In a context of disruptive global events and rapid technological change, a cloud-first approach to enterprise applications is increasingly essential. That’s the consensus of members of CIO.com’s community of IT experts who explained how a cloud-first approach to enterprise applications enables an organization to scale its business.
With a cloud-first approach, businesses can avoid the high costs associated with deploying, installing, maintaining, and upgrading on-premises IT infrastructure with an option that scales capacity up or down. according to needs. Cloud-focused applications support a manageable operating cost model, measured as a utility, instead of requiring large upfront investments in infrastructure and software licensing.
According to Helen Yu, another benefit of the cloud-based enterprise application model is the standardization and less complexity of internal IT operations. (@YuHelenYu)founder and CEO of Tigon Advisory Corp. “It also brings your products and services closer to more customers with faster ROI, flexibility and better adaptation to their ever-changing needs,” she adds.
At the same time, the auto-scaling nature of cloud-focused applications requires no human intervention, as scaling is performed based on CPU and memory utilization to further improve efficiency, notes Scott Schober. (@ScottBVS)President and CEO of Berkeley Varitronics Systems Inc. “Configurability in cloud-first strategies is critical because organizations don’t have to worry about controlling hardware, allowing more focus on implementing new services up and running faster,” he says.
A cloud-first approach “allows enterprises to focus on the business dynamics that dictate when and how much enterprise applications need to scale,” says Steve Guilford, CEO of AsterionDB. “What could be worse than planning an event that requires scaling an application’s infrastructure so that everything falls flat when the time comes?”
Rapid response to disturbances
Consider the past two plus years of business disruption caused by the global pandemic. Companies that have not only survived, but thrived amid myriad business challenges, show why cloud-first application deployment is an essential part of a revamped IT strategy.
“Those who took a cloud-first approach were able to change and adapt to the inconvenient changes that COVID brought efficiently and quickly compared to companies that delayed efforts to leave the premises,” notes Elitsa Krumova. (@Eli_Krumova), a global thought leader and technology influencer. “The cloud-first approach gives organizations a strong competitive advantage, the ability to keep up with the competition, and an improved roadmap for sustainable, future business growth.”
The shift to cloud-focused enterprise applications has enabled remote employees to work efficiently during the pandemic while creating a backbone to adapt to what is rapidly becoming a hybrid and distributed workforce, says Sridhar Iyengar (@iSridhar), Managing Director, Zoho Europe. “A cloud-first approach provides benefits to all organizations, whether their employees are dispersed or work in the same location,” says Iyengar.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has established that enterprise and cloud strategies are closely intertwined,” says Gene De Libero (@GeneDeLibero), Chief Strategy Officer at GeekHive.com. “This is exemplified by the ability of cloud-focused enterprises to transition to a remote work-from-home model with unprecedented speed and scale.”
Carve out a place in digital transformation
The growth of today’s modern businesses is driven by a variety of factors, including the ability to deliver seamless and compelling customer experiences and to automate time-consuming, manual business processes, as well as the crown jewels: creating a foundation for data-driven insights. By adopting a cloud-first approach to enterprise applications, IT organizations free themselves from repetitive implementation, configuration, and maintenance tasks to allow time for innovation efforts trained to promote value for the company.
“Cloud-first implementations help shift the focus of the entire organization from the cogs of legacy operating systems to digital experiences, collaborative workflows, and real-time data” , says Isaac Sacolick. (@nyike), Chairman of StarCIO and leader and influencer of digital transformation. “Scaling the business requires these flexibilities, and leaders are looking for this agility to better respond to disruptions, changing customer needs, and opportunities for growth.”
“The ability to securely store, tier, analyze, share and scale data is fundamental to operations,” says Chuck Brooks. (@ChuckDBrooks), president of Brooks Consulting International and adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University. A cloud-first enterprise application strategy helps make data more accessible to distributed users and workflows, he says.
This kind of functionality and scale can be a game-changer for mission-critical applications like SAP.
“SAP on the cloud is no longer just a proposition to reduce IT costs,” says Venkat Tatavarthy (@vattyreflects), Senior Partner Solutions Architect for SAP at AWS. “It can help increase competitiveness, improve brand recognition and add value to your customers. In short, it is a path to innovation.
More data-driven insights
The ability to leverage the sophisticated machine learning, artificial intelligence, and word processing capabilities available through cloud platforms such as AWS and through cloud-focused enterprise applications can enhance the ability of an organization to capture data-driven insights.
“Whether you’re a healthcare provider trying to reduce 30-day readmissions or a utility company working to combat vegetation encroachment, immediate access to data is paramount for digital transformations,” says Peter B.Nichol. (@PeterBNichol), Chief Technology Officer at OROCA Innovations. “Cloud-first enables companies to collect, consolidate, analyze and visualize data to make smart decisions at the pace of today’s business.”
Scale in cloud provider platforms is imperative for applications with complex AI functionality, says Sergey Alyamkin (sergey-alyamkin), CEO and co-founder of ENOT.ai.
“There is often a need to ‘retrain’ neural networks for user data, which requires significant computing resources for a short period of time,” says Alyamkin. “To complicate matters, it is not only the training of neural networks that requires significant computational resources, but also their use in inference mode. In this case, a cloud approach to enterprise applications is the only way to host AI-powered applications. »
Faster time to market
A cloud-first approach also improves software development practices, accelerating product release cycles and allowing a wider range of product possibilities to be tested, said Nikolay Ganyushkin, CEO and co-founder of Acure. Acure, which is developing a cloud-hosted AIOps platform to automate IT operations, was able to launch a new website and set up CRM and messaging services in preparation for a new product launch in India in the space of two weeks using only the cloud. applications unlike what would have taken four to six weeks or more with traditional on-premises software, he says.
Cloud-focused organizations can also transition more easily to modern software development constructs, including adopting the DevOps/DevSecOps model that promotes agility. “It allows software development teams to achieve a speed of delivery that was simply not possible with legacy technologies and on-premises hosting,” says Will Kelly. (@willkelly), senior product marketing manager for Section, an edge computing platform. “It allows them to deliver security updates, new features, and applications that help grow their business.”
As the global landscape is still recalibrating in response to pandemic-related disruptions, talent shortages and economic pressures, businesses need an IT infrastructure that allows them to quickly and easily perform heading corrections.
“The traditional equipment purchasing model is slow and cumbersome,” says Adam Stern (@iv_cloudhosting), founder and CEO of Infinitely Virtual. “The new, more efficient approach of simply selecting the application and provisioning the cloud server on the fly is not only more efficient; it favors more flexible solutions. This is especially helpful from a cost perspective, as it saves you from getting into errors.
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