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Category: Market News (58)

  • Technology is Changing Sports

    Article by Matt Sottile, Recruiter in Jobspring Boston

    Regardless of what sports you follow, odds are you’re using your smartphone or tablet to track scores, stats, news, or your fantasy teams. With the football season in full swing, many people spend their Sundays watching the games and taking in all that there is about football. It’s no surprise tech becomes an important factor while watching games. From checking your fantasy player real-time stats, posting a status about an incredible upset on Facebook, or live tweeting about your favorite team, it seems like technology has helped create a new way to experience the game. And in this age, sports apps can do a lot more to help fans, from watching live video streams to managing their fantasy teams. There even is an emergence of mobile apps that focus on the social aspect of sports. Fancred, a Boston based mobile app, allows fans to create forums around their favorite teams and allows those who are far away from the stadium to still feel connected to the team. Spogo, another Boston-based app, changes how people watch games with each other at the bar, allowing people to compete for prizes and cash while watching games with friends.

    For those who prefer to watch games on a slightly bigger screen, the way that games are presented on television has even evolved! One of those ways is through the NFL Red Zone, which is produced by NFL Network. The basic idea is that the channel follows every NFL game on Sunday afternoons, delivering the touchdowns and most exciting moments as they happen, all in high definition. When a team goes inside the 20-yard line, NFL RedZone takes fans there. The channel’s focus is to keeps fans up-to-date in real time, switching from game to game with live look-ins, highlights, and a chance to see the key plays. While this innovation came around in 2009, the idea of having information delivered in real-time is still relevant to today’s sport watchers. With the ability to access information instantly through our smartphones and tablets, it only makes sense that the way games are shown is instant too. It is pretty exciting to watch your favorite team on one screen and quickly glance over to watch your fantasy running back score a touchdown on Red Zone.

    The question, however, is with all these new ways of watching the games, do we still get the same satisfaction and enjoyment as if we were at the stadium watching the game live? Better yet, does this new way of receiving information about football make watching a full game more exciting? Of course this all depends on what kind of fan you are. For some, there is nothing that can truly beat the roar of a full football stadium on a Monday night. While it doesn’t seem like the pastime of watching games with friends and family is going to end anytime soon, it is an interesting concept to think about how technology truly has changed how we watch and enjoy games, and how much we rely on it to get the most out of our game day experience. 

  • Jobspring Partners' Weekly Market Knowledge Report

    Every Monday in our Jobspring offices around the country, the recruiters participate in “Market Knowledge” – a chance to share articles to inform the office about what is going on in the tech markets in our cities. Since we find this knowledge share so useful, we thought that we could start sharing some of these articles with our blog readers! So here are the articles that our cities found the most useful and informative:

    Boston

    New Massachusetts tech tax hurts job creation, Pioneer Valley software companies consider court fight (MassLive)

    With the vague new tech tax looming, Massachusetts companies are preparing for a fight.

    Submitted by: Phill Perkins

    Survey Finds Entrepreneurs Are Happy to Be in Boston (BostInno.com)

    The New England Venture Capital Association decided to find out just how happy Boston’s innovators are.

    Submitted by: Andrew Baker

    Chicago

    Groupon moves in on Google, Yahoo with global marketing effort  (Chicago Tribune)

    Groupon Inc. has introduced a global affiliate program to distribute its deals more widely.

    Submitted by:  Katie King

    Big data: Recruiting future or fad?  (Chicago Tribune)

    Want to learn more about Big Data? Check out #TechInMotion – Big Data with the Obama for America Campaign.

    Submitted by:  Nick Direso

    Los Angeles

    Beats Electronics Buys Back Shares From HTC  (SoCal Tech)

    Los Angeles-based Beats Audio and smartphone maker HTC are in a deal where Beats will buy back 25% of its total shares from HTC…

    Submitted By: Charlotte Haun

    LogMeIn’s Join.me Can Now Record Meetings & Save Them To Cubby, The Company’s Alternative To Dropbox  (Tech Crunch)

    Join.me is adding a trio of features designed to better support its business users…

    Submitted By: Dana Henderson

    Orange County

    Apple will ship two new iPhones in 'early September,' says WSJ (The Verge)

    Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5S, on September 10th. Rumors and leaked photos suggest Apple is also prepping to announce a new, less costly iPhone with a plastic build that will be available in a variety of colors.

    Submitted by: Kevin Lin

    Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch is real, and it's not a phone (The Verge)  

    Although the Gear was identified as being able to “make phone calls”, the smartwatch will not be a phone, but instead be able to work with phones.

    Submitted by: Kevin Lin

    Philadelphia

    eMoney Advisor: Conshohocken software firm to open San Diego office (Technically Philly)

    The new office coincides with the launch of the latest version of 360, eMoney Advisor's web-based software.

    Submitted by:  Keith Wilson

    More women finding jobs in tech sector  (USA Today)

    Talks about women gaining more of a foothold in the technology field and addresses the gender gap in tech employment.

    Submitted by:  Kevin Maas

    San Francisco

    Apple Begins Power Adapter Trade-In Program (ABC News)


    Apple is starting a third party charger trade-in program, to rid the world of fake apple chargers after a woman in China was electrocuted with one of these chargers.  Bring your third party charger in for an Apple brand charger for $9.

    Submitted by: Sarah Filippo

    Why Microsoft’s 3D Printing Partnership Makes Sense (Tech Crunch)

    Microsoft is partnering with Makerbot, recognized as the “Kleenex” of the 3D printing market. This is a major move by Microsoft to take an early market share of the 3D printing market and move the technology into the mainstream.

    Submitted by: Matthew Wilson

    Silicon Valley

    LinkedIn targets college-bound teens (SV Business Journal)

    Beginning Sept. 12th, teens ages 14 and older will be able to create LinkedIn profiles.

    Submitted by Jessica Chandler

    Google Plans to Track your Gaze for Ad Dollars (SV Business Journal)

    Google was recently approved for a pay-per-gaze patent. Will this revive print advertising!?

    Submitted by Daniel Urbaniak

     

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  • Want to Work from Home? Apple says "no problem!"

    Q&A with Ashley Verrill, Software Advice


    Every week our office conducts Market Knowledge Monday, as a fun way to stay up-to-date on industry news and educate blog readers on what’s going on in the tech markets of some the Jobspring office cities. During a recent Market Knowledge Monday, Shane Tomlinson filled us in on a TechCrunch article, which discussed how Apple trains their At-Home Advisors, a group of customer service representatives who work remotely. We wanted to learn more about the tools and training methods Apple employs for their remote teams, so we followed up with the article’s author, Software Advice CRM Analyst Ashley Verrill, to find out how other technology companies might leverage Apple’s tactics.


    Jobspring Partners: In your article you discuss the “At-Home Advisors” program at Apple, which is for employees who are hired remotely and never enter an Apple office. Do Apple employees who work on one of their campuses have a telecommuting option?  And if so, how do they become eligible for it? And what is their training process?


    Ashley: The only people I interviewed for this article were the at-home advisors, so I can’t really speak to that with exact certainty (I did get a hold of Apple, but they refused to comment). However, I did get some really active discussion on the article from people who claimed to work for Apple, who said they don’t have an official telecommuting policy. One person said they work in an onsite call center providing “chat” support for Apple and can work overtime from home (specifically, she said “we can also work as much overtime as we want, which includes taking PlayStation games home over the weekend to test them out.”). So, it’s possible their policy varies by department or is less defined than what they use for their at-home advisors. I would definitely be interested to know more details. Maybe they’ll read our interview and chime in!


    Jobspring Partners: In your opinion, could Apple’s At-Home training program work for similar tech companies? Or does it only work because Apple is such a successful, well known company?


    Ashley: Yes to both questions, because there are some tactics that could work for other companies, and others that only Apple can get away with because everyone wants Apple on their resume. For the latter, I think some of the intense monitoring they do during training, as far as watching mouse movements and calling your cell phone if they suspect you aren’t there, would cause a lot of candidates to head for the hills in another context. But then there are things like the way Apple fosters camaraderie that I think could be really successful for any company. The biggest complaint I hear from remote workers in general is that they feel really isolated. This doesn’t sound like someone who is engaged and excited about what they’re doing, which inevitably leads to turnover issues.


    Apple always starts trainings in groups of 20-100 people all in the same area. They meet for “class” online all at the same time and constantly chat and even talk on the phone with each other during training. Between classes, the moderators encourage trainees to talk about themselves. One of the advisors I spoke to talked about a crazy hat day where everyone turned on their camera to show their hat. Another person talked about days where everyone sent pictures of their lunch. This sounds kind of juvenile on the surface, and the folks I spoke to laughed about it, but it was clearly successful. Even people that no longer work at Apple told me they keep in touch with other former advisors.


    Jobspring Partners: You discuss the tactics for At-Home training quite extensively but do not address the technologies used in the training process. For instance, is the video chat feature that managers employ, Skype? Or has Apple created their own software simply for this training program?


    Ashley: The advisors I spoke to mentioned using Cisco’s WebEx for online meetings, iDesk for content and lluminate Education for training modules, which is interesting because that’s actually made for K-12 educators. Then, of course, every advisor is shipped a box before training with an iMac desktop computer, headset and their phone. Some advisors said they would get other products, depending on which division they were providing support for (services versus hardware).


    Jobspring Partners: Outside of their managers, do remote employees have contact with employees that work on Apple’s campuses, or are their remote teams within their “city hubs” their only connection to the Apple family?


    Ashley: They didn’t talk a lot about contact with any other physical Apple locations. One of the first things they do in training is talk about the culture, Steve Jobs, and working from the corporate office. They watch some videos and see pictures of the main office. Beyond that though, they don’t make a concerted effort to connect remote works with physical locations. Some of the workers actually work for a contractor after training is over, so they are technically employed by someone else.


    Jobspring Partners: In your research, were you able to get in touch with any managers of the At-Home Advisors program? And if so, do they have any advice for other managers in how to monitor and manage remote employees?


    Ashley: No, but the advisors all spoke extremely positively about their managers. They said they made a real effort to “speak at their level.” They weren’t stuck on a high horse, and they were really proactive about making sure everyone in the group understood all of the training and were successful in the role. If someone failed a test, they would take time to review what answers they did get wrong and help them study up for the retake. They talked a lot about feedback, but not in a negative way. If something went wrong in their mock call, the whole group would immediately talk about it. This made it feel less like someone just wagging a finger at you. The advisors talked about them as being “mentors.

    Metrics are also extremely important for advisors’ success after training. Remote workers are monitored extremely closely, primarily by way of time-to-resolution and customer satisfaction. The agents with the best performance get the better schedules, time off, and even prizes like lunch paid for by Apple. So, I think as long as companies set clear expectations and have methods for monitoring performance of remote workers, they can moderate any productivity issues. 

  • Jobspring Partners' Weekly Market Knowledge Report

    Every Monday in our Jobspring offices around the country, the recruiters participate in “Market Knowledge” – a chance to share articles to inform the office about what is going on in the tech markets in our cities. Since we find this knowledge share so useful, we thought that we could start sharing some of these articles with our blog readers! So here are the articles that our cities found the most useful and informative:

    Boston

    How Apple Gets At-Home Workers To Work (TechCrunch.com)

    In contrast to Yahoo’s strict “no working from home” policy, Apple has found a way to determine which employees are well-suited to work from home.

    Submitted by: Shane Tomlinson

    Tide turning against use of noncompete agreements in Mass. (Boston Business Journal)

    In the state of Massachusetts, noncompete agreements may soon be a thing of the past.

    Submitted by: Matt Sottile

    Chicago

    Twitter prepares to fly IPO  (USA Today)

    Twitter appears to be getting ready to issue stock to the public in the wake of social media companion Facebook's return to favor on Wall Street.

    Submitted by: Jaime Hecker

    Business is Like Candy Crush*  (LinkedIn)

    This article will make no sense to anyone unfamiliar with the game; stop reading now if you don't play Candy Crush; or play Candy Crush, and then revisit this post.

    Submitted by:  Nicholas Direso

    Los Angeles

    Baby Boomers Sharpen Their Skills With Tech Classes  (CBS News)

    Several baby boomers are taking leaps with technology to make sure they can keep up in the workforce.

    Submitted By: Sam Shaw

    Entertainment and Technology Meet in Hollywood’s Backyard  (Variety.com)

    Intersection between Hollywood and Silicon Valley growing.

    Submitted By: Elise Rheiner

    San Francisco

    IT jobs at an all-time high, Again!  (StaffingIndustry.com)

    IT jobs at an all-time high, again. IT employment increased by 5.9 percent on a year-over-year basis, adding almost 251,500 IT workers.

    Submitted by Morgan Khodayari

    LinkedIn Now Lets Jobseekers Apply For Positions Directly Via Its Mobile Apps (TechCrunch)

    LinkedIn Now Lets Jobseekers Apply For Positions Directly Via Its Mobile Apps, without having to use a resume.

    Submitted by: Summer Ramsey

    Silicon Valley

    The Cultural Revolution Businesses Cannot Afford to Ignore(Linked In)

    Businesses don’t utilize mobile apps for employees to work off smartphones.

    Submitted by: Ernie Molieri

    Google glass software update (Tech Crunch)

    New Software update. New video player, Evernote integration.

    Submitted by: Brad White

     

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  • Jobspring Partners' Weekly Market Knowledge Report

    Every Monday in our Jobspring offices around the country, the recruiters participate in “Market Knowledge” – a chance to share articles to inform the office about what is going on in the tech markets in our cities. Since we find this knowledge share so useful, we thought that we could start sharing some of these articles with our blog readers! So here are the articles that our cities found the most useful and informative:

    Boston

    Welcome to Massachusetts’ new innovation tax(Boston Business Journal)

    Throughout Massachusetts any company within the IT consulting industry must charge a 6.25% sales tax on all services provided.

    Submitted by: Adam Salk

    5 tips for Boston tech firms to attract talented interns (Boston Business Journal)

    These 5 tips are essential when looking to hire interns as well as full-time employees.

    Submitted by: Carole Sagliano

    Chicago

    College Students Looking To Chicago For Tech Careers  (CBS Chicago)

    College students looking for high tech careers say Chicago is becoming more and more attractive as a place to work.

    Submitted by:Greg Olsen

    20 Things 20-Year-Olds Don't Get  (Forbes)

    “Call me a curmudgeon, but at 34, how I came up seems so different from what this millennial generation expects.”

    Submitted by:Lauren Rice

    New York

    New York City's Culture Will Shape the Next Tech Sector (Harvard Business Review)              

    While no one can dispute Silicon Valley embodies the quintessential technology culture, there's another piece of the culture equation that matters just as much for startups now: diversity.

    Submitted by: Joseph Kern

    LinkedIn Now Lets Jobseekers Apply For Positions Directly Via Its Mobile Apps (Tech Crunch)

    Will LinkedIn’s new mobile application feature eliminate the need for resumes in the future?

    Submitted by: Lesley Chow

    Orange County

    PEAR Takes On Fitness Tracking, Workouts (SoCalTech)

    Irvine-based PEAR Sports announced this morning that it has launched a new product that uses a heart rate monitor and your smartphone to provide customized coaching and fitness training.

    Submitted by:  Nicole Torretta

    MicroPower Technologies Finds $5.7M In Funding (SoCalTech)

    San Diego-based MicroPower Technologies, which develops wireless, solar-powered surveillance hardware, has raised $5.7M in an equity funding.

    Submitted by:  Nicole Torretta  

    San Francisco

    Social Media Aggregator RebelMouse Raises $10.25M (Tech Crunch)

    A new platform including all of your social media, constantly updated, on one home page – ‘social front page’.

    Submitted by: Caitlin Van Horn

    Move Over Google Glass — GlassUp Is A Less Creepy And Much Cheaper Pair Of AR Specs(Tech Crunch)

    Glass Up is developing more realistic version of Google Glass to appear more like regular glasses. Glass up features enhanced privacy software, a mapping system, internet access and a text message feature.

    Submitted by Alyssa Wood

    Silicon Valley

    Obama administration rejects ban on some Apple products (Silicon Valley Business Journal)

    President Obama overturned an ITC ban on some older Apple products over the weekend. It was the first time that a president used this type of veto power since 1987.

    Submitted by: Scott Purcell

    Webflow Allows Users to Design Their Own Websites

    Webflow is a responsive web design platform that allows users to launch their website the same day the design is made. It doesn’t require users to export their design to code.

    Submitted by: Victor Chu

     

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  • Jobspring Partners' Weekly Market Knowledge Report

    Every Monday in our Jobspring offices around the country, the recruiters participate in “Market Knowledge” – a chance to share articles to inform the office about what is going on in the tech markets in our cities. Since we find this knowledge share so useful, we thought that we could start sharing some of these articles with our blog readers! So here are the articles that our cities found the most useful and informative this week:

    Boston

    Bay Area Tech Wages Are The Nation’s Highest at $123K, But Should Entrepreneurs Look Elsewhere As Costs Rise? (TechCrunch)

    The SF Bay Area holds claim to the highest tech wages but due to the high cost of living, that may not be enough to sell emerging entrepreneurs—who many expect will opt for locations where more bang for their buck is the name of the game.

    Submitted by: Shane Tomlinson

    Snapshots for fun – and profit  (The Boston Herald)

    Thanks to three Boston locals we can start getting paid for the amazing photos we capture on our camera phones.

    Submitted by: Andrew Baker

    Chicago

    iOS continues to top Android in mobile Web traffic  (CNET)

    For the third week of July, iOS grabbed 63 percent of the traffic across 70 mobile Web sites, while Android scooped up 28 percent.

    Submitted by: Lauren Rice

    9 Low-to-No Cost Marketing Tips for Startups  (Tech Cocktail)

    Great marketing tips that don’t cost that much money.

    Submitted by: Lindsey Jefferson

    Los Angeles

    Netflix says it will produce original documentaries, stand-up comedy specials  (The Verge)

    Netflix plans to produce full-length documentaries and comedy shows for its streaming customers.

    Submitted By: Joe Vassel

    How to Block the Royal Baby News on Facebook, Twitter  (ABC News)

    Could you care less about the Royal Baby? Then you need to read up on this…

    Submitted By: Matt Devine

    Orange County

    Long Beach tech intends to create an environment for creativity, entrepreneurial growth  (Long Beach Business Journal)

    Long Beach group that is starting up and growing. Trying to bring the tech community together, and bring more tech jobs to Long Beach.

    Submitted by:  Simon Asraf

    Southern California Firms Get $587.0M In Venture Capital In Q2  (SoCalTech)

    Southern California companies received over $580 million in venture capitalist funding in Q2. Orange County specifically received $160 million dollars in Q2

    Submitted by:  Simon Asraf

    San Francisco

    30 Important Women 30 or Under in Tech  (Business Insider)

    Young Women breaking through as leaders in the Tech Industry – CEOs, Founders, Venture Capitalists.

    Submitted by: Melissa Tobia

    Facial Recognition Technology recognizes Celebrities  (CNET)

    New technology NEC software can identify celebrities and other glam customers in real time and send an alert to retail or hospitality personnel that someone is in immediate need of doting service.

    Submitted by: Ciara Ormsby

    Silicon Valley

    Withings Pulse Review is a Step Closer to Activity Tracker Perfection  (Techcrunch)

    So Pulse is an activity tracker that can track steps walked, distance travelled, calories burned and can also check your pulse. The cool thing is that you don’t have to wear it on your wrist! You can keep it in your pocket!

    Submitted by Leah Evans

    Why the Biggest Obstacle for Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Might Be Tunnels  (Paleofuture)

    Elon Musk drops hints of revealing hyperloop designs on August 13th.

    Submitted by Andy Lee

    Toronto

    Apple buys Canadian big data start-up Locationary  (Chicago Tribune)

    The Cupertino, Calif., tech giant has acquired the team and technology of Toronto-based Locationary, according to a report by All Things D.

    Submitted by:  Kelly Banser

     

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  • Jobspring Partners' Weekly Market Knowledge Report

    Every Monday in our Jobspring offices around the country, the recruiters participate in “Market Knowledge” – a chance to share articles to inform the office about what is going on in the tech markets in our cities. Since we find this knowledge share so useful, we thought that we could start sharing some of these articles with our blog readers! So here are the articles that our cities found the most useful and informative:

    Boston

    Mark43 raises $1.95M for software to bring police into the 21st century  (Boston Business Journal)

    Mark43, formerly known as Nucleik, is using the money won from the Harvard University President’s Challenge entrepreneur competition to create an app that will help police track data more efficiently than the current system that’s in place.

    Submitted by: Samantha Schoeneberger

    Yottaa, Going the Last Mile in Mobile, Lands $16M More in VC  (Xconomy)

    Yottaa has finally received what many say is the last push they need in VC funding before becoming a true industry leader.

    Submitted by: Andrew Baker

    Chicago

    Yelp launches food delivery and pickup service  (Chicago Tribune)

    Review site Yelp Inc. is allowing users to order food online for delivery and pickup, partnering with businesses such as Eat24 and Delivery.com.

    Submitted by: Katelyn King

    Startup Institute Launches a Startup School in Chicago  (Tech Cocktail)

    Today, Startup Institute announced its expansion to Chicago with an 8 week startup course, joining markets like New York and Boston.

    Submitted by:  Lauren Rice

    Los Angeles

    How Mark Suster became a go-to guy for tech start-ups  (LA Times)

    Mark Suster, managing partner at venture capital firm Upfront Ventures, is a big proponent of L.A.'s growing tech scene. Here's his career path and some advice.

    Submitted By: Jenna Passin

    The Quirkiest Tech of 2013(Tech News Daily)

    This article shares some of the most unusual tech gadgets of 2013.

    Submitted By: Sam Shaw

    New York

    City's financial-tech startups raise record sum (Crains New York)

    Silicon Alley is extending to Wall Street as financial-technology investment reaches an all-time high in New York City.

    Submitted by:  Alexandra Layman

    Shapeways CEO: 3D Printing Can Fully Disrupt Views on Manufacturing (Xconomy)

    Shapeways, a 3D printing company, talks about the possibilities 3D printing will bring to the economy.

    Submitted by:  Rory Smith

    Orange County

    Payoff.com Gets $4.5M More For Online Personal Finance Tools (SoCalTech)

    Payoff.com is a free online service based in Long Beach, CA that helps people reach their financial goals and pay off their debt using online rewards, peer pressure and social tools, with the ultimate goal of building better, life-long financial habits.

    Submitted by: Asha Vaswani

    Hubber Launches Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals at LAX (SoCalTech)

    A new, Los Angeles startup, Hubber, has just launched a new service which turns your car into a cash cow for travelers--instead of a cash sink--by letting people rent out their cars from a parking lot at LAX

    Submitted by: Asha Vaswani

    San Francisco

    Y Combinator-Backed SpoonRocket Delivers Healthy Gourmet Meals To Users For Just $6 Each (TechCrunch)

    SpoonRocket seeks to provide ultra-cheap gourmet meals that can be delivered within minutes of ordering them – alternative to fast food and cooking at home.

    Submitted by: Wyatt Leedy

    CrunchBase And AngelList Have A Partnership (TechCrunch)

    Time saving partnership between CrunchBase and AngelList to sync your information.

    Submitted by: Caitlin Van Horn

     

    Silicon Valley

    IT Employment Hits New All Time High  (Silicon Valley Business Journal)

    It’s a candidates market and a great time to be in technology! According to statistics, about 4.5 million Americans currently work in tech which is a 5.7% increase from this time last year.

    Submitted by:  Shana Cohen

    Tinder Officially Arrives on Android  (techcrunch)

    Tinder is now available on multiple platforms (not just the iPhone).

    Submitted by Justin Jewett

     

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  • A Hammer is to Nails as Cloud computing is to…?

    By: Mark Eisenberg, Cloud Visionary and Former Member of Windows Azure Sales Team

    A Hammer is to Nails as Cloud computing is to…?

    a) Cost reduction

        b)    Fast time to market

     c)      Problems of scale

        Full disclosure – I cheated. I could have given you option (d) all of the above. Read on to see why that is not the best answer. 

    If you’ve been listening to all of the buzz about cloud computing, you might think the correct answer is (a). The question you have to ask when considering whether the cloud will reduce your costs is “compared to what?” Human resources and process are more fundamental to the cost of IT operations than are the infrastructure itself. And even if the analysis yields a result that indicates that moving to a hosted solution makes sense, it may still be the case that traditional outsourcing solutions are more cost effective.

    Similarly, while there is much talk about how quickly infrastructure can be provisioned in the cloud, that part of the application development and deployment process is, in reality, minor. The real challenge most organizations face is the sheer burden of their own processes. And as with the cost discussion, there are many traditional outsourcing providers that allow infrastructure to be provisioned rapidly.

    Cloud computing does not uniquely solve problems of cost or agility. And if a technology is not bringing something new to the table, why discuss it? Let’s talk about the unique value cloud computing brings to the conversation. Mainly answer (c), as cloud computing is to problems of scale.

    What is meant by “problems of scale”? Until the rise of the World Wide Web, enterprise applications defined large scale. It’s almost quaint to think of how those were ever considered big problems by today’s standards. Customers were measured in thousands and transactions in millions. Compare that to the task Google set for itself of examining and indexing every word in every page on the internet. This introduced the concept of “web scale”. Netflix is another example of a web scale application. But scaled in a different direction. Rather than Google’s massive number of small data points that are collected and searched in seconds, Netflix stores a relatively modest number of video files, but those files are very large and need to be streamed on demand to a large number of users over a large geography. Google’s scale is about storage and compute.  Netflix is about storage and geography with tight latency requirements.

    In addition to the scale of the resources themselves, the cloud also helps address another variable: time. Time as in the application requires different amounts of resource at different points in time. And how predictable is that need? Most large enterprises struggle with what is referred to as “capacity and characterization”. In other words, how much do we need and when do we need it? Imagine the complexity of that problem at web scale. There are cases where the resource requirement is understood, but it is periodic. We need it for five hours five days a week. We need it for two hundred hours once a quarter. Traditionally, this meant having a tremendous amount of idle infrastructure to support these workloads. The cloud enables the sharing of resources.

    Other applications suffer from a lack of predictability by their very nature. Ecommerce companies know that at certain times of year there will be a significant increase in demand. While experience tells them something about the when, it tells them very little about the how much. Other applications like the delivery of weather forecast data or news information suffer from both a lack of predictability in time and scope. This leads to an even higher level of inefficient utilization or a failure to properly deliver the expected user experience. All of these outward facing scenarios represent significant economic risk to an organization as disappointed consumers are poor candidates for return engagements.

    Cloud computing provides the first economically viable solution to these large scale problems. Just as the PC enabled many workloads that were simply impractical when computing horsepower was being doled out in units labeled ‘mainframe’ and ‘mini-computer’ with price tags measured in millions and tens of thousands, we now have the opportunity for organizations of all sizes to practically tackle these problems. It is no coincidence that two of the most significant internet age companies, Google and Amazon, are also leading cloud computing providers. Those companies would not exist without the technology that is cloud computing.

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