HostingJournalist.com was invited to attend the annual ‘EvoSwitch OpenCloud Live’ event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, a knowledge sharing event hosted by international colocation and managed services provider EvoSwitch where customers and partners of EvoSwitch were joining to listen to high-profile speakers on cloud and (big) data related topics. Central message during the event was: dare to innovate and experiment with all cloud data owned, but also be aware of the impact of proprietary data on the viability of your own business model.
“Many organizations get confused by all cloud data being generated, structured or unstructured, they don’t know what to do with it,” said Frans Feldberg, Professor of Data-Driven Business Innovation at Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam and one of the speakers during the EvoSwitch OpenCloud Live event. “Portability and interconnectivity of cloud data make it even worse. A Philips MRI scan may result in photos being stored in the cloud. Pharmaceuticals can put a sensor the size of a grain of sand inside their pills while their data analytics are being stored in the cloud as well. Through the characteristics of cloud, all data generated can be shared easily with other healthcare institutions. There are giant volumes of data being collected already, not only within healthcare.”
“My message to organizations is: dare to innovate and experiment with the data you’re able to collect,” added Professor Feldberg. “First of all, you’ll have to be aware which data resources and analytics are important to your business model. Of course, privacy concerns put its limitations on what you can do with big data, but there are lots of situations where you can experiment with big data without privacy concerns being an issue at all. Radiologists in the West think their world is not going to change under the influence of big data, while in China radiologists are completely aware of the impact of big data and the relevance with regards to innovation. They know that it will probably alter their jobs and work environment in the future.”
The Uber of Healthcare
“We get quite some requests, more and more actually, with regards to what the impact is of big data on specific business ecosystems. Bartering is a good way to innovate and experiment with cloud data, it enables you to enrich and multiply the outcome through joined forces. One company adds its data to the ecosystem while another one gives back something else. That’s a good thing. Be aware though of the impact of data sharing on your own business model.”
“A photo taken by a Philips MRI scan can be put into the cloud,” added Professor Feldberg. “Through an algorithm, the Philips computer-system might then be able to trace patterns and sensitivities in human tissue. Subsequently, the portability and interconnectivity characteristics of cloud data will enable Philips to share this data with other hospitals and healthcare institutions. Hospitals are often eager to join innovation projects with vendors like Philips, Siemens, and others, and share their precious hospital data, but what if companies like Philips and Siemens take over the patient contact in the end? What is the viability of a hospital’s business model by then? In the long run, what will be decided by medical specialists and what will be determined by machines? Maybe it will end up being a combination of the two? And, as we’re speaking about cloud data, healthcare and patient contacts, who is going to be the Uber of healthcare?”
Sharing Your Data
“Through data, you’re able to take over client relations while endangering the viability of another organization’s business model. A washing machine manufacturer may think he’s the owner of his customer contacts, but what if a new app will enable direct connections between washing machines and solar panels, while adding all kinds of washing machine data related services, such as cost-optimization for washes and sustainability advices. For data owners it’s important to realize that big data can be a strategic asset of their business model, so you have to think about which data is important to keep for yourself and which data may be shared with others.”
“But again, daring to experiment with your data is important to stay innovative while keeping your business model viable. Just free up some budget or resources, even though there isn’t a business case for it yet. In the end, it will help you stay ahead of the competition.”
At the EvoSwitch OpenCloud Live event in Amsterdam, the CIO of the Netherlands’ Kadaster, Land Registry and Mapping Agency, Jaco Goudswaard, did not show any hesitation to adopting cloud and sharing data with ecosystem partners.
“The cloud is important for us to stay ahead of new business requirements and to keep up with the demands of our organization,” said Jaco Goudswaard, CIO of Kadaster Netherlands. “Cloud is an innovation enabler for Kadaster. Sharing our data in the cloud with ecosystem partners is also important to us. When we’re able to connect third parties to our systems, Kadaster will be able to leverage its innovative capabilities and attain long-term successes. In order to stay viable, our business model needs to embrace cloud technology. Of course, it will take some time to convince the Kadaster organization as a whole to embrace cloud technology to the fullest. There are still land surveyors being hired for example, although drones and satellites are able to do their work already.”
Claiming Digital Leadership
“At the moment we’re still keeping all our data in a private cloud environment, hosted in data centers owned by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but in the future, we may expect some sort of hybrid cloud model with private cloud as well as public cloud infrastructure being used,” added Mr. Goudswaard. “In my opinion, Kadaster needs to claim digital leadership within our ecosystems. When connecting our systems and sharing our data with ecosystem partners, it might, for example, lead to mortgage applicants being informed within a minute about getting a mortgage loan or not. This new approach would enable us to proactively give answers to future requirements and stay ahead of the curve.”
Another speaker at the EvoSwitch OpenCloud Live event was Laurens Lapré, Vice President Consulting Expert at CGI – an IT services company with global operations and 68,000+ staff members serving a wide variety of verticals.
“One of our customers is Scania, a large truck manufacturer,” said Laurens Lapré, Vice President Consulting Expert at CGI. “When you buy a Scania truck, you agree to their terms and conditions which includes acknowledging Scania’s proprietary ownership of data generated by Scania trucks when operational. As Scania owns the driver data, CGI was able to leverage big data analytics and help Scania customers significantly reduce fuel consumption while enhancing customer loyalty. We have utilized gamification to challenge drivers to become a better driver and safe fuel consumption. Not by explaining it to them, but by challenging them instead. Through a game, they were challenged to enhance roll out and/or braking behavior for example. Through cloud technology and big data analytics, we were able to discover evolving driver patterns and apply gaming adjustments. CGI’s cloud and big data-based solution thus enabled Scania to help its customers’ drivers to drive more economically. In line with this project, CGI also developed a gamification-based ‘Best Driver’ app for the municipality of Rotterdam in the Netherlands – to improve air quality of this city. ”
The last speaker listed at the EvoSwitch OpenCloud Live event was Jan-Paul Dekker, CTO of NL-IX – a large European Internet Exchange based in the Netherlands. He concluded the seminar with an infrastructural session as opposed to the cloud application-oriented sessions earlier that day.
“As a wholesale Internet connectivity provider and enabler of cloud interconnections, NL-IX managed to stay ahead of competition by modularizing our network components and offering these modules as-a-service,” said Jan-Paul Dekker, CTO of NL-IX. “We had to, by the way, as our market is evolving and the peering business is facing a consolidating market landscape. According to Professor Feldberg’s recommendation, we did free up some budget for innovation – to try things out and brainstorm about new go-to-market strategies for NL-IX. This ended up in transforming our solutions into highly modular offerings. From peering, leased lines and bandwidth to data centers, speed, and latency, all components had to be modularized to equip our portfolio with SaaS-based characteristics. In my opinion, network connectivity needs to be on-demand. I would like to see at least 80 percent being automated, from load balancers and firewalls to offering latency services.”
About EvoSwitch OpenCloud Live
EvoSwitch OpenCloud Live is an annual event where the EvoSwitch OpenCloud community can meet face to face and discuss and share their latest service offerings and plans for cloud implementations. The OpenCloud Live event is combined with a strong line-up of speakers that share their cloud vision and unveil the market developments they foresee. The EvoSwitch OpenCloud platform is a cloud-neutral and partner-rich (hybrid) cloud interconnection marketplace offered by international colocation company EvoSwitch for low-latency interconnection options.