Four cloud trends to look out for in 2020

My Post - 2020-01-20T161559.693.pngCloud computing has developed rapidly, changing the way businesses operate, and it is set to continue driving IT innovation in four key areas.

Cloud computing has been at the heart of IT innovation for more than a decade and has developed rapidly over the past few years. SaaS, PaaS, IaaS and hybrid cloud are all markets that are growing exponentially, and this is only set to increase in the next year.

So, what can we expect from the cloud in 2020? According to Angela Mace, CRM and Events Director of ITWeb, there are several trends to look out for.

One: Enabling digital transformation

“Digital transformation is a top investment priority for enterprises in every industry,” says Mace. “In fact, according to the IDC, over 80% of organisations are undergoing initiatives to consolidate and modernise their infrastructure.”

They cannot do this without the cloud.

Cloud has changed the way we store, analyse and gain insights from our data, the way we run business operations and the way in which our applications are developed.

Two: A growth in multi-cloud environments

Cloud is being seen more and more as the preferred platform for existing and new enterprise IT applications.

“This is why we can expect to see a growth in multi-cloud environments as organisations look to harness the benefits of a vendor-neutral approach, which lowers costs and gives them the ability to innovate more freely,” says Mace.

However, businesses are still struggling to manage and migrate applications between the various cloud infrastructures, although there are solutions available to address this.

“I believe we will see more organisations investing in solutions that will help them manage their multi-cloud environments,” says Mace.

Three: Raising security, compliance standards

Another trend, according to Mace, will be a move among public cloud and hyperscale providers to raise compliance and security standards.

“The ongoing introduction of new data regulations will put pressure on these providers, which will have a ripple effect on the industry as a whole. I expect that higher standards will be a requirement, and a greater emphasis will be placed on keeping public and private data separate.”

Security vendors are also making great strides when it comes to automating security, which is seeing cloud providers morph into a type of security provider themselves.

“There’s a move towards a shared responsibility model, splitting security of the cloud, and security in the cloud, between the provider and the customer,” she notes.

Four: Quantum computing

“There is no doubt that in the next few years quantum computing will be become more accessible through the cloud,” says Mace.

“It will empower computers and servers to process data at a far faster pace in comparison to what we can do today. – Read more



Customer Data Platforms and Analytical CRMs Share the Same DNA

My Post - 2020-01-20T155911.221.pngSalesforce created the customer relationship management (CRM) software market as we know it today, and with the rise of Salesforce CRM for B2B sales teams, CRM became a sales tool that tracks opportunities through various sales stages. But CRM’s humble beginnings date back to the 1980s, when the market for contact management software was starting to heat up. ACT! was a key player in this growing market, followed by companies such as Goldmine that competed with ACT! for a share of a massive market opportunity. The technology soon morphed into salesforce automation, and in the ’90s was firmly established as an irreplaceable tool for sales teams.

CRM was later reclaimed by marketers and B2C brands to bring together customer journey data. If all that data was on one CRM, theoretically, marketers could gain insights from the data and use it to power automated engagement. However, CRM posed some limitations (limited integrations, no real-time capabilities) and this demand for insight into and activation of centralized customer data is what gave rise to customer data platforms (CDPs).

CDPs excel at creating a single view based on customer journey data from multiple sources, then cleansing, deduping and stitching it together to provide marketers with accurate data from which they can derive important customer insights to make important business decisions, and use this data to intelligently orchestrate experiences across channels.

CDPs Owe a Lot to the Evolution of CRMs

As CRM platforms evolved, they diverged into two disparate types, operational and analytical:

  • Operational — Typically used to support customer service use cases, such as creating a customer record, creating tickets, or any use case where a representative is directly interacting with a customer.
  • Analytical — Rose out of the challenge of customer data living in different silos. For example, customer data lives in the behavioral CRM system, but customer data also lives in systems such as the email service provider (e.g., what emails have the customer opened and clicked), the personalization engine (what segments does the customer belong to), the social sign-in provider (what social interests does the customer have), the ecommerce system (where the customer may have an account that indicates more than one ship-to address), the product review system (where a customer has shared product feedback), etc.

Explosive Growth of Customer Data Spurred Innovation

We, and other CDP vendors, owe a lot to the popularity of analytical CRM platforms. In many ways, CDPs are essentially an analytical CRM advanced to meet the scale, configurability, and real-time needs of today’s enterprise brands. CDPs are now more popular than ever, growing 65% in 2018. According to the CDP Institute, industry revenue reached $740 million, up more than 50% from 2017. By the end of 2019, revenue was expected to exceed $1 billion.

One of the key reasons CDPs have gained so much market traction is because of the need for an analytical CRM, which is capable of handling real-time web events. The idea of an analytical CRM / customer data platform is not a new concept. In one form or another, it has existed for the last 50 years, defined as customer databases or marketing databases.

In the past, these traditional databases coupled with marketing service providers have been somewhat able to meet the analytical CRM needs of marketers. But as the size, shape and currency of customer data exploded with the growth of the internet, use of smartphones, and thousands of marketing tools and customer engagement channels, a traditional database with a services team enhancing it was no longer sufficient. This, plus the need to compete with Amazon by providing hyper-relevant customer experiences, paved the path for the CDP. – Read more

Top 4 reasons to turn to a cloud managed service provider

My Post - 2020-01-17T174303.473.png1. Security

When companies move to the cloud, it’s crucial that they know where the cloud provider’s security role ends and where theirs begins.

The shared-responsibility model is one of the basic tenets of a successful public cloud deployment, and often the least understood. It requires vigilance by both the cloud provider and customer – but in different ways.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which developed the shared-responsibility philosophy when it introduced the public cloud, describes it succinctly as, “knowing the difference between security in the cloud versus the security of the cloud.”

This model, which is radically different from how organizations are used to securing their own data centers, often creates a “disconnect” for newer cloud enterprises. Their first question is often, “Is the cloud secure?”

The real question is, “Is my cloud being managed securely?”

The security of the cloud refers to all the underlying hardware and software: compute, storage and networking, in both the customer’s and the provider’s environments. But the cloud provider takes care of theirs; the customer takes care of theirs.

The configuration of the foundational services is in the hands of the customer, including the likes of: customer data; apps and identify-and-access management; operating system patches; network and firewall configuration; data and network encryption; continual security and compliance monitoring; resource allocation … the list goes on.

If this seems overwhelming, it’s because it is. Especially for bandwidth-strapped IT folks who may not have the time, resources or expertise to configure, continually optimize, monitor, secure, ensure compliance, etc. … for all the organization’s cloud resources and users, 24x7x365.

2. Prolific new product releases

At AWS’s big re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this December, the company introduced 70 new products and features.

To keep up with the new releases, incorporate their functionalities, and learn how to manage and secure them, is a continual job that few people have time to do. One of the major releases from re:Invent was the introduction of Amazon Outposts.

This release recognizes customers’ desires to have a single, managed platform with the value of the AWS cloud tools, while still maintaining their data on-prem, in their locations.

The job of managing your cloud environment and its security expands exponentially with the proliferation of capabilities and services of cloud providers like AWS.

3. Desire for a single managed platform to manage multi-cloud services

With so many releases and new products being introduced into the mix, it becomes very difficult for an on-prem IT team to manage.

That’s where a third-party managed service provider comes in: to keep up with the continual updates; to constantly monitor, optimize and secure; to keep eyes on your enterprise at all times, and to keep you informed along the way…all in a single, managed platform to which you have access.

Many companies that use a primary public cloud provider (like AWS) turn to third-party resources to help them fill in the gaps in their own skillsets and knowledge, and to augment the tasks required to properly manage and secure their cloud environments. This spreads-out the accountability for the “care and feeding” of the overall IT infrastructure. That’s why cloud managed services, like PTP’s platform, are gaining immense popularity right now.

When it comes to the continual monitoring and configuration of security services such as user access, authentication, security breach alerts, security threat remediation, and the like, many companies prefer not to leave it up to chance. They hire a third-party to ensure that their cloud environment is under the watchful eye of certified cloud security experts who can immediately spot, remediate and report on any malicious activity. – Read more