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LinkedIn Group call on The Cloud

An open discussion on The Cloud, its impact on procurement and how to effectively contract for cloud applications. This was the Strategic Sourcing & Procurement LinkedIn group monthly member call on September 28, 2011.

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With the advent of cloud computing many business owners are circumventing IT to address their needs.  CIO visionaries are embracing the clou... Read more.

Dan AshtonCreated by Dan Ashton on Dec 12, 2011 in Commerce Cloud

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To do battle in an uncertain economy, companies have streamlined their operational and physical infrastructures, they’ve cut costs, and they’ve become increasingly dependent on external partners. This has caused them to change their partnering philosophies and has made collaboration with external customers, suppliers, and other partners vital to success. 


In the not-too-distant past, suppliers were mostly valued for the contribution they could make to cost-cutting. To preserve their own margins—in defiance of downturns or cost increases—customers negotiated aggressively with their suppliers by hammering them hard on dollars. Rather than share information, customers kept it to themselves; by keeping their vendors in the dark, they could make any claims they wanted about how deeply prices needed to be slashed.


Advances in information technology—and increased sophistication about how best to use those tools—have helped push companies toward a more collaborative model of information-sharing and planning with their vendors. The technology, however, is only as useful as employees make it; they must be willing to adopt it and integrate it into their work. As more and more workers have come to rely on such tools as Twitter and Facebook to keep up with their friends—and also their friends’ friends’ friends—they’ve brought that collaborative mindset to their jobs.


The networked economy clearly makes a new kind of collaboration possible. Through more than a dozen in-depth interviews with practitioners, academics, consultants, and others, CFO Research Services* explores how smart companies are creating collaboration strategies using social tools and business networks to move beyond simply reducing operational costs to improving productivity, and ultimately, profits.  Click here to learn more and read the recent published study:


Also, for more information like this, please join the Ariba Customer Success Group on Exchange.  This customer only group offers content, training, networking and much more!  Click here to join: Customer Success - Customer Management Organization



* CFO Research Services is the sponsored research group within CFO Publishing LLC, which produces CFO magazine, CFO Conferences, and

This recent article from Treasure Today explores the options, benefits and caveats around cloud computing.

One interesting note was from a study conducted by the Carbon Disclosure Project in London in November 2011, which, revealed that large UK companies using cloud computing could save £1.2 billion (€1.39billion) per year in energy costs alone. 


A case study about Honeywell Treasury is very compelling.  At Honeywell they opted to host its mission critical Treasury Workstation Application and its business sensitive database at SunGard, taking advantage of the latest cloud technology. In doing so, Honeywell moved to a secure, stable environment and achieved up to 800% improvement in response time on system outages. Business continuity and disaster recovery also improved by 200%.


Whether you are in treasury or elsewhere, take a quick look at this informative article around Cloud computing.

IDC and Gartner have both recently posted IT predictions for 2012 and beyond.  Among the interesting forecasts for Cloud:

  1. “[In 2012,] 80% of new commercial enterprise apps will be deployed on cloud platforms” (IDC) -  The train has left the station on this one.  The benefits of Cloud continue to drive adoption at all levels, SaaS, PaaS and IaaS.  At the same time the concerns around security, while not disappearing are being addressed.  See the next item.
  2. “By 2016, 40 percent of enterprises will make proof of independent security testing a precondition for using any type of cloud service” (Gartner) - Security is, and will always, be a concern.  However rather than engaging a third party to individually scrutinize a provider's security , customers will be satisfied with an industry recognized certification.  
  3. “At year-end 2016, more than 50 percent of Global 1000 companies will have stored customer-sensitive data in the public cloud” (Gartner) - Wow!  Sounds very high with the security concerns, but not when you start to realize that even today, many Cloud Providers enable security equal to or better than on-premise implementations. Combine that with the standardization and certification outlined in #2 and it all makes sense. 
  4. “By 2015, the prices for 80 percent of cloud services will include a global energy surcharge” (Gartner) - OK that sounds a bit of a stretch and the author of the summary article agrees.


For more info:

Summary article - Read more

The full IDC report can be obtained at

A press release around the Gartner report summarizing the key points is available at

Interesting Whitepaper by The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) which is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing. www.  


The research highlights seven specific elements of Cloud security

Threat #1: Abuse and Nefarious Use of Cloud Computing

Threat #2: Insecure Interfaces and APIs

Threat #3: Malicious Insiders

Threat #4: Shared Technology Issues

Threat #5: Data Loss or Leakage

Threat #6: Account or Service Hijacking

Threat #7: Unknown Risk Profile

And further the paper looks at how an organization might remediate the security threats rather than simply dismiss Cloud.  The paper covers IaaS, PaaS and SaaS and can be found at

What, exactly, is a cloud community? What are the four essential elements required to assess the success of a cloud community? How can you tell when you’ve reached a state of probable success?


These are a few of the critical questions that Kent Parker, Ariba Chief Operating Officer, addressed during a recent interview with Professor M. Eric Johnson, director of the Center for Digital Strategies at Dartmouth University.


Check out the interview here.


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