Wednesday, 29 June 2011

IBM At 100

Say IBM and you probably still think of computers, But today, the firm that was once all about hardware, makes its living from more intangible technology. As it celebrates its centenary, International Business Machines is a business that shows how innovation has accelerated - and how fast you have to move to stay ahead. The company they called Big Blue was the dominant force in early commercial computing, when mainframes arrived on a fleet of trucks and IT managers used to say "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM." But those days are long gone.

First PC
It all started with the calculating machines, factory time clocks and meat scales, produced by the four companies that got together as International Business Machines in 1911. Then came products that show IBM's record of innovation through the 1960s and 1970s: the disk drive, the floppy disk, the magnetic stripe that came to every credit card, and the barcode. IBM prospered hugely when computing was restricted to giant corporations or public projects like the Nasa space programme.
The giant mainframes were built by IBM, with IBM microprocessors and IBM software. But when computers got personal, life got tougher. While it built the first PC in 1981, handing the operating system to Microsoft and the microprocessor to Intel proved a fateful decision. "Wintel", not IBM, became the dominant force in home computing. IBM continued to innovate, selling millions of computers to consumers for many years.

Software and services
But eventually in 2004 it got out of personal computers altogether, selling the business to China's Lenovo. Today, IBM makes very sizeable profits from software and services. Years ago all sorts of groundbreaking computer hardware was developed on this site bought from Vickers Aviation, which had used it to build aircraft during the World War II.

Cloud computing
IBM is also making a big push into cloud computing, developing software to move big corporate clients into the cloud and building vast data centres to host them. It is also looking at ways in which technology can make an impact in the healthcare sector, with sensors to monitor patients remotely.
But these are competitive sectors where IBM may struggle to achieve the kind of market dominance it once achieved in mainframe computers.  At IBM, there seems to be a continuing tradition of innovation, surviving for another 100 years will mean adapting even more rapidly to a changing market as technology becomes more intangible.

Thank you for reading! and please fell free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Successful Cloud BPM

Business process management offers many enticing benefits, including impressive ROI. The problem is, it often fails. BPM in a cloud environment can help you overcome barriers to a successful implementation. Every few years, we come across a new technology wave that either reshapes the landscape or substantially enhances the application of existing technologies. Cloud computing is one such wave that is affecting almost everyone in the technology and business world.

The emerging trend of hosting software and applications in the cloud is significantly affecting BPM (business process management) adoption. Many enterprises have embraced BPM technologies but still face big challenges in terms of rapid hosting and implementation. BPM offers a compelling set of business transformation capabilities and demonstrable ROI, but historically, more than 50% of BPM projects have failed to meet the expectations and desired adoption level. Fortunately, combining BPM with the cloud model can overcome many of the traditional BPM challenges.

A cloud-based implementation derives value from three areas:
  • Economic (no capital investments, pay by use, expand/shrink resources as needed)
  • Architectural (commonly accessible environment and resources for development and self-service provisioning)
  • Strategic (outsourced ownership of infrastructure and operations enabling focus on core activities).
A BPM suite must address these value elements to be classified as cloud compliant.

Benefits of BPM on the cloud
Despite BPM’s long history and well-documented benefits, about half of all BPM initiatives fail, according to findings from leading analysts. That’s essentially leaving the success of a major business and technology initiative up to a coin flip! BPM in the cloud can overcome a number of the typical challenges of BPM.

1: Minimal technology constraints
No single BPM tool can meet all the requirements for an enterprise. Because BPM technology decisions may vary from problem to problem, technology choices can hinder overall BPM success. The economics of the cloud and easy provisioning inherent in the cloud model enable enterprises to test multiple technologies with minimal upfront investments. The cloud effectively eliminates technology lock-in, so that businesses can reap the benefits of BPM across the enterprise.

2: Time to market
BPM is all about creating agility, so lengthy technology implementations run counter to the BPM mission. Slow deployments are not only expensive but also reduce the benefit of BPM and can result in a loss of stakeholder buy-in for future projects. BPM in the cloud can reduce the time it takes to ready a BPM system from months to minutes or even days.

3: Collaboration across and within enterprises
BPM enables an enterprise to collaborate in terms of intra- and inter-organizational processes. However, traditional localized BPM implementations do not support external supply chain and value chain processes. Departmental BPM implementations in local environments defeat the larger objective of orchestrating end-to-end business processes, and they’re reflected in the strategic KPIs (key performance indicators) and operational excellence.
Putting BPM in the cloud creates a borderless environment for supporting geographically dispersed teams and complex processes. Cloud-based BPM facilitates collaboration with partners across supply chains and improves management of processes that cut across environments.

4: Enterprise rollout
Most organizations are structured as silos, and their BPM investments are departmental. In a traditional organization, there is no motivation for anyone to have a shared infrastructure and set of assets that can be leveraged across teams. A cloud environment provides a centralized and commonly accessible BPM medium for achieving enterprise-level process excellence. Standards, open architecture, reusable components with interoperability, and knowledge management emerge as strategic needs.

5: Centralized control and governance
As organizations start rolling out BPM at the enterprise level, the focus shifts to governance, standardization, optimization, and scalability for successful adoption and realization of BPM benefits. A business process competency center (BPCC) can provide a central repository of information for addressing these needs and hosting it in the cloud makes it easily accessible. The ability to collaborate and share will be facilitated due to the very nature of shared infrastructure and common environment.

Cloud computing offers many advantages for BPM adoption and eliminates some of the key challenges that have hindered the success of conventional BPM implementations. When you put BPM in the cloud, enterprise BPM and inter-organization process automation can become a reality. The sheer ease of deployment, reuse, shared knowledge, and collaboration aspects are bound to foster process innovation to a greater degree.

Thank you for reading! and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 27 June 2011

The Pragmatic Benefits of Aquima BPM

A pragmatic view on business process management typically focuses on solving business pains, providing benefits and satisfying customers without making a science project out of a process solution. As such, the benefits of process automation remain and are complemented by a number of benefits that deal with implementation and change.

Discovering the process flow is an important step in automating processes; but where do you start, and more importantly, where do you STOP? Let’s focus on the goals first and answer this question with the benefits in mind.

The reason for the automation of business processes is to solve business pains, increase the efficiency of your operations and improve customer experience.
With pragmatic BPM, you can:
  1. Lower costs of business process management and therefore spend your budget wisely
  2. Decrease time and reap benefits earlier
  3. Remain flexible and evolve faster making you more competitive
  4. Develop a process and change management culture for further improvements
Looking at these benefits in detail:

Cost of implementation – Lower cost of BPM and Total Cost of Ownership
The more complex your implementation, the greater the cost of business process management and the higher your Total Cost of Ownership. Implementing a complex solution and maintaining it only makes sense when the profits exceed the costs. This is a simple business calculation; you can ask yourself what the marginal benefit of an additional specification within a business process management investment is. If it is zero or negative, it doesn’t make sense. Therefore, start simple and let it grow, rather than boiling the ocean.

Time to production – Reap benefits earlier and reduce risk
The faster you discover your process, the sooner you can reap the benefits of process automation. Efficiency gains easily compensate adjustments to the solution required by the incomplete process map and changes that happen to business processes on a daily basis. Make sure you are on the right path before going into too much detail and thereby risk the success of your project. In addition, it is more likely to achieve a high return on investment.

Flexibility and Agility – Stay ahead of your competition
A detailed and complex solution might enable you to react to foreseen circumstances faster and more dynamic, but makes it more difficult to react to all other situations. Google is changing the game plan for advertising daily. New applications, new hardware and software, new auction models and ad quality indicators – no wonder competitors have a hard time keeping up. Change is imperative and becomes a nightmare when having to change complex systems with all the exceptions and dependencies. Stay flexible and agile by implementing only the most important exceptions.

Change Management – Creating a culture of improvement
While process modelling brings teams together to develop a process, the task isn’t completed when the process is discovered. The process needs to adapt to changes, improvements need to be implemented, rules need to be adjusted and extensions need to be developed. If you really want to do business process management right, create a culture of improvement and allow for everyone to participate in improving business processes whenever and wherever they can.

So in conclusion: It is essential that you don’t forget to discover everything necessary to automate a process and include exceptions and automate steps as they come up over time, but leave room for exceptions and don’t try to implement a procedure, if they happen less than 1% of the time.

Thank you for reading! and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Benefits of Aquima

Today I am going to be introducing Aquima BPM System and how businesses can benefit from it. Aquima is a rule based business process management (BPM) suite for automating dynamic applications and processes. By reducing the traditional “business / IT” gap, organisations can use Aquima to gain competitive advantage by automating processes that change frequently. Aquima facilitates agile application development, which in turn allows systems to be quickly modified and adapted to changing market conditions.

Benefits of Aquima
The benefits of Aquima include but not limited to the following;

Aquima Studio provides business analysts and developers with a highly intuitive modelling environment. The modelled processes and applications can be executed directly in Aquima Runtime: the model is the application! Aquima is ideal for iterative development processes and improves collaboration between business and IT. So Aquima is not coded but rather uses Artificial Intelligence to automate the design process.

Easy to use
In order to close the traditional gap between business and IT, a tool is required that can be used by analysts, so those responsible for the wishes, requirements and content can develop applications themselves. It is therefore important that the tool is user-friendly. Aquima’s Microsoft Office look and feel is recognisable, intuitive and simple. Applications can be developed and maintained quickly, without the need for knowledge of programming languages.

The way in which interaction with users takes place is separate from the decision logic of an application. Information that an end user enters on the screen can be interpreted immediately through the underlying logic; therefore, the results or interim results and dependencies can directly affect the behaviour of the application.
For example, depending on the user input the system can determine:
  • what the subsequent step is;
  • what  information is required;
  • which information/answers can already be derived;
  • What may and may not be displayed to the user.
The distinction between user interaction and logic provides maximum flexibility, performance and user-friendliness.

The model is implemented immediately in Aquima via engines that work on the basis of interpretation. This means that Aquima can show why certain derivations, choices and decisions have been made in a transparent manner. Interpretation, therefore, means visibility. Aquima also makes it possible to test, use or see in operation what has been modelled immediately

All components within one environment
Aquima consists of key concepts. Each of these concepts contributes to the functionality of the models, as created with Aquima. These concepts include Communication, Documents, IT systems, Supportive Task and processes.

By reducing the traditional “business / IT” gap, organisations can use Aquima to gain competitive advantage by automating processes that change frequently. Aquima facilitates agile application development, which in turn allows systems to be quickly modify and adapted to changing market conditions.  Aquima is being used in the financial, governmental, healthcare, retail, and housing sectors. More information on existing applications is available through various customer cases.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 20 June 2011

Building the Business Case for BPM

Over the past few decades, globalization has become more pervasive.  The recent financial crisis has shown just how interconnected the world economy is.  Today’s organization has to be able to compete in this global economy with both small and large players around the globe as the barriers to entry in many markets get lower.  The ability to compete successfully requires success on many fronts:

·         Operational efficiency
·         Customer intimacy
·         Product and Service Innovation

And how they are solved, the ROI/value produced by addressing the problem, and the benefits for using BPM solutions.

BPM can provide the agility needed in today’s rapidly changing business environment.  Process automation is one way that BPM can help an organization become more nimble.  Business processes organized within a BPM framework are well-documented with clearly-defined steps. 
Moreover, there is a clear understanding of the underlying systems and data supporting each process step.  Changes to existing processes can be made quickly within a BPM framework because the downstream affects on people, systems, and data are already known and factored. 
Automated processes within a BPM framework also help in providing speed to compliance as well as transparency and consistency in the execution of the business processes.  Speed to market is yet another key driver for more agile business processes.  To remain competitive in today’s business environment, companies need to be able to exploit new market opportunities much faster than their competitors to survive. 

In this fast paced world, executives need information in real time. Without automated processes, it is very difficult to gain real time insight into the execution of business processes.  BPM technology not only provides the ability to automate the processes but also provides the ability to monitor the performance of the processes in a real-time manner.  This capability allows management access to fast and accurate reporting so that they can make informed decisions about the business.  This information can be rendered via portals so that decision-makers can have the information they need in one place. This level of visibility is also a key for compliance.

BPM can bring tremendous cost savings and cost avoidance to an organization.   Optimizing and automating business processes can lead to a reduction in redundancies.  Most manual tasks can be eliminated and thus considerably decreasing the risk of errors and rework in the process.  Gartner claims that by simply “making the current-state handoffs, timing and responsibilities explicit”, productivity improvements of more than 12 percent are typically realized.

While BPM can help with several of these challenges, the biggest impact can come from streamlining the end-to-end utility processes by integrating the underlying applications.  This will result in improved service and a reduction in cost.

Financial Services
The Banking and Capital Markets industries have some overlapping challenges as well as some unique challenges.  The continued consolidation requires robust best-in-class back-office systems to enable business flexibility.  Continually increasing regulatory requirements are forcing organizations to adopt a centralized approach to managing risk and achieving compliance.  The escalation of fraud from unauthorized insider access, ID theft, phishing, etc is resulting from non-integrated systems.  BPM can help evolve the enterprise architecture to more of a processdriven architecture to help mitigate risk and increase compliance in the processes.

Industrial Manufacturing
Concurrent pressures of profitability, time-to-market, and design complexity exist in this industry.  Product commoditization forces companies to seek alternate ways to generate revenue.  Complex distribution and sales -- resellers, retailers, direct, online, etc. make it very difficult to forecast demand accurately.   One of the ways to help with some of these challenges is to focus on customer-centric processes and to synchronize the demand-driven supply chain.  BPM can be the glue that brings customer-centric processes to life.

Public Sector
The public sector space is comprised of several slightly different sub sectors, i.e. Defense, Justice, Public Safety, National and Local Government.   They each have slightly different challenges, but the common theme for these different sub sectors is the need for efficiency and transparency.   There is a strong need to increase efficiency and transparency in the following areas; Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Sourcing and Procurement.  These process areas are ideal candidates for BPM to help with efficiency and visibility.

Why build a business case for BPM?
The need to deliver more business value from IT Today’s IT budget is spent mostly on “keeping the lights on”, in fact roughly 70% of the budget is spent on sustaining and running existing capability while only 30% is spent on providing new capabilities to the business.  The business, together with IT, needs to find ways to increase the value created by the existing and new investments in IT.  The ideal allocation of the IT budget would be to spend roughly 55% on existing capability and 45% on new capabilities that create value for the business.
More value without a corresponding increase in cost, one of the ways that BPM can provide more value to the business is by improving and innovating business processes.  Improving business processes is nothing new to most organizations, but by using the BPM technology to improve and innovate business processes, one can expect a higher level of success.  BPM technology can be used to rapidly integrate and automate processes that are manual and/or span multiple application systems.  

BPM is a strategy and technology that delivers value to the organization by impacting both the top and bottom lines of an organization.   However, this value has to be quantified for the organization to show the specific impact that will be delivered.   This technology will not only bring quantifiable value to the organization but will do so without a corresponding increase in investment.  
A compelling business case is needed to provide the motivation and prioritization for BPM projects in the organization.  The approach to such a business case involves assessing the current business process and its performance, designing the future process and the solution footprint to support it, identifying the benefit drivers and finally calculating the ROI, many companies have already started to see substantial returns from their BPM projects.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

BPM from a Business Point of View

Many companies are required to create a return on investment [ROI] analysis for purchases over some dollar amount. The basis for an ROI analysis is Savings less costs equals the return on investment.

The Costs
The costs of a BPM project include: The Software, The Services and [if you are to be accurate] The Time that 'your people' put into the project.

The Savings
There are 2 kinds of savings - hard costs and soft costs. Hard costs are savings that can actually be counted. Soft costs are savings that might happen or cannot be measured with any certainty.

How much money will you save by automating non-value added tasks? Many process improvements allow computer software to perform a task or tasks. You should be able to measure these savings.

Your re-engineered process may have reduced the steps in your process or eliminated an activity entirely. This requires that you measure the 'as-is' process and estimate the measure from the 'to-be' process.

If you are required to be compliant with some standard, there is a cost associated with that activity. Can your re-engineered process reduce the cost of compliance?

Quality Improvements
Re-engineering your processes gives you the opportunity to either improve an activity or add a step that that will improve the quality of your product or service. What would a 10% improvement mean to your company in pounds? What impact will improved quality have on your customer base?

Once you have identified the costs and the savings, you can easily generate the payback time, the net present value, the internal rate of return, etc. Many companies will have their own format for ROI analyses - emphasize what is important to your company.

Managing your business processes more efficiently will increase revenues, lower costs and improve customer relationships. It can differentiate you from your competitors. It can be the key that allows your company to break out as the market leader.

BPM is very ‘real’ and with great potential for benefits realisation. Organisations that have taken the leap of faith have proven this and for the majority that have kept up the momentum and focussed on finding additional opportunities in their organisations have gone on to gain incremental value from the adoption of a BPMS and BPM. In an economic climate where there is continual scrutiny of operational and discretionary budgets, compliance and regulatory demands any opportunity for demonstrating cost reductions, good governance and efficiency gains should be treated as a priority.

The ROI benefits of implementing a BPM solution transcend the whole spectrum of processes and allied costs. As organizations seek to manage and measure the business value of every process, they will find Carkean Solution Aquima BPM an able ally in its ability to provide a powerful collaborative platform  to define and administer their business ecosystem.

Your Thoughts...

Thank you for reading! And please feel free to leave a Comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Cloud Security

Security is one of the most often-cited objections to cloud computing; analysts and sceptical companies ask "who would trust their essential data 'out there' somewhere?" here i am going to offer analysis of what the major security concerns are with cloud computing, and what might be done about them.

The security issues involved in protecting clouds from outside threats are similar to those already facing large datacenters, except that responsibility is divided between the cloud user and the cloud operator. The cloud user is responsible for application-level security. The cloud provider is responsible for physical security, and likely for enforcing external firewall policies. Security for intermediate layers of the software stack is a shared between the user and the operator; the lower the level of abstraction exposed to the user, the more responsibility goes with it. This user responsibility, in turn, can be outsourced to third parties who sell specialty security services. The homogeneity and standardized interfaces of platforms like EC2 makes it possible for a company to offer, say, configuration management or firewall rule analysis as value-added services. Outsourced IT is familiar in the enterprise world; there is nothing intrinsically infeasible about trusting third parties with essential corporate infrastructure.

While cloud computing may make external-facing security easier, it does pose the new problem of internal-facing security. Cloud providers need to guard against theft or denial of service attacks by users. Users need to be protected against one another.

The primary security mechanism in today's clouds is virtualisation. This is a powerful defence, and protects against most attempts by users to attack one another or the underlying cloud infrastructure. However, not all resources are virtualized and not all virtualisation environments are bug-free. Virtualization software has been known to contain bugs that allow virtualized code to "break loose" to some extent. Incorrect network virtualization may allow user code access to sensitive portions of the provider's infrastructure, or to the resources of other users. These challenges, though, are similar to those involved in managing large non-cloud datacenters, where different applications need to be protected from one another. Any large internet service will need to ensure that one buggy service doesn't take down the entire datacenter, or that a single security hole doesn't compromise everything else.

One last security concern is protecting the cloud user against the provider. The provider will by definition control the "bottom layer" of the software stack, which effectively circumvents most known security techniques. Absent radical changes in security technology, we expect that users will use contracts and courts, rather than clever security engineering, to guard against provider malfeasance. The one important exception is the risk of inadvertent data loss. It's hard to imagine Amazon spying on the contents of virtual machine memory; it's easy to imagine a hard disk being disposed of without being wiped, or a permissions bug making data visible improperly.

There's an obvious defence, namely user-level encryption of storage. This is already common for high-value data outside the cloud, and both tools and expertise are readily available. The catch is that key management is still challenging: users would need to be careful that the keys are never stored on permanent storage or handled improperly. Providers could make this simpler by exposing APIs for things like curtained memory or security sensitive storage that should never be paged out.

Thank you for Reading, These are preliminary thoughts and we welcome comments and criticism.

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 13 June 2011

Apple sticks its head in the (Internet) clouds

In a week, with big tech news from Microsoft, Motorola, Nintendo, and Sony, plus some intriguing gamer innovations, Apple’s version of a cloud-based digital future stood out from the rest. At the annual Apple Worldwide Development Conference in San Francisco, Steve Jobs took a break from his medical leave to introduce the iCloud.

In its simplest form, the cloud in Apple’s hands becomes the place where all the apps, books, music, photos, calendars, and documents on your Apple device are stored.  In turn, when you switch on an Apple device — phone, computer, tablet — all that information is available to you, “pushed” from the cloud, and automatically kept up to date on all your devices. With this move to the cloud, Apple has cut the cord to iTunes, previously the only way to store and manage your Apple data, and has placed all that management into the cloud.  

“iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date across all your devices,” said Jobs in his keynote address. "All of this happens automatically and wirelessly, and because it’s integrated into our apps you don’t even need to think about it—it all just works.”

The cloud concept is tied to iOS 5, a new version of the Apple operating system for iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch which will be available in the fall. Under the new mobile OS, users including new iPhone and iPad purchasers can activate their gadgets right out of the box and get software updates over the air — WiFi or cell data network — with no computer required.

Although Google Android smartphones and devices have been doing some of the same cloud integration with contacts, appointments, Google Docs, and the like Where Apple broke with any other cloud effort to date was its plan for storing your music collection in the cloud. The new Apple vision is well designed. Many flaws present in the Appleverse were solved (such as users’ unholy reliance on all storage and updates being manually channelled through iTunes). Its scope and vision once again demonstrates why Apple is the most formidable technology company in the world.

But then there is one nagging thought: Unless you’re an adherent to the Apple way of life, you’re left out in the cold. If the cloud is Apple’s view of Heaven, the Pearly Gates are closed if you use a non-iOS device.

Cloud-watching in the consumer world is at this point a three-way race between Apple, Amazon, and Google. Apple has certainly shown more of its overall vision than the others, but this is a race in progress with no finish line in sight. Then there's companies including Microsoft and HP, or perhaps a startup in some garage somewhere with the imagination to come out of nowhere, could cream the competition and step boldly into the winner's circle.

Who do you think will win??

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Criteria for Evaluating cloud computing services

Selecting a cloud computing provider is becoming increasingly complex. As cloud environments mature, many cloud providers attempt to differentiate themselves by focusing on specific aspects of their offerings, such as technology stacks or service-level agreements (SLAs). In short, not all cloud providers are created equal; choosing the best cloud provider for an application is a multidimensional problem.

At the same time, enterprises are beginning to rely on cloud providers for hosting mission-critical applications, which raises the stakes for selecting the right cloud service. So how do organizations navigate this multifarious landscape? Below you'll find a few key factors for evaluating services as well as some resources to use.

one of the main concerns for enterprises that are considering cloud computing is performance. Achieving high-speed delivery of applications in the cloud is a multifaceted challenge that requires a holistic approach and an end-to-end view of the application request-response path. Performance issues include the geographical proximity of the application and data to the end user, network performance both within the cloud and in-and-out of the cloud and I/O access speed between the compute layer and the multiple tiers of data stores

Technology stack
several cloud providers have focused their services on a particular software stack. This typically moves them from being Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers to the realm of Platform as a Service (PaaS). As one would expect, the different stack-specific clouds align with the most popular software stacks out there. If your application is built using one of these stacks, you may want to consider these cloud platforms. They can offer tremendous savings in terms of time and expense by shielding you from having to deal with lower level infrastructure setup and configuration. The flip side is that they often require developers to follow certain best practices in architecting and writing their apps, which creates a higher degree of vendor lock-in.

Service-level agreements and reliability
some cloud providers offer guarantees for higher levels of service as a way to separate themselves from the pack. Note that SLAs are often merely an indication of the consequences when the service fails and not the service's actual reliability. Although the SLA is a good indicator of any provider's level of commitment, knowing the real uptime levels of a particular cloud provider is a trickier proposition.

Security and compliance
Two of the biggest barriers for companies considering cloud computing continue to be security and compliance. In a recent Zenoss Inc. survey conducted during the first quarter of 2011, nearly 40% of respondents listed security when asked about their biggest concerns about cloud computing. The second most common answer was management, which received only 26.5% of the responses. The Zenoss survey is consistent with a number of other surveys related to cloud computing.

A straightforward way to compare cloud providers would appear to be cost, but it turns out to be anything but. The problem is that there is no consistency among providers in regards to the resources customers actually receive and pay for. Providers offer virtual machines (VMs) that vary widely in memory capacity, CPU clock speed and other features. Furthermore, the units that are actually provided to customers are often virtualized, creating even further confusion as to what the customer is actually getting and how it might be affected by other customers on the same cloud.

In Conclusion choosing the best cloud provider for an application is a multidimensional problem. As the number of cloud providers increases, and as many of them focus on specialized needs and use cases, more choices require more focused examinations. Fortunately, services are emerging that help compare cloud services so that customers can tell which provider is best suited.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a Comment!

 All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Choosing a Cloud Consulting Company

Cloud computing is site-independent computing, whereby shared servers give resources, software applications, and data to computers and other appliances on demand, much like the electricity grid. 

Cloud computing is a natural development of the widespread usage of utility computing, service-oriented architecture and virtualization.

Clouds are often categorized as public, private and hybrid clouds. Let us now examine exactly how each category will work.

A public cloud is a type in line with the traditional cloud computing system, wherein a service provider creates resources, like applications and storage space, readily available to the public across the Web. Public cloud services might be absolutely free or perhaps furnished on a pay-per-usage model. The primary gains of using a public cloud service solution will be:
1. Easy and cost effective set up since equipment, application and bandwidth costs are addressed by the provider.
2. Expandability to meet demands.
3. Hardly any squandered resources due to the fact you pay for what you use.

Private cloud (as well referred to as internal cloud or corporate cloud) actually is a marketing expression for a proprietary processing architecture that furnishes hosted services for a finite quantum of people operating behind firewall software. Advances in distributed computing and virtualization have now granted corporate computer network and datacenter administrators to effectively turn into service providers who meet the necessities of their “clientele” within the enterprise. Marketing media which uses the expression “private cloud” is fashioned to attract an organization that desires or prefers more control and command upon their data than they can get by employing a third-party hosted service. Our cloud consultants can assists you to enhance the extensive benefits one can draw from using a private cloud.

A 3rd model, the hybrid cloud, will be controlled by both internal and external providers.
Cloud Computing needs IT companies to modify ongoing working functions along with established technologies. Consequently migrating to the cloud and selection of providers consists of challenges for almost any company and it really is sensible to utilize our cloud consultants that offer cloud consulting services in this specific aspect. From private, public, and hybrid clouds, consultants recognize the primary aspects of the different cloud computing solutions in addition to every single product’s benefits and problems. Carkean Solutions will be able to offer you professional cloud consulting and cloud expertise and help you in framing a cloud computing approach.

Our Professional cloud consultants will be able to assist you:
·         Avail our “unique consultancy service” to study your enterprise from cloud computing perspective.
·         Comprehensive report on “new possibilities” and practical advice about realising them.
·         Our unique approach shrinks study time from 3-5 days to 1-2 days saving you 33%-80% of consultancy costs.
·         Offer is valid till 31.07.11. You will have time upto 30.09.11 to schedule our service.

More particulars on cloud and cloud consultants could be found on our website or email us at or contact us on +44(0)20-3239-2338

Thank you For Reading and please feel free to Leave a comment!

All information presented here is © copyright Carkean Solutions Ltd., 2010 - Not to be used without our permission - The views expressed here are the views of an individual not the corporation

Monday, 6 June 2011


Is George Osborne cutting too fast or not fast enough? The Office for National Statistics’ second estimate of GDP in the first quarter, as expected, left the rise in GDP unchanged at 0.5%, following the 0.5% fall in the fourth quarter of last year. At face value they tell a story of an economy that has been stagnant over six months. Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, says the economy has been flatlining since Osborne stood up to deliver his spending review in the autumn, which detailed the cuts.

What the GDP figures also showed, however, was that government spending rose by 1% in the latest quarter, after an increase of 0.4% in the final quarter of 2010. Public spending grew as the economy shrank and contributed two-fifths of GDP growth in the first quarter. Spending in cash terms in April was 5% up on a year earlier.

There is a case that January’s Vat hike contributed to the exceptional first quarter consumer spending weakness, though it is sensible to suspend judgment given that retail sales rose during the quarter. There is no case yet for the argument that spending cuts are killing the economy.

What about an apparent change of heart by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)? Its twice-yearly Economic Outlook, endorsed the government’s plans, saying “the current fiscal consolidation strikes the right balance and should continue in line with the medium-term plan to eliminate the deficit”, But its chief economist, Pier Carlo Padoan, appeared to suggest the government should go slow on cuts if growth is weak. Indeed the OECD appeared to offer some support for the view that Britain’s cuts are not that exceptional. It compared reductions in the projected budget balance (the deficit) in member states between 2009 and 2012. Easily the biggest were the crisis-hit eurozone economies, Greece, Ireland and Portugal, plus Spain, with deficit cuts ranging from 4% of gross domestic product in Ireland to more than 12% for Greece.

Britain’s projected deficit cut is significant, around 3% of GDP. That, however, is not much more than Italy and France, neither of them natural big cutters.Another OECD comparison, which was reported last week, showed Germany’s public spending to GDP ratio - again to 2012 - falling by 2.5 percentage points, compared with 2.2 for Britain.

There are two problems with these comparisons, however. One is that the public spending to GDP ratio is not a good measure of the fiscal pain being inflicted. This is because it is influenced by the performance of GDP as well as spending. So Greece’s public spending to GDP ratio falls only 0.1 points between 2010 and 2012, despite very deep spending cuts, because of GDP weakness. It works the other way too. During Gordon Brown’s tenure at the Treasury the public spending to GDP ratio barely rose until recession hit, even though spending was being increased rapidly.

The other problem is that Britain’s cuts go well beyond 2012, and only really begin this year, 2011-12. The IMF compared planned fiscal tightenings in eight economies over the period 2010-15 - Britain, America, Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Canada and Spain - and found Britain’s tax hikes and spending cuts, nearly 8% of GDP, easily exceeded America, France and Spain (4% to 5%), Canada (3%), Germany (2.5%), and Japan and Italy (less than 2%).

The spending cuts, far from being a scratch, are significant. Revised calculations from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, based on recent and higher inflation projections from the Office for Budget Responsibility show over the four years from 2010-11 to 2014-15, real departmental spending will fall 11.7%.

Will it kill the recovery? I say not but this is an uncomfortable time for the government. The OECD is the latest to revise down growth forecasts for Britain, forcing the Treasury to trot out the line that recovery was always going to be choppy. Maybe, but not long ago it predicted growth of more than 3% for this year.

Barely more than a month into the start of his four-year programme of spending cuts Osborne cannot change course now. There is a case, as the OECD says, for allowing automatic stabilisers to operate if growth is weaker than hoped, rather than sticking rigidly to deficit targets. If high inflation persists, as the Bank of England’s Andrew Sentance predicts, there may also be a case for revisiting the cash totals for public spending, to prevent the real squeeze from being even tougher.

There is no case, however, for going back on the thrust of the government’s deficit reduction plans. The chancellor is known for occasionally having spent time on yachts. Any sailor knows that if you drift too much you get into trouble. With the IMF Delivering its reports on the UK economy today, it will be interesting to see the course Mr Osborne will take.

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