Business Consultant. Works in Digital Legal Management (since 2007), Knowledge Management (KM, since 1999), Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM, since 2006), Digital Contract Management (since 2009), SaaS B2B (since 1998), Signer of the Agile Manifesto (2006). Founder of EuroCloud Italy (2010) and GM of Cloud for Europe (2016). Publishes Internet contents in different subjects since 1996. Owner and founder of the brand B|KM for SaaS B2B production. Co-founder of AltonaSpain (2021), and Noticias Altona (2022), in the audit/compliance sector for the Spanish market. Works in Spain, Italy, The Netherlands. In his private life he’s a writer, art curator, and amateur music composer.
As the generative AI bandwagon gathers pace, Nvidia is promising tools to accelerate it still further. On March 21, CEO Jensen Huang (pictured) told attendees at the company’s online-only developer conference, GTC 2023, about a string of new services Nvidia hopes enterprises will use to train and run their own generative AI models. When they hit the market, they’ll open up more options along the build-vs-buy continuum for CIOs called upon to support AI training workloads. This doesn’t mean CIOs can just hand off responsibility for AI infrastructure, said Shane Rau, a research VP covering data processing chips for IDC. “CIOs should already understand that AI is not one-size-fits-all,” he said. “The AI solution stack varies according to how it will be used, which implies one must have intimate understanding of the AI use case — your AI workers and the end domain in which they work — and how to map the needs of the use case to the silicon, software, system hardware, and services.” Nvidia is offering as-a-service solutions to those problems at several levels. Nvidia AI Foundations is a family of cloud services with which enterprises will be able to build their own large language models (LLMs), the technologies at the heart of generative AI systems, and run them at scale, calling them from enterprise applications via Nvidia’s APIs. There will be three Foundations services at launch, still in limited access or private preview for now: NeMo for generating text, Picasso for visuals, and BioNeMo for molecular structures. Each offering will include pre-trained models, data processing frameworks, personalization databases, inference engines, and APIs that enterprises can access from a browser, Nvidia said. Generative AI in action Financial data provider Morningstar is already studying how it can use test-based NeMo to extract useful information about markets from raw data, drawing on the expertise of its staff to tune the models, according to Nvidia. The Picasso service will enable enterprises to train models to generate custom images, videos, and even 3D models in the cloud. Nvidia is partnering with Adobe to deliver such generative capabilities inside Adobe’s tools for creative professionals such as Photoshop and After Effects. Nvidia is seeking to clean up graphical generative AI’s reputation for playing fast and loose with the rights of the artists and photographers on whose works the models are trained. There are concerns that using such models to create derivative work could expose enterprises to lawsuits for breach of copyright. Nvidia hopes to allay those concerns by striking a licensing deal with stock image library Getty Images, which says it will pay royalties to artists on revenue generated by models trained on the works in its database. Nvidia is working with another library, Shutterstock, to train Picasso to create 3D models in response to text prompts based on licensed images in its database. These 3D designs will be available for use in industrial digital twins running on Nvidia’s Omniverse platform. The third AI Foundations service, BioNeMo, deals not in words and images but in molecular structures. Researchers can use it to design new molecules and predict their behavior. Nvidia is targeting it at pharmaceutical firms for drug discovery and testing, fine-tuning it with proprietary data. It named biotechnology company Amgen as one of the first users of the service. AI infrastructure additions Nvidia’s AI Foundations software services will run in DGX Cloud, a new infrastructure-as-a-service offering. DGX is the name of Nvidia’s supercomputer in a box, one of the first of which was delivered to OpenAI, developer of ChatGPT, in 2016. Half of all Fortune 100 companies now have their own DGX supercomputers, according to Nvidia. Cloud providers such as Oracle and Microsoft are beginning to offer access to the H100 processors on which the DGX is built, and Amazon Web Services will soon join them, Nvidia said. Later this year, enterprises that don’t want to buy their own DGX supercomputer will have the option of renting clusters of those H100 processors by the month through the DGX Cloud service, which will be hosted by Nvidia’s hyperscaler partners. CIOs are likely already using hardware, software, and perhaps services from Nvidia to support AI-enabled applications in the enterprise, but the company’s move deeper into the as-a-service market raises new questions, said IDC’s Rau. “Having Nvidia as a service provider will likely mean a single source of responsibility for the service and a familiar underlying solution architecture,” he said. “But relying on Nvidia for service and the underlying solution architecture offers the prospect of costly lock-in should other service and solution architecture providers innovate faster on some measure, like performance or cost.” Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Management, Infrastructure Management, IT Leadership [...]
Multi-cloud environments offer significant business benefits from increasing agility to improving efficiency. The challenge, however, is that each cloud sits in an isolated silo with its own development and operating model, taxonomy, services, APIs and management tools. This lack of consistency across clouds forces companies to manage their multi-cloud environments through a patchwork of off-the-shelf, custom-built and native cloud service provider tools, which often require specialized developer and operator teams and skill sets to use. The lack of consistency across clouds also increases security risks. Early on, VMware recognized the need to unify cloud environments. That’s why we created VMware Cross-Cloud services, our portfolio of services for application development, cloud management, cloud and edge infrastructure, security and networking, and Anywhere Workspace solutions. These services are built on a seamless abstraction layer that spans clouds, enabling organizations to build, deploy, run, manage, secure and access apps and infrastructure in a consistent way. download whitepaper Understanding Multi-Cloud Services VMware and other software vendors have seen the same industry challenges of multi-cloud environments, and in response have released services to address various aspects of these challenges. For instance, earlier this year VMware CTO Kit Colbert discussed this very issue with the head of strategic partnerships at Snowflake, which is tackling the issue of managing data in a multi-cloud environment. Multi-cloud services is our proposed nomenclature to address comprehensive multi-cloud challenges. As we define it, a multi-cloud service provides a consistent API, object model, identity management and other core functions across clouds, and it runs in one or more of the following scenarios: On a single cloud but supports interactions with at least two different clouds.On multiple clouds and supports interactions with at least two different clouds.On any cloud or edge, even in disconnected mode, and basic operations are fully automated. VMware sees five categories of multi-cloud services: application services, infrastructure services, security services, end-user services and data plane services. These are broad categories, and over time we expect that our industry, collectively, will define more granular service categories as well as entirely new services. VMWare In the multi-cloud services model, data centers, private clouds, public clouds and edge locations are verticals, and multi-cloud services are horizontals, providing functionality across these locations. These horizontal capabilities integrate with and complement the native services of each cloud while providing the consistency and standardization that development, operations and security teams need. Benefits of Multi-Cloud Services Organizations can use multi-cloud services to abstract and standardize cloud infrastructure and operations, development and security capabilities into one platform to reduce or eliminate the complexity of individually building or consuming the equivalent native services from multiple clouds. Some of the benefits include: The business can realize quicker time to market and quantifiable improvements in app performance, efficiency and security. Operators can deploy, manage and monitor apps and container infrastructure in the same way for every cloud. This can minimize the need for specialized teams and skill sets when working with specific clouds.Developers can write apps using their preferred framework without worrying about the infrastructure or the cloud on which it runs.Security teams can apply policies consistently to every cloud and app. Companies in regulated industries can meet their unique sovereign cloud requirements and maintain jurisdictional control while achieving cutting-edge transformation at scale. Learn More About Multi-Cloud Services For a deeper dive into multi-cloud services, read VMWare’s white paper.For additional information please click here. VMware [...]
Findings from two eye-opening surveys conducted by VMware show that ransomware remains a top concern for enterprises worldwide. As IT and security leaders and chief information security officers (CISOs) look for answers, many are turning to deeper deployment and investment in lateral security tools. What is lateral security? It leverages both access control and advanced threat prevention strategies and consists of a set of systematic, omnipresent tools deployed between the perimeter and endpoints. Key lateral security tools include: Network segmentationMicro-segmentationAdvanced threat prevention capabilities such as intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS)Network sandboxesNetwork traffic analysis/network detection and response (NTA/NDR) Ransomware By the Numbers To understand the value of lateral security tools, it’s important to first assess the current state of ransomware. The number of attacks continues to grow unabated, with a 13% increase from 2020 to 2021—a larger increase than the previous five years combined. This trend was echoed in a 2022 VMware survey of 200 IT and security leaders in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Approximately one-third of the survey respondents work for a company with 1,001 to 5,000 employees, one-third represent companies with 5,001 to 10,000 employees, and one-third represent companies with more than 10,000 employees. VMware More than two-thirds (68%) of the respondents reported that their organization experienced at least one ransomware incident (whether successful or not) in the previous 24 months. Of those reporting attacks, 42% said they suffered at least three incidents (whether successful or not). In addition to attacks on their own organizations, 55% of respondents are aware of three to six peer organizations that suffered at least one ransomware attack in the last 24 months. Second Survey Focuses on Lessons Learned Following a Ransomware Attack In a follow-up survey, VMware explored how security professionals whose organization experienced a ransomware incident in the last three years responded to the attack and what they changed in the aftermath. Isolating in on three core areas—people, process, and technology — the findings shed light on where security leaders believe they were underprepared and the steps they planned to take to address their gaps. While most respondents reported their organizations had identity and access management and server endpoint protection/detection and response technologies in place before the ransomware incident, fewer had segmentation and advanced threat prevention tools deployed. VMWare Key Finding: The Flat Network We interpret the findings on segmentation technologies to mean that a significant portion of the networks within respondents’ organizations was flat—including the area of the network that was hit by the ransomware. Flat networks provide no barrier against attackers that first compromise a lightly defended low-value system and then move laterally to infiltrate higher-value systems. The bottom line is that network segmentation, micro-segmentation, and other essential lateral security tools were not deployed pervasively, leaving gaps in protection that attackers could exploit. It’s no surprise then that those organizations report an increase in interest in these types of tools after the ransomware incident. Eliminating the Blind Spots with Lateral Security As we all know, a successful ransomware attack can be devasting for companies, with an economic, operational, and reputational impact that requires extensive containment and recovery actions to restore systems and data. Those IT and security leaders who are looking to improve their defenses are placing a sharper focus on the set of tools that make up lateral security. These technologies, when used in concert with each other, can eliminate the blind spots that prevent organizations from detecting threats as they move laterally through the infrastructure. VMWare Read our new white paper for a deeper dive into why and how CISOs and other IT and security leaders are deploying lateral security tools to effectively protect their organizations. Download Now Click here to Learn more. VMware [...]
How are modern CIOs making an impact with multi-cloud? A recently released VMware report, “CIO Essential Guidance: Modernizing Applications in a Multi-Cloud World,” outlines these four key factors that influence success: Drive Developer Velocity The best applications are created by the most talented developers, so it’s crucial to attract and retain the best talent. Taking it a step further, according to a recent Forrester poll, 69% of business leaders agreed that a good Developer Experience (DevEx) results in a better customer experience (CX).1 In fact, it’s clear that DevEx directly impacts CX: 45% of enterprise IT executives report that their dev teams push software releases on a monthly or faster pace (on average).2 With so much at stake, it’s critical to enable your developers to do what they do best: code. But all too often, barriers prevent this from happening. Cumbersome legacy platforms and tools slow down developers, which is why CIOs need to remove friction from the underlying development infrastructure and create an environment where teams can focus on achieving outcomes. This may include creating agile workflows and automating manual processes as well as handoffs, provisioning and even meetings and paperwork. Adopting a cross-cloud development platform that offers the programs and codes your developers prefer, including pre-selected open-source products, will also elevate velocity, improve DevEx and unleash innovation. VMware Embrace Unified Cloud Management Despite all the advantages of multi-cloud development environments, if you can’t easily manage your cloud estate, you’re not reaping the full benefits. You could be underutilizing resources from one cloud provider, while maxing out on another. Moreover, lack of visibility means greater risk. VMWare A successful strategy for overcoming these types of challenges is to choose the best cloud provider for each app – whether it’s an application platform for developers, an observability app for risk management, automation for operations, or something else — yet manage all clouds as if they were one, using a single platform. This approach reduces operational complexity and presents opportunities for greater governance, cost savings and risk management. Shift Security Left Shifting security left – meaning building in features that bolster security across the entire app pipeline, from the build phase all the way through deployment and optimization – is essential in today’s complex threat landscape. This approach, combined with a unifying security platform and modern development principles, reduces risks and allows you to identify vulnerabilities and issues faster. VMWare When security management controls reside on a central platform, CIOs can better manage risk,compliance, and more across their overall cloud strategy – spanning entire application development and operations processes. Take a Platform-as-a-Product Approach Unifying platforms are vitally important to the success of your modern apps in a multi-cloud world. The operation of these platforms should be of the utmost importance, seeing as they are the product that keeps the company running. If you view your unifying multi-cloud platforms as drivers of innovation, growth and data protection, and run them as a product, you can reimagine the way you prioritize and manage your apps and cloud estate. With a Platform-as-a-Product approach, it’s easier to keep your focus on the big picture. Bringing It All Together With almost 75% of businesses operating across multiple public clouds 5, it’s become clear that efforts to modernize need to be executed strategically. CIOs who’ve enjoyed success in this area are realizing cost savings, revenue growth, and improved innovation. They have taken the time to standardize functions across clouds, chosen the clouds that best meet the needs of their apps, and operated unifying platforms that maintain seamless business control over multiple cloud providers. They have also improved DevEx to make the best use of one of their greatest assets: their Dev team. For more ways to influence multi-cloud success, download the complete report: CIO Essential Guidance: Modernizing Applications in a Multi-Cloud World Learn more by clicking here. Taking it a step further, according to a recent Forrester poll, 69% of business leaders agreed that a good Developer Experience (DevEx) results in a better customer experience (CX). In fact, it’s clear that DevEx directly impacts CX: 45% of enterprise IT executives report that their dev teams push software releases on a monthly or faster pace (on average). VMware [...]
The cloud has changed the IT and business worlds forever, and generally for the better. But when misused or abused the cloud can backfire, leading to a serious business setback or, in a worst-case situation, long-term competitive damage. Ensuing proper cloud use is essential in today’s high-stakes, fast-paced business environment. Learn from the following 10 mistakes, and do your best not to repeat them. 1. Poor planning Enterprises risk running into trouble if they lack a detailed cloud strategy. “A pragmatic and structured architectural approach when moving to the cloud is critical,” says William Peldzus, senior director and Center of Excellence head with enterprise consulting firm Capgemini Americas. It’s imperative to think strategically when moving to the cloud, Peldzus says. “Proper architectural designs and preparations will potentially eliminate days, if not weeks and months, of troubleshooting and debugging issues.” Even small steps will position an organization for cloud success, Peldzus states. Learning from any missteps made along the way, from planning to migration, is also important. “Those who attempt to jump into the cloud and figure it out on the fly will not be successful,” he warns. 2. Misunderstanding migration Cloud migration is not a once-and-done process. “It’s a continuous journey with complex interrelated issues,” says Karthik Narain, cloud first lead at enterprise advisory firm Accenture. Many IT leaders mistakenly view cloud migration as a conventional project, complete with bedrock start and finish dates. Yet recent Accenture research found that 32% of enterprises that view their cloud journey as complete are actually leaving value on the table while placing their organizations at risk. “A narrow focus on cost savings can put organizations at a competitive disadvantage compared to those using the cloud more strategically across its many dynamic forms, including public, private, and edge,” Narain says. “In fact, our … research has shown that those that viewed the cloud strategically actually reduced cost more than those focused only on efficiency.” 3. Underestimating cloud costs It’s a common misconception that cloud migration always leads to immediate cost savings. “In reality, cloud migration is expensive, and not having a full and complete picture of all costs can sink a business,” warns Aref Matin, CTO at publishing firm John Wiley & Sons. Cloud migration often does lead to cost savings, but careful, detailed planning is essential. Still, as the cloud migration progresses, hidden costs will inevitably appear and multiply. “You must ensure at the start of the project that you have a full, holistic cloud budget,” Matin advises. Cloud costs appear in various forms. Sometimes they’re in plain sight, such as the cost of walking away from an existing data facility. Yet many expenses aren’t so obvious. “For example, the cost of talent, including reskilling, upskilling, and finding the right cloud talent, or for reorganizing your business structure,” Matin says. “All of these expenses should be considered in your planning.” 4. Cloud complacency Cloud computing’s first era is drawing to a close. Most enterprises already have some form of cloud infrastructure in place, observes Ronen Schwartz, general manager and senior vice president, cloud storage, at hybrid cloud data services and data management firm NetApp. The cloud is at an inflection point, Schwartz states. Many organizations still retain significant amounts of data, applications, and workloads on premises, even as they continue migrating to the cloud. Yet he believes that many such enterprises are now entering an evolved cloud — hybrid multicloud environments in which cloud services are fully integrated into the organization’s architecture and operations. “It breaks down silos to simplify management and deliver observability everywhere,” Schwartz says. “The evolved cloud is just like its name suggests — it’s not an end state.” Once an enterprise enters the evolved cloud, Schwartz recommends pushing forward to avoid stagnation. “If they migrated applications, now they can refactor them for the cloud,” he says. “If they’ve refactored them, they can now optimize for performance or for cost.” In either case, Schwartz advises pushing forward and evolving along with the cloud. 5. Poor data accessibility A major challenge facing many larger enterprises is leveraging data spread across disparate systems. “Ensuring that data is accessible and secure across multiple environments, on-premises as well as on applications running in the cloud, is an increasing headache,” says Darlene Williams, CIO of software development firm Rocket Software. She notes that a survey of mainframe technology users revealed that 80% believe that mainframe technology remains critical to business operations. Abandoning data stored on legacy systems can deprive departments of access to potentially valuable insights. Williams warns that enterprises that tip the scale too far toward the cloud, risk forgetting the inherent value of data locked in legacy hardware. 6. Platform sprawl Whenever possible, IT leaders should consolidate and merge cloud-based services to reduce costs and avoid platform sprawl, says Wayne Carter, vice president of engineering, with cloud database technology provider Couchbase. “For example, rather than using multiple databases, a multimodal database can handle different data types and models from a single, integrated backend and prevent … data sprawl and spending unnecessary funds.” Carter advises IT leaders to look deep within their organizations to understand how software resources are being used. “They may find there’s software that can have multiple licenses added for more than one team to use across the company,” he notes. 7. Inadequate security Lax security can turn a promising cloud initiative into an IT nightmare. “Avoiding cloud security-related mistakes requires understanding your cloud environment and ensuring that appropriate guardrails are in place to safeguard your infrastructure against external and internal security threats,” says Emmanuel Nnodim, cloud architect at IT consulting firm SPR. Failing to guard against against external and internal threats can be lethal, because it jeopardizes the organization’s reputation, weakens customer trust, and can lead to significant financial losses. Nnodim recommends that every stage of cloud planning should include a thorough security assessment. 8. Unbridled enthusiasm Many enterprises view the cloud as a miracle technology, downplaying the amount of planning and work needed to address real-world design and operational challenges. “When firms encounter these challenges, they struggle to find the skills and experience needed to remediate issues,” says Sunil Moorjani, a director with global technology research and advisory firm ISG. Moorjani observes that the arrival of multicloud environments, combined with a persistent talent shortage, has made cloud deployment and management even more complex. As a result, many adopters have been disappointed by their “cloud first” results. He reports that nearly 70% of respondents to a recent ISG survey have achieved less than 20% of their primary goals, and many have accounted significant budget overruns and missed deadlines. Even when viewing cloud adoption in realistic terms, many IT leaders fail to understand that cloud adoption isn’t merely a technical exercise. “Firms must also pay attention to contractual obligations,” Moorjani warns. He notes that multiyear contracts can lock unwary clients into expensive, inflexible consumption models. 9. Rushing migration Overeager cloud migrators tend to favor a “lift and shift” migration approach, underestimating the long-term costs associated with failing to optimize antiquated applications. “Enterprises driving to digitize without the proper steps in place will be drained by 10% higher-than-average cloud costs, legacy application delivery times lagging by as much as 400%, high-risk security vulnerabilities, and staggering maintenance and compliance requirements,” warns Marco Roman, head of North American field operations at e-Core, a technology consulting and development services provider. “It’s evidently pennywise and pound foolish to cut these early corners.” 10. Not looking forward The cloud is continuing to evolve, supporting and improving core business operations in an ever-growing number of ways. Enterprises should always be looking forward, aligning their business strategies to accommodate multicloud, cloud edge computing, and other advancements, advises Matthias Loh, financial services technology lead with enterprise consulting firm EY Americas. As CIOs ponder which cloud strategies to pursue, they will need to consider how to best future-proof and architect their cloud designs to avoid silos, drive new and profitable growth, and maintain efficiency, security, and transparency. “It’s critical to have a clear and deliberate framework on how to best address the risks and costs associated with the cloud,” Loh adds. Cloud Computing, IT Strategy [...]