Going Hybrid: Best of Both Worlds in Cloud Computing

There are three different flavors of cloud to choose from: private, public and hybrid. A private cloud which holds computing capacity solely on a virtual private network can be expensive for budget–minded companies. But some concerns about the suitability of public clouds for highly sensitive data are valid. Luckily, adopting cloud computing is not an all or nothing decision and the hybrid model can offer the best of both worlds. Have you found hybrid working for your environment?      Read the article here.

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The Untethered Enterprise – What does LTE mean for the Enterprise?

In a recent article in the Economist, correspondents in the Babbage column (Economist commentary on Science and Technology), reported on the rapid emergence of LTE, Long Term Evolution, as the defacto industry standard for broadband wireless and the implications of LTE in the marketplace. While the focus of the article, as shown below, is the impact of LTE on the general marketplace, “Promising download speeds of 100 megabits a second or more, and peak rates of up to 300 megabits a second, even early versions of LTE wireless were fast enough to challenge fixed-line connections to the home—whether copper, coaxial cable or even optical fibre. No carrier in its right mind would then dig trenches to lay fibre to individual residences when it could beam data cheaper and just as speedily to all and sundry from cell towers.” LTE does change the horizon for the use of wireless technologies in Retail, Consumer Products and Transportation industries, including finally bringing to reality the promise of an early RFID commercial from IBM, touting how “the boxes told us you were lost”.  LTE removes the problem of how to deliver high speed broadband connectivity to the end user, it removes the "last mile" problem that has been plaguing high speed networking since the earliest days of dial-up and ISDN. For Consumer Products companies, LTE could allow companies to standardize on one networking technology for mobile devices, from smartphones to laptops to tablets to inventory management and DSD devices. Besides simplification of device management, global LTE adoption could herald the arrival of a single global device specification, meaning that companies could deploy a single device for a given application globally with minimal dependence upon local carrier preferences. This is a radical change from today, where broadband wireless connectivity is highly dependent upon local carrier coverage and technology; where companies work around these dependencies by choosing a device and then deploying carrier specific broadband docking device in the store, truck or warehouse. Long term, as with consumers, the wide adoption of LTE by carriers could herald a fundamental disruption of existing practices for LAN, Wireless LAN and IP Telephony within the four walls of the enterprise. This is because LTE has the promise to resolve the most vexing issue in networking...the “last mile” problem. Once ubiquitous LTE-based connectivity is available, the discussion of how to deploy networking within the enterprise can shift to a discussion of buy the service rather than buy and build out the capability. If you can acquire as a managed service high performance wireless technology that can be used both inside the firewall and outside the firewall or four walls of the enterprise, any company will be pressed to justify why building traditional networking infrastructure is justified. This mirrors the current discussions around build vs. buy for computing infrastructure (aka Cloud Computing Infrastructure as a Service). The exploitation of LTE could enable all enterprises to obtain the promise of Unified Communications without the capital expense associated with the conversion to IP Telephony and implementation of end-point device Video Conferencing. Instead of building UC, companies could obtain from the service provider of their choice UC as a Service to any type of end-point device, not just the devices tethered to the enterprise's network.  As the Economist asks, "No carrier in its right mind would then dig trenches to lay fibre to individual residences when it could beam data cheaper and just as speedily to all and sundry from cell towers", one has to ask "what Enterprise would expend the time and effort to build and deploy a wired network when they could piggy-back on the capabilities of LTE provided by wireless carriers?".  The only question remaining, once the capability is there, will be “can the enterprise I/T organization overcome it's engineering heritage and embrace not engineering, building and owning the network?”  That will be the challenge that I/T and Business Executives in CPG companies will need to address.

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Are we entering a Post PC world and the impact for Consumer Products companies

 There is a very interesting on-line debate underway this week at The Economist, on whether we have entered the post-pc era given the explosion in the use of mobile devices.  The gist of the positions are, on one hand, the PC will always be a...

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