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How To Harness The Cloud For Business Success: Tips From Structure 2014

ThinkGig

Cloud cover. That’s the technology forecast at many enterprises.

And it’s a good thing, because as more IT resources become cloud-based, businesses see more agility, mobility, cost savings, and competitive advantages. To see the most benefit, however, IT and business leaders must be sure they have the infrastructure needed to handle this increased cloud use.

A good place to start? GigaOM’s Structure 2014 conference, being held this week in San Francisco. Attendees — and those following along online — will dive into some important IT questions for enterprises, particularly related to infrastructure, hybrid clouds, and app security. Let’s take a look:

Infrastructure

At many organizations, legacy network architecture might not be capable enough for the complexity and the potential of cloud-related technologies. So it makes sense that hardware spending is up, predicted to reach $9.4 billion this year, according to Gartner.

Some ways for enterprises to upgrade infrastructure include: self-service or automation, software-defined networking, commodity components, and open-source technologies.

Don’t-miss session: Where dollars in the cloud are headed

Silicon Valley leader Vinod Khosla has decades of experience in hardware design for leading companies like AMD and Juniper. Now head of his own venture firm, he backs startups that are bucking the infrastructure status quo. In his session, you’ll learn about the next big opportunities.

Don’t-miss session: Scaling Twitter to become the world’s communication platform

This panel will feature Twitter exec Raffi Krikorian discuss how the platform has evolved its infrastructure to support more than 500 million tweets per day, as well as user demand for more messaging capabilities.

Hybrid Cloud

Some organizations rely on public cloud for business and IT services. Others are sticking to private cloud. But increasingly, enterprises are taking the two and combining them in various ways to best suit their needs. In fact, Gartner predicts that 50 percent of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

With hybrid cloud deployments, organizations see benefits in cost and resiliency, among others. “Hybrid cloud computing can maximize cost-efficiency, particularly capital expenditure, through competition and automated arbitrage,” says Gartner managing vice president Milind Govekar. Additionally, hybrid cloud can improve resiliency and disaster recovery by using multiple partners.

Don’t-miss session: How the cloud has changed corporate IT

Public, private, hybrid. Which cloud model is best for your organization? Speakers Jeffrey Padgett, senior infrastructure architecture director at Gap, and Don Whittington, VP and CIO of Florida Crystals, will take a look at the real-world considerations for moving enterprise jobs to the cloud.

App Security

Along with the increase in cloud comes an increased dependence on cloud-based apps at many organizations. The most common uses for cloud apps, according to a report by Netskope, are creating, editing, downloading, and sharing data. And these uses are fraught with potential gaps, such as leaks in customer information, intellectual property or other proprietary information.

Business and IT leaders must consider how app data will be secured, especially if a device is lost or if employees using personal devices to access company apps leave the company.

Don’t-miss session: Application security in the cloud era

Cloud adoption has meant that traditional enterprise security isn’t enough. With personal devices accessing cloud-based enterprise apps and services, the threat of data breaches has never been greater. Speakers include: Salvatore D’Agostino, CEO at IDmachines; Rehan Jalil, president and CEO at Elastica; Assaf Rappaport, CEO at Adallom and Jared Wray, CenturyLink Cloud.

What will you be watching for at Structure 2014?

Betty Reynolds

Betty Reynolds

Betty Reynolds is vice president of business sales for the Southwest Region, and is responsible for leading market development, sales, sales engineering and support for CenturyLink Business clients.