Cloud-Mobile Mega Trends Point to Rapid Need for Radical Application Transformation
Cloud-Mobile Mega Trends Point to Need for Rapid, RadicalApplications Transformation, Says HPTranscript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast on how consumer-driven platform variety and advancingcloud services are requiring enterprises to transform and rationalize their applicationsportfolios.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Download the transcript. Sponsor:HP.Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BrieﬁngsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on the rapid and massive shifts confronting enterprises as they adopt more mobile devices and broaden their uses of cloud services. In many ways, the mobile device explosion and the cloud computing ramp-up reinforce and support each other. Cloud services make mobile devices -- likesmartphone and tablets -- more productive, while making users better connected to enterpriseresources and work processes. On the other hand, mobile devices -- with their ubiquitous, non-stop wireless access -- make cloud-delivered applications, data, and services more relevant andmore instantly available anywhere.By leverging cloud and mobile, applications can be supported by a common, strategic,architectural, and converged-infrastructure approach. Furthermore, by making cloud-deliveredapplications and data context-aware, delivering enterprise applications to any device securely canthen be done at a reduced cost (when compared to conventional applications infrastructuremodels). It therefore makes little sense to have unique stacks beneath each application for eachapplication or device type.So how do enterprises adjust to these mobile-cloud, dynamic-duo requirements in the strategicand a proactive way? How can they leverage and extend their current applications or identifywhich ones to fold and retire?It’s clear that radical, not incremental, adjustment is in order to make sure that the cloud-mobileera is a gained opportunity and not a fatal or devastating misﬁre for IT operators -- and businessstrategists alike.Were now joined by a guest from HP to explore the promises and perils of adjusting to thecloud-mobile shift. Im here with Paul Evans, Global Lead for Application Transformation withHP Enterprise Business. Welcome back to BrieﬁngsDirect, Paul. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor ofBrieﬁngsDirect podcasts.]
Paul Evans: Hello, Dana. Good to be here.Gardner: As Ive mentioned, we have a lot of active trends unfolding, and we’ve talked aboutsome of the shifts going on. But it seems that this combination of the move to mobile-deviceadoption and cloud computing is in some ways an enormous opportunity. Yet it’s also makingpeople befuddled. They’re not sure how to tackle these both at the same time.Radical transformationEvans: I dont use these words lightly. We have to go through a radical transformation now in terms of our applications. There are these new technologies, part of the megatrends that are affecting organizations. These megatrends encompass things like evolving business models, a changing workforce, and the introduction of new technology. And all of those are pressured onto an organization today. People are trying to ﬁgure out what’s the best route; which one should I ignore, which one should I exploit, and what should I be doing? In the technological world, we have the world of cloud, and we have the world of mobile. We cannot ignore them. People can’t abdicate and say,"Im not going to go do it." Its not going to be that way.At the same time, the CIOs and senior stakeholders are looking outward and asking what arethese new technologies, what could they do for me, how could they improve customer service,and what will my competition do?They also look also over their shoulder and say, "I spend 70 percent of my IT budget keeping theapplications I have today working. I probably don’t have enough budget or resource to do both.So the question is, which one of these should I spend more of my time on?"The answer is that you really can’t afford not to spend time on either. So its a balancing actbetween how I encompass the new and exploit it, and at the same time, what do I need to do withmy existing applications.Although we see the world of cloud and mobile as very new-age, very sexy, and all the rest of it,at the end of the day, people have to sit down and deal with what the environments they haveright now. They may not be so exciting. They may not be so new-age, but at the end of the day,they make products, count money, and run the organization as it is today. They are the legacyapplications.Gardner: It also seems that they need to ﬁnd ways to do this holistically. To go at it piecemealalmost subverts the total beneﬁt, particularly if you look at it from a cost-beneﬁt analysisperspective. Have you found in working with large enterprises, as I know you do, that those thatattack this strategically or with a master plan, have an advantage?
Evans: Absolutely. It always pleases me when I sit down with a customer who says, "We have totake stock. We have to make a plan. Were not going to do this one day at a time or a week at atime. We have to appreciate how we are going to exploit cloud.What applications that we have in the back-end server environments are we going to bringforward to the cloud to service a mobile environment? What we are going to do about the use ofmobile within our organization and what we are going to do about serving our customers betterthrough mobile devices and the technologies that go with them?"Some big trapsIt always pleases me when people want to make a plan. I may not be the most strategic person sometimes, but I appreciate it in this instance. There are some really big traps that people can fall into here doing something on the ﬂy and then, in six months time, regretting they ever went down that route. Andy Grove, the former head of Intel said that this is a major inﬂection point. This year people are predicting that if you count the amount of smart phones and tablets that will be shipped, i.e. bought, that it will be greater than the number of desktop, laptop, and network PCs. So were tending now toward an inﬂection point in the marketplace that says more people will interact using mobiledevices than they will static devices.That trend isn’t just a blip for 2011. That continues as we accelerate, as people just get morecomfortable with using that technology, as functionality improves, and security andmanageability come under control.Were at that point now. That’s why we use this term radical transformation, because for thepeople that really want to exploit this, theyre making their plans, theyre drawing up their actionlists of what they have to do, both at the front end with the mobile and cloud environment, butalso with their legacy environment.Gardner: This is really a departure. In the past weve seen trends and rapid changes in IT, but Idon’t think we have seen something that’s happened quite as wide spreading and globally. Wereseeing this simultaneously in advanced economies across multiples verticals. Its as if even theorganizations or regions of the world that may have been catching up in some other ways areleap-frogging and therefore adopting mobile devices even more rapidly.This isn’t like, "Ill bring in some additional servers and move toward an n-tier architecture, bringin some applications, have coexistence and migrate them out to a branch ofﬁce over a two- orthree-year ramp up process." This is something that’s happening rapidly, more rapidly than wethought, and perhaps more pervasively globally than we thought.
Evans: The term that people are using is the consumerization of IT. Im not quite sure what thatactually means. To me, it’s driven by impatience and that’s not a negative thing. Impatience isnot regional, and therefore, no matter where you are in the world, people want it now. They wantto order things. They want to get things delivered. They want decisions made. More and more ofthe population has grown up with the ability to do things instantly.Their impatience is forcing people to do things right now. Therefore, theres the expectation levelof I expect, when I click on a device, I should get a response in an amount of time that may beimmeasurable. If you wait a second or two, then people say, it’s running slow. You dont have tothink really far back, that if you ordered something on the telephone, let’s say, then the normalperiod was that you will get it within 28 days. We accepted that. Thats gone out of the window,gone.That puts pressure on enterprises to deliver it, and the consumer is not acting alone. Theconsumer is saying, "I want you to send me a book. I want to download music. I want to order aholiday. I want to get a conﬁrmation of a bank statement, or whatever it maybe, and I expect itright now."Therefore, the systems that are serving up that information are the back-end systems. These arenot new systems. These are the old systems. So, it’s this radical transformation. It’s dealing withthe fact that we have to adjust those back-end systems to deliver up information to a wideplethora of different platform types, whether it will be smart phones, tablets, traditional notebookPCs, or desktop PCs.This is going to be pervasive. This is the way were going to do things for the foreseeable future.Therefore, if we don’t get it right now, we stand a risk of making decisions about platform typesor architectures, or whatever it may be, that within six months, we’re going to say that it wasn’tsuch a good idea.Never been here beforeI meet so many customers now that are saying, "We’ve never been here before. We’ve neverbeen with this volume of devices. We’ve never been through the fact that over half of ourworkforce now brings their own device with them into the ofﬁce."Theyre sending out policy documents that say, "you shall not do this," and its totally ignored.The changing workforce has a totally different level of expectation as it were, of whats possible,just in terms of the amount of transactions that are performed over the net or 20,000 applicationsdownloads in a minute.These are transactional rates in volumes that weve never seen before. Despite a lot of ourprevious experience, you just can’t leave it and say, "It worked ﬁve years ago. It’s going to workfor the next ﬁve years." Thats what our customers are dealing with today.
Gardner: This isn’t just happening with applications delivered through an employee local areanetwork (LAN), we’re talking about business-to-business (B2B) applications and data beingserved up, consumers increasingly being part of the revenue mix when applications are deliveredthrough their mobile devices. It’s increasingly important for the organization to be deliveringapplications across different types of users, different parts of the globe, different types of deviceinterfaces.So it gets back to this common notion of a singular comprehensive infrastructure. We havemobile and shifting requirements and we’re also seeing the need for efﬁciency on howapplications are served up.Paul, what are you seeing in terms of how organizations are putting the numbers together, andsay, "What’s hybrid cloud or a hybrid cloud model bringing to the table in terms of how to solvethis?"Evans: There are two critical questions have to get answered. One is the organizations that aregoing to move applications to a cloud environment are not going to move all of them. One of thequestions we get all the time is, What percentage of my applications or products should I bemoving to the cloud? And of course the answer is ... It’s not a percentage thing. It’s the type ofapplication.It’s still formative times, but in HP’s view, clearly applications that probably are not embodyingintellectual property would be a type of application thats well served moving into the cloud.And, any form of application including servicing, providing a service across a wide population ofusers as well, especially those who are obviously in a mobile environment; applications that areproductivity-centric.You really want to drive the cost down as low as possible for any of these productivityapplications. Theres no sense in running on aging infrastructure where the costs are high. Youreally want to be getting the cost down, because if it’s a productivity application, it doesn’tdifferentiate you. And if it doesn’t differentiate you, then why would you spend anything morethan the minimal cost?So put those productivity applications onto the lowest cost environment where you couldntprovision an infrastructure that has this elasticity that the cloud environment provides.No clear line of sightThats the ﬁrst thing, organizations are focusing on and saying, "How are we going to start tobring forward some of our applications that we’ve had buried in the data center?" And some atextremely high-cost. We ﬁnd working with people that there still are some applications wherethere may not be a clear line of sight into just how much that application is costing and theinfrastructure it’s running on.
You might say we are spring-cleaning a little as we go into organizations and help themunderstand what are the top candidates for applications to move to the cloud. What were doing isunearthing the portfolio of application through the work we do, and saying to the CIO saying,"Did you realize that you have this number of applications and that youre spending this amounton those?" Of course, the usual answer is, "No, I didn’t know I had that many." Usually, what weuncover is there is about twice as many as people thought.They do consume a lot of cash. So, in this spring-cleaning. Were moving applications fromback-end environment to the cloud. Then we have an opportunity to rationalize the portfolio.Rationalizing the portfolio had two big impacts. One, it takes cost out, which means that you canconsider that as saved money or money that can reinvested in the mobile world.But also youre taking out complexity. Every organization, I think, would agree at the momentthat their environments are too complicated, and by virtue of being to complicated, it makes itdifﬁcult to change them, and people are looking for agility and ﬂexibility.So ﬁrst things ﬁrst. When were talking to organizations, what were trying to understand is whatare the candidates that can move to the cloud, and that’s a big hot topic. A lot of our users andcustomers say, "We sort of get our head around cloud. That’s okay. We can see it’s a differentparadigm. It has a different cost model. It helps me with provisioning. Life’s good."So they can get their head around that, and as you can tell by just reading the press and listeningto what goes on in the world, you would say people are on the move with cloud.On the other hand, when they are looking from the outside in with mobile, there is less of aprecedent there. The sharp customers that we are working with are saying, "We don’t want to fallinto traps. Were going to build an environment that suits one type of mobile environment and weare going to be able to test it and manage it." They know that they don’t have that order ofcontrol. The days when it was, "You shall use this device, and that device we know how towork," have gone.If you think back to mainframe days, people had to use a 3270 device. That was it. It was deﬁnedby IBM. That’s the way youre going to do it. And if you didn’t have one, then you didn’t get toparticipate. The world is now totally the other way around.The technical challenge is to support this environment agnostically and say, "We don’t care whatyoure using." What we can do is understand how to manage and provide the right level ofsecurity to that device, whatever that device may be. Maybe you come inside the network andthat’s going to be a high performance network these days, because of the whole issue ofimpatience.As I said, the volume and the variety of platforms are unprecedented. Even though we had thePC world, the PC as the client was a single entity. It had some interesting characteristics initially,but there was one brand. What were dealing with now is many different ways. Therefore, wehave to understand this from an agnostic standpoint, so that the consumer can continue to use the
device of their choice and can get the services they require from this new cloud and serverenvironment.Virtuous adoptionGardner: Ive been speaking to some organizations recently where, as they’ve moved to cloudto support these new requirements, they’ve also recognized that there is virtuous adoption beneﬁtin terms of efﬁciency. As they solve some of these issues around wide area network (WAN),around converged infrastructure supporting applications, transforming applications from theirolder platforms into new modern ones. And theyre also gaining efﬁciencies throughvirtualization, and higher utilization rates.Theyre able to do disaster recovery more quickly. Theyre able to reduce the total amount ofdata, because theyre consolidating and theyre removing redundancies of data. Theyre able toremove redundancies of application instances. They were able to license at the data center levels,and so on.Suddenly, they say, "Were doing more. Were doing it differently, but were actually doing thingsat a far more efﬁcient level, and therefore, our costs over time are coming down, particularly ifyou focus on the operational level." So is there is a daunting challenge to moving to cloud inorder to support many different things, including mobile, but in doing so, are you setting yourselfup for longer-term efﬁciency?Evans: The sharp customers and the sharp organizations out there have realized that already.Over the last 30 or 40 years in computing its been totally organic. Unfortunately, we as vendorskeep bringing out new things. While someone is trying to work with the old, we bring outsomething new, and they say, "How on the earth are we meant to develop an architecture andunderstand how to get the best out of this?"Whats happening now is that by virtue of the tidal wave, computing is going to be pervasive. It’snot going to be just the realms with data center and the few selected people that used to getaccess. Everybody is going to have this. Then it’s not only everybody, but it’s also these 13trillion devices that are going to be connected to the internet, that don’t have people attached tothem at all.They are devices that are monitoring things, whether it’s energy usage or whatever and thenpumping that data into the Internet. As organizations begin to realize that the world is going tochange, their view is going to be "We need architecture."By virtue of developing an architecture, people are beginning to realize, as they begin to takestock of where they have been spending their money, that they have in the past and may have anopportunity to drive more efﬁciency and effectiveness into that organization, whilst at the sametime delivering innovation.
So I think this inﬂection point can have some really good signs about it. As people look at thingslike cloud, theyre beginning to realize the applications that they can class as productivity.We ask them where they run certain productivity applications And everyone would say HR.Invariably we get the answer that it runs on a mainframe. And we ask why they run the HRsystem on a mainframe? Well, because it’s important. Of course it’s important and it’s vital, but itisn’t differential. It doesn’t give you some competitive advantage in the marketplace. It’sdeﬁnitely absolutely necessary as a core part of your business. Just provide that service, but it’snot core in the sense that it gives you differentiation.So youre right. It’s forcing decisions on people now, because the people that appreciate that thisradical transformation is something that they can’t stop and they should exploit, rather thantrying to ignore. People are actually seeing that there are signiﬁcant efﬁciencies to be gainedfrom deploying these new technologies.Radical natureGardner: Let’s revisit the radical nature of this response that organizations need to have. Inorder to appreciate how rapidly and radically they need to shift, they need to appreciate how theirrequirements and the demands and their expectation are shifting, and a very good example is thetravel industry, because the vertical is clearly needing to respond.All of us or many of us travel, some more frequently than others. And, we have a sense of howfast things are changing just in a matter of months. Weve seen going to the gate at an airportbecome a different experience with different expectations. People are using mobile devices andnot even going near paper anymore, recognizing that a scan device works just ﬁne.It’s amazing to me how consumers have adopted this very rapidly. They see something thatworks better and they go to it. It then becomes incumbent upon the airline businesses to supportthat.So let’s look at an example of how things are shifting and let’s visit the vertical industry oftravel. What would you see happening there that is a harbinger of what others might expect inother businesses?Evans: What’s interesting is that there are always industry "skews" of technology. We have atool in HP called the Business Value Framework. What that tries to do is interpret where thebusiness wants to go.Ignore the technologies for a moment. Where are the line-of-business people wanting to drivetheir business going forward? If youre in a business where its relatively difﬁcult to differentiateyourselves, where it’s more commoditized -- and you could argue the airline industry is relativelycommoditized -- then what people are going to look for is how were going to have that smalldifferentiation that makes us better than the rest of the world.
When you look at this business value framework and you look at things like services andtransportation, what comes through very loudly is customer service and customer satisfaction iskey. If you can serve people better, if you can give them better information, then there is highlylikely that they are going to come back as a repeat customer.You dont want to spend a truckload of money dragging people to your airline and thendispleasing them, so they go to somewhere else, because thats makes the whole initial effortworthless.What people are looking for is obviously loyal and devoted customers who come back and backand back, and that all comes down to deliver customer satisfaction. One of the customers wevebeen working with, Delta Air Lines, has really put that at the forefront. They can provide veryrich, very high quality information, so that people know whats going on.Range of devicesWorking with Delta, theyve been providing to a range of mobile devices, like smart phones,tablets, etc., but also to traditional desktop environment, rich information, not only when yourewaiting for the plane, but also when youre on the plane by virtue of seat-back videos screens sothat people get a continuous feed.If youre ﬂying from A to B to C, youre going to change planes in the middle. If youre going tomiss your connection, you usually sit on the plane, knowing youre going to miss yourconnection, and then what are you going to do? That means you get off the plane, queue with500 other people, and then you eventually get another plane -- eventually -- all the time trying toﬁgure out how you can tell your family why you are late and rest of it.Delta is trying to provide an environment that says while youre on one of your airplane, itsalready working out the next connection and it will give you that information on the plane. It willgive the e-boarding card. It will send you the vouchers that would allow you to get somerefreshment, all to your mobile device, so that all of that stress and angst that you’ve hadtraditionally gets taken out. In a commodity industry thats the sort of thing you have to do to bedifferent from the rest.We see that in a number of industries. We see people today delivering and developing mobileapplications, particularly in the commodity world, to deliver up a much higher level of customerservice and satisfaction.Thats the thing that means were going to go back again and spend our money with them again,as opposed to a competitor, because in this world of internet its so easy to switch. Brand loyalty,customer loyalty, may not be things of the past, but something you have to work incredibly hardto achieve. Thats what people are utilizing these new technologies for predominantly.Gardner: So to recognize that convenience is the killer application, the ability to serve up thedata in real-time to any device, to allow the participants in a business process to interact with that
process, to make changes, basically what we would call change management, for a consumer issimply convenience.This requires an awful lot to happen in the back end. What is HP bringing to the table to helporganizations like Delta or others that dont have a precedent to fall back on that are ﬁndingthemselves faced with fairly complex challenges and looking for that strategic view? How is HPadjusting to the market itself in order to accommodate these kinds of clients?Evans: What we are deﬁnitely doing in some respects is using the experience we built up indealing with peoples legacy environments and understanding what they value. What they valueare things like structured workshops, to have an open debate between technology and businessthat says who is leading, who is following, where are we going, and what do we need?A lot of the things we do in terms of those initial services set the scene, so that we just dont leapin and decide, "Well, were going to support X device. Were going to provide this app on it." Andthen, six months later, were struggling with how were going to deploy that app over multipleplatforms and how were going to use new technologies like HTML5 etc. to give us that agnosticapproach?It’s this convergence between the mobile world and the traditional world, because we believethat’s the big thing. We can talk about the sexy front end, the smart phones, the pad environment-- and its great to talk about those -- but at the end of the day, those devices only really get to dowhat they are paid to do, when they connect to rich and meaningful information at the back end.So for this convergence we sit with users, sit with the CIO, and understand what is it that theyregoing to be converging in terms of information from the back end and the utilization of themobile device on the front end.Put into contextThen, how do we connect those together? How do we sit down and say, "What sort of speed oftransaction, what volume of information are we talking about here," and obviously understandingthat. That information has to be put into context now for the device of the front-end. If youredelivering this to a smart phone, it has to be represented in a totally different way than if youwere going to deliver it to a desktop PC or, in the middle, a pad.So the point being is weve got to be aware of those. We’ve got to be aware of the user’s contextand understand what we can and cannot deliver to them. But I think behind the scenes, and ofcourse, this is where the consumer says, "I don’t really care," but the whole management andsecurity that you put in place, and HP has spent a lot of time, and a lot of effort, and a lot ofmoney in acquisitions and development of technologies that allow people to manage and alsoprovide a secure environment, to those devices that are at the front-end.Gardner: Of course, this does require the complete view of network storage, hardware,software, integration, hybrid cloud development. It’s really astonishing to me how this really
impacts just about everything when it comes to IT. This is not something that’s a bolt-on type ofaffair.Evans: Absolutely not. As I said earlier, those are sort of the quick wins that people are sayingthat you can just bolt-on. "Oh well, we used to send out data to desktop PCs and then laptops orwhatever. This is just an extension." This is not. This is different. This is a paradigm shift. This isan inﬂection point. Whatever managerial business term you want to use, this is a big deal in theirmind.There are serious challenges. I wouldn’t for a second say this is a piece of cake. Just ring us up,and 30 days later you get a solution. It is not like that. This is a big deal. There are seriouschallenges and therefore they need serious people to ﬁx them. Were into understanding how youget this end-to-end view, because if you only look at a piece of the puzzle, you aren’t going tobuild what is absolutely necessary.Gardner: Before we sign off Paul, are there some salient resources to which you could pointpeople to acquaint themselves more with what weve been discussing, particularly on how tosolve some of these issues?Evans: On hp.com -- if you type in hp.com/go/applicationtransformation, there are a plethora ofdifferent links there for people to read up on things, watch videos, whatever. Were alsodeveloping a digital repository for predominantly video material. We ﬁnd that our customers arevery clear in telling us that they like watching short, sharp pieces of materials that are beingvideoed, so they can get the message quickly and get ofﬂine.Maybe the days of reading a 20 page white paper are gone, which I am not sure is true, butdeﬁnitely our clients told us very clearly that they like watching videos. So were developing awhole series of video-based material, whether its on application rationalization, applicationmodernization, mobility in the enterprise world, or infrastructure.The intention here is not to hear from HP, because we will do what were paid to do, which istrying to convince you we have some very smart people in technologies and products, but alsohear from industry experts, hear from our customers about what theyre doing, how theyre doingit, and the sort of beneﬁts.So if you stay in touch through hp.com/go/applicationtransformation, well always point you tomaterials that in some instances are not being delivered by HP, but just hear from our customersand hear from industry analysts about really what is now possible.Gardner: Well, great. You’ve been listening to a sponsored podcast discussion on the rapid andmassive shifts confronting enterprises as they adopt more mobile devices and also broaden theiruses of cloud services. Weve heard ways of the cloud mobile era is a potential opportunity, butalso has some pitfalls in terms of how to approach this and that are comprehensive and strategicoverview, seems to be working for many of the early adopters that are succeeding.
So I want to thank our guest, Paul Evans, Global Lead for Application Transformation at HPEnterprise Business. Thanks, Paul.Evans: Thanks, Dana.Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks again forlistening, and come back next time.Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Download the transcript. Sponsor:HP.Transcript of a BrieﬁngsDirect podcast on how consumer-driven platform variety and advancingcloud services are requiring enterprises to transform and rationalize their applicationsportfolios. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2011. All rights reserved.You may also be interested in: • Making the Leap from Virtualization to Cloud Computing: A Roadmap and Guide • HPs Liz Roche on why enterprise technology strategy must move beyond the professional and consumer split • HP Expands Security Portfolio to Battle Threats from Mobile, Cloud and Social Media • Tag-Team of HP Workshops Provides Essential Path to IT Maturity Assessment and a Data Center Transformation • HP Premier Services Closes Gap Between Single Point of Accountability and Software Sprawl • HP Discover Interview: Security Evangelist Rafal Los on Balancing Risk and Reward Amid Consumerization of IT