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Destination Cloud: a certainty in times of uncertainty

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Destination Cloud: a certainty in times of uncertainty

Andrew Soeiro
Andrew Soeiro 5 minutes Share

The defining technology of our time, the Cloud, is seen as the answer to a limitless number of challenges, regardless of industry. While the route to overcome many of those trials varies, the destination is clear. Andrew Soeiro from Avanade Portugal explores why the future is in the Cloud and how to get there.

In 1997, Professor Ramnath Chellappa welcomed a new era of Cloud Computing when he described a paradigm “in which the limits of computing will be determined by economic logic, not just technical limits.” In the years that followed, this technology would reimagine nearly all aspects of the way we live and work, to such an extent that it’s often difficult to remember life without it.

Some have even attributed the concept of the Cloud to a much earlier scientist, John McCarthy, a founding father of Artificial Intelligence (AI). In the early 60s, he envisioned a means where sharing data instantly could strengthen business models, and where computing and applications are commodities, just as we consider water, gas and electricity.

The idea of the cloud also formed part of the debate when the Internet first came into reach at the turn of the century– if only by a few enthusiastic tech pioneers at the time. Little did we know when telephone lines were replaced with cables to access the Internet that such a monumental shift was on the horizon.

Nowadays, the Cloud has become such an omnipresent aspect of our daily lives, it’s rare to pause to question or consider it. Think about how easily streaming films and listening to music has become, or how much of our working life is done on the cloud - all, crucially, at the same time and with the same ease whether you’re in Siberia or South Africa.

The future is here. And it’s reimagining businesses

The make-up of modern businesses has changed radically in recent years. The digital revolution has harnessed the impressive advances of technology, while data capacity among networks and devices has continued to soar. It’s startling to consider that basic modern smartphones have greater memory capacity than the computer onboard Apollo XI.

Companies in turn have all, to some extent, needed to develop a digital strategy to keep up with, and best leverage, the latest computing abilities and data storage capacities. The influx of new digital services means most don’t even need to actively manage such solutions. Simply selecting a desired Cloud-based tool can offer new and valuable digital experiences and tools that process and analyze huge quantities of data. There are plenty to choose from, too. Public, private or hybrid cloud solutions, or the many types of cloud services such as IaaS, CaaS, PaaS and SaaS.

However, companies need to understand that migrating to the Cloud is not a short-term project. Ensuring regulatory compliance, trust and digital security is imperative. Equally each company is unique and will continue to evolve, so any transition to the Cloud needs to accommodate growth, change and new business processes.

Cloud is the destination, without a doubt. But a trusted partner can help companies identify their best route to get there and help design, develop and maintain solutions and applications that meet their needs today and in the future. It’s a complex task, but one that ensures they can maintain agility and resilience throughout their digital transformation.

The Cloud is not a one-stop destination either. As it evolves, it opens new opportunities to innovate and deliver increasingly rich services.

Reaching for the stars, via the Cloud

We need only consider the last year to realize how vital the ability to react and quickly evolve is for all sectors. Falling behind on the adoption of new technologies can leave businesses quickly in trouble. In a climate of uncertainty, responsiveness to new challenges as they arrive helps companies to not just survive but thrive.

An example that best illustrates the boundless relevance of the Cloud is how it has been used to identify 70 virtual compounds to be tested for their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV2. It is the result of a voluntary crowdsourcing project that saw scientists and everyday citizens donating the processing power of their computers and smartphones for experiments.

The success and speed that the project was delivered in was only made possible by Cloud technologies. For all industries, wider adoption of this technology is critical. For businesses evaluating their strategy, there are six steps we can consider that ensures they can successfully adopt a Cloud-based framework that is resilient, efficient and agile.

  • Act quickly, with the right tools and plan

Embracing a cloud-based approach quickly means businesses can far more rapidly and easily enable innovation and broader business change, simply by virtue of the Cloud’s native capabilities. With a considered plan and the right tools, businesses can lay the foundations for success right from the start. Integrated applications in the Cloud offer unrivalled new insights and analytics that can inform more considered and effective change. In turn, upgrades are far simpler to implement and roll-out on modern, Cloud-based infrastructure.

  • Let applications shape the infrastructure

Applications determine what business processes are and the value they offer, while infrastructure ensures those applications are delivered quickly, reliably, securely and cost- effectively. When business models are shaped with more scalable, integrated and reliable applications, the infrastructure naturally streamlines, strengthens and expedites. The possibilities then become endless, creating opportunities to tap into new revenues and add value to the business like never before.

  • Efficiency is key

Cloud migration helps automate and ease a lot of administrative strain usually placed on employees. With the Cloud, businesses can take the opportunity to make operational changes, enabling employees to develop new roles and ways of working that can add new value to the business. This also expands the business’ ecosystem, adding more players and KPIs into the mix. This is where effective distribution, rather than centralization, becomes valuable. With the right technology, combined with the right processes and people, IT can be transformed into a competitive advantage.

  • Implement strong governance across domains

The Cloud offers companies greater independence when it comes to IT. But for the implementation of this to be a success, there are still several varied requirements to meet that structures within the organization need to take charge of.

Governance and compliance need to combine company practices with IT infrastructure. In turn, these rules need to guide users towards the best and most efficient, economical services. It’s not just about keeping internal standards high either - consider the many external legal and regulatory requirements at play, especially in relation to data storage, security and privacy.

  • Evolve, optimize and re-evaluate to keep costs in check

The cost of Cloud spending can be higher than expected, which usually means clearer revenue growth tracking is needed to demonstrate return on investment (ROI) across the enterprise. The Cloud has a fundamental impact on the balance between capital expenditure and operational expenses, so considering the financial implications is important. Ensuring you have an effective optimization strategy in place is critical to keep spending in-line.

  • Check your data security, wherever it goes

Data is now travelling across a multitude of networks. As such, it needs to be properly safeguarded wherever it goes.

In the brave new world of data, encryption hafeature at every point. Effective checks and scans across data transmission and storage need to be in place to mitigate attacks and quickly detect, block and eradicate threats.

It’s no secret that the Cloud offers boundless potential. But translating the idea of the Cloud and putting all its possibility into practice requires careful thought and consideration. For a Cloud strategy to be successful, the entire company structure and ethos needs reimagining.

Businesses wanting to innovate, and lead their industry’s innovation, need a few vital things: agility, near-unlimited resource, greater productivity and better security. The Cloud, above any other technology, holds the key to this change.

 Andrew Soeiro

Responsible for Applications & Infrastructure areas at Avanade Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

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