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Most businesses have reached ‘intermediate or advanced level’ cloud usage

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Sunshine breaking through clouds.

More than half (54%) of organisations are either at an intermediate or advanced level of cloud usage, according to the sixth annual cloud usage survey from data management Denodo.

Cloud-enabled business transformation has become a priority as organisations face global supply chain issues, cybersecurity threats, and geopolitical instability. While organisations of all sizes and vertical markets are turning to the cloud to ensure flexibility and resilience in the face of these challenges, small to medium sized businesses have driven investment in cloud infrastructure services to support workload migration, data storage services and cloud-native application development.

Cloud-based data warehouses, data lakes, and lake houses played a prominent role in 2021, and was cited as both a top initiative by respondents (48%) and a top use case (57%). Hybrid cloud continues to be the deployment model of choice as it has been since the 2020 survey. However, this year, the gap between hybrid cloud and private cloud is dramatically wider. Hybrid cloud was chosen by almost twice the number of respondents (37.5%), compared with pure public cloud, at 20%. This year, it is clear that hybrid cloud is less a “choice” but a “necessity” and indicates that companies are not completely getting rid of their on-premises systems even if they have increased their cloud footprint. Companies have good reasons for deploying this mixed deployment style, regulatory compliance among them, which may be why they are opting not to simply abandon on-premises systems when the technology landscape changes.

As it relates to these survey respondent companies being data-driven, nearly four in five respondents (79%) cited complexity of data integration, data accessibility, and accommodating different data formats as the primary barrier to becoming data driven followed by the lack of analytical skills and resources to turn raw data into insights (62%). Data scientists struggled as well. Often cited for spending more time finding, accessing, and preparing data than they do analysing it, more than 2 out of five (44%) were unable to find, access, and analyse half or more of their data after adopting cloud technologies and only 17% were able to leverage 75% or more of their data.

The role of IT in the cloud modernisation journey has also changed. In 2020, the focus for tech professionals was choosing the appropriate cloud provider and managing the migration. But in 2021, these IT teams are more focused on receiving the training needed to take their organization’s cloud systems to the next level (as per 31.3% survey respondents), while other activities such as selecting cloud provider and plan for cloud migrations still remain important. Companies are using cloud for various use cases with the most popular being reporting and dashboards, and self-service BI and ad-hoc analytics, however respondents anticipate a shift to data virtualisation, data preparation, data quality and blending in the future.

These use cases paint a vivid portrait of where many organisations are with respect to their cloud journeys. First, it reflects the fact that the business stakeholders within organisations are ready to get better use out of their data, and second, it shows that organisations are now looking to maximise their cloud systems with robust cloud-based repositories. Having migrated key workloads to the cloud, the next step for many companies is to find a place to store the new data they then begin to acquire. Modern data-management approaches like logical data fabric enable organisations to seamlessly accommodate legacy systems so that they can work in tandem with cloud systems.

Ravi Shankar, senior VP and CMO of Denodo, said: “Audiences continue to express their need for real-time data so it is no surprise that availability, with regard to data integration, management, and analytics in the cloud, is not only ‘nice to have,’ but critical to becoming data-driven.

“This is true across all configurations, but the reality is most organisations are unable to find, access, and analyse half or more of their data after adopting cloud technologies. That may be why the overwhelming majority of organizations (93%) stated that they were using, evaluating, or considering leveraging cloud-based data integration, management, and analytics including powerful technologies, such as data virtualisation and logical data fabric to provide seamless, real-time access across both on-premises and cloud systems.”

When it comes to choosing cloud service providers, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) continue to dominate the market by a wide margin, but this year, AWS (44.6%) has jumped ahead of Azure (26.2) with a substantial lead, after Azure has kept just ahead of AWS for two consecutive years. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) came in as a third most popular option (8%), according to the survey. In contrast, Alibaba showed a bump from 1.4% in 2021 to 3.6% this year.

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Vodafone Ireland turns to Amdocs to drive enhanced customer experience

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Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.


Vodafone Ireland has chosen Amdocs, a provider of software and services to communications and media companies, to transition its infrastructure and application workloads to the cloud, enabling an enhanced customer experience and rapid adoption of the latest 5G innovations.

Under the agreement, Amdocs Customer Experience Suite (CES) will migrate from Vodafone Ireland on-premise to the cloud, providing the Irish operator with greater flexibility and capacity to support its future growth.  

Mairead Cullen, CIO at Vodafone Ireland, said: “Moving to the cloud is a key part of our strategy as we look to become even more dynamic, agile and responsive to our customers’ needs. We have a long-standing relationship with Amdocs and we’re pleased to be collaborating with them on this important initiative.”

Anthony Goonetilleke, group president of technology and head of strategy at Amdocs, said: “By migrating its IT services infrastructure to the cloud, Vodafone Ireland can ensure it has the foundations in place to achieve growth and further enhance the experience of its customers.

“We are excited to be taking such a central role in the company’s cloud strategy.”

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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How to Align Data and Analytics Governance with Business Outcomes

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How to Align Data and Analytics Governance with Business Outcomes

With access to large amounts of data made available to businesses, maintaining and governing the kind of data that is accessible to users have become significantly essential.

Proper data and analytics governance in organizations can help them in achieving on-point data and analytics processes.

The use of data and analytics is increasing across practically all industries. Due to the availability of inexpensive storage alternatives, organizations have access to more data. It’s not surprising that the usage of analytics due to access to extensive data has expanded to every part of the company when you take into account the growing number of user-friendly tools for managing, retrieving, and analyzing data. 

However, a lot of effort goes into managing data and analytics. Thus, organizations must ensure that their efforts are aligned with their business priorities, and the data is accurate in nature and thoroughly secured. Without analytics governance, even if the organization has a good hold on its data governance policies, the advantages of establishing policies and processes to govern the analytics process still stand. As data governance guarantees your business has processes and standards around the use of data, analytics governance provides the same level of oversight to the way analytics initiatives are built and delivered.

Aligning Data and Analytics Governance

Data and analytics governance initiatives must be closely related to organizational strategies. However, businesses frequently base their data and analytics governance processes on data rather than the business. Here are a few points on how businesses can align their data and analytics governance with their business outcomes.

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Trusted Governance

Forming business decisions based on the notion that “all data is equal” is no longer a sound strategy because data and analytics capabilities exist across a company and differ in nature. Instead, create a paradigm of trust-based governance that allows for a dispersed data and analytics ecosystem and is able to help business executives make decisions that are more confidently appropriate to the circumstances.

Digitization

With the essence of developing technology, digitization has taken over almost every business to stay relevant in the market. However, for businesses to gain the best outcomes from the digital space, digitization is essential. And for successful digitization, data and analytics governance must function based on factors like digital ethics and transparency. Therefore, ensuring that the values and concepts of digitization are reflected in the data and analytics governance is crucial to significantly align it with business outcomes.

Data Security

Today, organizations are aware of the potential risks associated with their businesses and securing data has become a necessity. This awareness implies that they address both the threats and the possibilities brought about by data and analytics. Organizations frequently manage risk and market potential independently, and they also do not really prioritize information security when assessing business results. Therefore, data and analytics governance authorities should have interdisciplinary teams capable of making decisions that are well-balanced, giving risk, opportunities, and security the appropriate weight while considering the organizations’ future interests in mind.

 

Today, businesses are aware of the fact that without effective data and analytics governance, their initiatives and investments in data and analytics won’t be able to satisfy important organizational goals like increased revenue, cost reduction, and improved customer experiences. Therefore, aligning it with business outcomes is critical for business success.

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IBM launches new way to partner through IBM Partner Plus

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IBM has developed IBM Partner Plus, a new program that reimagines how IBM engages with its business partners through unprecedented access to IBM resources, incentives, and tailored support to deepen their technical expertise and help speed time to market.

The program is designed to fuel growth for new and existing partners, including resellers, hyperscalers, technology providers, independent software vendors and systems integrators, by putting them in control of their earning potential. IBM Partner Plus is central to the company’s Hybrid Cloud and AI strategy and aims to empower partners to help clients automate, secure and modernize their businesses.

IBM Partner Plus offers partners a transparent, simple and modern experience. By growing technical expertise and demonstrating sales success, participants can progress to three tiers – Silver, Gold and Platinum – which unlock specialized financial, go-to-market support and education benefits. In the new program, badging will become the standardized measure of skills and validated solutions will demonstrate expertise. The enhanced IBM Partner Portal consolidates and tracks all expertise, revenue, and deals globally, offering each partner a clear line-of-site into their progression through the program.

“IBM Partner Plus introduces a new way for IBM to deliver value to new and existing partners by helping them gain skills, grow faster and earn more,” said Kate Woolley, GM, IBM Ecosystem. “We’ve heard from partners that they want a simplified experience that helps them win with clients. I’m confident these changes and our continued investment in our ecosystem will make IBM the partner of choice across the industry, and together we can drive growth for partners, clients, and IBM.”

IBM Partner Plus results from the company’s journey to put partners at the centre of IBM’s go-to-market strategy and act as a growth engine to help capture the $1 trillion hybrid cloud and AI market opportunities. IBM has invested in elevating the role of partners and accelerating partner-led sales by enabling the ecosystem to become a preferred route to market, offering clients an optimal mix of technology, services, and consulting expertise. To drive continued growth, IBM will increase its capacity to support partners by doubling the number of partner-facing brand and technical specialists to help them prospect and win additional client business.

“The new IBM Partner Plus program provides an enhanced experience that sets our company up for success by offering employees access to skills and opportunities, so we can help more clients utilise IBM’s technology portfolio to modernise their operations,” said Bo Gebbie, President, Evolving Solutions. “IBM is more serious than ever about putting partners first. They’ve listened to our feedback, and it is reflected in the new partner experience that makes it easy for us to collaborate, rewards our investments and fuel growth.”

IBM Partner Plus brings all partner types and programs together – whether they sell, build on or with, and/or provide services for IBM technology – into one integrated ecosystem. For example, to help broaden the market opportunity and create new revenue streams for its ecosystem, IBM recently enabled partners in North America to resell IBM products through other cloud marketplaces. This allows for independent software vendors to embed IBM Software from partner marketplaces into their own solutions. All partner sales through the marketplace accumulate towards their progression in IBM Partner Plus. 

Competitive incentives

Partners can advance through tiers to unlock benefits and demand generation programs which could offer them up to a threefold increase in total investment from IBM. The IBM Partner Portal gives partners real-time visibility into the incentives they are eligible for, predictability into potential earnings, and includes an automated deal share engine that helps them surface quality leads. This has improved deal registration and introduced partners to more than 7,000 potential deals valued at over half a billion dollars globally.*  IBM investments in co-marketing campaigns and co-sell support with partners can also help bring solutions to market and generate demand.

Insider access

IBM Partner Plus builds on the successful release of its October badging and selling enablement materials to partners, which has driven more than 15,000 partner enrollments in sales and technical badges. Offering partners the training, enablement, and experiential selling resources available to IBMers at no cost can help better equip them to win with clients. Additionally, access to IBM’s seller tools can help them generate competitive and transparent pricing. Partners can also attend IBM’s quarterly Sales Kickoffs together with IBM sellers, and participate in live training sessions and other global technical advocacy events to help upskill, increase eminence, and engage with technical experts. For new partners, IBM is launching the IBM New Partner Accelerator, which provides onboarding, training, and other benefits during their first six months in the program to help accelerate their path to profitability.

Enhanced support and benefits

Partners can grow skills, develop solutions, and build sales expertise with technologies like AI, security, and cloud on an open hybrid cloud platform by leveraging technical experts from IBM. IBM will also assist partners in the development of minimal viable products, proofs of concept, and custom demos to help them win client business and accelerate growth. In addition, as partner businesses grow with IBM, they can unlock additional benefits designed to help them expand capabilities and find new clients.

PartnerWorld will transition to a new IBM Partner Plus experience on January 4, 2023, with the new incentive program taking effect on April 1, 2023. Registered PartnerWorld members will maintain their current tier through July 1, 2023 and can progress to the new tiering system during this time as they meet criteria.

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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