RulesFest 2011 – Said Tabet: Semantic Web and the Cloud

on October 25, 2011
SMARTS™ Data-Powered Decision Management Platform

“We are at the intersection of Cloud and Big Data”.  Said starts with a topic that is dear to us at Sparkling Logic.

People may worry about security and other risk-related concerns regarding the Cloud; but Said claims it is worth it.  Of course, it is…  Elasticity, business-ready infrastructure are some of the arguments that immediately come to mind.

The key question for us at Rules Fest is “where should we bring rules in this picture?

Citing the NIST definition of Cloud, Said goes through the 5 essential characteristics of Cloud:

  • on-demand tenant self-service model for provisioning computing capabilities
  • broad network access
  • resource pooling
  • rapid elasticity of revisioned resources automatically or manually
  • measured service to monitor, control and report on transparent resource optimization

Continuing on the definition, the service models are:

  • Software-as-a-service — SaaS
  • Platform-as-a-service — PaaS
  • Infrastructure-as-a-service — IaaS

And last, the deployment models are:

  • Private
  • Community: for shared need by a group of companies or organizations
  • Public

As well as hybrid of course.

IT cloud services spending is growing rapidly from $16.2B in 2008 to expected $42.3B in 2012.  Gartner is actually planning that Worldwide Cloud Services market will grow to $148.8B in 2014 (it was $58.6B in 2009).  The greater adoption is in Financial services, followed by Manufacturing and Communication.  In terms of regions, USA is leading, followed by Western Europe and Japan.

Said considers that GRC will be key to support that growth.  According to CIO magazine, those concerns are the main barriers to adoption today.

Each barrier can become an opportunity.  Risk Management translate into many different needs across functions:

  1. Dashboards and analytics for Finance & Business Operations
  2. Automated discovery, policy and risk analysis for Legal and corporate compliance
  3. Continuous, automated, consolidated assessments for IT

Said’s solution to those concerns is Standards.  Well, solution, necessary Evil…  a question of perspective…

GRC automation has been the target of work performed by most standard bodies: ISO, NIST, ITIL, eTOM, IETF, COSO, ITU, OCEG, IFAC, DMTF…  All of those international standards are driving Cloud Trust.

Here is a presentation that is sure to be of Christian de Sainte-Marie’s liking — Again, sorry for missing his presentation yesterday.

Said presents the topic of Semantic Technologies and Rules in the Cloud now…

In Intelligent Data Centers, Software Agents as Cloud Services need ontologies and rules.

  • Common vocabulary for federated systems on the Cloud
  • Semantic heterogeneity
  • Self-sustaining data centers
  • Policy-based multi-tenancy

GRC is indeed an important concern to take seriously to ensure the success of the Cloud.  But my personal perspective on the opportunity for Rules and Decision Management in the Cloud is actually driven by value-added business-ready services.  Salesforce is “the” model to follow, the one that inspired the Cloud movement.  Business Units or smaller organizations are looking for smart capabilities that do not require such a heavy IT infrastructure to get started, and/or looking for elasticity in spiking operations.  Cloud vendors are making those capabilities readily available.  As it relates to business rules, my vision is that smart services will need decision-making capabilities.  Portals, applications now can mashup those capabilities just as easily as BPM was/is doing it inside the enterprise.

The Cloud is a formidable channel for the fabled “Universal Decision Engine” many organizations have been dreaming about for many years.  Having Decision-as-a-Service now available in the Cloud (admittedly Sparkling Logic being one of them), experts can consider for the first time contributing their expertise “as-a-Service” as well.  As practitioners, the Cloud opens up a ton of opportunities to bring intelligence into those applications or those services; and this is where I hope we will focus our attention, regardless of the technology being used.  I am hoping that collectively we can bring Decision Management as a top priority for CXOs in the coming years.

In 2010-2011, Analytics have made it and have enjoyed a fantastic growth.  Don’t let Business Rules and Decision Management technologies just become an infrastructure detail.  Please.

Learn more about Decision management and Sparkling Logic’s SMARTS™ Data-Powered Decision Manager

See our recap on Dr. Emory Fry’s talk

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Sparkling Logic Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based company dedicated to helping organizations automate and optimize key decisions in daily business operations and customer interactions in a low-code, no-code environment. Our core product, SMARTS™ Data-Powered Decision Manager, is an all-in-one decision management platform designed for business analysts to quickly automate and continuously optimize complex operational decisions. Learn more by requesting a live demo or free trial today.