Today, companies building their own data center is similar to their generating their own power or manufacturing their own furniture. Not only is this inefficient but also a significant diversion of precious corporate resources.
With the rise of the cloud, it’s also no longer necessary for firms to build their own data center. The primary advantage of the cloud is that allows you to divert your resources to creating new applications and provides you with the agility to quickly innovate and adapt to changing business conditions. Agility is extremely important for cloud services and in the overall strategic management process to boost business.
We’ll take a look at some of the strategic implications of the cloud agility in this article. But before that, let’s find out what is cloud agility.
What is Cloud Agility?
Agility refers to nimbleness or the power to move quickly and easily. In the cloud computing context, it’s associated with the rapid provisioning of computing resources. It’s about the ability to quickly develop, test, and launch applications that foster business growth.
Gone are the days when you’d wait for a fulfillment response after submitting a request for computing resources. While provisioning processes in typical IT shops can take weeks or even months for many organizations, cloud environments will typically offer new computing instances or storage within minutes.
This dramatic reduction in the provisioning time frame allows for the work to commence much more quickly. On top of that, when you don’t have to worry about provisioning and maintaining resources, you should be better able to focus on new app development, security, etc.
To advance rapidly, businesses need to grasp the concept of agility and how it can help them. Let’s now explore the strategic implications of cloud agility:
Strategic Implications of Cloud Agility
Cloud agility adds significant value to the already enormous cloud computing benefits. A solid cloud agility plan will boost your presence in the market by ensuring rapid upgrades of the software, lesser time to market your applications, better access to tested and quality software, improved skillsets for all aspects of the business, and high availability and easy scalability.
All these factors combine to accomplish greater business goals such as growth, efficiency, quality service, customer satisfaction, employee motivation, profitability, and so on. Let’s explore these in detail:
Cloud environments comprise application programming interfaces (APIs) for management, accessibility, and infrastructure automation. These cloud-based APIs allow firms to integrate analytics and business intelligence platforms, alerting and monitoring tools, and automates provisioning or de-provisioning infrastructure to meet customer demands. The resultant operational efficiencies can be divided into three aspects:
Well architected cloud-native solutions offer real-time disaster recovery for databases and applications. Configuring cross data center failover is often a massive undertaking for on-premises applications, but it can be completed in minutes with the cloud. In case of failure or a server crash, the cloud service will automate the failover to another data center.
Cloud agility allows for automation of infrastructure provisioning or de-provisioning such that no human intervention is required to store the deployment automation code in source code and to test and deploy it. When you fully automate the deployments, the process becomes predictable and repeatable. Applications and production infrastructure are thus all automated in ideal cloud environments. People don’t need to intervene at all.
Better Security Traceability
Activity logs such as who made what changes and when are extremely important in security traceability. Infrastructure changes in the cloud are automatically recorded, providing a key component for security audits, problem identification, and issue resolution.
We’ve already looked into how quickly cloud environments help you accomplish new infrastructure provisioning. The pay-as-you-go pricing offered by cloud providers not only lowers your financial investment but also powers quick, parallel experimentation. For leased infrastructure, on-premise vendors and colocation facilities would typically require at least 3 months of financial commitment, whereas some cloud services today offer 10-minute minimums.
To improve their services, AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud launch new features and technologies every year. AWS, for example, introduced around 1000 novel features to its cloud services in 2018 alone. That’s exactly what we mean by rapid innovation to enhances strategic implications of cloud agility.
Scalability and Flexibility
Scaling with on-premise data centers involves anticipating peak capacity for the next 3 to 5 years and purchasing the infrastructure accordingly. Even if you opt for lease arrangements, procuring and acquiring new hardware can take weeks or perhaps months if demand exceeds capacity. Your customers, and in turn your revenue, may have to suffer.
On the other hand, the dynamic resource allocation offered by cloud agility helps scale resources up or down to meet the rising demand. The cloud’s pay-per-use billing method enables businesses to match their resource demands in a cost-effective manner. The agile methodologies mean that infrastructure costs will grow iteratively as the software grows for strategic implications of cloud agility.
In the past decade, the scalability and cost efficiencies associated with the cloud have enabled SaaS businesses to grow at exponential rates. With low set-up costs and almost infinite capacity to meet customer demands, SaaS providers such as Zendesk and Salesforce have grown rapidly in the past few years. Plus, the low barriers to entry in the cloud have allowed software companies such as Microsoft and Adobe to develop light-weight, online versions of their most popular platforms.
Scalability associated with cloud agility has thus allowed large cloud providers to achieve economies of scale, which makes it possible for them to charge lower prices to customers.
Conclusion for Strategic Implications of Cloud Agility
Now that you know what is cloud agility and its strategic implications for businesses, it’s time to go ahead and embrace the change. All the benefits discussed above helps you maximize your cloud agility ROI. Keep in mind that you’ll not stay competitive without constant innovation and cloud agility helps you accomplish just that.
If you’re serious about reaping the benefits of cloud agility, get in touch with Cloud Computing Technologies. It will provide you with cloud solutions that will boost efficiency and accelerate innovation.
Further blogs within this Strategic Implications of Cloud Agility category.