Worldwide public cloud computing grew at a phenomenal annual rate of nearly 28.6 percent during the first half of 2017, according to IDC.Frank Gens, senior vice-president and chief analyst at IDC, said that “public cloud adoption is accelerating in large part as enterprises recognise that the cloud has become the launchpad for virtually every new IT innovation in the past 24 months – including AI, blockchain, quantum computing and more. Organisations not on the public cloud will be increasingly isolated from the world of tech innovation.”Eric Newmark, program vice president for IDC’s SaaS, said that “businesses now think ‘cloud first’ when it comes to their IT strategy and software footprint, since the benefits of cloud are clear and have been broadly demonstrated in most industries. Many companies have picked the low-hanging fruit, in terms of apps that could be easily moved to the cloud, and are now evaluating the migration of their next set of larger strategic systems (i.e. ERP, supply chain applications, etc.) to a SaaS model. These projects, coupled with companies’ efforts to embrace digital transformation, will continue to fuel strong SaaS growth.”
If this is June 1978, there must be football in the air. From the coffee fields of Brazil to oil-rich Iran, from industralized Germany to Third World’s Tunisia, from Europe, Asia and America all eyes are on Argentina, the scene of the eleventh World Cup soccer tournament. Fifteen nations from,If this is June 1978, there must be football in the air. From the coffee fields of Brazil to oil-rich Iran, from industralized Germany to Third World’s Tunisia, from Europe, Asia and America all eyes are on Argentina, the scene of the eleventh World Cup soccer tournament. Fifteen nations from across the globe, “armies” bristling with zealous optimism are battling for honours in the four-yearly soccer jamboree that grips the world for nearly a month.Can ageing West Germany retain the cup that their superstar captain Franz Beckenbauer won for them at Munich in 1974? Can the Brazilians aspire to new levels of soccer magic? Will home advantage see the hosts through? Right from its inception in 1930 the game has set new levels of Latin American fanaticism.The Uruguayans, the hosts, in that inaugural year were celebrating a century of independence. Their opponents in the final were Argentina, old rivals from across the turgid, churning waters of the River Plate. Ten steamers were chartered to take the Argentinian fans across to Montevideo. People were packed abroad like cattle, but thousands were left behind.Brazil’s captain Rivelino (left) leaves Kasperczak of Polland behind on the way to goalThere were protest marches in the streets of Buenos Aires as they demanded more boats. Then, as the steamers left, thousands of fans lined the quayside chanting “Victory or Death”.Uruguay won 4-2, their last goal being scored by a one-armed reserve called Castro, and the country went delirious with joy. The brooding Argentinian supporters stormed the Uruguayan Consulate back in Buenos Aires, complaining of brutality and unfair refereeing, and police had to fire to disperse them. The World Cup had been launched….advertisementSince then it has been a kaleidoscope of contrasting styles and skills – a confrontation between the artists of Latin America and the methodical men of Europe, whose style and form can match the best blend of individual flair the Latin Americans can produce.In Argentina ’78, the odds are loaded against the iron men from West Germany, the holders. They are without superstars Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Mueller and Wolfgang Overath. Training matches and their first outing in the tournament – a goalless draw against Poland – indicate that the holders have slender chance of emulating Brazil, who have won the cup thrice.Can Argentina, playing at home in front of frenzied crowds vociferously rooting for them, pull it off? On six occasions out of ten World Cup championships held so far, the host nation has reached the final, and, of these, four have won. The Argentinians are temperamental players.They can be brilliant on a day and totally devoid of their basic skills on the next. The other temperamental team, the Italians, star-studded as they usually are, suffer from the big handicap of their top men not being able to play the same game on two successive days.This World Cup may lack the dynamism and artistry of Pele, Cruyff and Beckenbauer, but clearly, it is not devoid of soccer talent. Among other, Holland’s Rob Rensenbrink has risen as one of the outstanding wingers in the world.Brazil has never lacked the ability to produce brilliant footballers. Along with the 1970 World Cup veteran Roberto Rivehno, the Brazilian team boasts of a powerful forward-line with Reinaldo and Zico. The presence of Cerezo and Nelinho in the midfield and defense provides a balance which may once again win the championship for Brazil.The West Germans, though depleted without Beckenbauer, Mueller and Overath, still have Rainer Bonhof, the man who changed West Germany’s fortunes in 1974 and Sepp Maier, whose experiences in the 1970 and 1974 World Cup tournaments will surely be useful.The Argentina attack is again led by 23-year-old Mario Kempe. Four years ago, when he played for his country in West Germany, he provided entertaining football, making good use of his physique and speed. Since then, he has matured into a prolific goal-scorer which makes him fearsome to defenders and goalkeepers alike.THE JUNTA: WARNING WHISTLEArgentina’s military junta holds a veritable threat for soccer fans in the country.Two years ago, Gen Videla, after a successful coup, launched a crusade against terrorists by killing those persons who did not conform to the ethics of civilization. In the process, many people ‘disappeared’, and ‘why’ was a question, which no one dared to ask.Now, this malaise is spreading into the realm of sports. Only a few day before the start of the World Cup, the junta warned that soccer fans in Argentina are “likely to be shot on sight” if they fail to respond to army orders.advertisementIt appears, that the rulers in Argentina, not unmindful of the “Munich massacre” and recent bursts of terrorism in West Germany and Italy, are determined to have the tournament completed without any awkward incidents.The monteneros, the country’s urban guerillas have promised peace during the competition, but this has scarcely reassured the junta. The omnipresence of troops, with fixed bayonets, is evidence that the military rulers of Argentina have certain ideas about security, which may not be relaxed before the championship is over.