Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez

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
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mai...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive ad...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...