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BLOG: How cloud computing is driven by mobile, media and marketing

Bernard Golden | Feb. 20, 2013
Someone is using a ton of AWS, and it's growing like crazy.

* Marketing campaigns, particularly those with a clever or snarky twist, like the Will It Blend? series from Blend-Tec that has racked up 221 million views. Every company's fervent wish is that its marketing video will go viral and drive heightened consumer interest in its products.

* Partner, user or employee training. There's no faster way to demonstrate how to use a product than with a video. Plus, video is much more engaging than written documentation.

* Announcements. Video is a good way to make a company's announcements stand out from the blizzard of written press releases spewed onto the Internet every day.

Video is a huge consumer of bandwidth, and it's very sensitive to latency disruptions. The average company's internal network is insufficient to support the kind of traffic video requires, and the network capacity that is available is tuned to support legacy transactional application needs. When you marry mobile and video, it's obvious that legacy infrastructures are inadequate to support the requirements of these applications.

Cloud Computing and Marketing: Constant Change
Now that marketing and advertising have shifted decisively to the Internet, their nature is changing as well. Because ad delivery used to be so difficult, marketing and advertising campaigns remained static. Rolling out a new TV ad across the U.S. required getting new tapes to multiple TV stations and cable/satellite providers. The process-especially making sure everyone had the right version of the ad-was so time-consuming that changes were relatively infrequent.

Today, by contrast, online marketing and advertising campaigns are served up centrally. This reduces the change overhead by more than 90 percent.

But guess what? Reduced friction encourages more change. In turn, that requires changes to both infrastructure and application code. In other words, it means a radically reduced application lifecycle-and that runs smack into legacy infrastructure managed to reduce change, with management controls such as ITIL imposing manual processes to control infrequent change.

The expectations of the next generation of marketing and advertising is that campaigns can be rolled out quickly, modified rapidly and terminated immediately. If you read my last post on cloud computing budgets, you know this kind of application is projected to be a majority of IT spend in 2017.

Consequently, the expectations of the majority of IT spending are going to confront the legacy practices and processes for enterprise infrastructure and applications. It's not going to be pretty. While many in the IT community have an unspoken wish that things will settle down and we'll go back to the old ways of doing things, that wish can pretty much be written off. These expectations aren't going to go away.

If anything, one can predict they will be even more strongly pushed as the possibilities of what can be done with online marketing become more embedded in the discipline. In five years, the everyday expectation will be marketing campaigns tuned daily-or even hourly-in according to real-time analytics performed on tracking data.

I expect the discussion to be over in five years. The definition of enterprise will have expanded to incorporate the requirements of the three M's, and the practices and processes of legacy IT will have been discarded as inadequate for the needs of the three M's. Mobile, media, and marketing will force as much change into IT as the PC did-and, as the change plays out, with just as much disruption.

Bernard Golden is the vice president of Enterprise Solutions for enStratus Networks, a cloud management software company. He is the author of three books on virtualization and cloud computing, including Virtualization for Dummies. Follow Bernard Golden on Twitter @bernardgolden.



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