Two essential ingredients of any Digital Transformation strategy must be Innovation and Automation. Both of these will help you move closer to the digitization of manual processes and tasks within your company. For majority of the digital transformation initiatives Cloud Computing will play a key role as an enabler and a catalyst. Numerous Cloud services from multiple providers are helping companies to automate business processes and manual tasks along with enabling them to run experiments to try and test new ideas before making decisions to scale these ideas to production systems.
Although there are various qualities a leader should have, the two that I hold very near and dear to my heart are Compassion and Humility. Every time I think of compassion I am reminded of Teddy Roosevelt’s (26th president of the United States of America) quotation about Care: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. These words have become the guiding light for me by which I conduct myself day in and day out. Compassion and humility are those key pillars of your leadership which will help you build really close and long lasting personal relationships in your professional environment. Compassion is when you show genuine care for others. When you conduct yourself with compassion, you will have people naturally attracted to you and want to work with or for you. Humility on the other hand will help you with people sharing ideas and suggestions openly to improve a product, service, business process or whatever you are working on. This is so because humble people are open to listening and willing to learn from others.
I just got done with a very intense project I was leading from the beginning of the year to early April. It taught me a few things along with reinforcing some of the project management best practices I have picked up in the last few years. I was leading a project lead to revamp and rebuild an online community website. This was global project with teams here in US and a team in India. What follows are some of the project management essentials I followed and were key to the successful completion of the project.
As you move your systems and resources to the Cloud, your internal IT support model will also evolve. Most of the support work which used to be done by your support personnel such as accessing the infrastructure, servers, and applications in the on-premise data centers will now be performed by The Cloud provider’s support and operational staff in their data centers. This is because as you setup servers, virtual machine and applications to the Cloud on the provider’s infrastructure it becomes their responsibility to manage and maintain these servers and associated resources.
Cloud Computing is an enabler for all things which we knew how to do but we didn’t have the infrastructure or the computing resources to accomplish. With multiple Cloud providers out there including Amazon, Microsoft and Google with their global data centers and massive compute power, it is now possible for companies of all sizes from small to large enterprises to tap into that compute capacity and execute their Cloud strategy to enable their business scenarios. Certain key technologies which have gained prominence and become the industry’s buzz words lately include Cognitive Computing, Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). These core technologies are playing a big part in helping many organizations in their Digital Transformation journey.
Cloud costs and spend is going up for SMB and Enterprise customers across the board as companies initiate experiments in the Cloud to moving from experimentation to setting up and migrating production workloads. Along with this increase in Cloud investment, proportionately the Cloud spend waste is also going up. In this post we are going to outline some common Cloud utilization scenarios which may lead to cloud spend waste. Along with that we will also offer guidance and recommend some tools to optimize Cloud costs.
Alibaba Cloud is an Alibaba Group company, headquartered in Hangzhou China and is the top provider of Cloud computing services in China. Alibaba launched its cloud business back in 2009, just three years after Amazon unveiled AWS. Alibaba Cloud or “AliYun” made an investment of $1B in 2015 to get more focused in competing with the big Cloud providers. The ROI on that investment is showing up now as it is being ranked in the top five or six top global cloud providers list according to two separate industry reports. At home in China, it is the #1 cloud provider with over 40% market share along with Microsoft and AWS are which are in the top five list. Recently Alibaba Cloud made a big splash in the media with their recent cloud offerings to non-Chinese customers in Europe. Read More
Cloud providers such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google and others offer cloud services through their data centers to their customers via thin clients and other existing legacy apps. Cloud customers don’t need to have servers installed on-premises and can just sign up with the provider to get all the services alternatively from the provider’s servers in their data centers located globally. Majority of these cloud services can be grouped into three service models: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). These are primarily the basic build blocks of cloud computing and all granular services, offered by the cloud providers, are mapped to one of these models. As an example if you are using Google Docs, which is part of G Suite, you are utilizing the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. All the Cloud services are subscription based where you pay a monthly fee depending on the service and usage of that particular service. This is completely different than the traditional model of paying for software licenses and services upfront.
Most of the cloud strategy conversations tend to pivot around costs savings but that should not be the only factor you should consider when formulating your cloud strategy. Some key topics to include in your strategy discussion are security, resources required to configure and manage cloud services, monitoring and managing costs, governance and compliance. Let’s take on these key factors one by one to understand them a bit more in detail.
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