The new ‘On-Demand’ generation of customers do not want to wait for anything. They get their news, information and media instantly and on-demand. No desire to collect, manage or maintain. No need to memorise or arrange. The world is at their fingertips at any point and they engage in real time to get what they need.
To serve this new breed of customers (and employees) requires organisations to be a truly intelligent enterprise. Intelligent enterprises are shifting towards storage, computing, and collaboration – all in the cloud, thereby moving towards cloud-enabled intelligence.
From collaboration tools to collaborative communities
Truly intelligent enterprises also have an evolved work culture. Today’s workforce operates from just about any place at any given time regardless whether they are in the office, at home, between appointments or on the road. Present markets demand swift responses to events and queries, requiring productive interaction between employees wherever they may be. Location becomes unimportant, while availability becomes crucial in ‘flat’ organisations of intelligent enterprises where access to specific expertise is critical to the business. Smart enterprises pool the best available skills in their organisation to make a project more successful and gain an edge over their rivals.
Enabling employees to be truly mobile is crucial for smart enterprises who want to operate efficiently and effectively in fast-evolving business environments. To truly drive productivity and reduce latency in the workplace, it is necessary to create informed and connected work environments that go across functional areas. Technologies like Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) platforms, allow teams to work together in real time and enable professionals to interact efficiently and effectively with both clients and suppliers. As conferencing and file sharing become more commoditised and user friendly, collaboration sessions become the standard for office communications, thereby reducing the need for in person meetings and long distance travel.
More and more equipment, functions and processes are software-driven – a new reality, ‘Software Defined Anything’. ‘Software Defined’ systems by definition mean that where control processes are abstracted from the hardware setup and are instead applied as a software layer that manages most of the equipment (e.g. in a data center).
The main purpose of this approach is a more client-centric infrastructure that increases efficiency and amplifies IT service delivery. Smart enterprises see SDx as a differentiator to serve their customers better, enabling IT departments to become more agile and efficient and deliver the best possible service to users and customers, whose expectations are ever increasing.
Software-defined infrastructure presents the next-generation of cloud solutions which aim to connect and manage the growing number of software-defined devices and applications to their networks, to other connected devices, and ultimately to end users – thereby making businesses more agile.
On-demand deployments and contextually aware presence
Modular services, pay per consumption and flexible deployment models allow businesses to invest in satisfying their immediate needs, reducing up-front costs and leaving options open for future growth. Intelligent enterprises know that aligning their resources with business requirements is paramount. To remain cost-competitive, many organisations are managing their OPEX and looking to replace, revitalise or outsource their IT infrastructure as cloud computing shapes the market. Customers increasingly require simplicity, flexibility, and scalability. Instead of building ‘monolithic’ technology platforms, the design needs to be implemented around distributed processing frameworks instead.
To drive better business intelligence, customer service and new product development – enterprises increasingly rely on utlising Big Data captured from mobile devices, social media, log files, emails, images and video. Contextually aware presence allows employees to receive information on content, tools, and services. Machine learning enables systems to learn from data and act autonomously rather than follow programmed instructions.
As different approaches and methods for virtualization of desktops, networks, input/output and storage devices continue to mature, infrastructures become increasingly software-driven. This also means that IT management becomes more efficient and cost effective. The biggest benefit by far though, is that IT companies can now provide their solutions and services dynamically according to the individual load and function requirements of the client. Applications and cloud computing reduce the need to build proprietary systems and free companies from legacy issues as businesses increasingly turn to hybrid clouds to enable scalable business processes.
While many business owners embrace the use of public clouds for less sensitive applications, they prefer private clouds for their vital processing tasks. On-demand hybrid deployments can also be subject to “bill-shocks” for businesses which necessitates a regular assessment of your environment. Managing operations, maximising resources, and executing projects in hybrid environments will continue to be a challenge. Bringing everything together requires software, easy-to-manage and easy-to-monitor tools, and most importantly the right expertise to manage it all.
Finding an expert managed services partner with end-to-end cloud management solutions will certainly benefit organizations and allow them to rather focus on their core business by acting on the cloud-enabled intelligence.
Learn more about how Tata Communications and Microsoft are enabling enterprises to become truly intelligent together.