Tablet Use in Business to Gain Momentum in 2012

The early-adopter trials have begun, the commercial apps are being developed -- it's now a given, purpose-built tablets will be used in more mainstream business settings during 2012. Besides, executives and IT managers at multinational companies will likely witness this phenomenon first, particularly in the more advanced markets.

According to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), media tablet shipments in EMEA reached more than 12 million units in the first three quarters of 2011 -- growing to 20 million units by the end of the year.

Although business purchases currently represent less than 10 percent of the entire tablet market, the near-term opportunity for growth from business use is believed to be significant -- including online collaboration applications.

Functionality such as a touch screen user-interface, portability, secure LAN connectivity and more business apps for vertical industry needs, are all factors that demonstrate the potential value in commercial settings.

Introducing Media Tablets into the Enterprise

IDC recently conducted a study across businesses in Western Europe to understand the perceptions of tablet adoption, intention to purchase, applications for specific business needs, preference for features, and acquisition strategies.

The key takeaways from the IDC study include:

Adoption Trend: More than 48 percent of businesses have either already evaluated and are keen to introduce tablets or purchased a few, and many verticals pointed to interest in purchasing tablets by the first and second half of 2012. With evident uptake among the IT services, professional services industry, other sectors such as transport and storage, utilities and distribution are showing strong interest.

Perception of Adoption: More than 22 percent of businesses think that the present generation of tablets defined by Apple iPad, are more suitable to their needs -- for example, meter reading, inventory management -- rather than their present equipment, such as traditional tablet devices or vertical application devices.

App Usage in Business: Applications and usage of tablets in businesses vary depending on the industry. Mainstream business use for tablets are as presentation tools during customer meetings and to remotely check emails and calendars. But tablets are suited for several key vertical applications such as:
  • Equipment maintenance, meter-reading (water, gas, electricity), proof-of-service in the field service category.
  • Asset and inventory management, telematics and direct store delivery in the storage and logistics, travel, and distribution verticals.

Tablet User Preference: While iOS and Android receive a strong response rate, more than 30 percent of respondents would consider a Windows OS-based tablet. While some businesses are price-sensitive, others would pay up to 50 percent above the standard price to have the most suitable tablet. Features vary depending on the business use-case; whether for the choice of screen size, or ruggedized features:
  • Transport and storage and distribution sectors prefer to have barcode scanners, SD card readers, and cameras.
  • Finance sectors prefer features such as credit card readers, signature capture, and HDD with encryption.

Deployment and Acquisition Strategy: Most businesses favor partnering directly with OEMs and traditional resellers with few verticals interested in partnering with ISVs. Virtualization and cloud-based solutions are the top preferred technologies considered to support tablet devices.

IDC believes that tablets now are a credible client device option, and in some cases they better fulfill the needs which are only partially met by traditional devices. They say that while some companies are in a wait-and-see mode, the forward-thinking leaders and early-adopters are already keen to deploy solutions.

Five Predictions for Managed Cloud Services in 2012

The proof-positive business impact from managed cloud services deployment, including the numerous associated productivity benefits and anticipated cost-savings, have pushed cloud computing well into the mainstream during 2011.

As we move into 2012, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that this evolution will continue as more users test the growing capabilities of the public cloud services that are already available.

However, by 2015, IDC envisions a very different scenario -- one where cloud services will become commonplace, thereby forcing significant changes in the ongoing adoption of progressive business technology practices throughout legacy IT organizations.

"In the next 24 months, the 'cloud' as a marketing label will cease to exist, as the success of cloud services will mean that it will permeate the sourcing strategies of the CIO and business unit manager alike," says Chris Morris, Lead Analyst for Cloud Services at IDC Asia/Pacific.

He adds, "The use of externally sourced business and IT services from the cloud will form the basis of what we see as the Outsourcing 3.0 period, and will provide an extensive portfolio of services from which innovative solutions can be constructed."

How Cloud Drives the Next Wave of Outsourcing

With Outsourcing 3.0, the cloud will metamorphose into a universal service catalog of individual cloud services. This will begin to replace both traditional information technology outsourcing (ITO) and business process outsourcing (BPO) engagements as well as on-premises infrastructure.

IDC believes that in an Outsourcing 3.0 scenario, the sourcing of business and IT services from multiple external suppliers will result in a major challenge for the enterprise CIO. They will become a service broker and aggregator, involved in sourcing, integrating and managing the services -- on behalf of their business units.

Drawing from the latest research and internal brainstorming sessions amongst IDC's regional and country analysts, the following are five cloud predictions for 2012.

These key points represent major trends with either the most significant financial impact or long-term market impact across the Asia-Pacific region, according to the IDC assessment.
  1. Less than Half of End-Users across APEJ will complete their Private Cloud Projects by 2014
  2. Making 2 + 2 = 1: Cloud Service Orchestration Services Lead the Drive to Outsourcing 3.0
  3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will become Verticalized by 2013
  4. By the end of 2012, 90% of Telecom Service Providers (SPs) in the APEJ region will have brought a broad portfolio of Cloud Services to market; but, by end of 2013, their Portfolios will become Specialized as they redefine their preferred role in the Cloud Ecosystem and target specific markets
  5. Cloud SP (CSPs) strategies based on Aggregation and Resale of IT and business services will Fail to meet Profitability Goals by 2013 unless they can efficiently and effectively Manage, Support and Bill Services from Multiple Service Providers

Cisco CloudVerse: a Comprehensive Cloud Framework

Multinational company CEOs are one of the most vocal advocates of the managed cloud services phenomenon. Many have been through the painful process of watching helplessly as their CIO championed the deployment of monolithic ERP and CRM systems -- only to discover that these huge enterprise software projects failed to live up to their promise.

Meanwhile, purposeful line-of-business executives have successfully utilized software-as-a-service (SaaS), with their CEO's support, to break free from the legacy IT platforms and thereby give their employees the business technology (BT) productivity tools that they had hoped for -- or that the power-users demanded.

Forward-looking vendors and prescient BT service providers are now leading the transition to the next wave of productivity-enhancing and cost-reducing platforms. Next year, we'll likely witness increased market activity, as the next chapter of this story unfolds.

In anticipation, Cisco has pro-actively presented its cloud strategic plan and tactical roadmap to both eager channel partners and savvy enterprise customers.

Cisco CloudVerse is a framework that combines the foundational elements needed to enable organizations to build, manage and connect public, private and hybrid clouds.

Cisco CloudVerse combines these key cloud elements -- Unified Data Center, Cloud Intelligent Network, and Cloud Applications and Services -- enabling businesses to realize all of the benefits of clouds: improved agility, better economics, enhanced security and a dynamic, assured experience.

The Cisco Cloud Index, issued last week, forecasts how dramatically clouds are transforming business IT and consumer services. The study predicts that over 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and that global cloud traffic will grow over 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year -- the equivalent of over four days of business-class video for every person on earth.

The insightful study suggests that the explosive growth in clouds requires advanced capabilities that allow the data center and network to work together -- to support end-to-end cloud application delivery.

The All-Inclusive Approach to Cloud Enablement

Today, most cloud technologies exist in silos, preventing an efficient, integrated management approach. By integrating the three foundational cloud elements -- the Cisco Unified Data Center with the Cisco Intelligent Network to enable Cloud Applications and Services -- CloudVerse delivers a business-class cloud experience within the cloud, between clouds, and beyond the cloud to the end user.

A large number of enterprises, service providers, and governments have announced that they are adopting Cisco CloudVerse as the foundation of their cloud strategies, including ACS, a Xerox Company; Fujitsu; NWN; LinkedIn; Orange Business Services; Qualcomm; Silicon Valley Bank; Telecom Italia; Telefónica S.A.; Telstra; and Terremark, a Verizon Company. Today over 70 percent of leading cloud providers are using Cisco CloudVerse on their journey to the cloud.

"We're moving to a world where our business customers want to experience services anywhere, anytime on any device. Cisco CloudVerse is architected to help deliver on the promise of cloud by unifying compute, storage and network resources that can be securely and rapidly re-purposed and managed on-demand to meet the needs of different customers or applications. These capabilities are fundamental to the cloud and the Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network is purpose-built to help deliver the security, scalability and flexibility we need," said Kerry Bailey, Terremark, a Verizon Company.

The Three Core Elements of CloudVerse:

Unified Data Center changes the economics of cloud infrastructure by providing a fabric-based platform automating the "as-a-service" model across physical and virtual environments, and designed to scale with business demands by flexibly allocating resources within and between data centers using unified computing and unified fabric. Cisco is also adding new Unified Management capabilities:

Cisco Intelligent Automation for the Cloud is designed to provide automated provisioning and management of data center resources for the delivery of cloud services within and between data centers.

Cisco Network Services Manager is designed to automatically create, deploy and modify physical and virtual networking resources on demand.

Cloud Intelligent Network provides a consistent and highly secure user experience wherever the user is located and across the multiple clouds involved in delivering an application or service. Cisco now adds new "Cloud-to-Cloud Connect" capabilities:

"Cloud-to-Cloud Connect," featuring the Cisco Network Positioning System on the ASR 1000 and 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routersin 2012, will enable dynamic resource identification, allocation and optimization between data centers and clouds.

Cloud Applications and Services enable "as a service" delivery of both Cisco and third-party cloud applications. Several new capabilities are being added to Cisco's Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS):

Private Cloud HCS empowers enterprises to build their own collaboration cloud using Cisco's validated and tested solution and full management capabilities.

Mobile HCS provides mobile service providers with an easy and cost-effective way to offer collaboration from the cloud, thus extending services from "fixed" devices to mobile phones. For example, providers can virtually connect thousands of mobile users at a company with single-number reach, or enable customers to transition a call from a desk phone to a mobile phone while the call is in progress.

Customer Collaboration makes contact center capabilities more affordable and accessible by adding Cisco Customer Collaboration offerings to HCS. These offerings are available on a limited basis now and targeted for general availability in 2012.

Cisco is supporting CloudVerse with new cloud enablement services, whichcombine Cisco's professional and technical services expertise with those of a broad ecosystem of partners, allowing organizations to accelerate their cloud success and realize the full potential of cloud.

Global Cloud Index: the Evolution of Data Center Traffic

As 2011 comes to a close, many busy executives and IT managers will be pondering the continued adoption of cloud applications within their organizations. How can a business be adequately prepared for the anticipated increase in demand for managed cloud services? Moreover, what are the key related market indicators that are shaping the future of emerging business technology deployments?

The Cisco Global Cloud Index is an ongoing effort to forecast the growth of global data center and cloud-based IP traffic. The forecast includes trends associated with data center virtualization and cloud computing.

From 2000 to 2008, peer-to-peer file sharing dominated Internet traffic. As a result, the majority of Internet traffic did not touch a data center, but was communicated directly between Internet users. Since 2008, most Internet traffic has originated or terminated in a data center.

Data center traffic will continue to dominate Internet traffic for the foreseeable future, but the nature of data center traffic will undergo a fundamental transformation brought about by cloud applications, services, and infrastructure.

By 2015, one-third of data center traffic will be cloud traffic.

Global Data Center IP Traffic: Already in the Zettabyte Era

The Internet may not reach the zettabyte era until 2015, but the data center has already entered the zettabyte era. While the amount of traffic crossing the Internet and IP WAN networks is projected to reach nearly 1 zettabyte per year in 2015, the amount of data center traffic is already over 1 zettabyte per year -- and by 2015 will quadruple to reach 4.8 zettabytes per year.

This represents a 33 percent CAGR.The higher volume of data center traffic is due to the inclusion of traffic inside the data center (Typically, definitions of Internet and WAN stop at the boundary of the data center).

The global data center traffic forecast, a major component of the Global Cloud Index, covers network data centers worldwide operated by service providers as well as private enterprises.

Traffic Destinations: Most Traffic Stays Within the Data Center

In 2010, 77 percent of traffic remains within the data center, and this will decline only slightly to 76 percent by 2015. The fact that the majority of traffic remains within the data center can be attributed to several factors:
  • Functional separation of application servers and storage, which requires all replication and backup traffic to traverse the data center.
  • Functional separation of database and application servers, such that traffic is generated whenever an application reads from or writes to a central database.
  • Parallel processing, which divides tasks into multiple smaller tasks and sends them to multiple servers, contributing to internal data center traffic.

The ratio of traffic exiting the data center to traffic remaining within the data center might be expected to increase over time, because video files are bandwidth-heavy and do not require database or processing traffic commensurate with their file size.

However, the ongoing virtualization of data centers offsets this trend. Virtualization of storage, for example, increases traffic within the data center because virtualized storage is no longer local to a rack or server.

How does the transition of workloads from traditional data centers to cloud data centers effect the typical IT environment? Find the answer to this question, and learn more about the implications, by browsing the Cisco Global Cloud Index forecast data.

Cloud Storage Spending to Reach $22.6 Billion by 2015

Cloud computing demand will drive new IT spending over the next five years, as public cloud service providers and the adopters of private cloud solutions invest in the supporting infrastructure, according to a recent market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Therefore, the leading managed cloud service providers have been busy expanding their service delivery platforms.

Overall spending by public cloud service providers on storage hardware, software, and professional services will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.6 percent from 2010 to 2015, while enterprise spending on storage for the private cloud will experience a CAGR of 28.9 percent.By 2015, combined spending for public and private cloud storage will be $22.6 billion worldwide.

"Despite current economic uncertainties, IDC expects cloud service providers -- both public and private -- to be among the most expansive spenders on IT products and services as they continue to build out their facilities worldwide and expand their service options," said Richard Villars, vice president, Storage Systems & Executive Strategies at IDC.

According to the IDC assessment, the most significant driver of storage consumption over the past three years has been the emergence of public cloud-based application and infrastructure providers. Many of these service providers act as content depots -- gathering, organizing, and providing access to large quantities of digital content.

Meanwhile, other cloud-based service providers have emerged with a focus on delivering IT infrastructure and applications in an "as a service" model. Collectively these companies have undertaken massive storage buildouts as they have expanded their service offerings, entered new markets, and extended their geographic reach.

In parallel to the expansion of the public cloud, many organizations have started to deploy their own private clouds for application, compute, and archival storage. Some of these private cloud deployments -- government and research sites -- are comparable in scope and complexity to public cloud environments, while others are limited in scope.

 Five information requirements are driving storage demands:
  • Enabling more efficient delivery of information/applications to Internet-based customers.
  • Reducing upfront infrastructure investment levels (i.e., cutting the cost and time associated with deploying new IT and compute infrastructure).
  • Minimizing internal IT infrastructure investment associated with "bursty" or unpredictable workloads.
  • Lowering and/or distributing the ongoing costs associated with long-term archiving of information.
  • Enabling near-continuous, real-time analysis of large volumes and wide varieties of customer-, partner-, and machine-generated data (Big Data).

To meet these diverse requirements, IDC believes that organizations will continue to demand access to low-cost storage capacity -- plus a growing range of complementary advanced data transformation, security, and analytics solutions.

"The challenge facing the storage industry will be to balance public cloud service providers' demand for low-cost hardware while boosting demand for advanced software solutions in areas such as object-based storage, automated data tiering, Big Data processing, and advanced archiving services," noted Villars.

"Big Data developments will be perhaps the most critical new marketplace for storage solutions providers in the coming decade. Providing a strong portfolio of complete Big Data solutions -- hardware, software, and implementation services -- will be a high priority to succeed. Similarly, a strong portfolio of active archival storage solutions will be a critical differentiator for private content or archive cloud deployments."

Increased Adoption of Telepresence and New Video Apps

Telepresence and other forms of advanced visual collaboration technologies are moving further into the mainstream of forward-looking business practices. This increase in adoption has been a global phenomenon, as more business leaders follow the numerous application examples of the early-adopters.

Infonetics Research released excerpts from its second quarter 2011 (2Q11) "Enterprise Telepresence and Video Conferencing" report. Their findings demonstrate the progress that's been made so far this year.

Their latest market study provides insights on market size, vendor market share, and analysis for PBX-based video phones and software, as well as dedicated video conference infrastructure and endpoints -- including immersive telepresence and software.

Forecast for Continued Double-Digit Growth

For the first 6 months of 2011, enterprise telepresence and video conferencing equipment revenue is up 24 percent year-over-year -- and according to the current Infonetics market assessment, they expect strong double-digit growth in 2011 over 2010.

"Growth will stay in double-digit territory through at least 2015, thanks to demographic and communication trends favoring video, increasing acceptance of video among users, and specific use cases like tele-learning and tele-medicine," notes Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

 Enterprise Telepresence and Video Conferencing study insights include:

  • The global enterprise video conferencing and telepresence equipment market jumped 21% to $683 million between the first and second quarters of 2011, setting a record high for quarterly revenue.
  • Year-over-year (2Q10 to 2Q11), the market is up 34 percent.
  • Cisco, the leading vendor, sequentially increased its videoconferencing and telepresence system revenue 33 percent, and now holds over half the global market share.
  • Infonetics forecasts the enterprise telepresence and video conferencing equipment market to grow to $5.4 billion by 2015.
  • Dedicated multi-purpose room video systems make up over half the enterprise video equipment market now and will continue to be the biggest revenue-generator among enterprise video solutions.
  • Meanwhile, videophones are the fastest-growing segment of the market; they are the smallest in size.
  • Regionally, the strongest demand for enterprise video equipment is coming out of North America, China, India, and Brazil.

Growing Demand for Mobile Enterprise Application Services

More capable smartphones and media tablets are now joining a variety of highly portable netbook computers that have already invaded the workplace. Many are being combined with mobile apps that tap into cloud-based productivity solutions.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, healthcare is one of the most dynamic sectors for mobile technologies, and manufacturing is now the largest sector for mobile enterprise applications worldwide.

By 2016, manufacturing will generate approximately 23 percent of the nearly $5 billion in mobile enterprise application service revenues.

Mobile enterprise applications, also called mobile B2E applications, include dashboard apps, work flow approval apps, and line-of-business applications for both the smartphone and tablet.

ABI's mobile services practice director, Dan Shey, says, "Manufacturing beats healthcare for B2E app adoption and revenues because of its large employment worldwide and the breadth of occupations that can benefit from mobile apps."

China is also one of the biggest drivers for manufacturing B2E mobile app adoption.

Manufacturing is the second largest employer worldwide. Manufacturing also employs a wide range of occupations using B2E apps, including shipping or receiving workers, delivery drivers, management and supervisory personnel, sales, and installation and repair workers.

Moreover, China is the world’s manufacturing hub, which drives B2E app needs -- not only for Chinese manufacturers but also for companies visiting their Chinese subcontractors.

Healthcare is the top sector in B2E mobile app adoption when viewing the data at the regional level. Healthcare leads in Western Europe, the Middle East, and especially North America, where healthcare B2E adoption outpaces manufacturing by nearly five to one.

Enterprise Cloud Applications Ongoing Impact on IT

The transition to managed cloud services is having a trickle-down effect on various stakeholders in the business technology landscape. As an example, in the evolving enterprise communications market, customer premise equipment (CPE) vendors must confront imminent erosion in their installed base -- as cloud services gain traction across the public, private, and hybrid cloud domains.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, 41 percent of all enterprise communications users -- or 386 million lines or seats -- will be on virtual infrastructure by 2016, which is posing a serious danger to the traditional CPE market.

"For CPE vendors, the cloud threat is real," says ABI senior analyst Subha Rama. "By 2016, the communications CPE market will only grow 4.3 percent, while cloud communications will grow by over 21 percent, reaching $8 billion in revenues."

Smaller vendors with point solutions will see cloud services rapidly displace their installed bases. Moreover, some large systems vendors are becoming cloud providers or key enablers of this migration.

However, according to the ABI assessment, many of the CPE solutions are simply not "cloud ready" and will see performance downgrades when virtualized.

The Top Three Forces Influencing Cloud Migration are:
  1. The growing adoption of data center architectures and virtualization technologies.
  2. The need to integrate multiple applications to deliver the connected experience to users across different devices, including smartphones and media tablets.
  3. The promise of lower costs and increased efficiencies from standardized platforms and processes in the cloud.
Enterprises are adopting a non-linear approach to cloud migration; while certain applications undergo experimentation, others are retained on premises.

Mixed environments and hybridization are becoming the norm, especially with larger enterprises.However, the technology to manage hybrid clouds and to enable seamless movement of applications instances across different vendor clouds is in its infancy.

"Enterprise mobilization is also driving migration to the cloud," says ABI practice director Dan Shey. "Cloud applications ease application delivery for businesses that are increasingly relying on access across fixed and mobile endpoints."



Mobile Enterprise App Development Life-Cycle Services

Media tablet and smartphone software applications (apps) have entered the mainstream of business technology. In fact, results from recent market research by International Data Corporation (IDC) demonstrates that service providers are already reporting increasing enterprise and independent software vendor (ISV) activity -- centered upon the new commercial mobile apps ecosystem that has emerged.

These latest developments are establishing mobile initiatives for a variety of horizontal and industry-specific business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) application scenarios.

Enabling Mobile Enterprise Agile App Development

Furthermore, third parties are increasing their mobile application life-cycle investments to meet the growing demand for mobile applications -- such as native, Web-based or cross-platform -- with an emphasis on accelerating client mobile applications to market at lower total cost of ownership (TCO) with higher productivity and quality.

An insightful IDC study has analyzed the emerging new mobility services market and reviewed vendor investments in infrastructure and mobile intellectual property (IP) -- across fourteen different providers.

The following are key factors influencing growth in this segment:
  • Accelerating mobile IP creation or investment and partnership activity through component reusability, application factories, and use of internal IP for rapid cross-platform portability are central to service provider investments.
  • Partnerships with mobile enterprise application platform vendors are on the rise as are initiatives that integrate smart device technology with cloud-based back-end applications to improve efficiency, reduce cost, and generate new revenue streams.
  • The importance of usability and user experience (UX) is becoming a critical best practice to accelerate development timeframes and ensure alignment to business expectations.
  • Mobile development is frequently being packaged as part of broader mobile application life-cycle services -- with heightened attention to mobile platform selection, business case development, architectural planning (e.g. back end integration), and agile mobile development and testing.

"As third-party service providers move forward, they will need to address the broader spectrum of enterprise customer needs, from new entrants to the mobile space to more mature customers that have been engaged in a mobile road map strategy for a few years," said Rona Shuchat, director, Application Outsourcing Services at IDC.

The focus will be on building relevant and innovative business-centric solutions -- using mobile device apps as a key enabler.

As such, it's important to conceptualize new use-cases that will increase operational efficiencies and facilitate higher worker productivity, lower the cost of end-to-end order and supply chains, or introduce effective new ways of marketing products to end-customers via mobility.

Business Objectives Drive the Shift to Cloud Services

Adoption of cloud computing services continues to accelerate as organizations move from limited deployments to comprehensive solutions, according to the latest market study by CompTIA, the non-profit trade association for the information technology (IT) industry.

More than half (56 percent) of the organizations surveyed for the CompTIA study said their investment in cloud computing will increase by 10 percent or more over the next 12 months.

“This additional investment will likely be accompanied by greater complexity in the overall cloud strategy, such as moving to a hybrid cloud model or adopting more advanced services beyond Software as a Service (SaaS),” said Seth Robinson, director, technology analysis, CompTIA. ”Organizations may begin exploring options such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS), which will allow them to experiment with custom application development.”

IT departments are often a key driver behind the transition to managed cloud services, but the CompTIA study suggests individual business unit leaders within an organization are equally or perhaps more likely to now seek out the benefits of a cloud service deployment.

About one in five (21 percent) companies surveyed said that line of business leaders championed the transition to a cloud solution -- independently of their IT department.

“Most SaaS applications are easily accessible through the Internet, making it relatively easy for business employees to use them without involving the IT staff,” Robinson said. “But there are risks in this approach, as lines of business often do not have the same awareness of security and reliability as the IT department.”

Demand for Procurement and Implementation Guidance

That being said, apparently the results from the study provided no specific evidence of where CIOs or other IT managers demonstrated security breaches -- as a result of business leaders leading the shift to managed cloud services.

However, the CompTIA study findings did indicate that there's growing interest throughout these organizations to invest more in cloud computing education and thereby learn about the technology deployment considerations.

Although the mainstream business manager's understanding of cloud computing has improved over the past year, many users continue to have questions regarding details of cloud service implementation.

The 2010 CompTIA cloud computing study found that 60 percent of end users desired a clearer definition of cloud computing. In 2011, that number increased to 66 percent.

Areas where users want more clarity include the types of cloud computing offerings (Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service) and the types of deployment models (public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud services).

Attainment of Business Objectives Drives the Shift to Cloud

Organizations that have invested the time to learn about -- or are experimenting with -- cloud solutions indicate they have a higher level of comfort with cloud computing offerings. Approximately 72 percent of these organizations feel more positive about cloud computing now than they did one year ago. Another 25 percent of survey respondents report no change in their perception.

“For those who feel more positively about the cloud than they did a year ago, the primary reasons are the technical benefits and the ability to achieve other business objectives,” Robinson noted. “This finding is in line with data from other CompTIA surveys, where the primary advantage of cloud computing appears to be increased capability, not cost savings."

Note: the survey included 500 IT business professionals and other key decision makers within the U.S. market.

How Mobile Applications will Transform all Businesses

Mobile communication related activity is now considered the number one business technology issue on the minds of IT professionals in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the latest market study by IDC. Their analysts have been exploring, in depth, what mobility really means for organizations and how utilizing a variety of commercial mobile applications will become the norm in the near future.

Clearly, enterprise mobility has been a familiar topic for savvy business and technology leaders within most multinational organizations. For many companies it means mobile email, perhaps some form of unified communications (UC) or fixed mobile convergence (FMC).

Moreover, for the more adventurous IT leaders, they have already embarked on extending workplace applications into the mobile environment.

How Mobility Supports Operational Business Goals

Tim Dillon, IDC's Associate Vice President for Asia-Pacific says, "That's yesterday's view. It's changed. Organizations that continue to take enterprise mobility for granted will be swept aside in the new environment. Today, we’re seeing what we could call a perfect storm, created by the evolution of different areas of technology combining to fundamentally, and drastically change how organizations can use enterprise mobility to support business goals and strategies."

IDC research clients are seeing new access networks, new devices, new mobile operating systems, business related applications (apps), platforms and delivery models come together to create an all-embracing enterprise mobility.

Previous IT turning points were the move from mainframes to desktops, and the growth of Internet access. Now, new mobile devices and numerous productivity-oriented applications will constitute the next wave of business technology adoption.

Amongst the many issues that IDC will continue to explore, perhaps the changing landscape for devices is most prevalent -- where media tablets, such as the Apple iPad, and large-screen smartphones can now run almost fully functional versions of all enterprise software and services.

Smarter and more capable mobile operating systems, along with the applied talent of independent software developers, are providing the market with the ingredients for an agile ecosystem that can quickly mobilize these new applications -- extending the functionality of virtually all IT systems to mainstream mobile devices.

Mobility Combined with Cloud Computing Services

Dillon adds, "ICT is evolving on multiple fronts to create a true revolution in mobility. As enterprise applications become mobile, the boundaries of the enterprise become extended and blurred. With the constant evolution in devices and applications that tap into the core enterprise systems, all systems become increasingly vulnerable to the acts of negligent users and malicious attacks -- companies will need to pair pervasive mobility with ubiquitous security."

Furthermore, as more and more communication and collaboration applications transition to the cloud -- via either managed public or private cloud computing services -- demand for mobile access is likely to increase, in line with the continued user adoption of multifaceted smartphones and purpose-built business-centric tablets.

Healthcare IT Spending on Cloud to Surpass $1 Billion

The healthcare and social services vertical marketplace is extensive. It includes companies that provide medical care and social assistance for individuals -- which includes ambulatory healthcare services, hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and social assistance services.

Healthcare has been a growth vertical in U.S. business markets.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, research supports a forecast of continued growth, with healthcare spending $518 million on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in 2015.

Overall telecom spending by the healthcare and social services vertical was just under $16 billion in 2010.

Wireless communications is the largest of the product categories, comprising about 40 percent of telecom spending in the healthcare and social services vertical. Cloud computing and managed services is the fasting growing component.

Wireline data and wireline voice comprise the remainder of the telecom spend.

Increased Demand for Managed Cloud Offerings

"The healthcare vertical segment, across all sizes of business, and across nearly all product groups, is fast becoming the most robust business vertical segment in U.S. business markets," says Greg Potter, Analyst at In-Stat.

Demand for cloud computing services in particular has exploded and In-Stat believes there's nothing that would indicate the trend won’t continue -- at least through 2015.

Additional insights from the In-Stat study include:
  • Small businesses with 20 to 99 employees will be the fastest growing size segment in healthcare, growing over 35 percent from 2010 to 2015.
  • Enterprise wireless spending in healthcare will increase roughly 12 percent from 2010 to 2011.
  • Healthcare public cloud computing spending will surpass $1 billion in 2013.

How TelePresence Improves Public Health Care in Chile

The hospitals in Talcahuano (Las Higueras), San Carlos and Linares have inaugurated Cisco TelePresence units -- the high-definition video technology that allows them to interact with their patients via tele-consultations, examinations and interviews. The TelePresence technology also helps them find solutions for cardiovascular pathologies, the main public health problem facing Chilean society that has resulted in great human and economic impact.

This HD video communication solution enables the hospitals in Linares and San Carlos to connect with specialists in Las Higueras Hospital in Talcahuano and carry out remote specialized consultations -- as a result accelerating the process of attending to patients.

As an example, now the time taken for a specialist's first response has been significantly reduced (from 12 months to 54 hours), as well as the time taken to resolve the problem that gave rise to the initial consultation (from as long as two years down to one month).

Enabling Just-in-Time Healthcare to Citizens

The Cisco TelePresence solution is a pilot project that forms part of and complements the Galileo Telemedical Program, developed in the Hemodynamic and Electrophysiology Unit of Las Higueras Hospital in Talcahuano as a solution for pathologies in the cardiovascular area, illnesses that produce long waiting lists and high mortality rates in Chile.

This managed solution is a contribution made by Telefónica Empresas -- based on Cisco´s technology -- in collaboration with the Talcahuano Health Services and Las Higueras Hospital, showing the positive impact of public-private partnerships in the implementation of technologies that can transform peoples' lives.This solution works through the Chilean Ministry of Health's communication network (administered by Movistar), and it includes three Cisco TelePresence System 1300 Series units.

This new system deployment facilitates effective and timely access to specialized health care for all citizens -- no matter where they live. It improves the quality of patient care and the efficiency of medical attention, helping to reduce or eliminate waiting lists for health care services.

Pilot Project Delivers Cost-Effective Treatment Options

It makes prioritization of referrals easier, improving the access of the most seriously ill patients to critical operations. It reduces the number of referrals to the specialty center, which saves money for the health care system overall, as well as for patients and their families. There are also benefits for the individual such as in terms of reduction in the number of trips needed to be made, hours or days missed from work or school, and avoiding disruption in family life.

It provides a solution within the system, optimizing current resources in an efficient way by empowering initiatives that are already present within the existing health care system.

Movistar is providing this Cisco technology as a pilot project at no cost to local health services in order to evaluate its impact and effectiveness. They do this as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives in an effort to provide innovative solutions to the health care system's most critical needs and to alleviate the extra difficulties these hospitals have had to face after the 2010 earthquake due to the reduction of their operative capacity.

The Galileo Project is an initiative of Las Higueras Hospital's Hemodynamic and Electrophysiology Unit, unique in the country's health care services. It was promoted by Dr. Francisco Albornoz, and it defines a new modality of services to improve the quality of cardiovascular treatments by means of teleprocesses in medical administration.The project consists of Web-based solutions and integrates electronic joint consultations, electrocardiography in its different modes, and echocardiography, connecting remote sites of referrals to one specialty center, maintaining the concept of efficiency in clinical decision making and therapeutic resolution.

"The telemedicine project in Talcahuano is in line with the corporate e-health program whose objective is to make high-end technologies available for the benefit of every Chilean. Health is one of the great concerns, and this service will shorten waiting times, facilitate opportune diagnosis, and keep illnesses from getting worse. At Movistar we are very happy since, as strategic partners with the country and the government, we believe we are fulfilling the promise we made to our clients, that of making high-end technologies available wherever they are needed," said Pedro Pablo Laso, general manager of Telefónica Empresas.

Increased Spending on Public Cloud Computing Services

This week, the world's financial markets have been negatively impacted by continued concerns about the global economic outlook. There has been little good news about the economy lately, particularly regarding the U.S. jobs forecast.

That said, enterprise related IT spending has apparently been one positive forward-looking market indicator -- particularly the current and planned use of managed cloud services.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, enterprise business spending on IT and telecom services -- which include cloud computing, wireless, wireline voice, wireline data, and business IP/VoIP -- will move in a positive direction in 2011, increasing by healthy 6 percent.

"There will be positive growth across all 20 verticals with education and healthcare & social services leading the surge with growth of 10 percent and 9 percent respectively,” says Greg Potter, analyst at in-Stat.

These forecast increases in spending are across all product groups except wireline voice, which will decline by about half a percent.

In-Stat's latest market study findings include:
  • Enterprise spending on public cloud computing services is set to expand 139% from 2010 to 2011.
  • Enterprise spending on wireless data is set to approach $17 billion in 2015.
  • Enterprise spending in the healthcare sector on wireline data will approach 2 billion in 2014.
  • Enterprise spending on wireline voice will remain flat, with traditional TDM services continuing their decline, only reaching $3.4 billion in 2011.

The Top Five Vertical Markets for IaaS Offerings

The cloud computing phenomenon now includes a set of services and technologies that enable the delivery of on-demand computing services over the Internet in real-time, allowing end-users instant access to data and applications from any device with online access.

Although still in its infancy, gaining traction has not been a problem. According to the latest market study by In-Stat, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is set to grow to roughly $4 billion by 2015.

"Growth is expected in all public cloud service segments," says Greg Potter, Analyst at In-Stat.

Many Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications have been around for a long time, but now with the advent of entire platforms for these applications they're gaining the necessary visibility among businesses to reach renewed momentum in the marketplace.

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (SaaS) is also gaining increased traction, especially in the small business market.

In-Stat's latest market study includes the following insights:
  • SaaS (software as a service) is poised to grow 142 percent between 2010 and 2015.
  • Overall public cloud computing (IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS) is set to grow 153 percent from 2010 to 2015.
  • Small business (5 to 99 employees) is the fastest growing size segment growing from $2.5 billion by 2010 to $6.6 billion by 2015.
  • Small business account for over half of the market in SaaS and IaaS.

According to the In-Stat assessment, the top five vertical markets for IaaS offerings, in terms of 2011 market revenue, will be hospitality and food, healthcare and social services, and retail trade. The bottom 5 verticals will be mining, forestry, fishing, and agricultural services and utilities.

How Healthcare IT will Migrate to Cloud Services

According to the findings from a global market study, the healthcare sector has a highly complex IT environment that's supporting a very diversified professional user population (i.e., clinicians) -- along with their patients in life-critical situations. The industry is currently facing growing economic and regulatory pressures that make its IT infrastructure primed for change.

Therefore, all organizations will likely consider the potential benefits of migrating to cloud computing. Improvement in the quality of healthcare services is a key driver for managed cloud service adoption.

Billions of dollars of federal incentives are provided for the delivery of quality healthcare services, and expanding the use of electronic health record (EHRs) systems -- as well as providing the basis for the exchange of information and data across and between the providers. These EHR systems are expected to be used extensively by 2014.

Another significant opportunity is the consumer-oriented cloud application -- offering the potential of improving healthcare communications and enabling patients to manage their own medical records. The cloud platform fits well with new business models, which often require uninterrupted access from multiple providers to a single patient, such as a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model or Accountable Care Organization (ACO).

Cost Reduction Potential Across the Ecosystem

Reducing costs in the healthcare industry ecosystem is a key motivation for cloud service adoption. This is true for all healthcare organizations, irrespective of their size and area of specialization. In making future IT investment decisions, health organizations will likely measure the return on investment closely. For many new Health Information Exchange (HIE) models, the infrastructure is already in place.

In today’s healthcare system, access to good facilities often depends on the physical location. As more health data moves into the cloud and telehealth technologies become popular, everyone will be able to access health information in real-time from anywhere. The result will be better access to healthcare and relevant data, especially in the remote areas. However, risks around data privacy, security and safety, and state specific policy rules are among the top concerns raised for the adoption of cloud computing.

As a result, these issues currently are the greatest barriers for embracing cloud computing. However, according to the MarketsandMarkets assessment, the data security issue has the potential to increase cloud service adoption. By centralizing and standardizing handling of patient data across the healthcare ecosystem, the cloud could enable stronger security and authentication measures to be imposed by SaaS (software as a service) providers, thereby actually improving protection and integrity of data.

According to MarketsandMarkets latest research, globally 32 percent of healthcare facilities are already using some form of cloud application. Moreover, close to 75 percent of the organizations not using any cloud applications are already considering adopting them in the next three to five years.

In summary, the top priorities for the healthcare industry are:
  • Improvement in the quality of healthcare services.
  • Reduction of costs.
  • Increasing access to the healthcare systems.
  • Data privacy and security.

SMB Demand for Productivity Oriented Mobile Apps

Small businesses account for two-thirds of all new employment in America, according to the historical U.S. government statistics. Developing trends within this key sector are therefore a leading market indicator of the nation's economic stability and forward-looking performance.

That said, new U.S. business spending research, that was performed by In-Stat, would indicate that some things are starting to trend upwards.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, small and medium businesses (SMBs) plan to increase their spending on wireless data services by 42 percent from 2010 to 2015.

Moreover, U.S. small office and home office (SOHO) businesses will lead the category, forecast to increase their spending by over 46 percent on wireless data from 2010 to 2015.

New Productivity Oriented Wireless Data Applications

"Voice has become a commodity, with growth in voice services essentially being stagnant across all sizes of business," says Greg Potter, In-Stat Data Analyst.

Messaging services have been in demand, but the new procurement outlook is stagnant, with marginal increases or decreases -- depending on the the size of business.

In-Stat believes that future growth is all about providing data access to smartphones, business-centric media tablets, and netbook PCs. Clearly, new productivity-oriented mobile apps and related cloud based services are helping to stimulate this demand.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, users of enterprise B2E (business-to-employee) and B2C (business to customer) smartphone and media tablet mobile applications (apps) are forecast to grow at a CAGR of nearly 90 percent -- and exceed 830 million active users by 2016.

In-Stats latest market study highlights include:
  • SMB businesses in total (SMB includes SOHO, small and medium businesses) consume about half of all wireless services on a revenue basis.
  • The consumption jumps to almost three-fourths when one is only considering corporate liable expenditures.
  • Total mobile handset spending is set to rise over 10 percent from 2010 to 2015.
  • The construction vertical segment will spend 120 million in the wireless device segment in 2012.
  • In 2013, the retail trade segment will spend 2.8 billion in wireless voice services.

Redefining Mobility in the Workplace with Cisco Cius

Cisco has introduced the AppHQ -- an application ecosystem built specifically for Cisco Cius that provides new ways to create, manage and rapidly deploy tablet applications in the enterprise.

Cisco Cius, an Android-based tablet created for the enterprise, combines voice, video, collaboration, and virtualization capabilities unlike any other tablet on the market today. With Cisco Cius, organizations can now deliver an optimized tablet with enterprise-grade security, as a natural extension of the enterprise network.

The device provides customers with mobility, centralized manageability, virtual content creation and computing capabilities, and a comprehensive suite of collaboration applications.

AppHQ provides developers with tools and resources to create, test and market applications for Cisco Cius, and allows IT managers to control which applications can be used on the devices. Additionally, companies can create private, custom-branded application storefronts for their organizations where employees can find, publish and procure applications that complement their business environments.

Introducing Cisco AppHQ: A Trusted Source for Business Applications

Cisco AppHQ is a highly secure, cloud-based user storefront that provides capabilities for end users and IT managers not found in other application stores today. Some of these capabilities include:
  • Testing and validation: IT managers want to know that applications deployed in their environment are appropriate for the enterprise. Cisco AppHQ provides IT managers and users with a trusted source for applications, ensuring that every application within AppHQ goes through Cisco validation testing, whether developed by Cisco, third-party Android developer partners, or users within the enterprise. The validation process includes interoperability testing both for the application itself and in typical configurations within the device.
  • Store-within-a-Store: Enterprises will have a Cisco hosted, highly-secure and private application store within AppHQ. Businesses can customize the storefront, following their corporate branding guidelines, including use of logos, icons and color schemes. Beyond customization, the store-within-a-store is a platform that customers can use to deploy applications efficiently in their organizations.  For example, a financial services company could deploy applications pertaining to their back office operations, such as human resources or payroll apps, and populate those applications on the devices of relevant employees. 
  • Empowers IT management: With AppHQ Manager, IT will have the ability to allow (or deny) access to application marketplaces by user role or device and to grant (or deny) access to applications by type, source or category. This unique capability will let IT organizations balance the individual freedom of users with the enterprise-class policies on security and cost efficiency.
"The promise of mobile Unified Communications and Collaboration for decentralized, accelerated decision-making is coming to light with the advent of intelligent 4G LTE networks, the cloud and enterprise tools such as the Cisco Cius. Our sales teams and customers will continue to benefit from cloud-based enterprise apps that help them get the job done from virtually anywhere with greater collaboration and speedier service delivery to their customers," said Mike Smith, vice president enterprise communications, network and mobility, Verizon.

Cloud Services are Instrumental to IT Transformation

According to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), cloud computing will continue to reshape the business technology landscape over the next five years -- as spending on public cloud services expands at a CAGR of 27.6 percent, from $21.5 billion in 2010 to $72.9 billion in 2015.

That said, apparently the trend and resulting impact of cloud services will extend well beyond information technology (IT) spending. Managed cloud services are a critical component in a much larger transformation that IDC expects will be instrumental in driving IT industry growth for the next 25 years.

"Cloud services are interconnected with and accelerated by other disruptive technologies, including mobile devices, wireless networks, big data analytics, and social networking," said Frank Gens, senior vice president and chief analyst at IDC.

This collective group of technologies are merging into the industry's third major platform for long-term growth. Similar to the mainframe and PC eras, managed cloud services promises to radically expand the applications of IT infrastructure, resulting in a variety of unified service delivery solutions.

As a critical component to the third platform, cloud services represent a strategic growth area for traditional managed IT services and broadband service providers.

A Pathway Through the Disruptive Transformation

With spending for public IT cloud services growing at more than four times the rate of the worldwide IT market as whole, IDC expects one of every seven dollars spent on packaged software, servers, and storage offerings in 2015 will be related to the public cloud model.

Moreover, the eventual winners of the ongoing competition within the managed cloud service delivery marketplace will likely be the new business productivity trend leaders.

Highlights from IDC's latest market study include:
  • In 2015, public cloud services will account for 46 percent of net new growth in overall IT spending in five key product categories -- applications, application development and deployment, systems infrastructure software, basic storage, and servers.
  • Software-oriented cloud services (SaaS) will account for roughly three quarters of all spending on public cloud IT services throughout the forecast. This includes all three software-oriented cloud categories, not just applications. Spending on hardware-oriented cloud services (servers and storage) will be largely driven by SaaS providers building out their infrastructure.
  • The United States will dominate overall spending throughout the forecast period, with nearly 50 percent of all public IT cloud services revenues coming from the U.S. in 2015. But regions outside the U.S. will show much stronger growth as cloud services adoption accelerates.
  • In particular, IDC found that there are more cloud services vendors and greater end user spending in Asia-Pacific and Western Europe than previously thought.
  • IDC defines public IT cloud services as those offerings designed for, and commercially offered to, a largely unrestricted marketplace of potential users. The forecast does not include revenue from private cloud deployments, which are dedicated to a specific customer.
  •  While private clouds provide businesses with the ability to specify access limitations and the level of resource dedication beyond what is currently available in public cloud offerings, IDC's expectation is that public clouds will mature and eventually incorporate many of the capabilities  -- particularly security and availability -- that make private clouds a more attractive option today.

Verizon Expands Telepresence with Tata Communications

Verizon Communications is extending the range of its TelePresence offering to enable virtual face-to-face collaboration in more locations around the world, made possible by a new agreement with Tata Communications.

The collaboration enables meetings to take place between Verizon's telepresence customers and any public or private telepresence room on the Tata Communications Global Meeting Exchange -- one of the broadest telepresence networks accessible today and a gateway to the company's public room network spanning 31 cities on five continents.

This will supplement Verizon's telepresence offering powered by its expansive global Private Internet Protocol (IP) Network service. Similarly, Tata Communications telepresence customers can use Verizon's facilities to communicate with Verizon customers.

Enterprise TelePresence replicates face-to-face interactions so realistically that it feels as though everyone is in the same room, even though they may be hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

By leveraging collaboration technology to replace in-person meetings, telepresence reduces travel time and cost while lowering the carbon emissions associated with business travel.

As a result, the service makes collaboration among employees, customers, suppliers and business partners more efficient and economical.

"Video is the new voice for business, and it's becoming more and more available to meet the changing nature of work," said Farooq Muzaffar, Verizon vice president of enterprise network and communications solutions.

"As businesses expand beyond the traditional four walls of an office building, we're seeing more of our customers turning to advanced collaboration tools like telepresence for a bigger impact on their overall productivity and performance."

Verizon and Tata Communications customers currently can use Cisco TelePresence to conduct intercarrier telepresence meetings. Plans are under way to establish similar agreements with other immersive video providers and services to further expand the availability of telepresence.

Peter Quinlan, vice president, integrated business video services, Tata Communications, said "We are delighted to welcome Verizon to our global telepresence partner ecosystem. Intercarrier connections such as this one will benefit customers by offering a broader telepresence business ecosystem that connects regardless of network or service provider. It's agreements like this that fundamentally make telepresence a truly global collaboration tool."

Managed Cloud Services: an Aggregated Market Forecast

Broadband service providers gained a 5 percent share of nearly $20 billion annual cloud services market, with 25 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) forecast to 2013 -- according to the latest aggregated market research assessment by STL Partners.

Based upon their observations, most market forecasts estimate that the total cloud services market will reach $45-50 billion revenue by 2013 or 2014 -- including the Bain forecast that was previewed at the "Americas Telco 2.0 Brainstorm" event, which was hosted by STL Partners in April 2011.

At their EMEA brainstorm event, the attendees were given an overview of the component cloud markets and examples of different cloud service approaches. They were then asked for their views on the potential share that service providers might garner from the addressable cloud revenue opportunities within each category.

In total, the attendee consensus view amounted to service providers gaining 18 percent of the revenue for cloud services -- within the next three years.

The following chart contains a summary of their findings (click to enlarge):

Demand for Managed Multi-Service Business Gateways

We're clearly in a period of global IT market transition. Enterprises are moving more applications, data and associated services to the central data center. Meanwhile, more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are relying on managed service providers to deliver various types of hosted service offerings.

These trends are driven by cost savings that are realized through consolidation -- the impact reaches beyond basic data processing requirements, as it also impacts traditional voice communication needs.

SMBs are turning to hosted Centrex service, and enterprises are moving PBX capability and SIP trunking -- a VoIP solution based on SIP protocol -- to the unified data center.

Looking to support less infrastructure on-site, branch offices and SMBs are able to consolidate multiple services into a multi-service business gateway (MSBG). According to the latest market study by In-Stat, they have forecast that the growth of MSBG revenues in the SMB market will exceed $1 billion in 2015.

"The health of the MSBG market is closely linked to the health of the worldwide economy," says Norm Bogen, VP Research at In-Stat.

Economic growth leads to the establishment of new businesses and branch offices -- essentially driving new demand for MSBGs. However, the pace of new branch offices worldwide is expected to slow over the next five years, but this will be offset by acceleration in the establishment of small businesses.

As the economy recovers, new and evolving small businesses will flourish -- plus new technology, including the MSBG, will enable small firms to be more competitive with larger firms.

In-Stat's latest market study findings include:

- Revenues generated from MSBG sales are expected to grow at a lower rate than unit shipments.

- Worldwide annual shipments of MSBGs will approach 1.8 million units by 2015.

- Cisco has gained an overwhelming share of the MSBG market.

- Nearly all MSBGs marketed for enterprise branch office applications will need to offer some form of unified communications functionality.

Enterprise Telepresence and Videoconferencing Forecast

 If you're like many multinational business leaders today, then your company exists within a complex network of vendors, customers and other collaborators. This business ecosystem is as vital to you as your employees and intellectual property. Keeping it healthy helps you maintain and grow your market share, navigate challenging economic conditions, and explore new business opportunities.

In many commercial scenarios, conducting international business and staying in touch with all your key stakeholders requires regular face-to-face communications. But sometimes you can accomplish your personal interaction objectives without the need to travel to distant places.

Infonetics Research released its current Enterprise Telepresence and Video Conferencing report, which provides insight and analysis of dedicated videoconference infrastructure and endpoints -- which includes the latest immersive telepresence applications.

Collaborating in a Global Distributed Organization

"Communicating via video continues to be one of the top trends, as evidenced by strong growth in the enterprise video market. Businesses worldwide are looking for richer means of communications with their employees, partners, and customers, and enterprise videoconferencing and telepresence solutions are a natural fit," said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

According to the findings from their latest market study, Infonetics says they believe that the biggest winners in the enterprise communications market will be those who offer solutions that are multi-modal, visual (video-based), and support the collaboration requirements of globally distributed organizations.

 Highlights of the Infonetics market study include:
  • Annual enterprise video conferencing and telepresence system revenue grew 18 percent in 2010 to $2.2 billion worldwide.
  • Infonetics expects the enterprise video conferencing and telepresence market to more than double by 2015, when it will reach $5.0 billion.
  • Due to their versatility, multi-purpose room systems account for the majority of enterprise video conferencing equipment.
  • Immersive telepresence systems are expected to have the highest growth rates of all video conferencing equipment.
  • Based upon their low cost and availability on PBXs, software-based endpoints out-ship hardware by 10:1
  • The acquisition of Tandberg propelled Cisco to the top position – based on the overall enterprise video conferencing market, with 50 percent of revenue in 2010.
  • Polycom maintains its second position for revenue, and leads for units shipped.

Hybrid Cloud Services for Industry-Specific Applications

More IT managers will turn to cloud services to accelerate their responsiveness to business needs. Quicker IT deployments, end-user self-service, and reduced start-up costs equate to faster time-to-market for many organizations. Others will want to take advantage of the ability to pivot more quickly and adapt to market changes.

Beyond the desire for better, faster and cheaper processes, cloud services will enable entirely new business models and associated revenue streams. Acceptance will advance as cloud architectures prove out the opportunities for real business innovation and new functionality.

There is no single journey to cloud adoption, but rather a wide variety of entrance ramps and paths. On the demand side, organizations have different starting points and different objectives. Fortunately, public cloud computing services can unleash an exciting mix of new technologies, architectures, and organizational approaches.

Let’s consider the needs of the evolving media sector. Innovation in business processes already struggle to keep pace with the rapid advancements in technology. While cloud computing promises to unlock new levels of automation, it could also create new opportunities for value-added systems integration and business process transformation.

Media Company Hybrid Cloud Use-Case Scenario
  • The media distribution landscape is rapidly changing from silos of video distribution (within pay-TV, broadcast, retail) to multi-channel or digital distribution.
  • Content creators perceive several dangers in digital media: piracy, loss of control or direct relationships, and disintermediation.
  • Content creators also see an opportunity in real-time media consumption data integrated across distribution channels and devices.

Role for Cloud Technologies
  • A cloud-based content registry that manages content access rights across users, content creators, distributors, and devices offers several benefits.
  • For end-consumers, the registry enables convenience, personalization, and community (with access to content on multiple devices, and new social experiences).
  • Content creators and other providers of the registry can take advantage of new business models based on real-time data, personalization, and user targeting.
  • The registry could drive incremental media purchases and greater consumption with protected content assets, enhanced discovery, and more powerful recommendation engines.

Application Considerations
  • A content registry requires significant coordination within the media industry (e.g., agreement on common methods for managing digital rights and common limits to each consumption model with rules for content use).
  • The rights of both the content creators and the end-consumers must be protected in terms of how their respective data is accessed, protected, and used.

For this scenario to succeed, a wide range of players must work in concert to deliver on the promise of hybrid cloud services. Substantial opportunities for innovation and value creation exist at all levels of the stack, from data center and virtualization design to foundational systems to end-user applications to business processes.

Home-Based Businesses to Adopt Cloud Services

Surviving the economic pressures of today has been difficult for most businesses, especially the smallest. But despite the economic downturn, Home-Based Business (HBB) appears to be a high growth sector for employment in the U.S. market. Moreover, American HBBs are showing strong signs of sustained growth plans into the foreseeable future.

According to the latest market study by AMI-Partners, there was an 11 percent increase in those who started their home-based business due to corporate downsizing last year.

When some employees are downsized from their employment at larger companies, they are motivated to create their own future employment path -- by starting their own company, based out of their home office.

"What's interesting is that 80 percent of those who became HBBs because of downsizing from a larger company do not plan to return to the corporate workforce," says Jessica Efta, manager of market development at AMI-Partners.

Committed to Ongoing Self-Employment 

Apparently, many survey respondents say they plan to stay HBBs for the long term. Utilizing today's numerous productivity-enhancing business technologies, a small business owner does not need a retail storefront or traditional office building to conduct a successful commercial operation.

Last year, sole proprietorship businesses were two thirds of the home-based business market -- this year it is only one third of the total market, indicating that some home-based businesses are growing and hiring new employees.

This trend will likely continue. Over the last year, there was a 10 percent jump in respondents who say they have plans to grow their business and hire more employees.

Business Technology and Cloud Services Adoption

According to the AMI assessment, reported revenues became positive for HBBs in 2010 and projections show positive growth expectations for 2011. As average employee size increased, so did the average PC use per company.

Cloud computing is another area of growing interest among HBBs. One quarter of U.S. home-based business owners are interested in procuring hosted applications -- nearly double the amount of their nearest peer group (small businesses operating out of a commercial setting, with fewer than 5 employees).

Considering the 16 million home-based businesses already in the U.S. market, this translates into a significant new market development opportunity for on-demand managed cloud service providers.

Public Cloud Computing and Managed Hosting Services

The promise of cloud computing and application hosting benefits are already delivering practical solutions to very real business problems, according to the latest market study by In-Stat. In fact, many small businesses are using managed cloud services as their primary method to solve a variety of IT requirements.

"Web hosting and data storage are the most obvious IT needs that can be addressed by public cloud services" says Greg Potter, Research Analyst at In-Stat.

"With the advent of Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings many businesses are realizing that much of their IT needs can be fulfilled without the need for expensive networking equipment and high-end computers."

Moreover, many small businesses are now re-visiting the use of thin clients for most of their employees, as the need for increased computer processing power is rendered moot by the cloud.

SMB IT Applications Transition to the Cloud

For the SOHO and small business market, there is considerable opportunity for a variety of cloud service providers. According to In-Stat’s latest market assessment, small business spending on public cloud services in 2010 was roughly $3 billion.

As a direct result of this growing demand, In-Stat forecast that public cloud computing revenues are set to increase well over 100 percent from 2010 to 2014.

This significant increase is changing the IT infrastructure paradigm in small office and home office (1-4 employees) and small business (5-99 employees) environments – it’s also transforming business technology application scenarios.

In-Stat’s research shows that SOHO and small businesses will comprise roughly 65 percent of the public cloud computing market in 2014.

Hybrid-Cloud Appeals to the Larger Employers

Mid-sized (100-999 employees) and enterprise (1000 and more employees) businesses have other issues to consider -- primarily security and the cost of transition, when evaluating their choices for cloud computing solutions.

For these companies the choice between public and private clouds will dominate their decision-making processes.

In-Stat believes that private clouds give businesses that are securing sensitive data an alternative to the public cloud, as they can realize cost advantages and improved utilization of IT equipment over a traditional physical infrastructure deployment.

A great number of enterprises are running virtualization software on their current infrastructure, and they’re already recognizing the cost savings yielded by utilizing cloud infrastructure.

For those companies not already utilizing a private cloud platform, In-Stat believes that the public cloud offers an appealing demand-based payment model and scalable infrastructure solution.

In the end, some large companies will very likely choose the hybrid cloud approach -- moving their mission-critical information and applications to a private cloud, and then partnering with a public cloud infrastructure service provider for their other remaining application needs.