Co-written by Bryan Mobley, Director, IBSG Service Provider
The business world’s rise to the cloud has been dramatic and increasingly rapid. From an initial attitude of vague interest mixed with trepidation, organizations have begun to embrace the transition in a big way. Some are already realizing the expansive benefits in costs, efficiency, and innovation that come with this game-changing technology.
To keep with the pulse of cloud migration, Cisco initiated a series of roundtable discussions two years ago. The philosophy of each meeting was to bring together 10 to 20 decision makers from a variety of enterprises, midsized businesses, and government agencies. So far, we’ve held 15 of these discussions across North America. In addition to providing a unique opportunity to share our thought leadership, these sessions provide an ideal forum for hearing our customers’ thoughts on cloud: the benefits, the inhibitors, and even a few war stories. In the end, however, it is the advantages of cloud that spark the most contagious conversations.
Here are some of the key trends that have emerged from two years of discussions:
The popular trend to “bring your own device” (BYOD) to work is not surprising to those who are informed about the recent past. This phenomenon was preceded by savvy employees that would introduce useful consumer-grade software applications to the enterprise – without the approval of gatekeepers within the corporate IT organization.
The early adoption of online instant messaging, wiki and blog platforms are noteworthy examples of where many corporate IT departments have been slow to embrace online collaboration applications. Moreover, when the approved enterprise-grade vendor has been chosen and the “solution” is deployed, sometimes it’s inferior to the consumer-grade offering.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are leading the way to cloud services. In fact, SMBs represent two-thirds of the public cloud market, outpacing the growth of enterprise cloud adoption by about 10 points, according to a recent McKinsey report (“Outlook—Overcast and Bright: How the Cloud Is Transforming IT for SMEs,” McKinsey & Company, July 2011). Yet, many service providers (SPs) are wondering whether the rate of SMB cloud adoption makes it worthwhile to invest in cloud and managed services for SMBs. They are asking:
Is now the time to invest in SMB-focused services?
Today, Cisco introduced CloudVerse, an end-to-end solution to build, manage and connect clouds. Cisco revealed how it sees the cloud: one in which it enables the world to operate more simply not just from one collective cloud but rather a world of many clouds where the organizations can choose how their cloud solutions are developed whether it’s a highly secure private cloud, a more open public cloud or a hybrid. Within these various cloud environments, IT is delivered as a service and end users can collaborate dynamically and consume content on-demand.
With Cisco’s network based cloud solutions serving as the foundation, Cisco also introduced new enhancements and functionalities to its ever growing Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). The Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers. Just last week, Fujitsu’s Andy Stevenson, executive director of their hosting and network services group discussed how they’ve combined their experience and expansive networkto develop anew hosted offer, the Fujitsu Cloud Connect service.. Fujitsu’s new service helps employees collaborate more efficiently on any device using a uniform suite of Cisco collaboration technology available on demand.