From our new paper on cloud platforms and mobility, Unleashing the Cloud (free download, registration required):

Clothing retailer Bonobos is only five years old but it has already made waves in the apparel world. The company has risen to the top of the men’s luxury-apparel market, offering slacks, shirts, and casual wear online, at a New York City showroom and at Nordstrom stores. It has adopted an array of cloud services and offerings to provide a level of flexibility and agility required to complete cost effectively, explains John Rote, Vice President of Customer Experience. And mobility plays a key role in this emerging environment. “We make it a point to tailor the experience to the device and the browser it uses. Ultimately, it’s easier to manage one code base rather than multiple code bases. By storing code, images, and content in the cloud and distributing it through a content delivery network it’s easier for a designer or content creator to obtain what they need when they need it.”

The company also caches images in different sizes and stores them in the cloud. This allows Bonobos to dynamically scale the images to a specific device in an optimized resolution. As a result, “We are able to provide a more optimal experience for customers,” Rote says. In addition, developers and programmers rely on cloud-based code to manage the website, e-commerce engine and mobile experience. “We have multiple development environments
that we are able to stage code in.” In this way, “we are able to scale servers for multiple development and production environments. All of this would be much more difficult with a dedicated server environment,” Rote points out.

Finally, when Bonobos merges these production environments into a single release, “We are able to do so seamlessly—and conduct load testing and other tasks in a mirrored environment that customers don’t see … We know that what we introduce will be robust and won’t cause latency issues or crashes. The cloud allows us to scale up and down in a way that simply isn’t possible in a traditional environment,” Rote explains.

From our new paper on cloud platforms and mobility, Unleashing the Cloud (free download, registration required):

Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts wants to take a slightly different tack. The hospitality company, with 71 hotels and resorts in 25 countries, strives to build a cloud platform that allows hotel properties to manage their own applications on an iPad, iPhone, or Android device. The idea, says Mr. MacFarlaine, is for hotels to “supplement their existing materials” with corporate content and seamlessly blend everything into a “great-looking and easy-to-use app.” This way, each property can communicate a desired message while the company maintains a unified look within the app. This helps boost branding. The self-managed capability provides greater flexibility, he adds: “Hotels can update promotions as often as they like, they can add images and descriptions, at zero cost.”

From our just-released report on cloud platforms and mobility, Unleashing the Cloud (free download, registration required):

NYSE Technologies, a large provider of software and data services for the capital markets industry, has built a cloud platform to support customer trading system app-development, says Feargal O’Sullivan, Global Head of Alliances. While the firm does not build or offer its own trading-system apps, it provides its corporate clients with a set of APIs and a cloud platform where code and apps reside—or where they can develop them. This eliminates what he calls the “heavy lifting.” Mr. O’Sullivan explains: “If a client requires an analytic engine or mobile distribution capabilities, we’re able to support it through a third-party approach that uses the cloud.” Simply put, the customer can plug in various components and services and create a product on the fly.

You can read Unleashing the Cloud , our newest research paper, by clicking this link (free, but registration is required). This in-depth look at mobility and cloud platforms includes a case study of retailer Bonobos, as well as insights from other leading companies and data from our global survey.

From our paper on mobility and the cloud:

“Dotcom has been replaced with iPads and iPhones. This creates entirely different expectations, and places fundamentally different demands and requirements on organizations.”

–Roger MacFarlaine, Vice President, Technology & Systems at Mövenpick
Hotels and Resorts

As we prepare to release our second report, this one on mobility and cloud platforms, here’s a look at the folks who took the survey behind the story.

This report, the second in a series of papers that analyze the strategic adoption of cloud computing, is based upon a global survey of 200 senior business and IT executives, conducted in December 2012 and January 2013. The largest group of respondents (16%) came from the US, followed by Brazil, India, Mexico, and the UK (13% each); Germany (10%); Canada (9%); China (6%); Japan (4%); Australia (3%); and Saudi Arabia (3%). Respondents came from five industries: retail (29%), consumer products (28%), banking (25%), telecommunications (13%), and capital markets (7%). More than one-quarter of respondent companies had sales between $1 billion and $4.9 billion. Larger companies made a significant showing, with 10% of respondents reporting sales between $5 billion and $9.9 billion, and 12% over $10 billion. Small and mid-size firms also were well represented: Nearly one in five respondents had sales of $25 million to $99 million, while 18% had sales between $100 million and $499 million, and 14% weighed in between $500 million and $999 million. Chief Executive Officers made up the largest group of respondents (25%), followed by IT infrastructure managers (19%), business unit heads (15%), and Chief Intelligence Officers (13%). Other titles included Chief Operating Officers (8%) and Chief Innovation Officers (7%), along with Developers, Chief Architects, and EVP/SVP of Technology, Operations, and Marketing.

From the introduction of our latest paper, Unleashing the Cloud: Putting Mobility to Work (link posted shortly):

Our global survey of 200 senior business and IT executives shows companies taking a variety of cloud-based mobility initiatives that span the enterprise, from internal operations to interactions with customers and partners. These plans aim to achieve a broad range of goals, including increased efficiency, customer satisfaction, and business performance. To realize these goals and put mobility and clouds to work successfully, they will need a well-conceived strategy, the right resources, and a commitment to connecting people and systems in new and sometimes unfamiliar ways.

It’s best to take mega-dollar predictions of market size as general indicators and trend markers, not hard numbers, but in any case this forecast from TechNavio adds up to news:

The platform as a service (PaaS) market is expected to reach $6.45bn by 2016 and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 50%, with application infrastructure and middleware PaaS expected to grow the fastest.

An interesting conversation with Slalom Consulting’s Rob Daigneau about cloud platforms and mobility here ; our report on that very topic is on the way.