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SMEs: embrace the cloud and reap the advantages 

Cloud computing has become one of the most game-changers in IT evolution over the past decade, offering many benefits to businesses, especially SMEs.

In the UK, 581,173 start-ups were registered with Companies House last year, and a part of this accelerated growth are often put right down to the very fact that cloud computing technology allows new ventures to be in business almost instantly with an IT infrastructure that might be far beyond their reach if they were required to shop for and host it on-premise. This rapid deployment means new innovative SMEs have the power to punch above their weight and compete with larger, skilled peers soon.

For already established SMEs, deploying cloud services might not seem as simple, with research from the Federation of Small Businesses stating that only 1 / 4 of small firms are literally investing in technology like cloud computing, albeit they might reap many benefits from taking place this route. It seems that new SMEs are more keen and willing to embrace new technologies than their counterparts. 

Barriers to entry 

Many major business houses across the world have already switched from on-premise IT solutions to the cloud and are enjoying the benefits it brings. So why are SMEs holding back from making the transition? A survey conducted by Oxford Economics found that a lot of SMEs, while accepting the necessity to travel globally so as to remain ahead within their own market, were more curious about other technologies like business intelligence and mobile solutions, instead of implementing cloud technology.

Many SME business owners are simply scared about the concept of cloud and have concerns about the perceived costs, complexity, and risks that are involved. Indeed 35 percent of SMEs don't fully understand the advantages that the cloud can provide them, and are therefore simply ignoring it. Cloud computing is changing the way people do business, and by ignoring the potential of this technology to evolve their business, SMEs are missing out. It’s now essential that they appear at adopting the cloud, and therefore the benefits it can usher in terms of remodeling productivity, and enabling them to stay competitive.

To bring the cloud right down to earth, there are four key areas that SMEs should understand and consider.


Cloud technology is related to large cost benefits because the need for infrastructure, upfront capital expense, and on-going maintenance costs are largely reduced. A recent report from the ECU Commission found that the adoption of cloud computing could end in 80% of organizations reducing their costs by about 10%-20%.


Many cloud computing services offer the choice to pay monthly, which SMEs for whom cash-flow is a crucial factor may be a significant aid. Pay-as-you-go options allow businesses to access sophisticated software with no upfront fees and no lock-in period.

Business agility

Mobile technology has meant that business can now be done anywhere where there’s an online connection. Cloud computing enables businesses to form the foremost of this by allowing staff to access their applications and files on the go. this will be extremely beneficial for businesses that employ freelancers for instance, or employees who frequently need to travel. the pliability that the cloud brings is often especially helpful sometimes where it's going to be difficult for workers to urge into the office – businesses are often run from any location as employees aren't reliant on on-premise technology or servers.


Until now, one of the most important barriers to adopting cloud computing has been concerns over data security, with 66 percent of companies citing this as their main worry. However, research shows that despite public perception, cloud providers can typically offer increased security at a way lower cost than SMEs could otherwise afford. Data being hosted during a UK data center can actually be far more secure than if businesses were to manage it internally.

With their capacity to adapt to an ever-changing business environment, SMEs are vital for the expansion of the UK’s economy. Many innovative start-up businesses are achieving growth by making the foremost of the advantages that the cloud provides, but all businesses should remember the transformational potential of the cloud. SMEs in the least levels must be educated with the know-how to remain before the sport, and therefore the wider business and digital community must ensure they work to encourage and support the adoption of the latest innovative technologies, including the cloud, among SMEs.

Now it’s Docker on mainframes???

How Docker Will Change the sport for Enterprise-scale Application Development

You have to need to be kidding, Docker on the Mainframe? Following our post on June 3rd – “IBM’s Mainframe team gatecrashing MongoDB World,” it appears the IBM z team is called at force again – in the week at DockerCon in San Francisco. Here is another one among these new, exciting technologies, and it’s appearing on the mainframe? No way! It looks like the z System team is demonstrating the mainframe may be a platform on which developers can innovate, and enable users to modernize Linux environments. We trapped with Steven Dickens and Dale Hoffman to find out more. Steven is that the Linux Offering Manager for IBM’s premier z Systems platform, and it seems Dale is leading the charge on the open-source technology partnership efforts during this space.

Why the sudden interest in Docker by IBM z Systems?

Essentially Docker reduces the event effort required to create applications and transport them between different platforms. the most reason is that services and solutions are decomposed into what is mentioned as “microservices.” By breaking an enormous solution into smaller chunks and having the ability to exchange the individual components and microservices of the whole solution, it becomes simple to upgrade or come up with new versions of an overall solution. This goes hand-in-hand with newer philosophies about how applications are built, packaged, used, and managed, and is according to DevOps best practices.

We then asked how IBM and Docker were working together overall. It’s public knowledge that Docker is partnering with many companies and open technology foundations with IBM one of the recognized partners on Docker’s lists. What’s new that IBM is predicted to be the primary reseller of Docker Hub Enterprise — Dockers behind the firewall repository for storing and managing Docker containers.

A truly excited Hoffman described Docker on IBM z like this:

Docker is Docker… on Linux on z Systems too!”

He then elaborated by saying he regards the push to bring Docker to the mainframe as a game-changer because it marks the convergence of what Docker provides – an open platform – enabling a simple and efficient experience for developers to create containers for deploying and transporting distributed applications, with some fantastic improvements in security and performance – when deployed on the mainframe. The advantage of this portability means developers have the power to develop and deploy anywhere, without having to compromise on security or performance. Extending Docker to the z Systems environment will expand the range of applications for the mainframe and speed up the event process.

Hoffman went on to reveal, “Our early benchmarks indicate that Docker performance screams on IBM z with 2x higher application throughput per container over other platforms, essentially supporting a better number of containers per virtualized/physical resources.”

The result means Docker paves a replacement way of making and moving applications and workloads to and from z Systems, making it possible for developers to reuse a micro service and put it together during a bigger application using Docker containers and interconnects between them. This enablement of Docker on IBM z Systems means Linux users can further extend and advance their innovation with Docker technology to support enterprise-grade business-critical data and applications.

When will Docker become available on z Systems?

According to Hoffman, z Systems has already made Docker binaries available to clients as a technology preview to developers allowing them to experiment with Docker so as to realize experience and understand how complementary the technology is to the mainframe.

We then quizzed Steven Dickens, who is out at Red Hat Summit in Boston in the week, on why the mainframe team is getting more vocal within the Open Source world and the way he sees this space evolving.

According to Dickens,

IBM is seeing a shift in how clients are looking to deploy Linux. We are seeing a shift into the enterprise-grade arena with Linux, where clients are looking to deploy applications previously only seen on high-end UNIX and mainframe systems onto Linux for the primary time. This behavior is being driven by the maturity of NoSQL databases and development languages. Linux on IBM z has been around 15-years and that we have seen integer growth ever since because the Linux and Open market is increasingly posing for more enterprise-grade capabilities, especially around security, availability, performance, high availability and disaster recovery.”

In summary, we at CTC are witnessing some interesting dynamics within the Linux space and an enormous shift in how people want to deploy Linux in an enterprise-grade cloud environment. The momentum on the IBM z platform is building with the enablement of those new and exciting technologies now available for rapid innovation. What’s next from these guys? We sense more is certain to return. Stay tuned. Cloud World Forum: A Digital-Era event

I have a confession to form. I prefer metrics. one of the explanations I prefer them is that they're an excellent thanks to tracking the pace of change. 

Today “data” is that the fuel of the revolution and therefore the buzzword everyone uses to partner with it's “digital”

One trend that’s advancing at a blistering pace as I write this is often the advance of technology. albeit you were a technophobe you couldn’t avoid the explosion of tech everywhere and in every circumstance of our ever busier lives. Consider the number of bytes of knowledge we generate, the quantity of time and money we spend online, the speed of our internet connections, even the amount of apps on our phones. Whichever metric you select, a transparent conclusion is often drawn – the way we use and consume technology has changed profoundly and irreversibly. 

It’s greater than evolution, Information Technology has transformed and embedded itself within the heart of the business instead of as a support function. Tech will still transform many aspects of human existence; from the way that we communicate to the way that we purchase goods, the way we track our health, the way we maintain our presence. Historically we reflect on revolutions – like how to steam and coal-powered machines once fuelled a revolution that brought us into the economic Age. Today “data” is that the fuel of the revolution and therefore the buzzword everyone uses to partner with it's “digital”.

Revolutions are never simple – and therefore the demands this revolution makes are not any different and seemingly filled with contradiction. Despite being referred to as the disposable generation, we can’t just rip and replace what we have already got altogether its formats. So we'd like to harness increasingly sophisticated technology to bridge to the present era, an era that demands 24/7 access to relevant timely, and accurate data – digested and served in an increasingly flexible and mobile level of access.

And what underpins this revolution? At IBM we believe that organizations of all sizes stand to profit from a far better understanding of the cloud. Not only to spotlight the worth that cloud can bring back their business but also understand how those cloud offerings are often tailored to best fit their needs. At Cloud World Forum in London we’re getting to help promote this understanding, and to bring the potential of the cloud to organizations across the united kingdom.

Cloud allows organizations to create systems of engagement that are suited to the dynamic nature of the digital era.

This potential lies during a whole range of concepts and tools that were unprecedented just a couple of years ago – big data and analytics, hyper-scale computing, cognitive technologies, the web of Things, etc. Equipping organizations with these tools allow them to mine the vast quantities of knowledge available, mold it into actionable insights.

Part of the worth of those digital-era tools is that they're highly responsive, often taking input in near real-time, and may rapidly change and evolve. These qualities are ill-matched with the established IT systems of the many companies, which are traditionally static systems of record. Cloud allows organizations to create systems of engagement that are suited to the dynamic nature of the digital era.

Unfortunately, the transition to the cloud has not always been a smooth one. Companies not willing to form the many investments into a private cloud have largely been presented with just one alternative: a share during a public cloud, and therefore the concerns over integration and security that suggests. Even larger organizations that are willing and ready to found out a personal cloud face an enormous challenge to develop within the rigidity of their larger existing IT infrastructure.

IBM is pioneering a process of migration to the cloud that's as flexible because of the fundamental principles of Cloud computing. We believe that the longer-term for Cloud is during a hybrid model; one seamlessly integrating on-premises and external infrastructure to maximize efficiency. 

I believe that we’re uniquely focused on delivering this hybrid model, and it’s built on some key execution areas

Developer productivity to develop, refine, and deploy apps quickly and continuously with hybrid cloud DevOps. Using the cloud to deliver software faster. information technology degrees This includes both a digital innovation platform to compose and run next-generation apps also because the lifecycle management and coordination to deliver those apps in conjunction with traditional apps. 

Data and analytics to supply the simplest insight from all relevant data inside and out of doors the organization and optimize data sovereignty and locality. 80% of the latest applications are data intensive consistent with IDC. Clearly, the power to access, synthesize, analyze, and replicate data is paramount for the new hybrid cloud.

Visibility, control, and security everywhere that data and services exist whether on-premise or off. 

Integration and portability to simply integrate, compose, and deliver web and mobile apps. Organizations need integration across data, applications, and business processes. And to be ready to move the app closer to the info or the info closer to the app where and when it makes the foremost sense. Our Open intentional approach provides the pliability and freedom to settle on and alter environments as our clients’ needs change. IBM features a long history of support for open standards and open source initiatives and nowhere is that this is more important than with hybrid cloud. IBM’s Open intentionally approach gives customers the liberty to settle on and alter environments, data, and services as required.

A properly managed cloud provides an area to develop truly creative solutions, and to understand the opportunities that the digital era provides in such abundance. IBM Cloud attends events like Cloud World Forum to spread this message and explain how we’re helping clients to reply to the digital era through the new hybrid cloud, built open intentionally with security everywhere.

Going SaaS: Advice from an Infrastructure Provider

Brian Ussher, President, and Co-founder, iland

Right now offering applications during a SaaS model isn't just an option for software developers — it's an absolute requirement. While many of our favorite apps are still deployed on-premise, the “cloud-first” initiative has gained tremendous popularity for the convenience of deployment and maintenance and adaptability it provides end-users.

From our viewpoint as an infrastructure provider, we work very closely with many software vendors to both develop and deliver their SaaS apps. This experience has uncovered some key considerations that we believe are critical for fulfillment.

Top things to believe when developing and delivering your SaaS app: 

1) Planning and testing matter: We cannot overstate the importance of starting out with the proper software architecture in situ. The software architecture and infrastructure must add unison so as to stay things running smoothly. this suggests choosing the proper architecture, network, and performance monitoring tools and plans to make sure success. Plan on standardizing your deployments and creating templates of them in order that as you add customers to your SaaS service, you recognize it'll behave in a consistent fashion. specialize in tools that employ in an extensible, open fashion which are going to be still relevant five to 10 years from now.

2) Understand the interplay between the infrastructure, the code, and therefore the database: 

Whenever there's a performance problem with an application, the quality approach is to throw more resources at it to hurry it up. While this might add to the short term, it doesn't address the basic problem and sometimes sets you up for a more catastrophic failure down the road. Understand the interplay of the infrastructure equation, namely, the network, storage, compute, and the virtualization layer, and your code, database, and OS layer. Work together with your team and your service provider to deal with their relative health individually also as understand the way to triage between them when troubleshooting a drag. If you're unsure of the way to handle a problem , start by separating these parts into buckets and work to assess their individual issues – but when doing this, confirm to possess the proper team leaders performing on the matter to unravel it quickly.

3) Communication between the core teams: Often we see that teams operate in silos where the outsourced development team isn't interfacing well with the interior development team, product management, or others. call center technology it's critical to settle on the proper partners and establish open communication lines upfront. Also, identify key stakeholders instead of attempt to unwind a dysfunctional communication stream later when deep problems arise. we've seen great success in organizations where one person is assigned to manage communications between these groups.

4) Always have a Database Administrator (DBA): it's almost impossible to catch up on a database that's not architected optimally or, more importantly, maintained. Before embarking on a replacement SaaS-based app or converting from on premise, take a while to live the health and viability of your database and confirm you've got a DBA to guide you thru this mission-critical part of the method.

5) Setup the right dev, test, and staging areas for your app: This looks like obvious guidance, however, we've seen organizations that develop and deliver their apps entirely from a production environment also as other risky staging environments. fixing the proper dev, test, and staging platforms not only ensures an optimal experience for your customers but also gives your teams the liberty to undertake new concepts and features in a safe environment. Many of our customers utilize our pay-as-you-go pricing to determine flexible laboratories to make and test their innovative ideas. 

6) Have backups and proper disaster recovery plan in place: within the SaaS world, your customers expect their apps and therefore the proprietary information which will be stored in those apps to be constantly available. However, we see many app developers that don't have a correct disaster recovery plan in situ. Be it natural disaster or cybercrime, an honest disaster recovery plan will literally save your bacon in dark times. We specialize in disaster recovery from backups to stylish Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service programs and may attest that DR is one budget item you can't afford to chop .

The flexibility and price efficiency of developing and delivering SaaS applications with a third-party infrastructure provider is substantial. information technology degrees

 As experts in infrastructure and given our experience working with other application developers, iland has learned an excellent deal about the way to cross the cloud chasm quickly, affordably, and with minimal disruption to your customers