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Trustmarque Clients Gain Insight Into Cloud Computing, Social Media and Virtualisation

Trustmarque Solutions : 09 June, 2010  (Technical Article)
Technology specialist from Gartner addresses Trustmarque customer event on the need to embrace new technologies in the IT industry including the use of social media tools such as Twitter
Trustmarque Solutions has gifted a group of its valued customers with a privileged insight into Gartner's top trends to watch. Research VP Philip Dawson, from business technology research firm Gartner, told an audience at Trustmarque Solutions Customer Event (TE2010) that every organisation needs to be working towards Virtualisation and Cloud Computing and embracing social media.

TE2010 was held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden and 152 delegates learned that firms which don't leverage these new technological developments will get left behind. Dawson explained that Gartner forecasts much uncertainty following recent parliamentary change and with the coalition announcing public sector cuts, it was made clear that the need to work smarter has never been more important.

Vow To Virtualise

IT Managers/Directors and technology decision-makers heard that the top technology driver for CIOs is virtualisation. Dawson reasoned that it is top of the agenda because it is an enabler for other technology directions such as Green IT. TE2010 attendees were reminded they should be familiar with Virtualisation in their workplace already. Gartner estimates that only 30 percent or less of workloads are in a virtual environment and Dawson explained that he expected that to double or triple to over 60 per cent within 2 to 3 years. In his keynote address, Dawson warned of the need to ensure that there is a Virtualisation strategy across a whole IT portfolio and to invest in the metrics to measure it:

"There is no point when you are consolidating doing the measurement later, you need to do it upfront - do storage, management and consolidation and then you rationalise. You throw out your dead wood. Another way of getting savings with Virtualisation is realising what workload you shouldn't have and what you should retire. Spend a lot of time with your vendors and suppliers and say which of the five to ten percent workloads should we get rid of; you will therefore then save a lot more on your costs than just consolidation. You need to do this today, Virtualisation is moving from being just consolidation to being agility and all about sourcing."

Soak Up Social Media

TE2010 delegates heard that the number of text messages sent in a 24 hour period exceeds the number of people on the planet. Dawson said this clearly illustrates why businesses must not ignore social media. The need to evaluate Web social software is paramount according to Dawson as it has the potential to transform customer/employee interactions:

"The fastest growing social network is Twitter. It grew by 1382 percent in 2008. The message is that 62 percent of new users are between 39 and 51 years old indicating they are of business-user age. What's important is that you extend that to your business and embrace it and use it as an opportunity. Social networking is an alternative delivery model. You have to either embrace it or police it. It will exist in your organisation."

The Forecast is Cloudy

Finally the need to adapt Cloud Computing was also cited as a fundamental essential to every firm's infrastructure. Dawson acknowledged how common services are widely available and advised the audience to focus on private clouds before moving to a public cloud because it is imperative that in-house systems are tidy before you outsource them. Trustmarque's customers heard the benefits of private cloud are:

•Low barrier of entry
•Highly elastic
•Easy to change
•It has a lower cost and pay per use

Optimised private cloud is the way to take internal IT according to Dawson who added that the reasons for moving to public cloud include:

•Scalability on demand
•Easy to adapt perimeters that you don't have inside IT
•Increased agility and flexibility
•Time to market

Dawson stressed the importance of improving business efficiencies. Green IT was also spelt out as a trend to watch because of its ability to cut costs and importantly meet possible European Union metrics.

TE2010 allowed Trustmarque's client base access to a day of speaker addresses and workshop streams alongside the opportunity to meet a number of important partners. Intellect Director Ian Osborne spoke about the Real-life application and benefits of new technology. Security expert, Robert Schifreen spoke about emerging IT security threats.

Scott Haddow, Trustmarque's Chief Executive comments the event was well supported:

"We are delighted that so many of our valued customers were able to attend the event. The keynote presentations added a lot of value to the day, providing delegates with relevant information which they might not have access to otherwise. Trustmarque Solutions prides itself on its role as a trusted advisor and I know that TE2010, with its high profile speakers and face-to-face opportunities with software vendors, will have reinforced this important company ethos to our customers. We feel the event was a huge success and we are already planning for next year."

TE2010 also hosted a well attended Microsoft Technology briefing which explored some of the tools available to help participants optimise an organisation's IT Infrastructure. Members of the Trustmarque Enterprise Solutions Group (TESG) were available to provide an insight into what capabilities are available to help both the public and private IT sector. TESG offers expertise in Managed Licence Services, Information Security, Infrastructure Optimisation, Unified Communications, Storage and Virtualisation, Business Intelligence, and Project and Programme Management.

Over twenty software vendors supported the event and a select group of customers also attended a roundtable with Gartner Research VP Philip Dawson. The group questioned Dawson on a number of issues including Cloud Computing, the shared data centre, the differences between the public and private sector IT environments and SLAs for the Cloud.
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