The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Are the flexibility expectations of your mobile application portfolio high enough?

speed.pngTo be a modern application today, it seems they must have social, mobile and analytic capabilities. As companies strive for greater flexibility for both for their employees as well as their business model, on-the-road access to corporate information is an expectation. The BYOD movement takes it a step further and places the application delivery on employee selected hardware -- another level of flexibility.

 

These expectation changes are taking place within the existing application portfolio, as well as expanding into the thin-air of marketing strategies and non-traditional IT solutions. Most businesses have a search underway for additional techniques that can drive strategic business process changes, shifting the behavior of employees, partners and consumers. Gamification being one of those…

 

The consumers of today increasingly access social networks on mobile devices that are rarely in the control of the business. Sentiment analysis of public forums and the aggregation of that information with demand creation systems like for promotions, product feedback… can provide significant insight into the view of the consumers of products and services. As the shift in how mobile devices are used, a greater contextual understanding of the consumer and their interaction can be gained further refining an organizations understanding of their consumer base.

 

Some people ask why all this detailed analysis is needed? Is there something different about business today than in the past? I state that it is the “need for speed”, since the lifespan of products (let alone companies) is steadily declining. Any way to squeak out a bit more life or revenue is becoming important.

 

If an organization can develop a support network on the Internet (or within a large company) engage customers and build communities – all the better. This means that products that are flexible, configurable and able to integrate into other business systems have a definite advantage. Do you look at your systems from an integration point of view?

 

There is another change underway at the foundations of how mobile devices are used. Flurry reports that mobile time consumption on social networks increased by 60% between Q1 2011 and Q1 2012. This is significant because gaming and entertainment have always been a key focus for mobile apps and now people are using their devices for more serious concerns.

 

For those organizations exploring this space, there are great possibilities, but it will be important to ensure that each application provides a real, cost-effective benefit. Know what you expect and then measure against it. If you see something different, at least you learned something. If you confirmed your expectations, you’ve move to validation from supposition.

A 6 minute video on the shift in perspective when adapting cloud

I blog and talk continuously about the new levels of flexibility and business value generation that can be generated by implementing cloud capabilities and thinking about them more strategically than just cutting costs. So instead of listening to me, here is a video interview of Tony Kerrison, the CTO of ING bank about their perspective.

 

ING.png

 

ING bank is in the process of transforming its business with Converged Cloud solutions. Tony states ING will make this transformation by changing both the way they work as well as what they will do. They are looking for new opportunities, allowing them to decrease their time to market for ideas as well as reduce costs. Eventually allowing them to invest more in generating value for the consumer and less on owning hardware.

 

Their skills will need to shift to concentrate more in areas like integration and portfolio management -- moving from a bits and bytes to a focus on value-based discussion with the business.

Agile Manager Beta

170px-Kampffisch_betta_splendenscele4.jpgI just heard of a new beta HP software service called Agile Manager. In beta through November 30, 2012.

 

HP Agile Manager is a SaaS-based solution for organizing, planning and executing agile projects. It is purpose-built and designed specifically to serve agile teams. It leverages a native cloud architecture for instant-on access and boasts a clean, intuitive design offering technology innovations that minimize latency, aids the adoption of agile practices and fosters continuous improvement. There is even an Agile Manager support community to collaborate with others learning about the service.

 

Some key features:

  • Advanced visualization for easy planning, task allocation, and capacity management
  • Comprehensive analytics and real-time visibility into code, quality, and progress
  • Seamless IDE integration so developers can work in the environment they prefer
  • Insight across projects, teams, and geographies to successfully scale agile efforts

I’ve not had my hands on it yet myself, but it does sound interesting, since I’ve been using agile techniques since long before the term agile was applied to software development.

HP cloud management tools for a hybrid environment

ConvergedCloud.pngNo organization large enough to have a private cloud will likely have just HP servers in their environment, so diverse environment management is likely to be common requirement in the private cloud. Yet there don’t appear to be many products on the market that address diverse environments (Converged Cloud) well.

 

HP CloudSystem Matrix is available as a popular turnkey solution bundled with HP servers, but many don't realize that it is also available as HP CloudSystem Matrix software that can be used with non-HP systems, in existing environments.

 

As I think about the kind of management required as the automation concept moves out of IT and into business processes as a whole, a much better understanding of the integration needs of diverse environments will be required for these flexible approaches to burst out of IT. Cloud computing is just the IT implementation of a much larger automation trend.

Cloud in 2020

cloud factory.pngZDnet had a story recently titled: Cloud computing: 10 ways it will change by 2020. In the article, one of the people they talked with was John Manley - director of HP's Automated Infrastructure Lab (and someone who I’ve actually had lunch with a few times). One of the statements John made was:

"Cloud computing is the final means by which computing becomes invisible,”

 

One of the goals of platform as a service is to abstract the software away from the underlying hardware and OS – including what we think of as IaaS today. We’ve only seen the early stumbles of these efforts, but with cloud standards developing over the next few years this 2020 vision should be possible.

 

IT organizations spend time wringing their hands over issues that will shift - those constraints that are worried about today will no longer be on the critical path tomorrow.  I am sure there will be a whole new set of constraints to take their place though. I used to tell people that hardware without software is just a commodity, but software without hardware is using your imagination. Maybe this will change to “software without a platform…” is just using your imagination.

 

2020 is less than a decade away, fortunately there will be a new crop of technical and business leaders who will have a natural understanding of this new view of the world. The business pressures of today and the innovations being worked upon  will push us all to make this happen.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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