The World of Many Clouds™ is evolving. With greater access to cloud-based services and applications and the wherewithal to adopt them, CIOs are facing increased IT purchases coming from outside their department. In order for IT leaders to maintain relevance and control they must act as cloud brokers to the lines of business (LOBs). And as private or public clouds are becoming more connected through hybrid clouds, IT must determine not only how to secure these new workloads and connections, but also determine which workload to deploy in which cloud. True hybrid clouds will allow for ultimate workload portability. In doing this, IT will achieve global reach and reliability, consolidation and control, and cost and scale across private, public, and hybrid clouds.
As with any technology, the future of cloud is constantly changing. In the world of many clouds, users experience cloud services anywhere, at any time, and on any device, and in which businesses consume IT as a service. How can IT leaders prepare for the next phase in cloud? Focus on workload allocation, agility and management. Results of the 2014 North Bridge Future of Cloud Computing Survey show 45 percent already, or plan to, run their company in the cloud and 60-85 percent of IT will move some or significant processing to the cloud in the next 1-2 years. As this transition occurs, IT leaders need to consider the following:
What’s your process for determining which workload gets which cloud model?
How has that played out? % public, private and hybrid/community?
How are you planning now for your next cloud initiative?
Security, access, management: What are your priorities for cloud going forward?
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Innovations in mobility have made it possible for us all to connect from pretty much anywhere in the world, turning wherever we are in to our office. And mobile connections show no signs of slowing. By the end of 2014, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on Earth!
As with any technology, mobility is constantly changing, having to meet the demands of an increasingly mobile workforce that desires to conduct “business as usual” from anywhere. And while companies have realized the importance of investing in mobility solutions, critical questions remain that must be answered for them to determine what needs to happen next to remain competitive and maximize their mobility efforts:
How has mobility changed your business?
What do you need to impact your future business initiatives?
How is mobility influencing behavior among workers and customers?
What’s got you excited for the future of mobility in your organization?
Choosing a career in technology turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. At one time, however, it seemed counterintuitive to enter such a male-dominated industry. I’m not an engineer. I don’t have a degree in computer science. The only traditional tech skill I possessed was a small knowledge of HTML programming language, which I at one time used to put up static web pages. Today, that skill is useful only for editing blog posts.
What I was trained for was design. I moved into technology because it offered me a fresh way to leverage those talents while having a bigger impact. As a designer, I was taught to understand the context of a problem and to generate insights and creative solutions. I switched from a career in print design because technology was providing exciting new ways to reach people. I found it fascinating and wanted to be a part of it.
Apparently, I’m in the minority. A Forbes article cited research from Maria Klawe, a computer scientist and president of Harvey Mudd College, in listing some of the main reasons women don’t choose tech careers. Many believe that they won’t find a career in tech interesting, while others fear they won’t be good at it. A third concern is working in such a predominantly male bastion.
I have to say that my experience on all three counts has been just the opposite.
In a world of digital distractions and shrinking attention spans, brand loyalty and customer engagement often wind up “out of bounds.” But forward-thinking organizations — including the National Basketball Association (NBA) — are using technology to create some exciting new scoring opportunities.
One of the keys to establishing brand loyalty lies in enabling an experience that sparks an emotional connection between the consumer and the brand. The NBA is a great example of an organization with an ardent fan base whose loyalty is based on an emotional bond. But to transform that passion into higher merchandise sales and social media buzz, the NBA has been adopting some unique concepts.
Some of this innovation will be on display at the NBA All-Star Jam Session, which will take place in New Orleans, February 13-16. There, the NBA is deploying Cisco’s Virtual Mirror done with partner C-InStore. The full-length mirror enables shoppers to see enhanced virtual images of themselves. And while Cisco’s Virtual Mirror might not make a customer look 7 feet tall (yet), it will render an image of him or her wearing the official All-Star jersey, shorts, and other licensed apparel. That digital snapshot can then be shared with friends and family, capitalizing on the excitement of being at the event. Those who engage with the mirror will also receive a 20-percent discount off event merchandise, redeemable through a coupon sent automatically to their phones.
Superheroes and their super strengths have long captured our imaginations. And since many of these abilities are normal human traits stretched to a magical extreme, you may well have pictured how your own life would change with super speed, agility, or senses.
Today, such daydreams are getting just a bit closer to reality. And while such powers won’t necessarily save the world (yet), they will make some common activities, such as shopping, a bit more super.
Smartphones have already assumed a central role in the retail experience. Yet the current level of smartphone interactivity is just the beginning. Exciting new capabilities are transforming the ways in which we interact — connecting our physical world to digital dimensions in very simple and intelligent ways. We will see more intelligent connections emerging across the entire customer journey: consideration, purchase, and usage.