Survey: Is #CloudSecurity Still a Concern in 2017

The need to run Business more efficiently, improve time-to-market and enhance user experience is driving more and more enterprises to embrace the cloud as part of their IT strategy. You must note that “Cloud” still has many different meanings; IaaS, SaaS, PaaS and so on. Equally interesting is the fact that enterprises today deploy a variety of cloud delivery models to restructure processes and increase agility. IT teams usually have good visibility into and control over their on-premise networks. But when it comes to cloud environments, it’s not as easy to see and react to threats. Regardless of how your organization defines “Cloud”, it’s important to make sure your security can adapt to your organization’s cloud strategies.

 

57% of companies remain skeptical about the security of migration to cloud environments. The loss of “physical control” of data remains a major concern. Companies are still suspicious about the risk of switching from traditional computing to cloud computing environments, reveals a new study by Forbes, which also mentions that the massive trend is towards migration to the cloud.

Cloud Security

The survey reveals that even if the cloud is not a new technology, this market still has a strong growth potential, if security is strong. Forbes says that 65% of companies remain skeptical about the security of migration to cloud environments. Specifically, 40% of companies are concerned about the loss of “physical control” of the data involved in cloud computing.

 

The study also finds that companies seem more comfortable with hybrid cloud deployments in this period of migration to the cloud. 44% of organizations prefer this method. In addition to that, Hybrid cloud adoption grew 3X in the last year, increasing from 19% to 57% of organizations surveyed. Private clouds also seem to be a safer option for many.

 

Think Security Upstream of Cloud Migration Projects

Security Threat in clouds

At the top of the cloud migration concerns, unauthorized access ranks first among 61% of respondents in the study. For 52% online piracy is a second fear.

Cloud security risks are on the top of the barriers list of cloud adoption (33%). The most dramatic shift is the lack of staff and expertise to manage cloud security (28%) – moving from #5 to #2 and trading places with legal and regulatory concerns (24%) as key barriers to cloud adoption.

 

Finally, it is noted that companies are increasingly considering enhancing the security upstream of their cloud deployments, with a focus on new internal policies. 56% of respondents said they plan to improve identity management and authentication. 51% of companies use encryption to go to the cloud. Finally, 45% of medium and large companies plan to implement audits as part of a migration to the cloud.

 

Only 13% of companies still reject the idea of ​​moving to cloud computing infrastructures. But 30% admit that if they perceive that security is improving, they may reconsider their point of view. While process efficiencies and network agility are key cloud drivers, enterprises of all sizes continually cite cloud security as their top concern. Despite this, cloud adoption continues to rise.

 

Cloud adoption certainly provides many benefits, but enterprise security needs to adapt to this new environment. The end goal of a cloud security strategy must be to permit organizations to realize the full benefits of the cloud without letting security slow them down.

*For the survey, more than 600 IT professionals worldwide, in various sectors, were selected.

Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud – How to make the right choice?

Cloud computing is a booming industry and has significant economic benefits, including better efficacy of IT and computing needs scalability. Cloud computing concept has clearly shifted from buzz to business and in so doing, has transformed the nature of IT service delivery. Just look at the numbers, according to Gartner, the cloud software market reached $209.2 billion by 2016 and is projected to grow to total $246.88 billion, not to mention the billions of dollars that will be invested in infrastructure to support private and hybrid clouds.

Cloud Service Forecast Fartner

The three types of cloud – private, public and hybrid – are generally grouped under the banner of cloud computing, but they are actually different. Choosing the right cloud can be a challenge to outsource applications, data and services. For the organizations, the decision to use -private, public or hybrid- cloud depends on the services they use and their ability to integrate the chosen model.  But before moving their critical systems within the cloud, a question always comes up within the IT and management team, “What option do we have to opt for Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud?”

 

Each type of cloud has its advantages and disadvantages, which make it the best or the worst solution for a given company, situation or application. Similarly, each has an impact on application and network performance, which must be taken into account before implementation. So, let’s examine each type of cloud.

 

Public Cloud

In a public cloud, services and infrastructure are provided off-site, over the Internet. This means that companies are not looking for a very specific kind of infrastructure and can subscribe and start using storage, processing and other services immediately, via an online portal.

Therefore, the public cloud flexibility and ease-of-use, make it an ideal solution for companies that need to rapidly launch a service in the marketplace, have few regulatory constraints and use data that does not require a close integration with other parts of the company.

However, concerns remain about security, the protection of confidential information and the control of data in a public cloud. Another major problem is performance. Transferring services to a public cloud means accepting that business applications are run from anywhere in the world, regardless of where the service provider’s data center is located.

Most public cloud service providers do not indicate the location of their data center in their general terms and conditions, which gives them blank card to move workloads to reduce their operating costs. In short, the distance to be covered and the time needed to access applications can increase significantly for all users of the company. More surprisingly, these distances can change in an unpredictable way.

 

Advantages of Public cloud:
• It can be used instantly and accessible to all budgets.
• It is suitable for development and experimentation.
• The public cloud is perfectly “elastic” in order to adapt to the increasing needs of a company.

 

Limits of Public cloud:
• The public cloud, although flexible, is not necessarily adapted to all the needs of a company, not being tailored like the private cloud.
• The more you use the public cloud, the more expensive it is;

 

 

Private Cloud

With a private cloud, organizations own and operate internal IT services that host critical internal applications and data within the firewall. However, they can transfer workloads from one server to another in case of peak usage or when deploying new applications. It can be preferable solution for those organizations who have not embraced the public cloud as quickly for critical applications and data due to security requirements, integration issues, and concerns about availability. It can also be a very attractive proposition for companies in sensitive and highly regulated sectors, such as pharmaceutical or financial services. Similarly, many companies still prefer the private cloud for their critical data because it provides total control over data and applications. This eliminates concerns about data security and control, but it is more difficult to adapt to changing needs.

Private clouds also enable IT departments to better leverage their existing infrastructure. Typically, when deploying a private cloud, companies consolidate distributed computing resources and virtualize them in the data center. The IT department can manage them more cost-effectively while providing services faster.

However, it is a double-edged sword, because deploying a private cloud can put a strain on existing resources and work processes. When IT departments consolidate resources, applications and data generally move away from many users. Employees need to travel a longer distance on the WAN to get the information they need. The resulting latency can often radically reduce the performance and productivity of the enterprise.

 

Advantages of Private Cloud:
• It is tailored to your needs and your infrastructure
• Its cost is fixed (determined by the size of the infrastructure).

 

Limits of Private cloud:
• This is a costly investment, and depreciation must be expected.
• The time required to adapt the size of the infrastructure to the needs of the company may be too long compared to the speed of the infrastructure.

 

Hybrid Cloud

In many cases, the hybrid cloud offers the best of both technologies. It becomes the norm because it allows companies to alternate between the two models depending on the conjuncture.

By splitting elements into a hybrid cloud, companies can keep every aspect of their business in the right environment. However, the merging of the public cloud and the private cloud poses an additional problem: the integration of services becomes more difficult because there is a loss of data consistency. This results in additional management, as well as potential differences in the interface, security, processing and reporting systems that need to be addressed.

As a composite architecture, the hybrid cloud has a dual implication, exposing networks to the potential impacts of deploying a public cloud and deploying a private cloud: applications delivered via a Public service are still likely to be located anywhere in the world, while private cloud applications are still consolidated in a small cluster of data centers, resulting in a potential blockage affecting network operation.

 

Advantages of Hybrid cloud:
• Each data item is naturally stored in the most appropriate Cloud environment.
• This solution combines the major advantages of the public cloud (flexibility, speed of implementation, development and experimentation) and those of the private cloud (security and total control of data).
Limits of the Hybrid cloud:
• This solution is however exposed to the disadvantages of the different types of Cloud and the risks during the deployment of each Cloud solution.
• The use of two different cloud types increases the management required

 

Accelerating cloud services

 

Whether a company choose a private, public cloud service or (most likely) hybrid cloud approach, WAN optimization allows it to take advantage of cloud computing offerings in terms of cost, economies of scale and ease of management while attaining the levels of performance and visibility needed to ensure the productivity of its staff.
Given the take-off speed of cloud computing, sooner or later, more companies will have to consider the benefits it can bring. Companies need to evaluate the cloud model that suits them best, but whatever model is chosen, a thorough understanding of the impact of each cloud service type on their IT infrastructure and topology is essential to ensure that it will result in no degradation of performance for users.

 

Do you have a Cloud project? Contact-us and we will support you to evolve your IT architecture by integrating a Cloud component.

#SaaS and European Legislation on #DataProtection

This article presents a summary of the legislative and regulatory aspects that European companies must take into account when choosing a SaaS provider. Particularly in terms of #DataProtection. When choosing a SaaS provider, companies must implement a checklist with controls and negotiations that they would apply if they work with a relocated service provider for their IT operations.

EU-Data-Protection-Regulation

The main features of Software as a Service are as follows:

 

– The user accesses the application via the Internet.

– The cost depends on the actual consumption of the service (software).

– The supplier of the application (software) is responsible for its maintenance and availability.

 

Typically, when a European company adopts a cloud service, it’s responsible for how the SaaS provider processes its data, not the other way around. Due to some uncertainty, as to how and where the SaaS provider will store the data, there is a risk that it may overstep on its customers national or European regulations, which impose strict controls on the processing data of outside the European Union.

 

In SaaS solutions, the client company data is stored on the servers of the provider. This may include personal data or sensitive data such as health data. This relocation of the data implies respecting their confidentiality and ensuring their safety. The contract must frame the risks and remind everyone of their obligations.

 

In accordance with the 1995 European Data Protection Directive, which was transposed into the national law of 27 EU Member States, the transfer of personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA), including the countries of the European Union (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) is prohibited unless certain conditions are met. By transfer, the Directive implies that the data will be processed in one way or another in a non-EEA country; On the other hand, the transit of data via these countries is authorized.

 

For Directive, personal data is equal to any information concerning an identified or identifiable natural person. This broad definition may include various information about a person, such as name, address, IP address, or credit card information.

 

Cloud Computing = Outsourcing?

 

Outsourcing is the well-known method whereby a third party supports one or more company functions, which often lack resources (time, expertise or both). It is common, for example, to outsource a project that requires an increase in resources or a function that will no longer be useful once the project is completed (one-time need for development, software integration, etc.).

 

With cloud computing, companies do not realize that they need to take the same precautions as outsourcing. Personal data may be transferred outside the EEA if they are processed in a country on the European Commission’s list of countries or territories which provide adequate protection for personal data. (Visit the European Commission website to check countries list ).

 

The United States is not on the list of countries approved by the Commission, but data can be transferred to US companies that have signed the Safe Harbor agreement requiring them to apply seven principles for the processing of information under the supervision of the Federal Trade Commission.

 

If a country is not on the European Commission’s list of approved non-EEA countries, companies or service providers may take other measures to provide suitable protective policies for personal data and enable their transfer.

 

The security of the SaaS provider must be evaluated by the companies

 

In addition to these measures, companies considering SaaS and wanting to avoid the failure to comply with #DataProtection laws generally have to prove that they have evaluated the safety of the supplier and specified measures to protect personal or other sensitive data processed by the supplier.

 

These measures may include asking the supplier a security evaluation from a third party, requesting that the data must be encrypted during transit, checking the provider’s data retention and destruction policies, setting up audit trails or the data and obtain information about any third-party company with which the supplier could share data.

 

With that being said, companies should not just look at data protection legislation when they want to adopt SaaS. Thus, national laws on financial legislation in EU countries limit the places where companies can store financial information. For example, European companies must keep electronic invoices for five to ten years. In addition, amendments to the European Council Directive 2010/45 / EU stipulate that this information must be stored on servers located either in the country of establishment of the undertaking or in a neighboring country providing access to the relevant tax authorities.

 

Confidentiality of Data

 

The confidentiality of data hosted in Cloud is today the most important of the brakes for the companies wanting to use this service. The standard of confidentiality becomes very important when the hosted data presents a strategic content for the company or when it can be considered as personal data.

 

The confidentiality of the data may be called into question by members of the service provider or the client company, as well as by a person totally outside these services. It is therefore necessary to put in place, a high level of security, for access to these data, especially if they are accessible via the Internet. The confidentiality of data can also be undermined by regulations applicable to the claimant, especially if the applicant is domiciled in the United States.

 

As the SaaS market matures, it is becoming increasingly simple to use these services without fear of breaking the law. Over the years, we have seen the evolution, the contracts have grown and different models have been set up on both the customer and the service provider’s side.

 

Source: 

Software as a Service – #SaaS – How to make real strategic choices

Software as a service (SaaS) is the most known branch of cloud computing. It is a delivery model in which applications are hosted and managed in the data center of a service provider, paid for on a subscription basis and accessed by a browser via an Internet connection. SaaS is becoming increasingly popular delivery model for a wide range of business applications. Therefore we’ve decided to list, here below, most common advantages and disadvantages of this model.

SAAS - Xorlogics

Expression SaaS, used for nearly a decade:

The term “SaaS” for “Software as a Service”, has been commonly used for nearly a decade, while other expressions of the cloud computing, such as, PaaS – “platform as a service” and IaaS – “Infrastructure as a Service”, are more recent.

Platform as a service (PaaS) refers to the on-demand delivery of software tools and services that enable SaaS applications to be coded and deployed, while an Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) relates to on-demand delivery of operating systems, system maintenance, network capabilities, storage spaces, back-up, and virtualized servers.

An infrastructure hosted in a third-party service provider’s data center is called a “public cloud” infrastructure, while the same technology hosted within a company’s network is referred to as a “private cloud” infrastructure. “Hybrid” cloud environments combine both approaches, with some business processes or workloads remaining in-house, while others (perhaps less crucial) are outsourced to public cloud services.

 

Reason to consider SaaS:

For companies, adopting the SaaS model has many potential benefits, including the following.

 

  • Cost reduction: it is economically very tempting to trade the heavy costs of installing, maintaining and upgrading an on-site IT infrastructure against the cost of operating a SaaS subscription, including on the short to medium term. However, it is important to be aware of the potential hidden costs associated with adopting SaaS.
  • Scalability: As your business grows and you need to add more users, rather than investing in additional software licenses and in-house server capabilities, you can adjust your monthly SaaS subscription as needed.
  • Accessibility: in general, a browser and an internet connection are sufficient to access to a SaaS application, which can then be made available on various desktops and mobile devices.
  • Upgrade capability: Your cloud service provider takes care of software and hardware updates, which frees your internal IT department from a considerable workload (in theory, the teams can be redeployed on different tasks, such as integration with existing on-site applications).
  • Resiliency: As the IT infrastructure (and your data) resides in the cloud service provider’s processing center, if your business experience any kind of disaster, you can become operational again relatively easily from any location equipped with computers connected to the internet.

 

Arguments against SaaS:

Of course, SaaS also has potential disadvantages, which is why the world has not yet completely switched to the madness of cloud software. Some examples:

 

  • Security: the number one concern for companies considering SaaS is often security: if it is a matter of entrusting sensitive business processes and business data to a third-party service provider, it is essential to address issues such as identity and access management, particularly on mobile devices. If your organization uses multiple cloud services, realize that removing access privileges from a former employee can become a nightmare for security.
  • Service interruptions: cloud providers will plan as best they can, service outages are inevitable, whether they are due to a natural disaster, human error or many intermediate causes. A downtime is always annoying, but a prolonged service interruption can be disastrous when it reaches a critical application. You will need to determine what regulations to apply to your business, ask the right questions to your SaaS provider and set up a solution to correct any shortcomings.
  • Performance: A browser-based application hosted in a remote processing center and accessed via an Internet connection can cause performance concerns over software running on a local machine or via the company’s local network. Obviously, some tasks will be better suited than others to the SaaS model (at least as long as the internet speed isn’t a problem). Meanwhile, application performance management tools can help organizations and service providers to monitor how their applications work.
  • Data mobility: the SaaS market is teeming with startups, some of which will inevitably fail. What happens to your carefully orchestrated data and business processes if your service provider puts a key on the door or if you need to switch SaaS providers for any other reason?
  • Integration: Companies that embrace multiple SaaS applications, or want to connect hosted software to existing on-premises applications, are faced with the problem of software integration.

 

Conclusion

The SaaS market is exploding: startups are exploring multiple niches in many software categories, established players acquire and integrate the most promising new services, and brokers in cloud services facilitate the transition of enterprises to the cloud. For new businesses, in particular, it is virtually self-evident to deploy quickly and pay them through a monthly subscription, rather than investing a large sum in an on-site IT infrastructure and in-house technical support. The biggest problem faced by small businesses is perhaps the huge choice that is already available in the SaaS market.

Large companies have another type of problem to manage when adopting SaaS, mainly focused on integration with existing on-premises enterprise applications (many of which may well be locked by expensive contracts). Still, companies that seek to expand into new regions or adopt new “social” business processes may well consider that SaaS is the most cost-effective way to proceed.

IT Challenge n°2: Rise of new Partnership Models

 

IT Partnership Models

2020 companies will be totally interlinked organizations within an ecosystem in which new strategic partnerships and associations will be formed, as well with customers, suppliers and competitors!

 

A profound transformation of the ecosystem

The growth of value creation is a major trend in digital era. We witness more and more companies opening up, thanks to the multiplication of the interactions allowed by cloud, data repositories, connected objects … This condition requires companies to rethink their business partnership strategies within their ecosystem in order to succeed in the age of digitization.

This ecosystem is very extensive, with an interesting diversity of actors, such as, GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), start-ups, innovative SMEs, communities, customers, employees, self-entrepreneurs, suppliers, public and local authorities and political institutions… In the era of “co-something”, a company can no longer succeed alone in its market, particularly because of the rapid emergence of new business models, competitors “out of nowhere” and an accelerated renewal technology.

 

The challenges: anticipate and ally

Controlling the ecosystem depends on anticipating the evolution of it’s different actors, to be noted that actors in the traditional IT are not necessarily those of the current ecosystem, nor, of tomorrow. Some will disappear or merge, others will emerge, many will become partners.

Establishing a good relationship with the right partner, which can be a supplier, requires joint sharing of opportunities and risks, commitment to common goals, and shearing value. And this sharing of value aims to bring something new and positive to the partners, and ultimately to help them grow. Strategic partnerships can be established when there are common objectives for value creation. With this perspective, the partnership is strategic and is quite different from the traditional customer-supplier relationship (even major), in which the parties are bound by a contract for the providing services.

The objectives of each party must be the same and the balance of the relationship arises precisely because of that different but valuable opinions and ideas.

 

Challenges: Negotiation and Confidence

  • Collaborate: one of the typical challenges of partnerships will be to manage the paradox between internal resources (including CIOs) that are experiencing difficulties and struggles, collaborating and, on the other hand, the market, which requires close collaboration to better innovate.
  • Dialogue: companies are confronted with a cultural interoperability challenge in order to engage all the actors involved, even if they do not share a common language.
  • Establishing trust: a partnership relation is always based on trust. Thus, it is not a question of “collaborating to collaborate”, but of collaborating to win together, in order to create communities that engage clients and collaborators.

R-Link is the result of a long-term partnership between Renault and Tom-Tom. R-Link is an integrated multimedia tablet, driven by a tactile control or an advanced voice command. It combines, the various functions related to multimedia in the car such as, navigation, radio, telephony, messaging, well-being, eco-driving. Renault’s interest in combining with Tom-Tom was to increase the value for its customers, to know them better and to improve the level of service.
This example illustrates the idea of a service platform: Renault added services to its products by developing the customer experience.

 

To conclude, I’ll say that the success of these new partnership model depends only on the business taking much greater role in designing, building, and exploiting the technology, platforms, and data it needs to succeed. Overcoming challenges of traditional IT management is a step forward of bringing IT closer to its true mission and succeeding in all IT collaborations.

Big Data: 2017 Major Trends

big data trends 2017

Over the past year, we’ve seen more and more organizations store, process and exploit their data. By 2017, systems that support a large amount of structured and unstructured data will continue to grow. The devices should enable data managers to ensure the governance and security of Big Data while giving end-users the possibility to self-analyze these data.

Here below the hot predictions for 2017.

 

The year of the Data Analyst – According to forecasts, the Data Analyst role is expected to grow by 20% this year. Job offers for this occupation have never been more numerous before. Similarly, the number of people qualified for these jobs is also higher than ever. In addition, more and more universities and other training organizations offer specialized courses and deliver diplomas and certifications.

 

Big Data becomes transparent and fast – It is obviously possible to implement machine learning and perform sentiment analysis on Hadoop, but what will be the performance of interactive SQL? After all SQL is one of powerful approach to access, analyze, and manipulate data in Hadoop. In 2017, the possibilities to accelerate Hadoop will multiply. This change has already begun, as evidenced by the adoption of high performance databases such as Exasol or MemSQL, storage technology such as Kudu, or other products enabling faster query execution.

 

The Big Data is no longer confined to Hadoop – In recent years, we have seen several technologies developing with the arrival of Big Data to cover the need to do analysis on Hadoop. But for companies with complex and heterogeneous environments, the answers to their questions are distributed across multiple sources ranging from simple file to data warehouses in the cloud, structured data stored in Hadoop or other systems. In 2017, customers will ask to analyze all their data. Platforms for data analytics will develop, while those specifically designed for Hadoop will not be deployable for all use cases and will be soon forgotten.

 

An asset for companies: The exploitation of data lakes – A data lake is similar to a huge tank, it means one needs to build a cluster to fill up the tank with data in order to use it for different purpose such as predictive analysis, machine learning, cyber security, etc. Until now only the filling of the lake mattered for organizations but in 2017 companies will be finding ways to use data gathered in their reservoirs to be more productive.

 

Internet of Objects + Cloud = the ideal application of Big Data – The magic of the Internet of Objects relies on Big Data cloud services. The expansion of these cloud services will allow to collect all the data from sensors but also to feed the analyzes and the algorithms that will exploit them. The highly secure IOT’s cloud services will also help manufacturers create new products that can safely act on the gathered data without human intervention.

 

The concentration of IoT, Cloud and Big Data generates new opportunities for self-service analysis – It seems that by 2017 all objects will be equipped with sensors that will send information back to the “mother server”. Data gathered from IoT is often heterogeneous and stored in multiple relational or non-relational systems, from Hadoop cluster to NoSQL databases. While innovations in storage and integrated services have accelerated the process of capturing information, accessing and understanding the data itself remains the final challenge. We’ll see a huge demand for analytical tools that connect natively and combine large varieties of data sources hosted in the cloud.

 

Data Variety is more important than Velocity or Volume – For Gartner Big Data is made of 3 V: Large Volume, Large Velocity, Large Variety of Data. Although these three Vs evolve, the Variety is the main driver of investment in Big Data. In 2017, analysis platforms will be evaluated based on their ability to provide a direct connection to the most valuable data from the data lake.

 

Spark and Machine Learning makes Big Data undeniable – In a survey for Data Architect, IT managers and analysts, almost 70% of respondents favored Apache Spark compared to MapReduce, which is batch-oriented and does not lend itself to interactive applications or real time processing. These large processing capabilities on Big Data environments have evolved these platforms to intensive computational uses for Machine Learning, AI, and graph algorithms. Self-service software vendor’s capabilities will be judged on the way they will enable the data accessible to users, since opening the ML to the largest number will lead to the creation of more models and applications that will generate petabytes of data.

 

Self-service data preparation is becoming increasingly widespread as the end user begins to work in a Big Data framework – The rise of self-service analytical platforms has improved the accessibility of Hadoop to business users. But they still want to reduce the time and complexity of data preparation for analysis. Agile self-service data preparation tools not only enable Hadoop data to be prepared at source, but also make it accessible for faster and easier exploration. Companies specialized in data preparation tool for Big Data end-user, such as, Alteryx, Trifacta and Paxata are innovating and consistently reducing entry barriers for those who have not yet adopted Hadoop and will continue to gain ground in 2017.

 

Data management policies in hybrid cloud’s favor – Knowing where the data come from (not just which sensor or system, but from which country) will enable governments to implement more easily national data management policies. Multinationals using the cloud will face divergent interests. Increasingly, international companies will deploy hybrid clouds with servers located in regional datacenters as the local component of a wider cloud service to meet both cost reduction objectives and regulatory constraints.

 

New safety classification systems ensures a balance between protection and ease of access- Consumers are increasingly sensitive to the way data is collected, shared, stored – and sometimes stolen. An evolution that will push to more regulatory protection of personal information. Organizations will increasingly use classification systems that organize documents and data in different groups, each with predefined rules for access, drafting and masking. The constant threat posed by increasingly offensive hackers will encourage companies to increase security but also to monitor access and use of data.

 

With Big Data, artificial intelligence finds a new field of application – 2017 will be the year in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies such as automatic learning, natural language recognition and property graphs will be used routinely to process data. If they were already accessible for Big Data via API libraries, we will gradually see the multiplication of these technologies in the IT tools that support applications, real-time analyzes and the scientific exploitation of data.

 

Big Data and big privacy – The Big Data will have to face immense challenges in the private sphere, in particular with the new regulations introduced by the European Union. Companies will be required to strengthen their confidentiality control procedures. Gartner predicts for 2018 that 50% of violations of a company’s ethical rules will be data-related.

 

Sources:

Top 10 Big Data Trends 2017 – Tableau

Big Data Industry Predictions for 2017 – Inside Bigdata

#InternetOfObjects and the Emerging Era of #CloudComputing

IOT CLOUD

Big data and connected objects represent an important source of economic growth according to numerous studies. They open the possibility to connect people or objects in a more relevant way, to provide the right information to the right person at the right time, or to highlight information that is useful for decision-making. Allied to Big Data, connected objects give professionals new opportunities to better understand customer needs and better satisfy them.

 

According to McKinsey, the overall economic potential of the IoT universe could be between $ 3,900 billion (US ‘trillion’) and 11,100 billion per year by 2025! So with 30 billion connected objects by 2020 it’s now necessary, more than ever, to rethink the use of Cloud.

 

The explanation of this boom?
Connected objects are already very widespread and are gradually taking over all sectors. The general public sees it as a way to improve everyday life, while companies are already using it to control and improve industrial processes and propose new services. Cities and vehicles are becoming smart by using different types of sensors.

 

Nearly all manufactured goods entering the market – vehicles, equipment for energy or water supply, health sector equipment, scientific and technical research facilities, machine tools and robots, etc. – all are bound to be connected and, for a good part, to be interconnected.

 

We are only on the premises but very well equipped with advanced technologies, the only thing to do is to imagine their great usage that will respond to every real expectations and will bring real added value. This ability to make our environment much smarter is linked to sensors, to the data collected by these sensors and to the speed of processing of this data. The triangle of Connected Objects, Big Data and Cloud will become essential to transform this universe of connected objects into intelligent systems.

 

Future of IOT Data 
The continuous flow of data generated by IOT is challenging the networks. All of these billions of objects that can be interconnected via the Internet are accelerating the real tsunami of announced data. The cloud is a simple and flexible way to deal economically with this mass of data that will continue to grow with time and new uses. And to cope with this huge data, the computing power will have to be adjusted. With the successful adoption of IoT, manufacturers will work on new systems architectures, especially those that are “hyper-integrated”, “hyper-convergent”, and can bring very high performances.

 

Cloud, indispensable for the development of the internet of objects
Connected objects are synonymous with capturing very large masses of valuable data. The gathered information via IoT will have to be stored, transmitted and analyzed for which the choice of Cloud infrastructure is the most appropriate method. Firstly because of the flexibility afforded by this type of offer only a Cloud solution allows real-time adaptation of the infrastructure capacity according to the level of demand. A flexibility for the management of all the connected objects devoted to knowing peaks of load and allows connected devices to interact with powerful back-end analytic and control capabilities. 

Furthermore, this flexibility can play more decisive role for commercial success, a situation in which it is essential to adapt its infrastructure quickly to meet demand. A necessity that affects the companies of moderate sizes seeking to contain their investments in technical infrastructures.

A flexible cloud service for connected devices can facilitate critical business decisions and strategies process by allowing you to connect your devices to the cloud, analyze data from those devices in real time, and integrate your data with enterprise applications, web services etc.

 

New skills and infrastructure needed
Applications linked to IOT are limited only by the human imagination. From automotive to home automation, to medical and healthcare industry, entertainment and education, IOT is pervasive and growing rapidly and transforming all economic sectors. To operate these innovative devices, it will be necessary to develop applications capable of collecting and processing the data that they will generate. The manufacturers of connected objects and the service providers responsible for the management of these applications must therefore provide themselves with appropriate skills and infrastructures.

#CloudComputing: How To Boost Your Company Growth

cloudcomputing-how-to-boost-your-company-growth

The “Small Business, Big Technology” survey carried out by Deloitte reveled that SMBs which adopted the cloud have recorded on average a revenue growth of 26% compared to those still working with more traditional management methods.

 

Of businesses that responded, 1,316 companies were based in Europe and the United States. Different activity sectors have been solicited such as Finance, Health, Transport, Trade, Marketing, etc.

Cloud has become a key success element for EVERY business growth. It offers immediate benefits that improve the competitiveness of the company: reducing IT costs, securing processes, improving the company’s employee’s accessibility and many others. But it is mainly its good use that makes the difference.

 

The cloud can allow a business to:

 

  • Transforming IT
  • effectively manage business process,
  • improve its organization and way of working,
  • respond faster to changes in customer needs,
  • energizing channels and communications,
  • Easier design of new products and services.

All these elements make it a valuable asset for an organization.

 

A powerful competitive tool

By choosing online solutions, not only big but even SMBs can reduce their costs and secure their data. They also improve their operational efficiency thanks to the time they can save on backup and recovery so they can focus on more critical projects for their business. 80% of companies say that cloud technology can enable them to evolve and grow faster.

 

  • Cost reduction
    A cloud service does not require any software installation. The decline in hardware investment and the reduction in IT maintenance costs are the first reason for choosing online applications for 42% of SMBs. Therefore business owners benefit from less expensive, regularly updated and flexible systems that can evolve according to the key events in any company’s life: evolution of computer equipment, increase in size or staff, an outdoor office, work from home etc.
  • Process reliability
    31% of organizations have also chosen cloud services for updates and security issues. Therefore, cloud service providers are investing heavily to protect and update their infrastructure. They provide important guarantees in terms of the reliability and availability of IT infrastructure so the organizations are free from major security concerns.
  • A powerful information system
    Today, few SMBs have to make their own software packages easily accessible to the majority of their employees. Online applications reverse this relationship. They can be operated at anytime, anywhere, by all authorized employees. The cloud also allows the creation of data structures and applications dedicated to specific profiles such as: commercial, technical, warehouse manager, maintenance manager.

A Valuable assistance for business growth

Changing the work habits or even the organization of SMBs, the cloud provides important and competitive advantages. It improves relationships both internally and externally, with customers or suppliers. The company gains operational efficiency and agility.

 

  • Increased mobility
    Improvement of mobile work for its employees remains the first reason to equip cloud solutions for 47% of organizations. Whether it’s for sales persons or employees who want to work from home, the opportunities available to your teams are more numerous, more comfortable, and even more efficient. The cloud mode allows to integrate a collaborative workspace, exchanges between collaborators are facilitated and accelerated, despite the distance. By meeting with a customer, a salesperson keeps a 360 ° vision and in real time on tariffs, stocks and delivery times. Facilitating the work in mobility allows the establishment of a more flexible and efficient organization for you and your collaborators.
  • Decision-making process

    Cloud management software provides organizations dashboards with real-time rich indicators with a clear view of inventory and order status, invoice and cash flow monitoring, gross margin, and more. All these data are constantly updated.

    Thus business owners benefits from critical information which are all valuable aids to decision-making. Especially since this information is available and permanently accessible on different connected smart devices (tablets or phones), wherever it is, on the road or in a meeting.

  • More flexible infrastructures and equipment

    With cloud, your IT equipment gains mores adaptability and allows you to equip yourself more easily and without risk, in whatever development stage your company is. If your company expands, moves or relocate, you are ready and equipped.

    The tools available in the Cloud offer a start-up company the possibility of acquiring, at an early stage, all the solutions needed to manage a business. For a growing business, the cloud provides the necessary flexibility to grow its business, its premises and its staff. 85% of companies surveyed with annual growth of more than 80% believe that cloud technologies allow them to grow faster.

    Finally for a more mature company, using the cloud makes it possible to rationalize its equipment and fluidify exchanges within your organization. To reduce costs, there is also an organization adapted to the conquest of new markets.

 

An incentive in terms of innovation in your services and your organization

Thanks to the contributions of the cloud, organizations can set up new services bringing real added value. Data sharing encourages collaborative work, and customer relationship management is refined. The company innovates more easily and develops its collective intelligence.

 

  • Establishment of collaborative platforms

    A cloud enables the deployment of information sharing tools that are effective immediately. The account managers adjust their schedule and appointments online. Technical agents access their documentation and debrief their interventions from a distance. The transport services validate in real time their deliveries etc.

    Collaborative platforms can thus be set up, promoting co-working and project development. Business process sourcing in the cloud not only helps to streamline and accelerate internal operations. For example, by using cloud-based applications (Softwareas-a-Service, or SaaS) also improves productivity and collaboration.

Let’s all get agree on the fact that in order to grow, companies need to get closer to their customers and find new ways to engage them. Because in this digital era customers have higher demands so businesses need to innovate by creating new products and services—or launching new business models in their current suite of products and services—to meet those demands. Fundamentally, cloud computing enables this innovation by helping companies to optimize, innovate and proliferate new value across four business value lenses!

First step in #Cloud? List of questions you must ask your Cloud Service Provider before moving to Cloud

Services based on the cloud computing model are gaining more and more importance and changing considerably the way companies used to manage their data. Some see it as a practical solution for automatic storage, others a way to guard against data loss, and others, the way to have constant access to their data.  Cloud computing can be considerable as one of smart beneficial adoption for companies, such as storage on demand, cost savings and multiple servers etc.

 

Studies have revealed that over half of companies adapting cloud computing resources have significant improvements in their productivity, plus, studies conducted by the Cloud Industry Forum shows that 90% of UK and European companies run at least two cloud services. However, it is not enough to register with a provider and to migrate data on a remote server and then passively enjoy the savings. Certainly cloud has its advantages, but companies must learn about cloud transition challenges before taking any further step in its direction.

 

A cloud failure is a good example of critical problems that any organization may face when operating cloud services. Cloud failures can make data inaccessible for companies or can even be a cause of valuable data lose. As a business, what can you do to prevent data loss? And what questions entrepreneurs should ask before choosing any cloud solution? Here below is a list of important you must ask any cloud vendor before signing the contract!

 

    • Who is responsible for my data?
      Although data centres belong to the provider of cloud services, the ultimate responsibility of the stored data will usually attached to the client. Therefore, if data is lost for X reasons, this will certainly be the company, not the provider, who will be held accountable.

 

    • Your Cloud solution allow access 24h / 24, 7/7 … 365 days a year?
      Your company operates in real time and is based on your computer data: customer files, emails, accounting and important administrative documents … In case of a disaster such as, computer crash, virus or damaged hard drive, you won’t have enough time to save all you documents & files before the economic damage and data lose due to this accident.
      You’ll be happy to know that cloud is the ideal solution allowing you access to your data anywhere any time. But is this so sure?
      Before outsourcing your data in the cloud, check its availability rate, in other words, it’s the number of hours or days of maximum uptime guaranteed by your cloud provider. Time out break, whatever its duration, can result in a loss of money for company. This availability rate is a percentage and it is the third figure AFTER the point that matters. A guaranteed uptime of 99.9% may sound interesting on paper, but on the whole year, this can leave you with a service downtime of about nine hours without violating its obligations. A guarantee of 99.999% instead will turn in equivalent to only five minutes of downtime per year.
      So we advise you to avoid hosting below 99.995% (hours per year)!

 

    • In case of natural disaster, can you cloud provider save immediately all your data WITHOUT loss?
      You must ask cloud provider, what type of restitution method will implement upon the occurrence of such incidents. Can you recover all your files on a simple demand? How quickly and what format?
      Insist your provider that you get ALL of your data on demand, whatever the reason, within a reasonable time and in a format your servers can read! You should know that most cloud services includes a backup by default. It remains significant to Carefully Consider the provider’s backup policies by checking the data retention time (this allows you to recover your data as They Were at a Particular time).

 

    • Your data are “in the cloud” but where exactly?
      Do not let anyone play with your data privacy! To guarantee your data confidentiality, check in which country they are hosted. The jurisdiction of certain countries allows their different services to have a free access to your data. Therefore, if you host your data in Europe, America or Asia, you are not subject to the same legislation. The Privacy Shield ( “Personal Data Protection Shield”), the agreement regulates the use of personal data of European citizens by companies on American soil, was validated by States Member last July 8 but leaves many gray areas in practice.

 

    • What are the security measures in place to protect your data?
      All Cloud providers have invested in higher or lower security measures to protect against external attacks. Do not hesitate to meet your future cloud service technical service and to ask them directly about security measures.

 

    • What level of support is available?
      One of the most important points when choosing a Cloud partner, it is the level of service it offers, also called SLA (Service Level Agreement). Small businesses will be more dependent on advice and expert assistance on such matters in comparison of large groups. Big organizations have indeed the possibility to set up a public or private solution and manage it alone which is too complex and time-consuming for small structures.
      Dependent firms of this type of technical assistant need to determine what kind technical input they can reasonably expect from their cloud service provider. This assistance will focus mainly on maintenance and automatic updates of data. The choice of supplier is therefore essential on this aspect, which could make the difference between successful deployment and rollout to loss, where the customer is unable to take advantage of the tools at his disposal.

 

    • What about the general conditions?
      It is recommended that companies take enough time to read the small print at the bottom of the contract, since they often contain essential clauses that could have important implications later on. For example, a standard contract often will state the level of compensation that a client can benefit if the service guarantees are not met, as well as information about data recovery procedures.
      The contract should also explain what happens to the data of the company at the end of a contract. The last thing a customer needs to know is that the supplier has not totally erased its data at the end of the contract, which can be cause of potential threats.

 

If you have asked yourself these questions and you got all your answers, then you are on the right path for a successful cloud project and finding a serious supplier with whom you can maintain good relation for years, knowing that your data will be safe and always available when you need it.

State of Technologies at the end of 2016

2016 is almost hitting its end so we thought it’s time to look back at the biggest trends in tech. This blogpost summarize forecasts of trends in Big Data and Data Analytics presented in Forrester and Gartner Reports. It’ll provide you a clear picture of the evolution of Big Data, predictive analytics, IoT and cloud computing market.

 

State of technologies at the end of 2016

  • Big Data

It has been a quiet revolution. What is trendy are the growing scale, sophistication and analytics of data. Nowadays data is not just a back-office, accounts-settling tool anymore and the Data Science is not an isolated concept. It is gaining importance in all business sectors and even within all functions. It’s increasingly used as a real-time decision making tool. Moreover, data from social networks, governments or the companies themselves are being analyzed in real time to improve efficiency. Plus thanks to Deep Learning, analytical tools will progressively become more intelligent, autonomous and intuitive in upcoming years. Their operation will gradually move closer to the way of a human thinking, so the unstructured data, such as emoticons used by online users, will be collected and analyzed more quickly and deeply.

 

  • Self-Service Analytics

We are living in a world which is flooded with data captured from multiple sources such as corporate databases, sensors, IoT and this trend keeps increasing. In front of this rising data, organizations are innovating new tools and ecosystems to be able to translate and capture useful information from this data. One of the biggest challenge for Data Scientists is the focus on Analytics and the real-time analysis to make major decisions. To compensate the lack of qualified specialists, and in order to save time, companies will keep investing in data analysis through the Self-Service Analytics tools. With that being said, we’ll keep seeing apparition of innovative tools and other ecosystems for self-service analytics. Plus social networks will develop their own analytical tools. To remain competitive, Data Analysts will therefore have to increase their efforts and inventiveness.

 

  • Public data sources

In the US, for instant, the aggregated health data is now open to the public through the National Center for Health Statistics of the CDC. Without any long wait, many other countries will most certainly follow the same direction. Consequently, these data can now be freely exploited by companies. Besides health, other areas should also soon open access to their data. These open data will give companies gold opportunity to adapt their products, services for niche markets.

 

  • Internet of things:

Over the past decade, the world has become increasingly hyper-connected. We live in an environment where the Internet and its associated services are accessible and immediate, where people and businesses can communicate with each other instantly, and where machines are equally interconnected with each other. IoT will continue changing everything, including ourselves in upcoming years. It’s not a bold statement, consider the impact it already has had on education, communication, business, science, government, and humanity. Clearly, the Internet is one of the most important and powerful creations in all of human history. IoT represents the next evolution of the Internet, taking a huge leap in its ability to gather, analyse, and distribute data that we have been turning into information, knowledge, and, ultimately, wisdom. The worldwide Internet of Things market spend was worth $591.7 billion in 2014 and will grow $1.3 trillion in 2019 with a compound annual growth rate of 17%.

 

  • Cloud Computing:

Due to high costs of infrastructure and administration, data centers are often one of the first business areas that companies consider switching to a cloud service. So an organization’s decision to move their IT to the cloud is gaining importance. Most organizations are planning to shift select capabilities there, and many already have. The decision is often influenced by technology trends, except cost saving benefit, the cloud data center is much simpler to organize and operate and, because it is simple, it scales well. In other words, the larger you make it, the lower the costs per user are. My personal opinion is that organizations will soon get rid of their traditional data warehouse and invest in their next generation data warehouses which will be placed in cloud.

 

For each business, the convergence of IT is an important part of their sustainable growth. All business have come to realize that an integrated IT industry will enhance the competitiveness and creativity of their economies and fuel the sustainable growth of the global economy. Businesses around the globe have been unveiling their innovative strategies for the IT industry. IT technologies have already brought a dramatic change to our lives and will continue to surprise us. We are convinced that in this new era of hyper connectivity, IT will maintain an economic growth worldwide.

 

Sources:

Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms

National Center for Health Statistics

State of the Market: Internet of Things 2016