Guilty to an Advantage: Cloud is Blurring the Line Separating IT Infrastructure & Business Operations
From healthcare carriers to public sector entities, the last decade witnessed businesses investing heavily in enterprise applications to ease workflows and increase productivity and efficiency. Oracle acquiring PeopleSoft is a common example of this. The major problem with this strategy was the speed at which these strategic acquisitions quickly lost their relevance, sometimes never getting off the ground at all. The reason lies in the costs to support, maintain, and integrate these type of applications. Customers quickly found it was increasingly difficult to customize the application workloads they had purchased or adapt and evolve them to meet changing demands. Those that did succeed in customizing these solutions found upgrades extremely difficult and costly, often leading to downtimes.
During this same period of time we saw IT budget redirection strategies, cost saving strategies which caused upgrading or evolving core line of business applications to become slower and slower. These problems resulted in a massive push to investigate better and more scalable methods of adapting and evolving technology solutions while maintaining costs and streamlining the overall manageability of the environment.
Changing Business Model Dynamics
Slowly the old business mindset changed from “Why cloud” to “How can we leverage the cloud to increase business agility, simplify management and control costs.” Businesses slowly started transitioning workloads such as email and communications/collaboration to the “cloud”, fast forward to 2015 and if you look at the growth cycle of cloud it continually accelerated, with each moment that passes we find better and faster ways for service-to-customer models, transforming business strategies and enhancing customer interactions—this is the era of digital transformation & the 3rd platform (cloud, mobile, social & data analytics/big data)
Cloud models are quickly replacing capital-intensive infrastructures and what began with the customer quickly became the preferred method of product delivery to customers. What was once perceived as two categories—Business and IT, is now confronted with a strange realisation, IT and business have/are converging and core business processes can no longer be boxed separately and controlled exclusively by IT. Business decision-makers are demanding better data collaboration, reporting/intelligence and agility; at the same time many Lines of Business (LOB) applications are rapidly enabling cloud based business solutions as the preferred method of deploying and managing various business applications and solutions.
The consensus is the traditional internal IT team is facing a difficult time that will see many IT professionals adapting to gain skills that are focused on application expertise or leaving the industry entirely. Many traditional MSP and IT Service Providers that are not actively moving to the cloud or have done very little in terms of cloud could have a challenging time staying alive, many reports state a huge % of MSP’s will not make it beyond 2017 due to the acceleration of 3rd platform and the shift in skill sets it has created.
The Cloud is Here to Stay
Rapid expansion of cloud services isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, in fact the growth predictions over the next 5 years are nothing short of breath taking, see the info box below to get an understanding of the type of growth that is expected. Not only is the cloud here to stay, it is still a child, the next 5 years will be packed with high levels of disruption and opportunity, those that can harness the disruption and focus have what is, arguably, the technological opportunity of a lifetime, those that can’t will soon find themselves doing something else.
3rd Platform is defined as Cloud, Mobile, Social & Advanced Analytics and Big Data
Why the buzz? All 4 cornerstones of the 3rd Platform are highly disruptive; they change how business operates.
Disruption combined with wild growth = mass opportunity for those who can capitalize.
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