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The 2016/2017 TCBC Agenda

The TCBC steering committee has prioritized the following twelve subjects for analysis in 2016/2017:

For IT management/practitioners

  • Optimizing hybrid IT environments in Canada

For most Canadian organizations, cloud isn't a question of "when" or "if" - it's a current reality, dropped on top of existing on-premise infrastructure. What are the essential next steps in integrating multiple traditional and cloud platforms to create a single, extensible 'platform of record'?

    • The economics of cloud/hybrid IT: IT management economics

    With new demand for IT services far outstripping new budget, IT management is forced to identify ways of expanding delivery scope in cost-effective ways. Cloud is often positioned as a way to acquire additional capabilities at a compelling price point - but how should IT management assess cloud options, and what is important to making the best cost/capability decision for the organization?

    • On-ramps to the cloud

    The resources available through the cloud seem limitless, but they are not: they are constrained by the connectivity that links users and corporate resources to the cloud. How can and should organizations build the connectivity infrastructure needed to capitalize on the cloud?

    • Cloud security - from the user in

    In 2015, TCBC's Cloud Security, Privacy and Reliability group identified best practices in establishing a solid core for cloud operations. In 2016, TCBC is looking at cloud security from another angle: from the endpoint device back to the core. What do Canadian businesses need to do to ensure that they are securing the devices, data, applications and networks that staff and customers rely on?

    For non-IT executives

    • The economics of cloud: a senior management guide

    TCBC's first report - Cloud Business Models, Metrics and Imperatives - broke new ground in delivering cloud guidance to non-IT senior executives (and to IT management needing to frame cloud discussions in terms relevant to the C-suite). In 2016, TCBC is drilling down into how cloud can and should be positioned within enterprise-level economic decisions.

    • Sustainability and the cloud

    Cloud (and IoT, and ICT generally) can have a tremendous impact on corporate sustainability. On a direct basis, data centres are often the largest source of Scope 2 emissions in services industries, and are a compelling area of focus for conservation initiatives. At the same time, though, ICT (and cloud, and IoT) can improve carbon outcomes by streamlining (or replacing) physical world processes and products. What can and should corporate leaders do to align the 'twin ecos' of economy and ecology?

    For the supply chain/channel

    • The economics of cloud/hybrid IT: a supply-side perspective

    Cloud has had a dramatic impact on the IT supply chain, and especially, in the channel: management needs to respond to new imperatives and employ different success metrics, sales needs different approaches and compensation structures, marketing has a different (and expanded) scope of activity, and the technical staff within a channel business need to develop new competencies. In 2015, we addressed the market-facing side of this issue with Cloud Go-to-Market; in 2016, we are drilling down into the economic issues associated with cloud. What can management do to maintain viability and profitability in a hybrid IT world?

    • Defining the cloud broker model - PUBLISHED OCTOBER 2017

    As the industry shifts from deployment of physical products to aggregation of as-a-Service offerings, both vendors and buyers are in need of cloud brokers. But what, exactly, is a cloud broker? In this area, TCBC is taking a 'clean sheet' approach to identifying the characteristics and operating models that will define the evolving cloud broker opportunity.

    Focus on corporate innovation

    • Cloud-enabled process change

    There are many examples of how cloud can improve organizational performance. In marketing, cloud-based systems can take input from customers and modify offerings to suit individual needs; in manufacturing, cloud-based systems can streamline supply chains; in technology, cloud-based Agile development can deliver new software in weeks rather than months. But...are organizations able to capitalize on these new capabilities? What changes needs to be implemented to ensure that corporations realize cloud benefits, and don't merely create a reservoir of stranded processes?

    • The human element in IT evolution

    Any change has an impact on organizational staff - and cloud represents a source of substantial, ongoing change. What can and should organizations do, to ensure that technical staff (and business staff relying on new systems) are able to evolve 'at the speed of cloud'?

    • Funding innovation: Financing options for early-stage tech businesses

    2016's Financing Cloud Businesses offered practical advice to cloud firms looking to attract outside capital - but it also identified a dearth of options available to early-stage companies. In 2016, TCBC is honing in on the issues confronting start-ups and other young businesses. What can they do to build liquidity ahead of global success?

    Special interest group (SIG):
    • The cloud/hybrid IT value proposition for Canadian small businesses

    Small businesses have a unique combination of requirements, constraints and opportunities - and cloud applies somewhat differently in small business than it does in larger enterprises. What can and should Canadian small businesses do to best capitalize on cloud?

    The 2016/2017 IoTCC Agenda

    The IoTCC steering committee has prioritized the following six subjects for analysis in 2016/2017:
    • IoValue: Intelligence in Community Ecosystems

    Intelligent Cities combine smart connectivity with information sharing to unleash new potential in environmental standards, operational management and in the creation of new citizen services. The group will address some or all of: identifying business value, creating the business case, documenting service delivery requirements and opportunities, sourcing strategy and process management that includes metrics and milestones.

    • IoValue: Intelligent Industry

    Sensors have been in place in industrial environments for decades, but IoT requires a new approach that integrates IT capabilities with legacy systems. Do technologies and communities on the IT/OT divide collide or coalesce, and what can be done to build IoT collaboration on the shop floor?

    The group will address some or all of: identifying business value, creating the business case, documenting service delivery requirements and opportunities, sourcing strategy and process management that includes metrics and milestones.

    • IoValue: Intelligent Customer Experience

    IT’s expanding perimeter is creating new opportunities for customer interaction. IoT technologies capture and deliver information in ways that enable entirely new approaches to understanding customer preferences and delivering solutions. What kind of new structures need to be in place to enable responsive, standardized support for customer transactions?

    The group will address some or all of: identifying business value, creating the business case, documenting service delivery requirements and opportunities, sourcing strategy and process management that includes metrics and milestones.

    • Privacy and Security

    As the source of new service delivery and unprecedented intrusion into the personal realm, monitoring and management of personal data in IoT is a curse and a blessing. Securing this data, as well as data from complex business and industrial systems, takes on added weight in IoT solutions as the consequence of failure may impact regulatory compliance or critical physical infrastructure. What plan and processes can be put in place to ensure privacy and security across vulnerable, interconnected IoT solutions?

    • Backing the Winner in Building the IoT Stack

    IoT solutions are built through the combination of connectivity, sensor technologies and data analytics. But how do these combine, what new IT architectures must be drawn, and how can implementers negotiate the explosion of demand and supply in this burgeoning field to ensure not only that solutions work together, but that they have adopted market winning standards?

    • The IoT Ecosystem: Definition and Development
    More than any other IT solution, IoT “takes a village” to deliver. Customer needs span sensors, networks and networking, security, analytics, core storage and processing and a dizzying array of controlled devices. How do suppliers need to collaborate to deliver ‘whole systems’ meeting IoT customer needs?

    The 2017 CABC Agenda

    The CABC steering committee has prioritized the following six subjects for analysis in 2017:
    • Predictable interactivity
        • Ability to react to the “next question” - From specific result to ability to mine and explore
        • Create a single, validated version of the truth
        • Data architecture – the ability to use data: Plan for data use based on business objectives; Need for real-time interchange; Data quality, completeness and accuracy (with respect to use and user); Who has access to data? And is it in useful form?
    • Big Data Analytics and Business Value
        • Assessing cost vs. value of data
        • Methods/examples of translating insight into business benefits
        • Creating a feedback loop for the customers (or including the customer)
        • Operational (automation) vs. strategic uses of data: Traditional BI (reports/dashboards) vs. embedded (operational) intelligence; Drive insight or drive action? Enable humans or drive 'things'?
        • Data as a competitive barrier
        • Progressive value – finding data and analysis value beyond initial objectives
        • The need to be proactive rather than reactive (no longer a ‘nice to have’)
        • IT needs to do more than be purveyors of data
    • Aligning Organizational Structures with Analytics
        • Does analytics need to be a separate function? …and are the days of the analyst numbered, as analytical competency becomes important in all functions? Not every business manager needs to be a mathematician, but…
        • There is a need to evolve practices: metadata, governance and data management enable analytics
        • LE: Need a robust org structure to manage data assets - Breadth of experience is important to shaping initiatives
        • SMB: net new function is a high-risk proposition - Can they manage with BI capabilities integrated into current applications, or do they need separate BI tools?
        • What is the role of IT?
        • Pushing the strategy beyond boardrooms (by baking into InfoApps)
    • Social/cultural impact of analytics and Big Data
        • Jobs are changing - where are the gains and losses/diminutions? Can we develop a holistic view?
        • Education
        • Dealing with distraction
        • Pulling narratives from data
        • IT/business collaboration
        • Who is involved in analytics/Big Data, and how? IT (but IT won’t have deep domain expertise); Business executives - responsible for cross-function process improvement; Sellers - need internal metrics to manage activities; Supervisors and non-technical users (but this group is not comprised of analysts!); Teachers, policy makers, and HR (mostly external to the business).

    Published Work

    Best Practice reports published by CIA-Plus working groups include:

    Process/management issues

    • Planning for the cloud/cloud strategy (two topics)

    Planning for the cloud/cloud strategy – enterprise:

    Description: Cloud is an important component of enterprise IT delivery strategy. What are the key considerations to integrating cloud into the overall IT delivery fabric, and to ensuring that cloud’s increasing presence doesn’t lead to disconnected initiatives that reduce overall benefit and increase security/regulatory exposure?

    Key working group members: Roy Hart (Seneca College), Shawn Rosemarin (VMware)

    Planning for the cloud/cloud strategy – SMB:

    Description: In many ways, cloud is infrastructure for SMBs, which opens new possibilities for IT enablement of business processes. How do resource-constrained SMBs capitalize on hosted infrastructure and application options?

    Key working group members: Brandon Kolybaba (Cloud A), Ashroff Khan (Forrec), Alex Sirota (NewPath Consulting), Jeff Lamboy (GoDaddy)

    • Skills requirements and development

    Cloud reduces the importance of some traditional IT skills, but it also drives requirements for many new competencies. Which of these are important within and outside the IT department, and what are the best ways of developing/sourcing them?

    Key working group members: Alex Sirota (NewPath Colsuting), Tim Ubbens (Amex)

    • Governance, risk and compliance

    In many cases, the key cloud management issue for businesses is governance: how is cloud incorporated within existing governance, risk and compliance structures, and what needs to be done to ensure cloud is a positive contributor to GRC, and not a point of exposure?

    Key working group members: Jerry Gaertner (CIPS/academia), Andrew Nunes (Fasken Martineau), Dave Collings (SMB IT)

    • Cloud business models, metrics and imperatives

    Cloud offers tremendous opportunities for scale, but successful adoption of an enterprise cloud strategy requires the active participation and support of senior management. What should business executives focus on to provide best leadership to their organizations, and best potential cloud benefit for stakeholders ranging from shareholders to employees to customers?

      Key working group members: Matt Ambrose (PwC), Tracey Hutchison (Cisco), Brandon Kolybaba (Cloud A), Sylvia Bauer (CenturyLink)

      Infrastructure and IT service/application delivery

      • Advanced cloud application adoption and enablement (including collaboration, Big Data, analytics, IoT, mobility)

      Increasingly, cloud is the platform that supports the most compelling next steps in IT. Collaboration, analytics and Big Data, IoT and mobility all draw on cloud capabilities to improve a wide variety of business processes. What are the key issues in supporting advanced applications within an evolving cloud infrastructure?

      Key working group members: Arturo Perez (Applied Mobility Systems), Paul Gragtmans (ET Group), Tracey Hutchison (Cisco), Jerry Gaertner (CIPS/academia)

      • Cloud standards and security

      Cloud security is fundamental to building and delivering cloud services to business users (and customers). Security standards play an important role in defining the core of cloud infrastructure and in connecting cloud to business requirements. . What should businesses consider to ensure that they have the right foundations for scale and security in cloud-based IT service delivery?

      Key working group members: Ash Khan (Forrec), Marcus Cziesla (Red Hat), Brandon Kolybaba (Cloud A)

      • Delivering cloud via public, private and hybrid cloud environments  

      In a world that is transitioning from traditional on-premise infrastructure to corporate IT fabrics that incorporate multiple cloud platforms, defining and delivering cloud infrastructure is more a journey than a destination. What are the key issues in establishing public, private and hybrid clouds within “brownfield” and “greenfield” environments?

      Key working group members: Ian Rae (CloudOps), Joel Steacy (VMware), Roy Hart (Seneca College)

      The business of cloud

      • Financing cloud businesses

      Cloud startups have inherent advantages: they generally require limited up-front capital and can scale globally. But what are the keys to obtaining financing for launch and growth?

      Key working group members: Derek van der Plaat (Veracap), Brandon Kolybaba (Cloud A), AJ Byers (executive at large), Wil Stassen (Cushman & Wakefield)

      • Cloud go-to-market

      Cloud businesses are lauded for their ability to both provide new ways of addressing existing challenges and for their ability to reduce adoption friction by converting capital requirements to OPEX. However, these new models are accompanied by specific challenges in marketing, sales compensation and management, and channel development. What do cloud businesses need to do to address unique requirements in these areas?

      Key working group members: Craig McLellan (ThinkOn), Sylvia Bauer (CenturyLink), Adi Morun (Microsoft)

      © 2015 Toronto Cloud Business Coalition

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