For system builders who sell custom infrastructure and systems to SMBs, the proliferation of hosted applications and services is likely a troubling trend. After all, the more popular cloud computing gets, the less hardware SMBs will need to buy.
So what can system builders expect in the coming years? How much erosion of sales will there really be as the cloud grows? And are there any opportunities?
The most common way to improve and ensure data quality is through standardisation techniques.
This is the view of a recent report on the issue of product data by The Data Warehousing Institute (TWDI), reports Information Management.
It stated that regardless of the type of data being examined, standardisation can help to support the diverse and complex standards of business information.
The report added that product data quality can be further enhanced with the addition of as much extra information as possible.
VMware’s ESX hypervisor and its vCenter control suite are thought to be operating in more than 80 percent of all enterprise IT systems. And some IT people believe that number is too conservative.
Microsoft’s Hyper-V, still getting its bearings in the market, is growing in use but its market share is still mired in the single digits. That leaves 10 to 15 percent of all the rest deploying other virtual systems middleware, mainly the open-source XenServer and KVM hypervisors that come bundled in most Linux distributions.
Cloud-based storage innovator Nasuni is looking to provide SMBs with better information about security in the clouds. The company’s latest white paper on the subject, “Understanding Security in Cloud Storage,” covers some of the basics of securely storing data over the Internet.
Theoretically at least, there’s no way an internal IT organization building out its own private cloud could be as cost competitive as a public cloud computing service. After all, the economies of scale vastly favor the public cloud service.
But to maintain strategic control over their IT resources, many IT organizations will still need to build out some private cloud platform.
Cloud computing has gained a lot of awareness lately. In fact, cloud computing was ranked as the top technology priority by a sample of 76 insurance CIOs who participated in Gartner’s annual CIO survey.
Gartner defines cloud computing as a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service using Internet technologies to multiple customers. "Scalable and elastic" means that the cloud services scale on demand to add or remove resources as needed. The service — including software and data — resides on hardware that the customer doesn’t own.
While I’m not sure any core application could be sourced externally without segmentation — which defeats the purpose of cloud computing — there are a number of variables that insurers need to contemplate in the design of an internal cloud or for the use of external clouds. The internal or external cloud must possess the following components in order to function as desired:
1. Availability. The internal or external cloud must achieve a Data Center Tier 4 availability rating as specified by either the Uptime Institute or by TIA-942 standards.
In some ways, cloud computing is somewhat immature. It’s a bit of a solution looking for a problem. In general, the property and casualty industry is underserved by software.
The benefits of cloud are about ease of use, quick rollout and ubiquity around the world. There’s a physical advantage. And if I’m using someone else’s hardware and software, there’s a nice capital relief for me.