According to Synergy Research Group, all cloud service and infrastructure market segments grew by 28% last year. The reasons are clear - the cloud offers rapid deployment, flexible cost-structures, advanced applications and when strategically deployed, an improved user experience. It also enables an a-la-carte approach that can be applied to the unique challenges of each business. While 59% of organizations are still working to identify the most appropriate cloud-based solutions for their business, they share common goals – to simplify operations and improve employee productivity while protecting cash flow.
New technologies are dramatically improving IT service delivery models. Virtualization, automation, open architectures, and standards-based technologies have created opportunities for cloud services that are elastic, scalable, secure, and feature-rich.
The potential for an organization to contract and consume almost everything as a service from the cloud is a dramatic shift for IT business models, and it is occurring rapidly.
One of the important implications is the effect this is having on traditional business models. Most of the capabilities enabled by new technologies have only been available through significant CAPEX investment and an IT staff to design, deploy and manage them. That is no longer the case.
Businesses in recent years have been faced with economic uncertainty that has impacted their willingness to make capital investments. Meanwhile, new technologies, applications, and infrastructures have emerged that offer performance improvements and represent opportunities to increase their competitive advantage.
The reluctance to invest capital has been an obstacle for many companies considering new technology enabled opportunities. In response, new consumption models have emerged. A number of cloud based service combinations have made inroads into most companies. Hosted and managed service models are delivering applications, platforms and even infrastructure on demand. Everything-as-a-service is as a realistic option for businesses today and enterprises are discovering new ways to integrate and deploy new features and value into existing infrastructure investment.
Business communication tools and applications have not kept pace with the consumer experience, fueling the bring your own device (BYOD) trend. While BYOD is a reaction to what might be considered lagging enterprise communications behavior, the cloud and new delivery models are enabling IT teams to play a more strategic and proactive role. Advanced mobile devices, social media, application stores, and a shift to visual content are all redefining how people collaborate in a digital world.
For IT, the byproduct of these trends is the need to support a highly mobile and distributed workforce, challenging enterprise IT teams to shift their approach from traditional, premise-based and tethered work environments. Legacy thinking has been turned upside down and there is a new consideration previously irrelevant to many in IT – the user experience.
Cloud transformation is not simple; neither are the business decisions to identify what cloud-based options best meet your business goals. Transformation is a journey that occurs over time, defined by unique considerations and goals. For management and IT staff, delivering on the promise of technology is anything but simple. The paradox, of course, is that simplicity and user experience are ultimately judged by end-users.
For organizations exploring a shift to the cloud or on-demand networks the choices are as unique as your business requirements. Cloud solutions are able to replace systems that cannot deliver on new business mandates or introduce application modules on top of existing infrastructure to deliver apps as a service to single users. Network on demand delivers an infrastructure model that is almost entirely consumption based and bridges the widening gap between the acceleration of technology performance and laggard CAPEX amortization.
ALE is partnering with organizations to create new opportunities to become more agile, efficient, customer-centric, and competitive.