Is a Multi-Cloud Strategy A Fit For your Enterprise?

Enterprises and cloud computing become more integrated and essential for gain or maintain a competitive advantage through big data and Analytics. Cloud is now essential in improving operations efficiency and synergy. To optimize the enterprise architecture with the cloud, there are a few strategic questions need to be considered;

  • First, how much cloud business does your enterprise need?
  • And, what cloud strategy best meets your enterprise operational and security needs?
  • Where do private, public clouds, or hybrid cloud fit in your enterprise’s information workload deployment strategy?
  • Does multi-cloud fit in the enterprise’s information workload deployment strategy?

What is A Multi-cloud Strategy?

This probably is the point where the narrative should introduce the principle of multi-cloud. A multi-cloud is an approach to cloud computing which seeks to optimize enterprise costs, Return-On-Investment (ROI), and enabling big data analytics, which is already evolving the information workload deployment strategy of many organizations. Multi-cloud has already affected the major software and Software-As-A-Service (SaaS) providers, which have been rapidly evolving their application suites to enable this new reality.  As recently as this week, IBM announced that they had moved its Cloud-native software architecture.

Is It Time To Consider A Multi-Cloud Strategy For Your Enterprise?

Multi-cloud is a cloud computing strategy seeks to align from different cloud providers capability to optimize different business operations and technical requirements. A multi-cloud strategy can be a way to reduce the dependence upon more traditional software vendors and or on a single cloud service provider.

Advantages Of A Multi-Cloud Strategy

The advantages of a multi-cloud enterprise information workload deployment strategy are:

  • the enterprise can still operate even if one or more of the clouds providers goes offline or encounter other difficulties.
  • enterprises can avoid vendor lock-in since the enterprise’s data is stored on different clouds service providers and could be migrated if need be.
  • Multi-cloud can provide a reduction in the scales of data breach vulnerability since breaching one cloud does not provide access to the entire data of your enterprise, even if your organization has not implemented hybrid-cloud (private/public) strategy because all the data simply isn’t all housed one cloud.
  • Importantly, multi-cloud solutions are customizable. Every enterprise can select what works best in order to achieve optimal efficiency.

Disadvantages Of The Multi-Cloud

The multi-cloud enterprise information workload deployment strategy has downsides as well. For instance:

  • integration across the multi-cloud providers may require more planning, relationship management, and strategic oversight.
  • Multi-cloud implementations, while reducing the potential scale of any one security breach, it does provide more than one potential breach point to be monitored, managed, and mitigated.

Conclusion

Based on your enterprise’s industry, use of big data technologies, information security needs and the use information analytics to gain or maintain a competitive advantage and or comparative advantage, a multi-cloud enterprise information workload deployment strategy has a place in optimizing your enterprises technical and information strategy.  Especially when your multi-cloud strategy includes a hybrid-cloud (public/private) as a major pillar in your cloud strategy. 

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A 720-Degree View of the Customer

The 360-degree view of the consumer is a well-explored concept, but it is not adequate in the digital age. Every firm, whether it is Google or Amazon, is deploying tools to understand customers in a bid to serve them better. A 360-degree view demanded that a company consults its internal data to segment customers and create marketing strategies. It has become imperative for companies to look outside their channels, to platforms like social media and reviews to gain insight into the motivations of their customers. The 720-degree view of the customer is further discussed below.

What is the 720-degree view of the customer?

A 720-degree view of the customer refers to a three-dimensional understanding of customers, based on deep analytics. It includes information on every customer’s level of influence, buying behavior, needs, and patterns. A 720-degree view will enable retailers to offer relevant products and experiences and to predict future behavior. If done right, this concept should assist retailers leverage on emerging technologies, mobile commerce, social media, and cloud-based services, and analytics to sustain lifelong customer relationships

What Does a 720-Degree View of the Customer Entail?

Every business desires to cut costs, gain an edge over its competitors, and grow their customer base. So how exactly will a 720-degree view of the customer help a firm advance its cause?

Social Media

Social media channels help retailers interact more effectively and deeply with their customers. It offers reliable insights into what customers would appreciate in products, services, and marketing campaigns. Retailers can not only evaluate feedback, but they can also deliver real-time customer service. A business that integrates its services with social media will be able to assess customer behavior through tools like dislikes and likes. Some platforms also enable customers to buy products directly.

Customer Analytics


Customer analytics will construct more detailed customer profiles by integrating different data sources like demographics, transactional data, and location. When this internal data is added to information from external channels like social media, the result is a comprehensive view of the customer’s needs and wants. A firm will subsequently implement more-informed decisions on inventory, supply chain management, pricing, marketing, customer segmentation, and marketing. Analytics further come in handy when monitoring transactions, personalized services, waiting times, website performance.

Mobile Commerce

The modern customer demands convenience and device compatibility. Mobile commerce also accounts for a significant amount of retail sales, and retailers can explore multi-channel shopping experiences. By leveraging a 720-degree view of every customer, firms can provide consumers with the personalized experiences and flexibility they want. Marketing campaigns will also be very targeted as they will be based on the transactional behaviors of customers. Mobile commerce can take the form of mobile applications for secure payment systems, targeted messaging, and push notifications to inform consumers of special offers. The goal should be to provide differentiated shopper analytics.

Cloud

Cloud-based solutions provide real-time data across multiple channels, which illustrates an enhanced of the customer. Real-time analytics influence decision-making in retail and they also harmonize the physical and retail digital environments. The management will be empowered to detect sales trends as transactions take place.

The Importance of the 720-Degree Customer View

Traditional marketers were all about marketing to groups of similar individuals, which is often termed as segmentation. This technique is, however, giving way to the more effective concept of personalized marketing. Marketing is currently channeled through a host of platforms, including social media, affiliate marketing, pay-per-click, and mobile. The modern marketer has to integrate the information from all these sources and match them to a real name and address. Companies can no longer depend on a fragmented view of the customer, as there has to be an emphasis on personalization. A 720-degree customer view can offer benefits like:

Customer Acquisition

Firms can improve customer acquisition by depending on the segment differences revealed from a new database of customer intelligence. Consumer analytics will expose any opportunities to be taken advantage of while external data sources will reveal competitor tactics. There are always segment opportunities in any market, which are best revealed by real-time consumer data.

Cutting Costs

Marketers who rely on enhanced digital data can contribute to cost management in a firm. It takes less investment to serve loyal and satisfied consumers because a firm is directing addressing their needs. Technology can be used to set customized pricing goals and to segment customers effectively.

New Products and Pricing

Real-time data, in addition to third-party information, have a crucial impact on pricing. Only firms with a robust and relevant competitor and customer analytics and data can take advantage of this importance. Marketers with a 720-degree view of the consumer across many channels will be able to utilize opportunities for new products and personalized pricing to support business growth

Advance Customer Engagement

The first 360 degrees include an enterprise-wide and timely view of all consumer interactions with the firm. The other 360 degrees consists of the customer’s relevant online interactions, which supplements the internal data a company holds. The modern customer is making their buying decisions online, and it is where purchasing decisions are influenced. Can you predict a surge in demand before your competitors? A 720-degree view will help you anticipate trends while monitoring the current ones.

720-degree Customer View and Big Data

Firms are always trying to make decision making as accurate as possible, and this is being made more accessible by Big Data and analytics. To deliver customer-centric experiences, businesses require a 720-degree view of every customer collected with the help of in-depth analysis.

Big Data analytical capabilities enable monitoring of after-sales service-associated processes and the effective management of technology for customer satisfaction. A firm invested in being in front of the curve should maintain relevant databases of external and internal data with global smart meters. Designing specific products to various segments is made easier with the use of Big Data analytics. The analytics will also improve asset utilization and fault prediction. Big Data helps a company maintain a clearly-defined roadmap for growth

Conclusion

It is the dream of every enterprise to tap into customer behavior and create a rich profile for each customer. The importance of personalized customer experiences cannot be understated in the digital era. The objective remains to develop products that can be advertised and delivered to customers who want them, via their preferred platforms, and at a lower cost. 

What is a Private Cloud?

The private cloud concept is running the cloud software architecture and, possibly specialized hardware, within a companies’ own facilities and support by the customer’s own employees, rather than having it hosted from a data center operated by commercial providers like Amazon, IBM Microsoft, or Oracle.

A companies’ private (internal) cloud may be a one or more of these patterns and may be part of a larger hybrid-cloud strategy.

  • Home-Grown, where the company has built its own software and or hardware could infrastructure where the private could is managed entirely by the companies’ resources. 
  • Commercial-Off-The-Self (COTS), where the cloud software and or hardware is purchased from a commercial vendor and install in the companies promises where is it is primarily managed by the companies’ resources with licensed technical support from the vendor.
  • Appliance-Centric, where vendor specialty hardware and software are pre-assembled and pre-optimized, usually on proprietary databases to support a specific cloud strategic.
  • Hybrid-Cloud, which may use some or all of the about approaches and have added components such as:
    • Virtualization software to integrate, private-cloud, public-cloud, and non-cloud information resources into a central delivery architecture.
    • Public/Private cloud where proprietary and customer sensitive information is kept on promise and less sensitive information is housed in one or more public clouds. The Public/Private hybrid-cloud strategy can also be provision temporary short duration increases in computational resources or where application and information development occur in the private cloud and migrated to a public cloud for productionalization.

In the modern technological era, there are a variety of cloud patterns, but this explanation highlights the major aspects of the private cloud concept which should clarify and assist in strategizing for your enterprise cloud.

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What is Development Operations (DevOps)?

With modern businesses continually looking for ways to streamline their operations, DevOps has become a common approach to software delivery used by development and operation teams to set up, test, deploy, and assess applications.

To help you understand more about this approach, let’s briefly discuss DevOps.

What is DevOps?

DevOps comes from two words- ‘development and operations.’ It describes a set of IT practices, which seeks to have software developers and operations team work together on the same project in a more collaborative and free-flowing way.

In simple words, this is a culture that promotes cooperation between Development and Operations teams in an organization to ensure faster production in an automated, recurring manner.

The approach aims at breaking down traditional barriers that have existed between these two important teams of the IT department in any organization. When deployed smoothly, this approach can help reduce time and friction that occur when deploying new software applications in an organization.

These efforts lead to quicker development cycles, which ultimately save money and time, and give an organization a competitive edge against its rivals with longer, more ridged development cycles.

DevOps helps to increase the speed with which an organization delivers applications and services to customers, thereby competing favorably and actively in the market.

What Is Needed for DevOps to Be Successful Executed?

For an organization to appeal to customers, it must be agile, lean, and swift to respond to dynamic demands in the market.  For this to happen, all stakeholders in the delivery process have to work together.

Development teams, which focus on designing, developing, delivering, and running the software reliably and quickly, need to work with the operations team, which is tasked with the work of identifying and resolving problems in the software as soon as possible.

By having a common approach across software developers and operation teams, an organization will be able to monitor and analyze holdups and scale as quickly as possible. This way, they will be able to deliver and deploy reliable software in a shorter time.

We hope that our simplified guide has enabled you to understand what DevOps is and why it is important in modern organizations.

What is cloud computing? 

Cloud computing is a service driven model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on demand network access to a shared pool computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal administrative effort or service provider interaction.

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A Road Map For Migrating To A Public Cloud

Cloud Migration
Cloud Migration

A Road Map for Migrating to A Public Cloud Environment

Today, most organizations are looking for ways to cut down their sprawling IT budgets and define efficient paths for new developments. Making the move to the cloud is being seen as a more strategic and an economically viable idea, that is primarily allowing organizations to gain quick access to new platforms, services, and toolsets. But the migration of applications to the cloud environment needs a clear, and well-thought-out cloud migration strategy.

We are past the year of confusion and fear on matters cloud environment. In fact, almost everyone now agrees that the cloud is a key element of any company’s IT investment. What is not yet clear is what to move, how to move, and industry best practices to protect your investment in a public cloud environment. Therefore, a solid migration plan is an essential part of any cloud migration process.

Here are a few things you should pay close attention to when preparing a cloud migration planning template:

  • Data Protection

When planning to migrate to the cloud, it is paramount to remember that it is not a good idea to migrate every application. As you learn the baby steps, keep your legacy apps and other sensitive data such as private banking info off the cloud. This will ensure that, in case of a breach on your public cloud, your sensitive data and legacy systems will not fall into the hands of unsavory individuals.

  • Security

Security of the data being migrated to the cloud should be just as important as on the cloud. Any temporary storage locations used during the cloud migration process should be secure from unauthorized intrusions.

Although security can be hard to quantify, it is one of the key components and considerations of any cloud service. The very basic security responsibility includes getting it right around your password security. Remember that, while you can massively increase the security around your applications, it is practically very different to deal with on-cloud threats and breaches since you technically don’t own any of the cloud software.

Some of the security concerns that you’ll need to look into include:

  • Is your data securely transferred and stored in the cloud?
  • Besides the passwords, does your cloud provider offer some type of 2-factor authentication?
  • How else are the users authenticated?
  • Does your provider meet the industry’s regulatory requirements?
  • Backup and Disaster recovery strategies

A backup and disaster strategy ensure that your data will be protected in case of a disaster. These strategies are unique to every organization depending on its application needs and the relevance of those applications to their organization.

To devise a foolproof DR strategy, it is important to identify and prioritize applications and determine the downtime acceptable for each application, services, and data.

Some of the things to consider when engineering your backup and disaster recovery blueprint include:

  • Availability of sufficient bandwidth and network capacity to redirect all users in case of a disaster.
  • Amount of data that may require backup.
  • Type of data to be protected
  • How long can it take to restore your systems from the cloud?
  • Communications Capacity enablement

Migrating to a cloud environment should make your business more agile and responsive to the market. Therefore, a robust communications enablement should be provided. Ideally, your cloud provider should be able to provide you with a contact center, unified messaging, mobility, presence, and integration with other business applications.

While the level of sophistication and efficiency of on-premise communications platforms depends on the capabilities of the company IT’s staff, cloud environments should offer communication tools with higher customizations to increase productivity.

A highly customized remote communications enablement will allow your company to refocus its IT resources to new innovation, spur agility, cut down on hardware costs and allow for more engagements with partners and customers.

Simply put, cloud communications:

  • Increase efficiency and productivity
  • Enables reimagined experience
  • Are designed for a seamless interaction.
  • legal liability and protection

Other important considerations when developing your cloud migration planning template are compliance with regulatory requirements and software licensing. For many businesses, data protection and regulatory compliance with HIPPA and GDPR is a constant concern, especially when dealing with identifiable data. Getting this right, the first time will allow you to move past the compliance issue blissfully.

When migrating, look for a cloud provider with comprehensive security assurance programs and governance-focused features. This will help your business operate more secure and in line with industry standards.

Ready to migrate your processes to a public cloud environment? Follow these pointers develop a comprehensive cloud migration planning template.

Related References

Public Cloud Versus Private Cloud

Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing

A public cloud strategy refers to a situation where you utilize cloud resources on a shared platform. Examples of shared or public cloud solutions include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google cloud. There are several benefits associated with cloud solutions. On the other hand, a private cloud strategy refers to a situation where you can decide to have an infrastructure which is dedicated to serving your business. It is sometimes referred to as homegrown where you employ experts to run the services so that your business can access different features. There are several advantages of using a public cloud over private cloud which you should know before you make an informed decision on the right platform to invest. Some of the benefits of the public cloud strategy include the following:

Availability and scale of Expertise

If you compare the public cloud and the private cloud services, the public cloud

allows you to access more experts. Remember the companies which offer the cloud services have enough employees who are ready to help several clients. In most cases, the other clients whom the service providers serve will not experience problems at the same time. It implies that human resource will be directed toward solving your urgent issue. You can as well scale up or down at any given time as the need arises which is unlike a case of private cloud solutions where you will have to invest in infrastructure each time you will like to upgrade.

Downgrading on a private cloud system can expose you to lose because you will leave some resources underutilized.

The volume of Technical Resources to apply

You access more technical resources in a public cloud platform. Remember the companies which offer the public cloud solutions are fully equipped with highly experienced experts. They also have the necessary tools and resources which

they can apply to assure you the best technical solutions each time you need them. It is unlike a private arrangement where you will have to incur more costs if the technical challenges will need advanced tools and highly qualified experts.

Price point

The price of a private cloud is high when compared to a public arrangement. If you are looking for ways you can save money, then the best way to go about it is to involve a public cloud solution. In the shared platform, you will only pay for

what you need. If you do not need a lot of resources at a given time, you can downgrade the services and enjoy fair prices. Services such as AWS offer great cost containment across the time which makes it easy to access the services at fair prices. For any business to grow, it should invest in the right package which brings the return on investment. The services offered by the public cloud systems allow businesses to save and grow. You should as well take into consideration other factors such as ecosystems for cloud relationships before you make an informed decision. There are some business models which prefer private cloud solutions while others can work well under public cloud-based solutions.

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