data security breaches are bound to occur. This, in turn, increases the importance of digital forensic readiness, or the ability to access and trust computer log data in the identification of a breach and the determination of what datasets may have been compromised. As organizations rapidly move into the cloud, the complexities of this multi-jurisdictional and multi-tenancy environment has made the importance of cloud forensics even more pronounced. This reality has also drastically heightened the legal risk associated with information technology operations. Cloud and digital forensics readiness are therefore critical to business disaster recovery, continuity of business services and cloud ecosystem management. The benefits of digital forensic readiness include: Reducing the cost of cyber investigations; Quick determination of re... (more)

Both Sides of Enterprise Mobility | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Mobile #DigitalTransformation

Enterprise mobility has become table stakes in the world of business. The ability to access current information at any time, from anywhere, on any device has really become a cliché. The familiarity we all have with smartphones and wireless access, actually obscures the true difficulty of developing and executing an effective corporate mobile strategy.  This reality is driven by the fact that companies must actually have two mobile strategies. The first face of mobility is an inside strategy focused on supporting employees and business partners. From this viewpoint, mobility becomes the central point of access and the management tool for corporate information and intelligence. The organizational goal here is to introduce context to business processes in order to offer viable options and drive better decisions. An additional benefit of this capability is to create fr... (more)