Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, ManageEngine IT Matters

Related Topics: Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Agile Computing: Article

Enterprise Cloud Computing Applications: It's Just the Beginning

We are only just beginning to imagine what a true Cloud-based Enterprise Application can mean

The term Cloud Computing is getting a lot of air play these days — it is the computing equivalent of a U.S. Presidential Election. It has loads of twists and turns, plenty of eager participants, lots of money being spent on it and it gets to consume large amounts of the news cycle...often without a lot of new information. We are only just beginning to imagine what a true Cloud-based Enterprise Application can mean in terms of the new business model opportunities it will create.

The term “Cloud Computing” is getting a lot of air play these days — it is the computing equivalent of a U.S. Presidential Election. It has loads of twists and turns, plenty of eager participants, lots of money being spent on it and it gets to consume large amounts of the news cycle…often without a lot of new information. So what exactly is “Cloud Computing”? I’m gonna have a crack at answering that question and (as an encore) talk a little about where Workday stands in the whole Cloud Computing debate….

The Wikipedia definition of Cloud Computing provides a mainly technology focused narrative that outlines the core technical elements involved in computing that resides in the cloud — wherever that is! My definiton is somewhat different. I’ll propose that Cloud Computing is “the business model opportunities that emerge when applications delivered over the network are open, extensible and interoperable”.

Cloud Computing Taxonomy

Let’s look at what’s out there.

The spectrum of offerings within Cloud Computing starts to the left, with providers of generic capabilities like hosting, moving across to Web-based development platforms and business-specific solutions. It is also useful to think of it as starting with infrastructure and technology and moving through to domain-specific application ecosystems.

The middle of this axis — commonly referred to as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) — has attracted a great deal of attention. Companies like salesforce.com, coghead and bungee are working to create generic application development and deployment platforms. These are designed to enable 3rd party developers to both build and deploy applications that reside in the cloud. (Of course applications built for the Salesforce cloud won’t run on the Coghead cloud — and vice versa).

The business models and motivations for companies wanting to offer technologies and solutions at different points in the axis are clearly very different. However, there are a number of observations that can be made:

  1. While it never lived up to the pre-bubble hype, hosting has become a real business. Loads of companies are outsourcing some or all of their datacenters. Even on-demand players look to datacenter specialists to take care of things like power, Internet connectivity and physical security. It has also driven new standards and efficiencies as we shift from servers and switches being the products to uptime and bandwidth.
  2. For PaaS, there is a lot of historic precedent for the perspective that owning the most popular development platform is a strategic goal in and of itself. (For those of you old enough to remember it is worth recalling the Steve Ballmer “develper, developer rant“). You can argue whether Cloud Computing itself is the new platform, or just the infrastructure for PaaS providers.
  3. In the world of domain specific applications, connectivity has become table stakes. (Salesforce talks to facebook talks to LinkedIn talks to Workday). Not only it is imperative for these applications to expose APIs and to provide excellent tools for people to manipulate them, the connectivity between applications and services is rapidly moving to point-and-click. Integrations that used to take a busload of consultants are now delivered more like a google mashup (albeit with enterprise-class security and availability).

It’s About Business

Each of these models and approaches is fundamentally dependent on the existence of the Cloud. I firmly believe that the most important part of Cloud Computing is around the new business models it engenders. In the same way that Google and others have broken the mold in terms of business models for the Internet, I think that Cloud Computing is going to fundamentally change the rules in the Enterprise Application space — and i think we’re only beginning to understand the changes that are possible. However, it stands to reason (at least to me), that when you tear down the walls that surround Enterprise Applications and you start making them interoperable and massively extensible, then new and unplanned things are going to happen.

And the encore…

Here at Workday, we are working on some very specific problems we want to solve with Cloud Computing, focused on what our customers need to run their businesses. Right now, we are making it easy for key third parties such as Healthcare providers and Payroll providers to plug into our applications. This enables us to create specific business value for our customers — our HR systems just work with their existing payroll and benefits providers. No big integrations, no patches, no upgrades. The connection is part of the service.

Over time, our strategy is to expose more and more of our application functionality as Web Services, and we are only just beginning to imagine what a true Cloud-based Enterprise Application can mean in terms of the new business model opportunities it will create. What’s potentially most exciting, is that as we connect to more applications and expose more of our functionality, the community contributing ideas will expand well beyond our current ecosystem. That may be the most important new business model of all.

More Stories By Annrai O'Toole

Annrai O'Toole is VP of Integration at Workday, which he joined in via the acquisition of Cape Clear in 2008. As the leader of Integration On Demand for Workday, O'Toole drives the delivery of making Workday "the easiest application to integrate with." Prior to joining Cape Clear, O'Toole founded and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of IONA Technologies. He began his career working with many European and international standards bodies to develop standards for software interoperability. With these and other initiatives, he has helped define the direction of the computer industry.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, discussed how leveraging the Industrial Internet a...
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
The best-practices for building IoT applications with Go Code that attendees can use to build their own IoT applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Indraneel Mitra, Senior Solutions Architect & Technology Evangelist at Cognizant, provided valuable information and resources for both novice and experienced developers on how to get started with IoT and Golang in a day. He also provided information on how to use Intel Arduino Kit, Go Robotics API and AWS IoT stack to build an application tha...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? You need to discover patterns that are repeatable in vast quantities of data, understand their meaning, and implement scalable monitoring across multiple data streams in order to monetize the discoveries and insights. Motif discovery and deep learning platforms are emerging to visualize sensor data, to search for patterns and to build application that can monitor real time streams efficiently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, ...
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) have entered into a definitive agreement under which Verizon will acquire Yahoo's operating business for approximately $4.83 billion in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments. Yahoo informs, connects and entertains a global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users** -- including 600 million monthly active mobile users*** through its search, communications and digital content products. Yahoo also co...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.