Cloud Computing Disruption: Verizon Terremark CTO

Listening to, understanding, and relaying the ruminations of key industry thoughts leaders is a core tenet of AIS blog posts.
Below we share an article by Maribel Lopez in Forbes.
Emphasis in red added by me.
Brian Wood, VP Marketing

Verizon Terremark CTO Speaks On Cloud Computing Disruption

Cloud computing and mobile are two technology trends that are transforming how businesses operate and how consumers live. The first generation of cloud computing focused on cost optimization. Lopez Research believes the second wave of cloud computing will help businesses save money while operating more efficiently. Cloud computing will change where data and applications live and how they operate. To get a sense of the disruption and the opportunity that cloud computing provides, I interviewed John Considine, the Chief Technology Officer of Verizon’s Terremark division. Previously Considine worked for CloudSwitch that was acquired by Verizon.
Considine said cloud computing is disrupting the entire value chain from the technology to the types of buyers. “Cloud computing companies, such as CloudSwitch, started by simplifying the cloud for enterprises by focusing on cloud security, advanced computing and workload portability.”
Workload portability is how an enterprise moves workloads to and from the cloud. He noted that in the early days, companies used cloud computing as a way to get services while bypassing IT. This was called shadow IT. Chief marketing officers, research and development and other business units were using the cloud cloud computing to get their work done. The industry had postulated IT would catch on and lock down cloud computing. “In 2012, shadow IT came out into the light. It has been accepted by businesses almost universally.”  However, many CIOs still have certain concerns based on security and compliance regulations. Considine warned that CIOs must strive to build relevancy in the new world of cloud computing. He said “As they face this disruption, CIOs and IT leaders have to look at moving up the stack and spend less time on low level operational tasks.”
“On one hand things are getting easier from an architectural standpoint. In other ways the architectures are getting more complicated. Instead of servicing from desktop, we have mobile devices and tablets. How do we facilitate connectivity and interaction across a broader set of interfaces?” He stated that companies must consider how to blend technology across internal data centers, cloud computing and a mixture of wired and wireless networks. Considine believes this is an area where IT can excel by helping the business span these technologies.
Three Areas Cloud Computing Has Disrupted
Later in our interview, Considine described three ways that cloud computing disrupts the current IT infrastructure.
First, “Virtualization created a major disruption to hardware vendors.” He said it gave businesses the opportunity to consolidate equipment, increased overall utilization, and decrease new unit purchases. This has and will continue to curtail hardware vendors’ growth.
According to Considine, the second area cloud computing has disrupted is management software. Cloud vendors are creating and operating the infrastructure. These services frequently encompass management software that was traditionally sold to enterprises — hence changing the landscape for management software. He didn’t predict the death of any players but he said growth for existing vendors in management software could stagnate because these services may not be required in the new cloud architectures.
“It isn’t as if these vendors will go away overnight but we see any growth opportunities being usurped by cloud computing.”
Considine noted, “IT isn’t the only purchaser of the infrastructure.” As he said earlier, the line of business buyer is procuring storage and platform services without going through standard procurement channels. This disrupts how contracting works. Essential cloud computing is disrupting business at almost every layer.
Mobile’s Role In The Transformation
“Mobile adds a fascinating dimension.” He discussed how processing was being pushed out to the edge for distributed computing. But while smartphones have faster processors, Considine said, “The computing demands may still outstrip capability of the processing utility in cellphones and tablets. This pushes for additional forms of cloud computing to support the needs of applications.”
“Data is important and has gravity. It attracts things.” In traditional architecture all the information was created and consumed behind the firewall. He discussed a major transition where B2B, supply chain management, customer management, and other data is moving outside the data center in terms of creation and consumption. “The workforce isn’t all sitting in the same building and consumers are outside of your data center.” He raised an excellent point when he asked, “Why are we making a concentrated effort to concentrate things in your own data center versus distributing them closer to the web? This leads us back to cloud computing.”
Advice For Dealing With The Disruption And The Opportunity Of Cloud Computing
When asked what advice he had for business leaders, Considine said many businesses leaders are still searching for reasons to avoid cloud computing. “Companies should look for ways to take advantage of cloud computing. CIOs and CTOs must find out how their company is using it. Just about every company is using the public cloud in one format or another. It’s important for IT to discover the problems and issues and deliver value by resolving these.” He said one of the best ways to stay ahead in cloud computing was to, “Get involved in the public clouds, since they are leading the way.”
What about the future?
“In the future, we’ll talk more about PAAS. It got off to a bad start …because original versions change how you did things to take advantage of the platform,” said Considine.
The next major transformation will be in terms of how people are assembling their applications. Today, businesses dedicate resources such as time, money and staff to handle the functions that don’t offer high value. “From an app standpoint, you just need a database.” You don’t have to care which database it is as long as it can do the job. Considine closed the conversation by saying that cloud computing can help a business, “…shift the operational burden from company. It will offer faster time to market, higher quality and lower cost. In my book that is a winner every time.”
I agree with John. Mobile and cloud are helping employees and consumer create and consume content anywhere. Business leaders must build technology strategies that enable this new behavior.

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