Factoring in cloud

Today, leaders across an enterprise to start-ups need to plan for workloads that are ready to deal with shifting IT landscapes. Businesses have long since woken up to the need for cloud computing. Everyone today thinks of a “cloud first” approach keeping in mind how they can: facilitate rapid growth through scalability with cloud; add ability to innovate and experiment; protect against costly data breaches; and mine critical, actionable insights from the data and be cognitive-ready.

However, the trends show that despite its proliferation, most organisations are still failing to utilise the full potential of cloud computing, most importantly to drive economic advantage. This failure is largely driven by a misconception that cloud only offers little more than a way to cut technology costs, rather than looking at it as a platform for building strategic business advantages. Also, companies must consider the emerging forms of cloud-based services such as blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT). So, how does a leader make the right cloud choice which is built to help scale?

The best cloud solutions must comprise core characteristics like:

Is your cloud enterprise grade? Look first for an industrial strength public cloud, which delivers a hybrid blend of choice and consistency. This option includes advanced security compared with private cloud options and offers scale for growth. A strong public cloud isn’t just about scale, it’s about data sovereignty.

The enterprise grade cloud should also help in accelerating innovation. The cloud platform should offer a range of the latest software technologies. Again, at the click of a button. This gives businesses the ability to innovate and experiment. They can run trials for a new piece of technology, dabble in artificial intelligence (AI) and investigate the use of a chatbot to change the way they do customer service. This empowers organisations to be agile, adapt and utilise innovative technologies, all geared to driving a strategic edge over rivals.

Is it built to give customers get value from their data? Data is the world’s next natural resource. The person who mines the data today makes more money than the person who generates it. To acquire the best business insight, leaders must choose cloud options that prioritise data diversity (the ability to combine public, private and licensed data), data control with locality (understanding location, who is using the data and for what) and data isolation (the practice of preventing the data from being mined for commercial reasons).

Is it build for the future? Today’s enterprise cloud must possess a full range of cognitive abilities, from machine learning to AI. In its most advanced form, this translates to human-like capabilities such as seeing, hearing and reading. Like many industries, retail is being disrupted as clients are choosing mobile devices over brick-and-mortar offices or looking at more personalised experience while at the store or using the website.

Is it built keeping in mind the security first approach? Lastly, cloud helps react to emerging trends, scale to maximise efficiency or implement advanced cybersecurity initiatives to defend against ever increasing threats. It also helps to comply with key regulatory requirements, establish appropriate risk management strategies, protect confidentially, integrity and availability of resources and data workloads and extend controls beyond on-premises environments with governance and assurance.

Every company’s data workload will continue to grow at a rapid pace. That only elevates the importance of its cloud solution choices. The most successful leaders will consciously consider these characteristics to move their companies faster and further into the future.

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