MIT Enterprise Forum Phoenix’s panel on cloud computing

Axway CTO Dave Bennett’s recap

The Supply Chain Embraces B2B Integration in 2010

by Paul Lavery
Director – Solutions Enablement, Supply Chain
Axway

We’re well into the second quarter of 2010, and at least one thing is clear—lack of visibility is the prime driver for the supply chain embracing B2B integration this year. Companies have a much better handle on the “operational basics” as it relates to supply chain information. The problem is getting a more advanced and predictive forecasting with that information. Supply chain departments and standards groups have been banging away at these concepts for years (and perhaps, in some cases and vertical industries, decades). Fully loaded software solutions are now coming online to provide better visibility into supply chain data health. That includes both transactional and operations information.

But here are the missteps I see being made:

  • Overinvesting in EAI (internal integration projects). Grant it, however, that web services is beginning to open that up a bit, and that will help provide a more cost-effective path going forward.
  • Staying with and continuing investments in legacy technology from legacy B2B integration service providers. How many times can those players repackage the same thing and, in some cases, charge even more than before? What a terrible cycle of inefficiency and expense!
  • Thinking that solutions have to come in large monolithic delivery models. Whether that’s from an on-premise or cloud set up. Composite structures deployed on a priority basis will be the norm going forward. This is going to be a prerequisite for any agile supply chain.

To ensure that they’re maintaining the right level of security, companies need to embrace MFT for B2B and use a “gateway” approach to managed file transfer (MFT) of information outside the four walls. They need to handle more interactions within their growth area in terms of IT project work. And they need to provide a central point to ensure that files are secure. Now that’s a solid internal value point! And in some industries (e.g., healthcare), it’s far more than a value point: it’s a mandate for doing business, period.

Managed File Transfer and Health Information Exchange (HIE)

Ruby Raley, Director, Healthcare Solutions, Axway

Executive Decision: A commentary on Information Week’s “Federal IT Execs, Staff Disagree On Cybersecurity”

Taher Elgamal, Chief of Security, Axway

Taher Elgamal comments on Information Week’s “Federal IT Execs, Staff Disagree On Cybersecurity”

eInvoicing

Antoine Rizk, VP, B2B Program, Product and Solutions Marketing

Thinking About Cloud Apps?

by Willy Leichter
Director, Product and Solutions Marketing
Axway

I see plenty of forces driving companies to the cloud. People want to reduce costs, consolidate infrastructure, and stop hosting their own software, and they want to use any number of the countless productivity apps becoming available every day: HR apps, finance apps, and, of course, social media apps.

Clearly, the cloud is an inevitability, and what a statement that is when just a few years ago IT debated fiercely over whether it was wise to allow Facebook, whether allowing it was a threat to security or not allowing it was a threat to user satisfaction. Needless to say, that worked itself out: nearly all businesses allow it, and most integrate it into their business model somehow.

But if you move into cloud purely to save money, I don’t think you’ll necessarily be that successful. There are some cost savings available, but it’s really about simplifying your infrastructure and simplifying your management of applications. If you think just by shifting into the cloud your costs will go down dramatically—that’s still unproven.

What is proven, however, is that most Web apps have minimal security features. Sure, there’s usually some minimal virus scanning, but there’s barely any kind of content control. Sites like Facebook and Linkedin fly under the radar due to the fact that the users demand it, that not having it creates its own problem.

Even if you’re using legitimate business-related web apps (i.e., HR apps, finance apps, etc.), you’re basically not connected to the identity and authorization system of the company, and your well-established rules about where you can go within the company, what servers you can access, etc., become moot. You will end up with many, many IDs and passwords for different applications. And that can be a real security problem when people leave—when they change roles or leave the company, you still have dozens of accounts with different passwords that all need to be cleaned up. This issue had been addressed in the past via general identity access control. But today, increasingly, companies are getting into problems where they’re saying, “It’s just not my job to be worried about apps in the cloud,” because they have no direct bearing on internal business systems.

What do you think? Is it your job to be worried about apps in the cloud?

Data Security to the Files at Rest: A Commentary on the Wall Street Journal’s “Data Theft Hits 3.3 Million Borrowers”

Paul French, VP, Product & Solutions Marketing, Axway

Paul French comments on the Wall Street Journal’s “Data Theft Hits 3.3 Million Borrowers”