Posted by Rolf Harms, Director, Corporate Strategy GroupMichael Yamartino, Manager, Corporate Strategy Group
Information technology is undergoing a seismic shift towards the cloud, a disruption we believe is as game-changing as the transition from mainframes to client/server. This shift will impact every player in the IT world, from service providers and systems architects to developers and end users. We are excited about this transformation and the vast improvements in efficiency, agility and innovation it will bring.
To prepare for the cloud transition, IT leaders who make investments in infrastructure, architectures, and skills have a critical need for a clear vision of where the industry is heading. We believe the best way to form this vision is to understand the underlying economics driving this long-term trend. We’ve done extensive analysis of these economics in Microsoft’s Corporate Strategy Group, leveraging Microsoft’s experience with cloud services like Windows Azure, Office 365, Windows Live, and Bing. We decided to share these insights with our customers, partners and the broader industry by publishing a new whitepaper, “The Economics of the Cloud.”
Our analysis uncovers economies of scale for cloud that are much greater than commonly thought. We believe that large clouds could one day deliver computing power at up to 80% lower cost than small clouds. This is due to the combined effects of three factors: supply-side economies of scale which allow large clouds to purchase and operate infrastructure cheaper; demand-side economies of scale which allow large clouds to run that infrastructure more efficiently by pooling users; and multi-tenancy which allows users to share an application, splitting the cost of managing that application.
Posted by Paul Cotton
Partner Group Manager
Roughly 10 years ago, a handful of hardware and software vendors met to discuss the concept of Web services interoperability. Outside of e-mail, the internet had yet to be adopted into mainstream use, but the industry recognized its potential as a vehicle for relaying data between different software programs or operating platforms – such as a Windows PC and an IBM mainframe.
This need for the free flow of information across different platforms and programs motivated Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP, HP and a handful of other vendors to form the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I). Their goal was to codify the requirements to achieve interoperability, by creating a series of blue prints – or profiles - that developers and engineers could follow whenever they write a software program.
Posted by Tony HeyCorporate Vice President, Microsoft External Research, a division of Microsoft Research
Technology can do many wonderful things, from making businesses more productive to providing entertainment, but above all, technology can help solve challenges that are critical to society. Providing adequate healthcare to people in developing countries is one such challenge, and it's a challenge Microsoft Research has been engaged in for many years - through sponsorship of studies with partners to develop mobile healthcare solutions that can be applied widely and cost effectively, regardless of economic conditions.
This is a passion Microsoft Research shares with numerous partners and institutions, including such organizations as the Gates Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. It’s why we are serving as a sponsor of the mHealth Summit again this year—and why we are thrilled that our colleague Kristin Tolle, director of Natural User Interactions at Microsoft Research, will be interviewing Bill Gates during a keynote this afternoon.
The 2010 mHealth Summit, being held Nov. 8-10 at the Washington (D.C.) Convention Center, will bring together hundreds of experts focused on exploring the use of mobile technologies to transform health care in the United States and the developing world.
Posted by Rob BernardChief Environmental Strategist
As the head of environmental sustainability at Microsoft, I lead a team that thinks about issues around energy use and the implications that a move to the cloud will have on both worldwide energy use and carbon emissions. Some of the questions that we are looking at include: what is the benefit of consolidating IT services in the cloud? Would those cloud-based services consume more or less energy than they do on-premise? And would carbon emissions output from the IT industry, which is currently on par with the airline industry, go up or down? We decided to jumpstart this discussion with a new study that can help us and the market better understand the true costs and efficiencies of moving more services to the cloud. To get a better sense of the energy and carbon emissions differences between on-premise and hosted services, our partners Accenture and WSP Energy & Environment compared three commonly-used business applications: Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and our Microsoft Dynamics CRM products. They looked at cloud deployment of these services versus on-premise deployments for small (100 users), medium (1,000 users) and large (10,000 users) companies. They found that when organizations move these services to a hosted Microsoft cloud, they are able to reduce the energy use and carbon footprint per user by at least 30% for large organizations, and in the case of small business, this result was even more dramatic, with potential savings of up to 90%.
Posted by John VassalloVice President of EU Affairs
(Cross posted from Microsoft.eu)
Growth has been the watchword at the Government Leaders Forum (GLF) in London. It's an event that brings together some of the region's most influential public sector figures under one roof, in an effort to find new ways to drive sustainable economic growth in Europe.
In my conversations in the conference hall, most people I have spoken with are in agreement that maintaining growth across the region will not be easy. Nevertheless, there is clear enthusiasm to engage and help unearth new ways to drive prosperity for Europe's people.
There is certainly an understanding amongst most government leaders that the efficient deployment of technology across Europe will play a crucial role in dictating the speed at which the recovery happens. It was great to hear Nick Clegg, the UK government's deputy leader, reinforcing how important technology is and will continue to be in driving growth in the coming months and years.