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How to Make the Most of the Cloud in 2014 - A Five-Point Strategy

The world economy is being disrupted by cloud-based digital-businesses, are you ready with your game plan for 2014?

Many technologies have made their presence felt this year and continue to excite us with the promises they hold for the future. Cloud computing has now reached a stage where businesses are seriously experimenting and are starting to reap the transformational benefits it can deliver. If you are in the process of determining how and what to do to get the most out of cloud computing in 2014, then here are five key strategic points to get you started immediately:

  1. Cloud-centric design of your business - whether you are a software product vendor, service provider or even an enterprise business, a cloud-centric design of your product/service or IT-enablement practice highly outweighs any ‘incremental migration' roadmap. We've observed that organizations that take a very strategic shot at cloud-enablement are better placed than those that have jumped from one piecemeal project to another. Cloud-centric considerations, architecture and design principles help optimize the investment along with the end-customer service experience.
  2. Plan for aggressive time-to-market - many organizations that are stuck with only traditional tried and tested methods for getting ahead are now on the verge of being late to the party, losing competitive ground to smart counterparts that are moving quickly. By thoroughly evaluating public cloud platforms and third-party SaaS services, organizations can plan to accelerate their go-to-market strategies like never before - and that can significantly affect their market positioning compared to other players. Public platforms exist for a reason, and they can potentially change the landscape in terms of speed, reach and responsiveness. It's perfectly okay if you don't have the expertise across the spectrum; you can create and leverage the expert partner ecosystem to navigate your go-to-market strategy.
  3. Develop enterprise cloud wrappers - cloud computing can fundamentally change the way you operate and deliver services/products to your customers. By putting together strategies such as how to create a distinguishing plan for external facing apps vs. those that are internal, how to rationalize services that are business-critical vs. run-business-as-usual services, and for in-house aggregation of services vs. dynamically available business services, enterprises can build a foundation wrapper for cloud enablement initiatives.
  4. Be open to crossbreeding - one of the key tenets of cloud computing is the flexibility of plug-and-play services that meet the business needs at any particular point and in the manner the business desires. By embracing an open architecture philosophy, organizations can create a hybrid service model that yields optimum results at all times without having to succumb to an individual technology or to a provider. The cornerstone of this hybrid solution approach will have to be based on the solid governance, security and integration model.
  5. Invest in building digital infrastructure considering new growth areas - with changing customer behavior, expectations and competition, businesses are becoming more social and the economy is being disrupted by digital businesses. In this digital age, new growth areas demand maximum flexibility to scale to meet demand, agility to respond faster, and the ability to innovate and deploy an adaptive ecosystem. These factors make it almost compulsory to plan for creating and leveraging a context-aware SMAC-based digital infrastructure for the evolving as well as future growth areas.

An organization can effectively create a model by mapping business goals with IT and align them to this five-point strategy (fully or partially as the case may be). The next step is to work on detailing to carve out transformation projects that get you to implementation. What level of detail will help you achieve that?

More Stories By Jiten Patil

Jiten Patil is Principal Technology Consultant & Cloud Expert, CTO Office, at Persistent Systems Limited, a global leader in software product development and services. He has 15 years of industry experience and has spent the past 6 years working with cloud service providers, ISVs and enterprises in the field of SaaS, IaaS, PaaS and hybrid cloud computing solutions. His key expertise is in guiding organizations for cloud strategy and roadmap, solution architecting for public & private application services, platform services, multi-tenancy methodologies, application enablement and migration, devising new cloud solutions, tools and IP products, and doing competitive assessment across cloud technologies. He can be reached at Jitendra_Patil@persistent.co.in / Twitter @jiten_patil

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