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You know cloud computing is here to stay when the accountants take notice. The Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Emerging Issues Task Force plans to propose new rules for how to deal with cloud computing service costs.
The updated guidance means that a customer under contract with a cloud computing provider would consider the current processes of leveraging internal-use software to determine how to recognize implementation costs as an asset. Moreover, the new guidance recognizes that implementation costs are an asset that may be expensed over the terms of the contract with the cloud computing provider, as long as the arrangement is not terminated at the time of the contract.
This is good news for both the enterprises that use cloud computing whose accountants need to figure out how to treat these costs, and for the cloud computing providers that now have a way to explain to enterprises how the costs should be treated. Enterprises have struggled to find best practices, as well as define legal issues, to determine how to treat cloud computing costs that are significant for many enterprises.
The reality is that, no matter if you use internal systems or public cloud systems, you’re getting the advantage of using systems. So the treatment of those costs should be aligned. Thanks to the FASB, they soon will be more aligned.
But not fully aligned. I’ve also been struggling with how cloud computing should be treated considering that enterprises must give up the depreciation of capital expenses in most cases. So holding onto old on-premises equipment to gain the benefit from the depreciation could outweigh any benefit an enterprise would get from cloud computing. Although this new FASB rule does not overcome that issue, the trend is that accounting groups are beginning to see better and fairer ways to deal with cloud computing costs. It’s about time.
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It seems that every year, a new set of cloud computing technologies emerge and shake up the enterprise market. Containers and serverless were buzzworthy in 2017, but what other new trends will this year bring?
AI is expected to be a hot topic, as organizations look to gain more business value out of their data, and cloud security will continue to garner a lot of attention, especially if – or when — more breaches make headlines. Meanwhile, many enterprises in 2018 will prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation, and its effect on their compliance policies.
We asked members of the SearchCloudComputing Advisory Board to share which cloud computing technologies and trends they think are worth following closely this year. Here are their responses:
Gaurav “GP” Pal
2017 saw rapid growth and adoption in public cloud services from major providers, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. A number of other cloud providers, including Google and IBM, also managed to score a few high-profile wins. Clearly, commercial cloud computing platforms are here to stay and have rapidly evolved way beyond infrastructure services. Now, these platforms are increasingly focused on business and data services to deliver greater agility and innovation.
2018 promises to be an exciting year and will be all about security, AI and voice-commerce. The continued high-profile data breaches have spurred government agencies to drive new regulations to force companies to take cybersecurity and privacy concerns more seriously. New York’s Department of Financial Services mandated specific cybersecurity and compliance requirements in 23 NYCRR 500, while the Department of Defense mandated the use of NIST SP 800-171 security guidelines by suppliers. More sectors and industries will be forced to seriously evaluate their cloud security posture and make investments to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of their digital assets.
After years of hype, AI will finally take off in 2018 due to the confluence of multiple factors, including big data, cybersecurity issues and new user interfaces using voice commands. Major cloud platforms increasingly offer easier-to-use AI-enabled services. For example, AWS GuardDuty is an AI-enabled cybersecurity service that analyzes thousands of log records to provide anomalies and patterns.
AI adoption by mainstream businesses will be driven through the creation of specialized decision support systems (DSS). DSS is an old technology that will get a new lease of life through cloud-platforms and AI services that will support decision-making and provide major productivity enhancements for businesses. For example, one can see a CIO or CFO within an organization having access to a DSS that helps answer specific questions like, “Should I buy this software?” In part, the emergence of voice-driven interfaces through devices like Alexa will drive the rapid adoption of DSS.
Sometimes the best way to predict tomorrow’s weather is to look out the window today. I expect the cloud weather in 2018 will look a lot like it did in 2017. Expect to see the march of packaged machine learning and chatbot services progress with new features. In addition, serverless computing will continue to take mind- and market-share from traditional IaaS and PaaS models, as it’s more flexible, less costly and more fun.
To pinpoint other cloud trends in 2018, we can look to privacy and security. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on March 25, 2018 and includes sweeping new rules for data privacy protections for individuals in the EU, with harsh penalties for non-compliance. I forecast two outcomes:
- For many businesses, implementing new privacy measures will have a side-effect of better overall security processes, including encryption and password protection, and;
- Companies will double-down after seeing other companies hit with big penalties.
Part of this cycle may be delayed, as companies not based in the EU belatedly realize that GDPR applies to them because they do business there. Aside from GDPR, expect the big three public cloud platform providers — Amazon, Azure and Google — to continue to have stellar security records at unprecedented scale, enhancing their collective reputation as the least risky home for the majority of modern compute workloads.
I think 2018 is going to be the year of software-defined everything. I think we’re moving away from really expensive hardware… [and] are living in a point where we need to be able to use commodity-based hardware just to reduce the cost of our infrastructure. This is the year that software-defined anything — especially SDN — really takes off.
I think we’re still going to see application containers. There’s still going to be a foothold there, but when you get past that, it’s probably still early for Linux containers. Containers are an interesting way for organizations to pass and process information really quickly; it’s an interesting way to manage information. When you look at DevOps environments… and the development world, containers are just going to be massive.
The post Prepare for these cloud computing technologies in 2018 appeared first on The Troposphere.
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As cloud adoption grows, IT professionals with relevant experience are in high demand. Cloud conferences and events are the perfect place to build your skill sets, meet industry leaders and expand your business network. Whether you’re just starting out in cloud, or are a seasoned pro, there’s an opportunity to learn new technologies, gain more experience and add certifications to your resume.
Here are a few cloud conferences and events, all in the first half of 2018, for IT pros to consider.
March 19 – 22
At IBM’s Think event, IT pros can meet experts and attend sessions on cloud topics ranging from hybrid cloud to DevOps and microservices. For those who want to gain some hands-on experience, Think Academy provides labs that cover various technologies, and offers over 300 certifications.
Microsoft Tech Summit
March 5 – 6
March 19 – 20
Microsoft’s free technical learning event is aimed at IT pros and developers who want to learn more about Azure and Microsoft 365. There are over 80 sessions — ranging from introductory to advanced — that cover current cloud trends and Azure tools. This year, the event will also dive into the details of Azure Government and Microsoft 365 for U.S. Government.
Cloud Foundry Summit
April 18 – 20
The Cloud Foundry Summit is for users and developers of all experience levels that want to expand their knowledge of the open source platform. Learn how to scale, manage and deploy applications at the hands-on training workshops. Join sessions that cover Cloud Foundry features and core updates. Beyond introductory information, some tracks focus on particular services, buildpacks and architectural components. Attendees can also take the Certified Developer Exam at the event.
Dell Technologies World
April 30 – May 3
Dell’s technology conference offers three major tracks that cater to IT pros, administrators and architects, as well as over 400 sessions that cover topics including cloud, big data and security. Hands-on labs are available — both as self-paced and guided workshops – and attendees can pursue certifications for cloud architecture, systems administration, data science and other topics.
Interop ITX 2018
April 30 – May 4
The 32nd Interop event offers seven tracks, including one dedicated to cloud that offers sessions on migration, management and integration. The five-day event includes Summits, which drill down into specific topics, like AI, as well as hands-on sessions, which are a new addition to the event. Two of these interactive sessions focus on Kubernetes and IoT/cognitive services.
May 21 – 24
In addition to OpenStack, this summit offers sessions and education on various open source technologies, including Kubernetes and Docker. Cloud admins, architects, developers and other IT pros can hone their skills for private, public and multi-cloud environments. Hands-on training and labs from the OpenStack Academy help IT pros prepare for the Certified OpenStack Administer Exam. Users and developers can also share their opinions on recent OpenStack releases, and brainstorm ideas for the future, at the event’s Forum.
June 5 – 7
New York City
The 22nd international Cloud Expo enables cloud professionals to network with colleagues and choose from hundreds of sessions to attend, including user panels and industry keynotes. The cloud event has eight tracks to follow that explore hot topics like hybrid and multi-cloud, machine learning, artificial intelligence and microservices.
The post Cloud conferences to check out in the first half of 2018 appeared first on The Troposphere.
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For all you Chicken Littles out there: A cyber problem that shuts down a top US cloud computing provider for three to six days could trigger a loss to clients of between $5.3 billion and $19 billion in business losses, of which only $1.1 billion to $3.5 billion would be covered by insurance, said insurer Lloyd’s of London in a report. (A “cyber problem” could include hacking, lightning strikes, bombing of datacenters, and human errors making a public cloud service provider take a dirt nap.)
I don’t doubt those numbers. But if one or more major cloud providers are disabled for some reason, we’ll have more important problems than not being able to log into the inventory system.
And the chances are slim, anyhow: The truth is that public clouds providers are pretty resilient. Although we’ve seen regional outages in the past, typically due to human error, taking down a public cloud provider through a cyberattack would be a bit like playing Whack-a-Mole with 800-pound moles.
Public cloud providers have set up many redundant systems in their clouds. Although you could bring down a single datacenter, perhaps even a whole region, you won’t disrupt all the cloud datacenters and regions. Kill one, and the others take over.
Of course, there could be a major event such as an atomic attack that could take out most or all of a cloud provider. However, even then I doubt that all public clouds capabilities would be offline. Keep in mind that TCP/IP was designed by the US Defense Dept. to route around missing pieces of the network due to nuclear attack.
And, in the event of a nuclear attack, would you care about your cloud services all tha much?
For less-world-ending scenarios, one of the good things about cloud computing is that the cloud providers are not the sitting ducks that enterprise datacenters have been (and many still are). The cloud providers have a wide geographical distribution, and they are redundant. So, your cloud data is actually safer than your on-premises data. It’s a good thing cloud data redundancy is almost foolproof, because it looks like you won’t get much help from insurance.
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