Land was the original economic driver, then factories and manufacturing, and today it is data, organizations who have the timeliest information hold all the influence and power. As we evolve as a society, our greatest asset is no longer contained by boundaries and borders, like land and factories, but instead, it is traversing the world through the cloud at the speed of light.
In less than a decade, cloud computing went from being merely a recommendation from service providers, to the technological lifeblood that runs through most enterprises today. As a result, cloud offers ubiquitous access to content and services, enabling organizations to extract and analyze information about customer behaviors, profitability and performance, instantly, shifting the culture and changing the way enterprises interact with customers in entirely new ways. As data grows, business processes and services move to the cloud and enterprises are challenged to protect their infrastructures without sacrificing security or performance.
Save Time & Money
The increased focus on cost optimization has led to the rise in cloud adoption, saving organizations both time and money. Individuals expect to collaborate and engage from anywhere at any time and on any device; this trend in consumer driven IT has played a vital role in organizations’ decisions to migrate to the cloud for greater efficiencies.
As corporations evolve to address these modern business needs, so too must the technologies, organizations must re-think data requirements strategically while transitioning to the cloud, building a unified and centralized data infrastructure based on the value of the data, its purpose and the frequency in which it will be accessed. For instance, active storage pools may reside on-premise through a private cloud, while inactive data can be pushed to public cloud storage, delivering a cost-effective and efficient hybrid solution, fully under the control of corporate IT.
Additionally, cloud computing supports intelligent tiering, deduplication and compression reducing capacity requirements and removing roadblocks associated with user adoption, growth, integration costs, and maintenance overhead, leading to faster time to value, lower IT costs, improved efficiencies and empowered employees.
The cloud has removed many of the barriers to entry, driving business agility, reducing complexity, enabling flexibility and re-shaping the way businesses engage. Large industry incumbents used to rely on their size and influence to control a marketplace, but as cloud adoption continues to grow, these large enterprises are realizing size and magnitude are no longer sufficient as the balance of power is shifting.
Consumers and businesses are interacting in new ways, utilizing cloud technology to capture, analyze and react to data, enabling organizations to respond to business challenges, capitalize on market opportunities and reduce time to market. The cloud, combined with a robust data centric infrastructure plays an integral role in an organizations business agility through automation, by reacting to demands and seamlessly enabling the integration of new business services through provisioning. Businesses of all sizes are able to offer more services, making customers happy, reaching new markets and creating additional sources of revenue.
Evolution & Benefit Realization
Traditionally, dedicated infrastructures were designed to satisfy business applications, but as technology evolved, data grew and business services expanded, the infrastructure cost, service and flexibility were no longer adequate. With data growth that is estimated to reach an astounding 163ZB by 2025, the cloud has become the prerequisite, as it continues to evolve as a scalable, cost-effective and secure solution to an overwhelming number of applications and data. By deploying cloud technology, organizations are establishing a modern, simplified IT infrastructure with remote capabilities and limitless scalability. As the cloud becomes mainstream and new services and technologies develop, companies will realize even more benefits of their cloud investment as they continue to increase efficiencies. No matter the environment or type, cloud is making businesses and users more effective and productive, transforming how IT infrastructures are built, data is created and information is consumed.
Progressing Confidently into the Data Era & Beyond
The cloud touches every aspect of an enterprise, understanding the cloud economics and how it can provide benefits through total cost of ownership savings or quantifying the benefits of a highly flexible and agile infrastructure is imperative.
When an international financial organization was assessing a large-scale data protection, governance and disaster recovery solution of a mirrored multi-petabyte deployment, they applied a hybrid model, where the primary local environment was stored onsite, leveraging the cloud as a business continuity site in the instance of an outage affecting the primary data center. After implementation, the organization established a long term data strategy, freed up storage capacity, reduced risk exposure, satisfied compliance regulations, increased productivity, efficiency and drove real time data insights.
Similarly, when a pharma company with a competitive advantage in drug discovery and production was required to conform to GxP governance requirements, they assessed the cloud as an effective model for outsourcing their IT requirements. Working in collaboration with an MSP, they leveraged cloud infrastructure to run their data centric infrastructure fully in the cloud on virtual machines, benefiting from the flexibility of IaaS, while equally utilizing consolidated and geographically distributed cloud storage pools to offset storage management costs. The architectural design allowed for greater flexibility, lower storage and infrastructure costs and enabled them to focus on their core efforts, overall enhancing their competitive advantage as an organization.
The cloud, combined with unified data defined infrastructures add to the success, agility and competitive advantage of an organization. Enterprises need to take the leap into cloud technologies in order to prosper; if not they will watch other enterprises move forward while they remain limited by traditional technologies, leaving opportunities on the floor.