UPDATED 08:30 EDT / FEBRUARY 16 2015

The Business of the Public Cloud NEWS

What you missed in Cloud: Disrupting consumption models

The Business of the Public CloudThe promise of cloud computing remains elusive for the traditional enterprise nearly a decade after the trend first reared its head. Organizations are caught in a trade-off between control and flexibility that makes it difficult to realize the full benefits of the model, but striking the right balance became a notch easier last week as the vendor community took a collective step forward toward seizing it.

AppDirect Inc. led the charge, revealing a $50 million funding round meant to fuel the development of its namesake platform, which provides a way for business workers to consume cloud services on their own terms while still upholding governance policies. It offers a selection of pre-screened applications that administrators can assemble into catalogs tailored to the requirements of their organizations and regulate usage accordingly.

While AppDirect is helping bridge the gaps between the potential and reality of cloud computing for the enterprise, some providers are taking accessibility into their own hands. Actifio Inc. made news in conjunction with the funding after unveiling a managed implementation of its data virtualization technology aimed at removing the need for practitioners to set it up it by themselves in their on-premise environments.

Actifio One allows organizations to store a “master copy” of applications and data in a remote location to protect against outages. When the live instance becomes unavailable for one reason or another, a new image can simply be restored from the service, an approach that the company says is both simpler and more reliable than trying to manually bring the workload back online using traditional data protection tools.

Actifio is primarily targeting mid-sized organizations with a limited number of operations professionals on the payroll, but the flexibility that comes with shifting the management burden outside the firewall is just as alluring for enterprises. That’s the audience SAP SE is courting with its new contextual marketing suite, which is described as the most extensive of its kind.

The platform taps into data from different parts of an organization’s infrastructure, including back-end databases, point-of-sale systems and most of everything in between, to provide what the business intelligence giant describes as a complete view of customers. Marketers can use that visibility to deliver customized purchasing suggestions through the built-in recommendation engine and adapt their advertising to the user’s behavior as it changes in real-time.

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