Is 2015 Your ‘Year of the Cloud’?

CloudSlowly but surely the term cloud is becoming less marketing hype and more reality for businesses of all types.

I will not be ‘that guy’ who says that the cloud is the ‘end all and be all’ for everyone. That kind of statement is, well, stupid. It likely came from a sales guy looking to hit a quota (of which there are many and, for full disclosure’s sake, I am one of them). If the statistics bare out, those who are shopping for cloud services are less likely to listen to my kind since a lot of your research has already been done before we speak and you don’t need a pitch, you need a solution.

What Does the Cloud Mean to You?

Cloud ImageCloud computing is now a ubiquitous concept. Everyone knows about it at a cocktail party level (“Why yes our IT is in the cloud!”, “Well, of course we are in the cloud, who isn’t?”) but when you get down to brass tacks, the cloud can mean any number of different things.

Here are a few of the high level concepts in cloud computing that you may hear or may want to learn more about. You may even disagree with my definitions. That’s fine because there is no real cloud institute with standardized definitions (at least not that I am aware of at least).

As Marketing Struggles To Keep Pace Will IT Come to the Rescue?

A recent study shows that social media engagement from the customer side is way up but marketers can’t keep pace.

The report by Sprout Social and repackaged by eMarketer shows the following response times and response rates for various industries and the numbers are not very impressive.

Social Media Response Times

The popular question here at a data center centric blog is “What does this have to do with data centers and IT?”. Well, that may be something IT needs to seriously consider. As the IT function becomes more and more integrated with the entire organization it is incumbent upon those with the technical know how to offer technical solutions to the business problems that other disciplines are facing and, in essence, creating.

Morrisville, NC Chamber Rebrands Itself

Once again I have to imagine that you might be wondering what in the world this has to do with data centers? Well, it’s more about business. Data centers are about business. Here in the Triangle there are many, many companies in Morrisville and the attempt by the chamber to rebrand itself bodes well for presenting a strong image that can attract more business, talent and, of course, money.

Check out the old vs. the new. Nice upgrade.

FIRST THE OLD:

Old Morrisville NC CoC Logo

AND NOW THE NEW:

Morrisville Chamber of Commerce Logo

NICE UPGRADE!

SunGard Availability Services To Operate Independently Moving Forward

SunGard AS logoSunGard is making a change in their business structure that splits off their availability services to run separately. Data Center Knowledge reports

SunGard Data Systems will split off its Availability Services business, which operates its data centers and disaster recovery business. The Sungard Availability business unit will be spun off into a separate company to its existing stockholders, including its private equity owners, in a tax-free transaction. The new company will continue to use the SunGard Availability Services name. SunGard says customers should see no impact from the change.

How Well Do You Know Your Cloud Provider?

OwnershipNote: I am a business development executive for Peak 10 and we offer cloud services.

Why do I tell you that? Well, for one, you may not have read the About page for this blog. Two, it’s the right thing to do so if there is a perceived bias I am ‘in the open’ about it. And three, it’s the right thing to do.

Is Content Marketing an IT Concern?

I realize that this is a bit of a different thought for a data center centric blog but as we move further and further into the Internet age the lines between IT and every business function will continue to blur.

Now that I get my daily run-on sentence out of the way, let’s look at some information that was put curated by eMarketer from data collected by Curata. I used the word curation because that is a key component of today’s marketing and it will ultimately require IT to be able to easily store, manage and disseminate the data to assist in marketing of a company.

But there’s a problem. Simply put “Content marketing ain’t easy”. Take a look at some of the struggles being encountered by marketers themselves.

Content Marketing

So what’s this have to do with IT? Glad you asked.

Is the Net Neutrality Concern Really a Concern?

Net NeutralityWith the ruling handed down yesterday by a US court of Appeals there is a lot of conversation about net neutrality. The trouble is that no one seems to truly understand it or the ramifications of the ruling completely. That is in addition to the impact that any rulings about the freedom of the Internet is going to impact so many different groups in so many different ways, it’s nearly impossible to gauge. Since it’s about the law that really shouldn’t surprise many.

Some of the reporting I am seeing includes from The Verge

Trends Gaining Momentum That the CIO Needs to Be Aware of in 2014

Crystal BallA list was posted yesterday in InformationWeek that looked at the latest trends that the business aware CIO should be keeping an eye on in the upcoming year.

Honestly, there was nothing earth shattering. As with many lists like this they tend to echo some of the same things that were just as important in the year prior’s list. This one is not much different.

The list was produced by Sunil Manglore, MD, of CA Technologies and the highlights were as follows.

Local Raleigh Company Announces Email Marketing Trends for Nov. – Dec 2013

Bronto LogoOK, you’re thinking, “Isn’t this supposed to be an IT blog so why are we talking about marketing?”.

Being a data center / IT blog is precisely why we are looking at these trends. Still confused? Think of it this way. If your infrastructure is ready for spikes that could be caused by effective marketing from your company then IT is a hero and no one gets concerned.

If you are unprepared, however, for a spike in traffic or orders or whatever because you were unaware of the latest efforts from marketing (shame on you and marketing, by the way) then you are dragged into the corporate public square and vilified.

So the idea is that as effective IT folks it is incumbent upon you to be aware of the business as a whole so that increased workloads etc can be anticipated and prepared for. Being in IT is a lot less about speeds and feeds vs. business acumen these days.

So back to our original point. Bronto as described on their website “provides a cloud-based marketing platform for retailers to drive revenue through their email, mobile and social campaigns.” They also track trends and they have released some stats from last holiday season that might be of interest.

The two charts below show some interesting trends