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Cloud Expo May 09 Richard Britton, Cloud Computing for SMEs


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Richard Britton - IT Director at Easynet Connect, ISP for SMEs in the UK - presentation at Cloud Expo london May 2009

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Cloud Expo May 09 Richard Britton, Cloud Computing for SMEs

  1. 1. SMEs & Cloud Computing Richard Britton
  2. 2. Themes for today… Collaboration Recession Security Standardisation SMEs
  3. 3. Background <ul><li>Me and my experiences… </li></ul><ul><li>IT Director at ISP Easynet Connect </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quality connectivity & internet access for small to medium size businesses in the UK </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We own our network with 6030km of fibre and last mile access to over 70% of businesses in the UK </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Second largest network in the UK and now with global reach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1200 local exchanges all with SDSL (BT have 800) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Easynet Connect employs circa 200 staff, so also an SME! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Four sites, London, Somerset, Belfast, Portsmouth </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing, Sales, Product, Provisioning, Support, Finance, IT </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Background in consultancy and business change </li></ul><ul><li>Implementing a programme of “Cloud” solutions to transform Easynet Connect’s systems </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>BUT FIRST </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>WHAT? </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>IS IN… </li></ul>
  7. 8. Lots of hype = lots of definitions… (Source: Oct 2008)
  8. 9. A simple Cloud definition <ul><li>There are three rough categories… </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Servers now subdivided into virtual machines; they are no longer location specific or persistent </li></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Software as a service; applications, web-based or not, are no longer come as a big chunk of software, they’re made up of a combination of electronic services </li></ul><ul><li>Periphery – the cloud meets the real world... </li></ul><ul><li>The User Interfaces are changing because there is no software to install and specific best of breed services are consumed on the go </li></ul>(Source: definition from Oct 2008)
  9. 10. I’m going to talk about… <ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>A little bit </li></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Quite a bit </li></ul><ul><li>Periphery – the cloud meets the real world... </li></ul><ul><li>I’ll touch on it </li></ul>
  10. 11. Easynet Connect & Cloud Computing…
  11. 12. SUPPORT SERVICE MANAGEMENT SALES & MARKETING Order Provisioning Product Mgt AR & Billing Customer Portal Partner Portal Salesforce API Cast Iron service bus
  12. 13. Replacing a legacy architecture…
  13. 14. SMEs & Cloud Computing - The story so far <ul><li>SMEs have been using Cloud Computing for a decade… </li></ul><ul><li>At first… </li></ul><ul><li>And then we had… </li></ul><ul><li>But now we have… </li></ul>
  14. 15. Why Do SMEs use Cloud Computing? <ul><li>Convenience </li></ul>
  15. 16. Why Do SMEs use Cloud Computing? <ul><li>Value for </li></ul><ul><li>Money </li></ul>
  16. 17. Why Do SMEs use Cloud Computing? <ul><li>Simplicity </li></ul>
  17. 18. Why Do SMEs use Cloud Computing? <ul><li>Trust </li></ul>
  18. 19. I’m going to talk about… <ul><li>Cloud Themes </li></ul>
  19. 20. SMEs & Cloud Computing <ul><li>Security: An opportunity or a threat? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the risks? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Public clouds are a target for hacking </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Denial of service attacks have happened </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alleged cause of AWS outage in July 2008 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>But this could happen to your ‘private cloud’ hosting provider… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What is the reality? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most SMEs do not have a cohesive, holistic security policy with dedicated resourcing – they cannot afford it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most SMEs therefore accept a degree of risk unless they are operating in a secure industry (FS, Defence etc) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 21. SMEs & Cloud Computing <ul><li>Security: An opportunity or a threat? </li></ul><ul><li>What is my experience? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cloud security is a commercial issue before it is a technical one, so check the contract </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cloud computing is Darwinian – if security breaches, customers will leave. So they are in the security business… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Understand encryption implications & multi-tenant handling of data </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look for Safe Harbour agreement to be in place if data is leaving Europe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When you read the hype - consider what IT managers have to gain from moving to a public cloud… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 22. SMEs & Cloud Computing <ul><li>Recession: An opportunity or a threat </li></ul><ul><li>What are the threats? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customers are expecting the same for less (but maybe not so much shouting for ‘more’ like before) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Staff cutbacks are leaving dangerous holes in the IT knowledge base of organisations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Asking for budget for another server just doesn’t cut it… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What is the reality? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is more than a cyclical change in the IT market; the recession has become a catalyst for a new technology paradigm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most major IT vendors are converging on the Cloud subscription model </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Cloud USP has a critical role in this market; no capital outlay, no infrastructure to scale and manage, control to incrementally decrease IT footprint as well as grow it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Deployment lead times are reduced so projects are cheaper </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 23. SMEs & Cloud Computing <ul><li>Recession: An opportunity or a threat </li></ul><ul><li>What is my experience? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The basic building blocks are there, so our deployment has been faster </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The capital outlay has been less than it would have been historically; so the pay back in the business case is indeed faster </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sizing of the solution is straightforward; it will scale as needed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The recession is a chance to spring clean, a chance to build support for programme of IT renewal with long term efficiency in the Cloud </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 24. SMEs & Cloud Computing <ul><li>Collaboration: So what is the opportunity? </li></ul><ul><li>The past </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vendors created their cloud offerings in isolation; Gmail, MSN messenger… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open source communities cooperated on ‘on premises’ solutions </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Early Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture led to cross enterprise programming interfaces </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A rush took place to create interfaces into the vendor’s Clouds </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Amazon Web services; everything from virtual servers to search engine optimisation made available through an API </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 25. SMEs & Cloud Computing <ul><li>Collaboration: So what is the opportunity? </li></ul><ul><li>The present </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A second rush by smaller vendors to create add on solutions to primary vendors; the Salesforce Appexchange, Netsuite SuiteBundler </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also cloud to cloud integration (LinkedIn to </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best of breed solutions now with much reduced integration costs – ideal for SMEs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Projects are shared within communities – e.g. CastIron integration projects that link business applications are shared between licensees </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge is being shared through communities such as twitter & facebook; have a look at the service cloud… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jobs are being advertised and expertise shared on LinkedIn </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 26. SMEs & Cloud Computing <ul><li>Standardisation: An opportunity AND a threat </li></ul><ul><li>The opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A ready made IT roadmap; everything has been considered security, scaling, consistency, performance & availability, version control, programming language </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Things to watch </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Choosing a cloud is a decision point on the IT roadmap </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The leading clouds all have different ‘flavours’; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Google Apps is search optimised (python & big table) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Salesforce is Customer relationship orientated </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft is versatile but it will continue the licensing arrangements… </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Amazon – low complexity and high volume </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 27. Things that a small business can do… Get some free advertising on LinkedIn – set up a company profile & build your contact management database there Stop using paid for conference calling solutions and do conference calls and instant messages on Skype Ditch your exchange server and push your corporate email through Google’s GMail Move your website to Amazon Web services and run it on a cheap low cost instance. (And convert it to Wordpress so that you can edit it yourself) Start using Zoho instead of Microsoft Office if you have to buy a new license
  27. 28. Things that a medium size business can do… Start investigating how you can move some of your business systems into the cloud – Saleforce, Netsuite, Right Now Do an audit of your server room – do you have one server per employee? If you pay for an expensive web analytics system; close it down and use Google analytics Next time you think about hiring a programmer, investigate hiring a business analyst instead – programming is giving way to configuration of services. Check out Find out what others are saying about your business on collaboration platforms like Twitter
  28. 29. SMEs & Cloud Computing <ul><li>Conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Maturation of Cloud solutions offered by Microsoft, Oracle and others will make the playing field clearer with experts emerging on transitioning into the cloud </li></ul><ul><li>SMEs will move standard solutions to the cloud and then focus on managing their own core competences; integrating both will deliver the full value chain </li></ul><ul><li>Public clouds will become more SME business orientated and less consumer orientated; venture capital has dried up and cloud services need to monetise, e.g. Skype for business </li></ul>
  29. 30. And finally... <ul><li>None of what we’ve talked about will work for your business </li></ul><ul><li>Unless you have… </li></ul><ul><li>A fast, reliable, resilient, internet connection. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  30. 31. SMEs & Cloud Computing <ul><li>Any Questions? </li></ul>