A year in review with Microscope
Download the December issue of Microscope for a full round up of activity in the channel industry during 2013 and a forward look to 2014 with a summary of predictions for the year ahead.
Download the Microscope end of year round up
Important events from 2013
After their switch to cloud, some businesses have been disappointed as the promised operational cost savings and simplified procedures have not always materialized.
This is explained, in part, by the widespread confusion between virtualized resources and cloud, especially in the private cloud sector. Disappointed businesses deploy machines into a cloud haphazardly, losing the opportunity to truly manage their service infrastructure.
An increase in users directly provisioning machines via their Amazon AWS accounts independently of the IT department further exacerbates the problem. As a result, we have seen a demand from IT departments to gain back control through the adoption of management tools. The IT departments have also started to direct their attention to spending in the cloud and therefore, are looking to acquire and to use systems which include comprehensive reporting and billing features.
Security has been another big talking point in 2013. In light of the NSA security issues highlighted by the Snowden Report, data location issues have become critically important. We have seen a backlash within the tech community around data security and privacy questions which we expect to spread to the general public.
The challenge will be for service providers and authorities to address these security and privacy concerns.
This ultimately, comes down to trust. Trust is the foundation of business and always will be. Customers want to trust the person or provider from whom they are buying a service. The more they trust a provider, the more critical the applications they will be willing to outsource, and the more they will be prepared to spend. Therefore, service providers will have to up their game in building that trust by being transparent and more closely meeting the customer’s business needs.
The European cloud – The development of a European Cloud will offer challenges and opportunities to European cloud providers which will also have a significant impact on improvements in data security and sovereignty.
Creating an app store for cloud – 2014 will see Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and enterprise customers shift to an application deployment model, relieving them from the confusion of which cloud to choose. They will be able to choose an application from a self-service portal, which will run on a similar provisioning model for MSPs and enterprise customers.
The evolving channel industry – the channel has undergone a number of changes in the past few years and they have made a good business from selling hardware and related services. However, they now have to rethink their business models to accommodate cloud-based services, which their end users are increasingly using. In order to avoid losing revenue and to turn this issue into an opportunity, they have three options in 2014: become a cloud builder, cloud distributor or ultimately become a specialised service provider.
Dr. Charles Loomis is a founding partner of SixSq Sàrl in Switzerland. He has worked in European computing technology projects, notably the European DataGrid and EGEE projects, precursors to the large-scale, European scientific grid, EGI. As the Project Coordinator for the StratusLab project, he guided its production of a complete open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud distribution. Within SixSq, he is a key architect and developer of its SlipStream product–a service that allows automated, full-scale software systems tests to improve the reliability of those systems.
Click here to learn more about SixSq.
Ian Finlay is VP of Products at Abiquo, specifically focussing on product development and management.
Ian brings unique insight to Abiquo having implemented the software whilst at Claranet, where he held the role of Chief Information Officer, Claranet Group – Western Europe’s largest independent Managed services provider.
Prior to joining Claranet, Ian was CTO of ControlCircle, leading a team of 50 to design, develop, deliver and support a range of networking and managed hosting services and maintaining data centre facilities across Europe and in Singapore.
Before that, he held the position of Vice President of IT and Business Systems at Interoute Communications, where he led a worldwide organisation of more than 60 staff to drive business agility, productivity and customer service through innovative technology solutions focused on business priorities.