Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Agile Computing: Article

Enterprise Cloud Computing Applications: It's Just the Beginning

We are only just beginning to imagine what a true Cloud-based Enterprise Application can mean

The term Cloud Computing is getting a lot of air play these days — it is the computing equivalent of a U.S. Presidential Election. It has loads of twists and turns, plenty of eager participants, lots of money being spent on it and it gets to consume large amounts of the news cycle...often without a lot of new information. We are only just beginning to imagine what a true Cloud-based Enterprise Application can mean in terms of the new business model opportunities it will create.

The term “Cloud Computing” is getting a lot of air play these days — it is the computing equivalent of a U.S. Presidential Election. It has loads of twists and turns, plenty of eager participants, lots of money being spent on it and it gets to consume large amounts of the news cycle…often without a lot of new information. So what exactly is “Cloud Computing”? I’m gonna have a crack at answering that question and (as an encore) talk a little about where Workday stands in the whole Cloud Computing debate….

The Wikipedia definition of Cloud Computing provides a mainly technology focused narrative that outlines the core technical elements involved in computing that resides in the cloud — wherever that is! My definiton is somewhat different. I’ll propose that Cloud Computing is “the business model opportunities that emerge when applications delivered over the network are open, extensible and interoperable”.

Cloud Computing Taxonomy

Let’s look at what’s out there.

The spectrum of offerings within Cloud Computing starts to the left, with providers of generic capabilities like hosting, moving across to Web-based development platforms and business-specific solutions. It is also useful to think of it as starting with infrastructure and technology and moving through to domain-specific application ecosystems.

The middle of this axis — commonly referred to as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) — has attracted a great deal of attention. Companies like salesforce.com, coghead and bungee are working to create generic application development and deployment platforms. These are designed to enable 3rd party developers to both build and deploy applications that reside in the cloud. (Of course applications built for the Salesforce cloud won’t run on the Coghead cloud — and vice versa).

The business models and motivations for companies wanting to offer technologies and solutions at different points in the axis are clearly very different. However, there are a number of observations that can be made:

  1. While it never lived up to the pre-bubble hype, hosting has become a real business. Loads of companies are outsourcing some or all of their datacenters. Even on-demand players look to datacenter specialists to take care of things like power, Internet connectivity and physical security. It has also driven new standards and efficiencies as we shift from servers and switches being the products to uptime and bandwidth.
  2. For PaaS, there is a lot of historic precedent for the perspective that owning the most popular development platform is a strategic goal in and of itself. (For those of you old enough to remember it is worth recalling the Steve Ballmer “develper, developer rant“). You can argue whether Cloud Computing itself is the new platform, or just the infrastructure for PaaS providers.
  3. In the world of domain specific applications, connectivity has become table stakes. (Salesforce talks to facebook talks to LinkedIn talks to Workday). Not only it is imperative for these applications to expose APIs and to provide excellent tools for people to manipulate them, the connectivity between applications and services is rapidly moving to point-and-click. Integrations that used to take a busload of consultants are now delivered more like a google mashup (albeit with enterprise-class security and availability).

It’s About Business

Each of these models and approaches is fundamentally dependent on the existence of the Cloud. I firmly believe that the most important part of Cloud Computing is around the new business models it engenders. In the same way that Google and others have broken the mold in terms of business models for the Internet, I think that Cloud Computing is going to fundamentally change the rules in the Enterprise Application space — and i think we’re only beginning to understand the changes that are possible. However, it stands to reason (at least to me), that when you tear down the walls that surround Enterprise Applications and you start making them interoperable and massively extensible, then new and unplanned things are going to happen.

And the encore…

Here at Workday, we are working on some very specific problems we want to solve with Cloud Computing, focused on what our customers need to run their businesses. Right now, we are making it easy for key third parties such as Healthcare providers and Payroll providers to plug into our applications. This enables us to create specific business value for our customers — our HR systems just work with their existing payroll and benefits providers. No big integrations, no patches, no upgrades. The connection is part of the service.

Over time, our strategy is to expose more and more of our application functionality as Web Services, and we are only just beginning to imagine what a true Cloud-based Enterprise Application can mean in terms of the new business model opportunities it will create. What’s potentially most exciting, is that as we connect to more applications and expose more of our functionality, the community contributing ideas will expand well beyond our current ecosystem. That may be the most important new business model of all.

More Stories By Annrai O'Toole

Annrai O'Toole is VP of Integration at Workday, which he joined in via the acquisition of Cape Clear in 2008. As the leader of Integration On Demand for Workday, O'Toole drives the delivery of making Workday "the easiest application to integrate with." Prior to joining Cape Clear, O'Toole founded and served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of IONA Technologies. He began his career working with many European and international standards bodies to develop standards for software interoperability. With these and other initiatives, he has helped define the direction of the computer industry.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...