How far along on your cloud journey have you traveled? Are you among the two in three North American enterprises—according to Forrester Research—who already rely on public cloud platforms? Cloud-based computing is not the future; it is the present.
Industry research experts, Gartner, expect that more than 30 percent of technology providers’ new software investments have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only.
As the enterprise seeks competitive advantage and reduced risk, competing without cloud resources is like fighting with both hands tied behind your back. Even if you are already in the cloud, how are you maximizing your existing investment?
Here are four key concepts that drive value from cloud-based innovation:
- Secure – Minimize your risk with the most current services.
- Analyze – Take advantage of the maturing platforms of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
- Automate – Reduce repetition through the dynamism of the ever-expanding capabilities of interconnectivity.
- Adopt – Eliminate the need for endless upgrades and training with an evergreen platform.
Each of these concepts deserves an in-depth look to help maximize your existing cloud investments.
Security has long been an area used to slow cloud uptake. However, security is a significant driver for moving to the cloud. Considering the Capital One breach in the Amazon cloud, attention has expanded the scope of protection. It is no longer enough to lock the front door only. The need to secure apps and data requires investment in native security offerings that extend capabilities beyond identity and access management.
Cloud security is proactive rather than reactive. New regulations such as GDPR require vigilance and zero tolerance for lapses in data control that allows confidential information accessed by bad actors or released into the public domain. The sophistication of recognizing the value of the content itself and not just where it resides is the new focus, tailor-made for the strengths of cloud computing. Acknowledging that all content is not equal and protecting more than access and control is the demand of modern security.
Using data is a crucial tool for making decisions. Data has moved to the cloud, and this enables the aggregation of many disparate sources of data. Larger quantities with greater diversity present a considerable opportunity for leaders to see the business in a different light. These new dimensions provide the chance to recognize process failures or other flaws and present opportunities for innovation and improvement.
As these data sets grow, the ability to analyze the data slows the strategic decision process. Extensive data require more analysts or the addition of computing power. Cloud-based AI and ML provide the means for sifting through mounds of data to establish patterns, anomalies and variance. Cloud-based computing enables AI and ML at scale, which opens the door to real-time decisions. Dashboards driven by better data deliver alerts and business insights for managers to make crucial decisions at a moment’s notice.
The power of computing is to alleviate repetitive activities. Automation in the cloud delivers the ability to adjust quickly and achieve the flexibility of DevOps principles. Fast deployments, stable environments and democratization of technology are part of the DevOps paradigm. The Internet of Things, or IoT, allows the automation of cameras, the playing of music and even household lights.
Automation improves processes by the reduction of tedious manual work and limits human errors. The improved performance speeds execution times that deliver higher value faster. Freedom from mundane tasks enables the focus on more complex issues that require human insight and direct interaction with customers. The result is higher productivity and value to the customer.
All of this does not matter without adoption. Most are prone to do things the way they have always done it or the way that poses the least amount of resistance. Change is one of the most challenging aspects of any initiative.
Cloud has built-in advantages over traditional approaches. The small incremental changes that are evolutionary allow for change to happen without user disruption. The underlying tenant of DevOps shields the platform and the user from big bangs of revolutionary change. Transformation of the cloud is an evolutionary, evergreen approach.
In the age of the ubiquitous mobile phone, BYOD and flexible working hours and locations, the cloud becomes instrumental in the ability to work outside the office. According to IDC, 42% of companies polled cited access to data anytime, anywhere as the main driver for moving to the cloud.
Your Cloud Stewards
As computing continues to move closer to the edge away from the core, the need to maximize your investment in the cloud is vital. How far along on your cloud journey have you traveled? How are you maximizing your existing cloud strategy? Engage with us to not only transition to cloud-based computing but ensure you are driving value from your cloud investment.
This Abel Insight written by Abel Solutions Strategist and Chief Technologist, Jason Bell.