Is Cloud a good IT investment strategy?

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Arpan Bansal , AVP – COE, Newgen Software, says cloud technologies and models have earned a place as one of the core disruptors of the digital age.

While the cloud market has matured over the years, its interaction with the rapidly growing data and analytics landscape suggests there are ample new disruptive opportunities for cloud ahead.

The big cloud players help organizations to move their data into their ecosystems. Large enterprises from several industries are transitioning their IT infrastructure and data ecosystems into the cloud. In an effort to offer a better in-store customer service to fully leveraging advances in manufacturing, companies from several sectors are seeing the writing clear on the wall – Cloud strategies cut cost and risk and boost efficiency and revenue growth.

By 2017, over 50 percent of organizations’ IT spending will be for 3rd platform technologies, solutions, and services, rising to over 60 percent by 2020.

RoI on Cloud

Keeping a check on the fluctuations in cloud deployment costs will require IT leaders to rely on powerful analytics solutions that are on-hand all the time. Self-service data integration and data-prep solutions may have been the rage in 2015, but 2016 is going to be much about simple methods for pushing data from inside organizations as well as from web platforms into cloud data ecosystems. Hybrid cloud strategies are getting easier to adopt. While security remains a crucial cloud challenge, lack of resources and expertise is being looked upon as a top priority area.

With a pay-per-use model of cloud usage, organizations need little or no upfront investment to deploy their cloud model and therefore, cloud is quite a high RoI proposition. As far as challenges are concerned, organizations still need to be sure about which business segments they need to go for in-house data centres and become a part of a third party cloud ecosystem respectively.

Cloud: Public, Private or Hybrid?

Likewise, organizations need to ensure that they make an informed choice about whether to deploy private cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud, depending upon the specific nature of their business. Implementing a private cloud gives a proprietary and highly customized data architecture. With private cloud, an enterprise stands to score high marks on information security, confidentiality as well as regulatory adherence and compliance.

On the other hand, public cloud is preferable for the more voluminous, mundane and working levels of data and information management for which security is lower on priority than the potential business advantage that could be extracted out, courtesy the timely access essential to such data and content.

Hybrid Cloud is an overlap between the two clouds that could help organizations anticipate and avoid potentially hazardous bottlenecks of time, money and effort. Therefore, while the technicalities of how to implement and manage the system can always be worked out, what really matters is how much tailoring, what level of customization businesses are able to bring about to exactly meet their dynamic business needs.

Cloud adoption is witnessing a particularly heavy usage in front-end, customer centric processes and touch-points such as retail bank branches, customer service and support centres, self-service customer portals, points of sale such as physical stores, e-stores, after-sales, marketing and customer management.

Future trends in Cloud

Cloud technology has a bright future in India, given the need for enterprises to focus on their core business rather than expend money, time, resources and efforts over managing their cloud deployment. With a fast growing economy, corporate India is set to get further globalized and the international boundaries of business are going to shrink further, paving way for cloud to become an integral business strategy. So for all the enterprise CIOs in India and beyond, it’s a must to devise a robust cloud mechanism as a part of the overall IT and business strategy.

2015 marked the point when cloud computing matured and became the go-to platform for a large portion of enterprise applications and data. While cost savings may not have been achieved in most cases, things like flexibility, scalability, and lower capital expenditures are enticing when compared to traditional in-house data centres.

2016 is likely to see improvements of current-generation cloud environments and offerings as well as completely new technologies for application developers to take advantage of. Migration of legacy applications will continue to be a primary cloud focus for IT staff as well as the development of brand new applications optimized to operate within cloud environments. And in both cases, security will be a consistent and important theme.

Another common theme is going to be that previous challenges and roadblocks that once prevented apps from being deployed into the cloud will no longer be such burdens. For the most part, any application that enterprises can think of will be able to be run within a cloud environment. This will be a huge step for many organizations that have been unable to take advantage of cloud benefits due to regulatory or compliance restrictions.

Last, certain trends in cloud architecture such as containerization and hyper-convergence will become much more common in 2016. This will be due to changes in application designs, IoT growth, and the speed at which cloud providers need to address customer requirements. Next-generation solutions will demand a next-generation cloud.

By Arpan Bansal , AVP – COE, Newgen Software

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