Over the last two decades, much has been said and done about migrating to the Cloud. From decentralization of resources to moving workloads & applications to the Cloud on various platforms with different commercial arrangements available today, businesses simply cannot operate without the Cloud once the practice has been adopted.
Having reaped most of the benefits and promises of ubiquitous access to data, agility, speed and arguably in some instances, measurable cost benefits, Cloud adoption brings many businesses to the point of reflection. For any business which has widely adopted Cloud over recent years and planning to advance further with Cloud and other emerging technologies that are dependent on Cloud, some reflection on what I refer to as the 3 P’s could help propel a business into the future. Let’s take a look in sequence…
For any business user, the ability to derive at the desired outcome cannot be understated. As with any workload or application that has migrated to the Cloud, there is a need to review workflows that may or may not exist between disparate data sets now residing in the Cloud (be it private, public or hybrid) and the various “as-a-service” systems or applications which the business subscribes to. Why? Because the success of a business now depends on connected workflows that provide actionable insights to different business functions tasked to deliver outcomes that are consistent to its organization’s objectives in a specific market place, such as creating better offerings or ensuring unique customer experience. With everything residing in the Cloud, it is also easier to conceptualize and build workflows that weave through different “always-on, available-anywhere” systems and data sets to provide efficacy for a business.
“With everything residing in the Cloud, it is also easier to conceptualize and build workflows that weave through different “always-on, available-anywhere” systems and data sets to provide efficacy for a business”
As we connect workflows in the Cloud to aid in predictable outcomes across the business, the Cloud adoption strategy also needs to evolve to allow room for programmability – this could be as simple as allowing for containers and micro-services to be built on the fly for executing applications on smaller projects or implementing and testing technologies like IoT for example, in a particular area of the business that could bring about specific improvements. Organizations embracing DevOps will greatly rely on the elasticity of Cloud to stretch product development and testing. However, the need to self-analyze, self-reprogram and self-heal in Cloud is an important aspect to ensure availability and uptime for the business—all areas that can be helped by machine learning which is loaded with sophisticated algorithms but bodes well in ensuring the Cloud doesn’t all come down crashing on a business in a rogue event affecting user experience and efficiency.
Technology trends such as blockchain, AI, Video collaboration everywhere, AR/VR, IoT, Voice-controlled Virtualized Assistance, and Cloud-to-Edge applications have emerged and poised to grow on Cloud exponentially in coming years. Businesses need to reflect on all these new technologies and possible use cases objectively on the Cloud. If already a full Cloud adopter (i.e., all apps and workloads reside in the Cloud), the ability to test and nurture new capabilities, is certainly advantageous. For the newer entrant or partial Cloud adopter, the question of architecting a Cloud strategy for a more scalable and programmable approach might be prudent.
While the demands of Cloud adoption are rising, engineering improvements are also taking shape with developments such as Quantum Computing for compute-heavy technology such as blockchain and AI taking hold across a variety of businesses. Reflecting on the possibilities of furthering Cloud usage is upon us and evaluating the needs of a business to compete in the market with innovative solutions on Cloud (while a daunting task for many business decision-makers, let alone CIOs) could be assisted by the 3 Ps – a way for businesses to pause and plan their advancements and investments on Cloud to bring about a net positive impact, especially with a seemingly endless list of possibilities.