We live in a time of constant change, persistent disruption and rapid technological advancement, all of which make the job of running a successful enterprise highly challenging. Safely avoiding the slings and arrows that fortune puts in our way and being in a position to seize opportunities as they come along requires companies to be both agile and data-rich. Here, we look at how cloud technology can help enterprises bring these about and provide the futureproofing they need.
While data is increasingly used to help enterprises make predictions about the future, some disruptions are totally unforeseen. Political turmoil, wars, natural disasters, and industrial action can all come out of the blue and have an enormous impact.
The pandemic is perhaps the most recent instance of unexpected global disruption, yet it is also a classic example of how enterprises already using cloud technology were the quickest to adapt to the new landscape and why many survived when their non-cloud competitors did not. Thanks to the cloud, they were able to implement remote working quickly and keep operations running. For retailers, it was those that could switch to online sales and implement deliveries and click and collect that faired the best.
The benefit of the cloud was that enterprises that had adopted it weren’t burdened by unscalable in-house infrastructure and so had the capacity and agility to adapt quickly.
Faster app deployment
While big challenges, like the pandemic, don’t come around very often, enterprises face smaller ones all the time. By migrating to the cloud, however, they put themselves in a much better position to adapt to change. When working from home became a necessity, it wasn’t just cloud technology that enabled this to take place, there was also a need for remote working platforms that would link the company’s system with the home worker. This essential software was, unsurprisingly, cloud-based, enabling those with cloud systems to deploy it straight away.
Today, the majority of new applications, including tools like big data, automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, are created for the cloud. What’s more, they are open-source and instantly deployable. This means enterprises with cloud infrastructures can swiftly put them into place to deal with change. There are no licence fees to pay and no worries about whether the app will work in the cloud, as it’s cloud-native. Companies with in-house infrastructures, meanwhile, might find that such applications are incompatible with their systems or that their deployment is not so straightforward.
As the market becomes more digitised, enterprises will need to keep updating the hardware they use to deliver the services and experiences their customers expect. The substantial capital investment needed to acquire that hardware, accompanied by the disruption that comes with migrating systems to it, will be something which needs to be done regularly, as today’s advanced systems soon become obsolete.
Cloud technology provides futureproofing by completely removing the need to invest in new infrastructure. That burden is taken on by the cloud provider, which, to attract and retain customers of its own, has to continually upgrade to better hardware. This means that enterprises that have migrated to the cloud can always be assured of having the performance and reliability they need to grow.
Scalability on tap
Scalability is vital to allow enterprises to cater for unexpected demand. It is futureproofing in the sense that whatever computing resources the company will need, whether for traffic, processing or other workloads, its services can continue without crashing.
Achieving this level of scalability in-house is a major challenge. It means the purchase of costly hardware that is purposely kept redundant just in case there’s excessive demand. That is a lot of money to spend on equipment that will only get occasional use. What’s more, as it’s likely to remain cold until it is needed, companies will need to wait for it to boot and be brought online until its resources can be used.
In the cloud, scalability is far more practical and affordable. Service providers have such enormous data centres that the amount of scaling up an enterprise can do is almost limitless. At the same time, those additional resources are available at the click of a button for as long as the company requires them. Importantly, they are also charged for on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning that once demand reduces, so does the cost, making it far more cost-effective than purchasing a server that’s rarely used.
While dedicated servers can deliver significant processing power, there is always the potential that, as physical machines, they will fail. Indeed, drive failure, network problems and power outages are all threats to continuity. In the cloud, high availability is guaranteed. If hardware fails, the virtual cloud server is easily transferred to a different machine without service interruption. If a data centre fails, there is a backup data centre, at a different location, ready to continue. When it comes to futureproofing reliability, therefore, the cloud’s 100% uptime guarantee is as close as any enterprise can get with today’s technology.
Enterprises are operating in a world of constant change. While they might not be able to predict the future, they do need to be in a position where they can adapt quickly. In the digital age, this means acquiring infrastructure that provides agility, scalability and reliability, and does so cost-effectively. The best way to do this is through cloud technology. For more information about our cloud solutions, visit Hyperslice.com.