The continued development of the cloud is having a significant impact on organisations’ attitudes towards outsourcing. Much of this growth is due to the increasing ability of the cloud to take responsibility for hosting both hardware and software, away from in-house IT teams.
The public sector has been particularly quick to spot the potential cost benefits of the cloud, helping it to tackle the challenge of reducing overheads while maintaining vital services, says Steve Shakespeare, managing director of Civica’s managed services division, including Luton Borough Council, which has recently outsourced its IT operations in a ten-year deal. In theory, the use of cloud technology should help the development of super-computing and big data as organisations can draw on almost unlimited resources as they require them. There can be other costs in making the transition, however, such as those incurred in porting mainframe systems, which are often not considered in any initial decision, he adds.
Linked in with the financial equation is the ability to attribute costs to operational – rather than capital – expenditure, meaning no upfront costs or borrowings to appear on balance sheets.
The cost argument remains compelling, but other issues are also coming to the fore, says Andrew Long, Europe, Africa and Latin America cloud strategy lead at Accenture.
Aside from these practical considerations, the cloud is now helping organisations embrace the philosophy of outsourcing as the new way of working in a digital age, says Ananthakrishnan Sankaranarayanan, vice president, Europe, at Indian IT and telecoms firm Tech Mahindra. There are strong business arguments in favour of this model, he adds, including only having to pay for what is consumed and enabling businesses to put together outcome-based contracting modules with customers with a degree of confidence. Using this solution means the business can “drag and drop” internal applications on to the cloud, he says, and either retain them there or bring them back in-house at a later date. In the longer term, the cloud could have an impact on the nature of IT outsourcing more generally, says Andrew Brabban, director of application services, international business, at Fujitsu UK & Ireland.
Yet there are issues that organisations thinking of outsourcing some or all of their IT infrastructure or applications to the cloud should consider and, as always, security is top of the list. Kurt Hagerman, chief information security officer at FireHost, says that in some cloud environments security has been “bolted on”, almost as an afterthought.
Organisations also need to ensure they don’t sign up to onerous contracts they may regret further down the line. Premium publisher of current affairs and special reports on business, finance, tech and healthcare. If you watch the quiz show "Jeopardy" on television this week, you will no doubt be amazed at what you see—a computer from IBM named Watson.
Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting. Predictive analytics uses past data to forecast outcomes and target the right prospects – a move that's redefining the use of data and insights in marketing. Failure to invest in these key app development items upfront could result in a substantial amount of lost time and money down the road. Enterprise performance management platforms can help save money and improve the chances for a successful M&A integration. In technology, the need for specific skills rises and falls for a number of reasons, some simple and others complex.
Four areas will beat the path toward how technology jobs will look five years from now: the cloud, mobility, employees’ demand to do company work on their personal devices (BYOD), and smart computing.
As technology becomes baked into the very center of everything from how businesses operate to the most basic ways people live their lives, the term “digital” creeps more toward obsolescence every day. Upwards of 56 million jobs from a variety of industries are at risk of heading offshore over the next five to 15 years?

I think the 56 million numbers are a WAG to begin with, but there are other trends at work that could make that kind of job loss a reality anyway. According to research conducted by managed services provider Claranet, 73 per cent of organisations now use some form of cloud service, up from 62 per cent in 2012. Using a private cloud, the council now hosts a range of applications, data and infrastructure in a virtualised environment, he adds.
Mick Briggs, head of IT service operations at Cancer Research UK, has recently overseen a move towards a “hybrid” set-up using VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Service, based around a software-defined data centre.
Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. More organizations will begin thinking, acting and building applications and infrastructure like Web giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook. Get the weekly Dice Advisor with a digest of freshly posted jobs, tech news headlines & career advice. Social computing, business intelligence, cloud computing, mobility, smart computing and the spread of employees bringing their own devices to work are becoming common things. Because the strategies and goals of IT and the company as a whole are increasingly interdependent. There, they have access to a pool of highly skilled tech workers who accept less money for what they do. The proliferation of cheap efficient robotics has the potential to cause mass unemployment on a grand scale. The most significant growth was found in the mid-market sector, where 81 per cent of organisations now make use of the cloud, rising from 65 per cent in 2012. IBM's Watson signals a new era in computing, where computers will increasingly be built and optimized for specific tasks and be able to learn. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Web-scale IT does not happen immediately, but will evolve over time as commercial hardware platforms embrace the new models and cloud-optimized and software-defined approaches reach mainstream. These trends are expected to have a significant impact on organizations over the next three years and may require major investment. We did just that, and the result is this package of stories that examines how technology and business will evolve over the next five years, and describes how it will impact your career. If anything, that dependency is going to deepen as businesses look to increase revenue while cutting costs, fattening the profit margin and using technical innovation as a competitive tool. The impact of that could be huge: Upwards of 56 million jobs from a variety of industries are at risk of heading offshore over the next five to 15 year. We are improving the technology and bringing the prices down to the point of actually threatening the replacement of cheap foreign workers with domestic robots. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co.
The first step toward the Web-scale IT future for many organizations should be DevOps — bringing development and operations together in a coordinated way to drive rapid, continuous incremental development of applications and services.
As with any changes to business processes, these trends will affect IT departments and end users, as well as long-term planning, programs and initiatives. Once you have subtracted retirees, children, unemployed, and indigent living on public assistance, that 56 million jobs number could be summed up in three words; National Security Threat.

The objective was to answer the question, a€?What has happened within our organization?a€? In the past few years, we saw the rise of big data and predictive analytics.
The coming year's trends will be focused on merging the real and virtual worlds, data intelligence gathering, and shifting to a digital business model. This kind of threat will bring about punitive tariffs on a grand scale as government tries to stop the bleeding. This involves analyzing vast amounts of data to predict what is about to happen.The future of big data, however, lies with prescriptive analytics. The objective of prescriptive analytics is not only to predict future outcomes, but also to make recommendations based on those outcomes. The IBM Challenge" will pit the two greatest champions in the show's history against a computing system that will rival their ability to deliver a single, precise answer to a "Jeopardy" clue.
Click to enlarge.Prescriptive analytics can be seen as the last step in really knowing your organization.
However, it is still really in the beginning and, in the 2013 Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies by Gartner, it was called an a€?Innovation Triggera€? that will require another five to 10 years to reach mainstream. Currently, it is estimated that only 3 percent of companies use prescriptive analytics, and even those do it with structured data only.Despite being so new, prescriptive analytics promises to be extremely powerful and accurate in its predictions. The IBM Challenge" poses a specific question with very real business implications: Can a system be designed that applies advanced data management and analytics to natural language to uncover a single, reliable insight—in a fraction of a second? Prescriptive algorithms use a large variety of techniques, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and mathematical sciences, to understand the impact of future decisions and adjust actual decisions based on that outcome. For Watson to rival the speed of its human competitors in delivering a single, precise answer to a question requires custom algorithms, terabytes of storage and thousands of Power7 computing cores working in a massively parallel system. During every trip, it makes multiple decisions about what to do based on predictions of future outcomes. For example, when approaching an intersection, the car needs to determine whether to go left or right and, based on various future possibilities, it makes a decision. So, the car needs to anticipate what might be coming in terms of traffic, pedestrians, etc. Another application is to use prescriptive analytics to optimize the materials and equipment necessary to pump oil out of the ground or to optimize scheduling, production, inventory and supply chain design to deliver the right products in the right amount in the most optimized way for the right customers on time.With prescriptive analytics, things are being done a little bit differently.
They are programmed in such a way that they can take over and adapt based on changes in established parameters, instead of humans controlling the algorithms. With algorithms optimizing automatically, their ability to predict the future becomes better with time.Of course, in order to do that, massive amounts of data are required. And although prescriptive analytics is currently the focus of only a few big data startups, prescriptive analytics has tremendous potential be a disruptive force on businesses and how decisions are made. He is presenting a€?Correlating Sales Data with Customer Behavior Data to Improve Sales and Customer Interaction,a€? a webcast hosted by Data Informed, on Tuesday, June 17.

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