CAMSS: Cloud from the Apprentices’ view – Oliver Pope-Mostowicz

IBM, and IBMers, are well known for our TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms)! Occasionally however, we break the mould and for acronyms with more (or less) letters. Case in point: CAMSS – Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social and Security.

But what are those five, seemingly only indirectly related, words actually addressing, and why are they important enough to IBM, and to the IBM Apprentice community, that they warrant their own blog series? Well, I’m very glad you asked.

CAMSS are the five key strategy paths IBM will be pursuing in our continued effort to become essential to the world (another key strategy for IBM and IBMers). They are the five key areas of technological development (at various stages of maturity) that IBM has identified as being the most important to the progression of the IT industry (the significant growth areas) and thereby, and without exaggerating too much, the advancement of the backbone of our entire world.

In this series already, other authors have explained some of the areas of CAMSS in their own words and outlined the importance of these concepts to IBM and to those authors specifically. Now it is my turn, and I’m going to take on the Cloud – the dreaded buzz word that is ephemeral by name, nature and application!

Dilbert has pretty accurately summed up the attitude towards the Cloud:

dilbert2

And:

dilbert1

It’s a little depressing, but extremely accurate.

Now there are people who will argue until the cows come home about what the Cloud actually is, but for the sake of simplicity and understanding (something we can often lose hold of in the technical world – much to our own detriment), here is the Cloud, explained in MY own words.

Cloud is about the combination of 4 simpler concepts:

  • Virtualisation – the abstraction of hardware to allow multiple ‘virtual’ servers to run on a single physical machine
  • Elastic provisioning – allows users to quickly deploy more machines to cope with higher demand and to quickly remove (and crucially stop paying for) machines when that demand lessens
  • Usage based cost models – pay for what you need, when you need it. No more, no less
  • Geographic and Provider abstraction – most importantly, with a good Cloud platform you, the user, shouldn’t have to care about where your data and compute power is, and who is providing it – you simply have access to what you need, when you need it

Now obviously the above statements are gross simplifications – in particular the point about ‘caring where your data is’ – there are obviously needs in practical implementation to be compliant with laws and business policies (i.e. some financial business may require that data stay within a specific country), but at a high level the statements are true.

The Cloud is an incredible opportunity for business to respond more quickly to the natural peaks and troughs in the markets (for example, retail business have huge spikes in demand around Christmas but may not need the same support from their IT the rest of the year), and thereby to free up crucial cash to put into other areas that better serve their customers and employees. It is still a relatively young concept (at least in this form – it is certainly arguable that this model is simply the development of the Mainframe and ‘dumb’ client model that IBM built it’s foundations on), and it is a hugely exciting time to be a part of the industry.

The IT industry is of course notorious for ‘the next big thing’, and that very same ‘next big thing’ being a footnote in history the next year – but I don’t think (and clearly IBM doesn’t either) that the Cloud is going anywhere.

It’s time for you to get your head around it.

Thanks for reading.

P.S If this article didn’t help, I reckon this video is pretty good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTNgV0O_oTg

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