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Will Cloud Computing Add Value to the Marketing Mix?
The Advertising Industry is cutting through the hype and beginning to realise the Cloud’s potential

For the past 18 months the hype has suggested that Cloud Computing will be the next game changer. But will it? Or are we simply witnessing the next major land grab by a few technology giants on a perceived new market segment?

A plethora of recent surveys has shown that whilst organisations are generally aware of the cloud, they are reticent to dive in and procure services. For every survey that suggests that a CIO is considering Cloud Computing as a priority for his or her organisation you will find another survey stating that business leaders haven’t a clue as to its meaning or how it will aid them.

With over 20 different definitions of cloud computing in play, it’s hardly surprising that the market is suffering from a ‘fog’ of confusion. Several reasons are given, which include hype over substance, internal resistance and security concerns - all of which suggest that the industry spin doctors need to work harder to get the cloud benefit message across.

The industry needs to focus less on the technology and more on the needs of the customer. We need much less of the ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ type jargon and more of the ‘Business as a Service’ approach. Cloud is about evolution of services not revolution.

The core attraction of cloud is that companies can avoid buying and running their own hardware, software and other equipment by contracting with a hosting vendor to supply the systems on its own servers. This outsourcing of computing resources offers flexibility, scalability, agility and costs savings over the traditional in house approach. Four attributes which should, and is, making cloud a prime candidate for early adoption by campaign and project managers.

Campaigns and one off events are notoriously dynamic and really benefit from the ‘on demand’ nature or elasticity that the cloud offers. In theory the cloud should rid us of server crashes as we clamour for the hottest tickets and news, with spikey demand being controlled and managed.

StreetSmart, which asks diners in the nation’s top restaurants to give an extra £1 on top of their bill during the festive period, was one of the first UK Charities to have its website fully hosted and managed on a cloud platform.

Glenn Pougnet, Director of StreetSmart, said: “The cloud has presented us with the perfect solution for handling the short term increase in demand that we face with our annual StreetSmart Christmas campaign. The cloud has removed the worry for us of having to manage our website capacity ensuring that our site is always available to potential donors and restaurant patrons. We are left free to concentrate on running the campaign and raising vital funds to give homeless people hope and a new start in life.”

Think Publishing, the communications agency behind Kate Humble’s charitable web site Stuffyourrucksack.com has also turned to the cloud to cope with seasonal visitor peaks. Think Publishing increases processing power during the summer months, when its campaigns are at their most active, targeting travellers embarking on their vacations, and more importantly only pays for the additional short term resources consumed.

Conversely, ineffective or unworkable projects can be reviewed and pulled without the additional burden of wasted hardware investment affecting the decision making process. Social media, viral campaigns and trending topics can all be maximised and exploited through the real time deployment of cloud servers, providing an agency with agility, thought leadership and competitive advantage.

New Media Age recently revealed that only 17 of the total 200 videos featured in their Viral Brand Chart appeared for a second week, meaning there’s only an 8.5% chance of being a top-ten viral for more than a week. The simple reason given for this is that impact of a viral video is simply diminished because of the volume of video content being uploaded to sites such as YouTube, which receives more than 24 hours of content every minute. Apparently we don’t want to share things once they’re past their sell by point because we don’t want to seem uncool. Gone are the days when we would have planned to support a viral campaign for several weeks and would have utilised servers accordingly. Now we need an infrastructure that can cope with high demand over a short time frame - the perfect attributes of the cloud.

Likewise if we are fortunate enough to have a campaign that attracts the support of an uber Tweeter such as Lady Gaga or a Taylor Swift and they happen to tweet about your brand/offer etc - you can expect a huge surge in traffic. In the old days you might have been able to contact the PR and asked for a timed ‘mention’ to assist with capacity planning but not today. That’s not how the net works. You simply need to be prepared and be able to increase capacity on the fly.

But cloud shouldn’t simply be viewed as a technology. It does generally have the ability to change organisational process for the better. One huge advantage of the cloud is that it offers designers the ability to test, create and share without their destiny being controlled by “corporate IT”. It is often thought that the IT department of the future will be staffed with orchestrators and strategists not simply technicians. The IT department will become drivers of innovation not merely suppliers.

With the right culture in place, the cloud has the ability to bring together the talents of the creative world allowing them to work collaboratively on projects that interest and excite them. This is already happening but as cloud based technology advances it will become even easier.

The US Media Group, Journal Register Company, demonstrated this concept back in July by running the intriguing experiment of involving community Crowdsourcing and the use of free online publishing tools for the production of all their publications. Journal Register produced all of its 18 daily websites and newspapers using only free web-based tools, such as the cloud based Google Docs, social media websites, Facebook and Twitter and the open-sourced software, Scribus.

At the time, Journal Register Company’s Chief Executive Officer, John Paton stated that whilst his company would not be converting to a fully integrated Crowd/Cloud model in the immediate future, he believes that the idea is a potentially viable one.

No one should claim that moving to the cloud suits everyone or that it is easy. Agencies will need to be convinced that service levels are real, tools are available to track and manage individual clients/campaigns, billing is transparent and that the vendor has the appropriate expertise and security processes in place to safeguard their business. Trust will be the single biggest factor in the success of the cloud.

But overall, the arguments for adopting the cloud are too compelling to ignore and it would appear that the media industry is beginning to cut through the cloud hyperbole and is starting to investigate how it can reinvent its IT architecture and processes into a much more flexible and efficient tool for business.

Read the original blog entry...

About Phil Worms
Phil is a 30 year IT industry veteran with a passion for education and has personally led many school and higher education initiatives designed to engage young people and showcase the broad range of exciting and fulfilling roles in IT.

A full and varied career has seen Phil move through various senior product/project and marketing positions with companies as diverse as Centrica plc, One.Tel, VarTec Telecom and iomart Group plc. Phil is working on a project to create an intergenerational social hub that will celebrate creativity and achievement in Helensburgh, birthplace of television pioneer John Logie Baird.The Heroes Centre will provide people of all ages with the new media and content creation skills required to engage fully in the digital world. Follow his progress on Twitter and on Facebook



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Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to advisory roles at startups. He has worked extensively on monetization, SAAS, IoT, ecosystems, partnerships and accelerating growth in new business initiatives.
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 that frequently get lost in the hype. The panel will discuss their perspective on what they see as they key challenges and/or impediments to adoption, and how they see those issues could be resolved or mitigated.
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app security and encryption-related solutions. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University, and is an O'Reilly author.
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 business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like "How is my application doing" but no idea how to get a proper answer.
Having been in the web hosting industry since 2002, dhosting has gained a great deal of experience while working on a wide range of projects. This experience has enabled the company to develop our amazing new product, which they are now excited to present! Among dHosting's greatest achievements, they can include the development of their own hosting panel, the building of their fully redundant server system, and the creation of dhHosting's unique product, Dynamic Edge.

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WARD
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LIANG
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ROWE
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SMITH
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WALLGREN
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Cisco

RANDALL
Gartner

ARMSTRONG
AppNeta

SMALLTREE
Cazena

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

DELOACH
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QUINT
Ontegrity

MALAUCHLAN
Buddy Platform

PALIOTTA
Vector

MITRA
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KOCHER
Grey Heron

PAPDO
POULOS

Cloud9

HARLAN
Two Bulls

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SHUBIN

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Autodesk

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

THURAI
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Cloudian

ENDO
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COOPER
M2Mi

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GREENE
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TRELOAR
Bebaio

SIVARAMA-
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Red Hat
Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

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ROBINSON
CompTIA

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MEINER
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CHOU
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HARRISON
Tufin

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VMware

KIM
MapR

KANE
Dyn

SICULAR
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TURNER
Cloudian

KUMAR
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ADAMIAK
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KHAN
Solgenia

BONIFAZI
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RMS

LYNN
CodeFutures

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Windstream

RAMA
MURTHY

Virtusa

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE MENO
CommVault

GRILLI
Adobe

WILLIAMS
Rancher Labs

CRISWELL
Alert Logic

COTY
Alert Logic

JACOBS
SingleHop

MARAVEI
Cisco

JACKSON
Softlayer

SINGH
IBM

HAZARD
Softlayer

GALLO
Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
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Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOMBERG
Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMINGHAM
SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRYMPLE
EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
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General Manager of Window Azure
 
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@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
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Digital Transformation Blogs
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to advisory roles at startups. He has worked extensively on monetization, SAAS, IoT, ecosystems, partne...
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 that frequently get lost in the hype. The panel will discuss their perspective on what they see as th...
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app security and encryption-related solutions. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from th...