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Thinking smarter in the cloud

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Organisations are spending up to 70% of their IT budget on simply keeping the organisation running, and this has serious financial implications for the business.

Clifford Foster, CTO at IBM sub-Saharan Africa, explored the synergies between cloud computing, software-as-a-service, virtualisation and service-oriented architecture, during yesterday's ITWeb Cloud Computing conference in Bryanston.

Foster called for businesses to think smarter about managing their technology differently, in order to keep up with the exponential growth of data. “The world is changing and is becoming increasingly instrumented.

“We have about 33 billion RFID tags sold globally. We are gathering information in real-time and everything is becoming interconnected. We have four billion mobile subscribers, two billion Internet users, and we have a trillion interconnected devices.”

Solving problems

Foster pointed out that cloud computing is capable of helping organisations solve many of their business problems: “We have information generated and managed on such a scale so we can prevent problems before they happen, prevent power outages, and water contamination.”

Foster said IDC research reveals that 85% of computing capacity stands idle in computer centres, which results in a waste of energy resources. He added that cloud computing brings cost benefits to IT, as the hosted environment is provided on a pay-per-use basis as a services contract.

“Cloud computing is not new. However, cloud computing involves a paradigm-shift that catalyses many existing technologies and approaches.

“Cloud computing is an infrastructure management and services delivery methodology. We are truly at the point where we are generating enough information and economic activity to make it very viable.”

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