Attitudes to Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing is a term seen with increasing frequency in both the business and IT media and is often predicted to be the ‘next big thing’ in computing technology. As things stand many of the world’s largest IT organisations and increasing numbers of specialist companies offer a range of cloud services. But how is cloud computing actually perceived and what are the current attitudes to it in within the financial services community? To find out, we carried out a survey of organisations in the industry. This report summarises the highlights of that survey.
The survey ran between March and May 2012. We targeted the leading City institutions and approached senior individuals with either an IT or a business background. In total we received 102 responses that were included in the results, from representatives of 67 financial services organisations.
Cloud Computing Guide
You may have heard the term cloud computing or ‘the cloud,’ but could you describe what it is? There are so many definitions flying around that you wouldn’t be alone if you struggled to define it.
The Mobile Effect
The impact of smartphones & tablets on impulse buying
In the retail sphere, smartphones and tablets are fast becoming key tools for browsing and purchasing. The mobile channel or ‘m-commerce’ obviously represents a huge opportunity for retailers, with websites and the mobile Internet crucial to its exploitation. That’s why we’ve focused on this area in this report – and in particular the impulse buying behaviour of smartphone and tablet owners.
A major challenge for brands and retailers will be to change the perceptions of consumers who are wary of mobile shopping. While our study shows that mobile services have yet to be accepted by the majority of consumers, for those who have already embraced it, the benefits are proven and there is no turning back.
To capitalise on today’s mobile e-retailing opportunity, retailers need to demonstrate that making purchases using a smartphone or tablet is secure and simple. Delivering an excellent online experience across all channels will build customer loyalty and trust, which in turn helps to maximise profits.
Getting Started with the Cloud
More enterprises are moving applications to the cloud every day. Driven by requirements from line-of-business departments and senior management, IT departments are being pushed for faster turnaround times and more flexible and scalable solutions. But not every organisation has a strategic plan in place for embracing cloud computing; these decisions are often tactical and sometimes made on the fly with little forethought.
How should you approach the cloud conundrum and grasp the opportunities available? What should you consider when you think about your journey into cloud computing? To help you head off in the right direction, we've put together a simple 10 stage step-by-step guide to help you embark on your journey.
Learn how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls and gain the best possible ROI from moving to the cloud. Discover 10 steps to aid your cloud computing success!
The Economic Impact of the Cloud on UK Businesses
The current economic climate means that being ahead of the curve with innovative hosting strategies is more important than ever for business success and cost efficiency.
This report, undertaken by the Manchester Business School in partnership with Rackspace, evaluated how UK businesses are using the cloud, and what the economic benefits of doing so are.
The findings were based upon surveys of 1300 companies, and showed that:
- Cloud computing saves money
- Cloud computing helps increase competitiveness
- Cloud computing offers exciting possibilities for businesses of all sizes
The Human Cloud
Wearable Technology from Novelty to Production
We have witnessed an exponential rise of smart devices over recent years as cloud computing and ubiquitous internet connectivity connects consumers to information, anytime, anywhere. The world of technology moves quickly and we are already observing the emergence of portable devices which can be worn on the body.
In collaboration with experts in the field of social studies and technology at the Centre for Creative and Social Technology (CAST) and supported by quantitative research among over 4,000 UK and US adults, Rackspace analysed how 26 everyday people use wearable technology. The report outlines:
- Take-up of wearable technology and how these devices are enhancing users lives
- Emergence of six distinct profiles of wearable technology users
- The data generated by wearable technology will form part of a Human Cloud, hosting consumer insights that will be used by private companies and public bodies to improve services.
The Cloud and Cross-Channel Retail
The need to drive a consistently optimal customer experience across all retail channels has led to unprecedented change and complexity in the retail sector.
In parallel with all this change is the emergence of cloud computing, seen as a key enabler for online businesses to deliver cost effectively and reliably. While some still see it as a buzzword and others still have doubts over security, the cloud is increasingly seen as the future for retail IT, allowing online retailers to handle peaks and troughs in demand in a cost-effective manner and without having a vast IT infrastructure sitting idle much of the time. It also opens up new opportunities for flexible testing and rapid launch of new applications, and sites to support new initiatives, campaigns and promotions.
This independently authored paper gives a snapshot of cloud in the world of cross-channel retail: what it is, what is isn’t, how it’s being used now and where it’s going in the future. It incorporates examples and views from online retailers at the coalface.
PCI DSS Compliance in a hosted infrastructure
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a global information security standard defined by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). The purpose of the standard is to reduce credit card fraud. This is achieved through increased controls around data and its exposure to compromise. The standard applies to all organizations which process, store, or transmit cardholder information. The purpose of this guide is to clearly explain what PCI DSS is, who it is relevant to, which areas of PCI DSS Rackspace can assist with, and which responsibilities are solely those of the customer. For more information, please contact Rackspace–the home of Fanatical Support®
Unlocking the Enterprise Cloud
How the OpenStack Project Eliminates Cloud Lock-In
The fear of technology "lock-in"- difficulty in efficiently switching cloud hosting providers or platforms due to enterprise size and scale - continues to discourage some large corporations from realising the benefits of the cloud. This whitepaper discusses the lock-in enterprises face with cloud computing and how the OpenStack open-source platform can help to eliminate that conundrum. Next, it defines in detail the components and inner workings of OpenStack technology. It concludes by providing basic guidance on how to help successfully evaluate the value of OpenStack technology for the enterprise.
Consideration for the Cloud
The process every enterprise should think through
Cloud computing is one of the hottest topics in enterprise IT today. However, amidst all the hype and misinformation, it is critical that enterprise decision makers consider the Cloud as a viable strategic resource for their IT environment. This white paper discusses the IT challenges enterprises face and how the Cloud can help overcome those challenges. It then defines different Cloud configurations and the most appropriate uses of each. Finally, it provides guidance on enterprise decision-making regarding Cloud applications and platforms.
A decision-maker's guide to hybrid and cloud computing.
In recent years Cloud Computing has made the difficult transition from marketing buzzword to credible technology. More and more IT organisations are achieving real cost efficiencies from cloud and hybrid solutions while improving their business agility. At the same time, the wave of high-tech firms rebranding their products as “cloud- enabled” shows no signs of abating, resulting in a complex and sometimes confusing vendor landscape. The purpose of this guide is to cut through the jargon, give a straightforward explanation of cloud services, and help buyers find a solution that fits their organisations’ needs
Versed in Virtual Desktop
Rackspace’s knowledge of hosted virtual desktop
Distributed computing has been pervasive in IT organisations for nearly two decades, but the tables are beginning to turn. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), also known as Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD), is one of the fastest growing trends in IT today, at least in part because of the benefits it offers in
management, access, performance and security. This whitepaper discusses Rackspace’s experience in quick deployment and hosting of VDI environments.
Fit to Burst
A Practitioners Guide to Cloudbursting
Cloudbursting is the practice of responding to increased demand by temporarily moving all or part of a software application from existing infrastructure (in your own data centre, in a hosting environment or co-location facility, or in an existing public or private cloud setting) to also run on additional infrastructure in a public or private cloud. Where the act of cloudbursting results in both public and private cloud infrastructure being used, this may be considered a hybrid cloud solution.
Switched On Guide
The switched on guide looks at the benefits of having your business 'always on' and the positive impact this can have on your bottom line. Often impossible to achieve cost effectively in house, it explores the benefits of outsourcing your email hosting to a reliable provider.
Another white paper in the 'Life Online' series this white paper looks at the frustrations of poorly performing websites and the effects this has on individuals, termed 'Mouse Rage'
Creating Cost Efficiencies through Outsourcing
This white paper is written by IDC and looks at how a business can create cost efficiencies through outsourcing their hosting to a specialist provider. It also explores a test case example
Web in 2020
This white paper is part of the Rackspace 'Life Online' series which explores what the web will look like in the year 2020. The white paper covers both technology aspects and effects on life socially, economically and politically
Gartner Magic Quadrant
Cloud infrastructure as a service has evolved primarily from the Web hosting market, but the cloud has created new opportunities for cost savings and business agility. The market is immature, the services are all unique and evolving rapidly, and vendors must be chosen with care.
The study, ‘Generation Cloud’, commissioned by Rackspace in association with the centre for Creative and Social Technology (CAST) at Goldsmiths, University of London, reveals that a generation of British users - two-thirds of respondents (66 per cent) - rely on the cloud computing services every day without realising it. The exploration was supported by quantitative research into attitudes and behaviour regarding the cloud among 2,000 UK adults.
Rackspace IT Industry Service Report: A study into the cost of poor IT customer service
In today’s highly competitive IT market, customer support is becoming a crucial issue. British businesses have grown more discerning and ‘satisfactory’ service is no longer good enough. IT providers who cannot meet customer expectations are losing out on business with 69 per cent of organisations dropping IT suppliers in the last year due to service shortfalls.