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Digital + Cloud First Strategy of Corporations and U.S Federal Agencies

Digital transformation is driving disruption across all industries; transition from traditional on-premise to hybrid public/private cloud infrastructure; and need to balance business agility, mobile workforces with persistent security threats.

CloudsThe increasing adoption of cloud computing and penetration of mobile devices are the two inter-related digital trends transforming the IT industry today.

“Pure play” Cloud services for Google, NetSuite, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Workday, Oracle, SAP, IBM, Microsoft, and other technologies are taking hold to speed up digitization.

We are clearly in the middle of a once-in-a-decade transformation.  In the consumer and retail world, the movement to Web based cloud services, is being accelerated by the move to deploy social apps, mobile apps, location aware, real-time applications. Several business processes are being “cloudified”:

  • CRM: RelateIQ, Zoho, AgileCRM, Salesforce
  • Payroll: ZenPayroll, Xero, Workday
  • HR and Employee Benefits: Workday, BenefitFocus
  • Accounting: QuickBooks
  • Insurance and Benefits: Zenefits
  • Project Management: Jira, Asana, Basecamp
  • Servers: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Blue Ocean
  • Storage: Box, DropBox
  • Communication: Slack, HipChat
  • Marketing Automation: Marketo, HubSpot, Pardot

Typical Cloud design goals include:


It’s increasingly obvious that old applications and technologies need to adapted —  Four different delivery models – IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, Private Cloud –  are emerging differentiated by service level agreements (SLAs). But, how do you explain “cloud services” to someone new to this space?  There are multiple ways of describing cloud services.

In this posting I highlight some useful taxonomies from various sources that I found useful in explaining Cloud Computing and Cloud Services. Depending on who you are talking to pick the relevant one.

  • Why Cloud?
  • Describing the Cloud to an Enterprise Audience
  • Describing the Cloud as Outsourcing 3.0
  • Describing the Innovation Roadmap unleashed by the Cloud
  • Cloud Taxonomy Read more »

Digital Integration Strategies for and Workday

Digital Integration via APIs executes communication between a new generation of SaaS apps (Salesforce, Workday) and the legacy systems of record that provide the data. Legacy apps are “sticky” and expensive/risky to replace. So preserve the old and yet create new value.


Cloud-based service delivery methods  are accelerating in every organization. Simply look at the growing enterprise adoption of Salesforce SFA/CRM, Workday HR, Netsuite ERP, Oracle on Demand, for apps and Amazon Web Services (AWS) for e-commerce.

However the growing adoption creates one of the biggest challenges facing CIOs today – how do you implement new SaaS delivery models while still integrating with the the mission-critical legacy apps you’ve invested in for years?

If SaaS integration is not planned properly, it creates a “cloud in the corner” syndrome – a condition where new cloud-based SaaS solutions are disconnected from existing IT resources. The result: fragmented enterprise data scattered across the cloud.

CIOs have seen this “cloud in the corner” and data silo problem too many times in the past. They know how this movie is likely to unfold. Data quality and integration issues — aggregating data from the myriad sources and services within an organization — are CIOs and IT Architects top concern about SaaS and the main reason they hesitate to adopt it (Data security is another  concern).

Developing strategic (data governance), tactical (consistent data integration requirements) or operational (vendor selection) strategies to deal with this emerging “internal-to-cloud” data quality problem is a growing priority in 2012. Otherwise most enterprises are going to get less than optimal value from various SaaS solutions. Things are likely to get out of control pretty quickly. Read more »

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