Part 1. The cloud of the future – a shortcut to business benefits?
Author: Jari Timonen, Codento
#NEXTGENCLOUD – the cloud of the future – is the frame of reference on which we at Codento believe in building the long-term success of our customers.
As the cloud capabilities of mainstream suppliers evolve at an accelerating pace, it is extremely important to consider the potential of these new features when making the right choices and clarifying plans.
We at Codento feel that developing a vision in this area is our key role. In cooperation with technology suppliers and customers, we support customers’ business and enable application innovation and modernization.
In our two-part blog series and the upcoming # NEXTGENCLOUD event, we’re opening up our key insights:
- Part 1: The cloud of the future: shortcut to business benefits
- Part 2: The cloud of the future: long term competitiveness through technology
In this blog, we discuss how the cloud of the future will enable you to achieve business benefits quickly.
At the start, open-mindedness is valuable
Reflecting on business perspectives related to cloud services requires a multi-level review. This reflection combines the desired business benefits, the characteristics of the applications, and the practices and goals of the various stakeholders.
How do we combine rapid uptake of innovation with cost-effectiveness? Through the right choices and implementations, new business can be supported and developed both faster and more efficiently. From an application perspective, it is about the capabilities of the technical cloud platform to enable the desired benefits. From the perspective of processes and practices, the goals are transparency, flexibility, automation and scalability.
The robustness benefits of a cloud require cloud-capable applications
Modernizing applications that are important to business is a key step in achieving business benefits. Many customers have not fully achieved their intended cloud benefits in first-generation cloud solutions. Some of the disappointments are related to the so-called lift-and-shift cloud transition where applications are moved almost as is to the cloud. In this case, almost the only potential benefit lies in the savings in infrastructure costs. Cloud-based applications are, in principle, the only real sustainable way to achieve the vast business benefits of the cloud.
Stability cloud support for applications
The cloud of the future will support business applications at many different levels:
- Cost-effective run environment
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) services to replace business applications or parts thereof
- Value-added functionalities such as cost-effective analytics and reporting
Examples of such cloud technologies that support business applications include:
- Google Cloud Anthos / Google Kubernetes Engine (Hybrid, Multi and Single Cloud Environments)
- Google Cloud BigQuery (Data Warehouse)
- Google Data Studio (Reporting)
- Google Cloud Looker (Enterprise-Level Analytics)
Cloud capabilities and identifying new opportunities
Most organizations have built their first-generation cloud capabilities based on a single cloud technology. At the same time, the range of alternative possibilities has grown and, through practical lessons, the so-called multi-cloud path.
Both paths of progress require a continuous and rapid ability to innovate and innovate throughout the organization to achieve cloud business benefits.
Strong business support is needed on this journey. Innovation takes place in collaboration with the developers, architects and the organization that guides them. Those involved need realistic financial opportunities to succeed. Active interaction between different parties is important for success. It is important to create a culture where you can try, fail, try again and succeed.
Innovation is supported by an iterative process familiar from agile development methods, during which hypotheses are made and tested. These results are reflected in the functionalities, operating methods and productizations put into practice in the future.
The cloud of the future and the three levels of innovation
Innovation in the cloud now and in the future can be roughly divided into three different areas:
- Business must be timely, profitable and forward-looking. Innovation creates new business or accelerates an existing one.
- The concept ensures that we are doing the right things. This must be validated by the customers and judged to be as accurate as possible. Customer means a target group that can consist of internal or external users.
- Technical capability creates the basis for all innovation and future productization. The capability grows and develops flexibly and agilely with the business.
The cloud of the future will support the three paths mentioned above even more effectively than before. New services enabling the platform and API economy are growing in the cloud, reducing the time required for maintenance.
The fastest way to get business benefits is through MVP
Cloud development must be relevant and value-creating. This sounds obvious, but it’s not always so.
Value creation can mean different things to different people. Therefore, a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach is a good way to start implementation. MVP is a way of describing the smallest value-producing unit that can be implemented and exported to production. Many times here, old thought patterns create traps: “All features need to be ready in order to benefit.” However, if we start to go through the product, then we find that there are things that are not needed in the first stage.
These can include changes to your profile, full-length visual animations, or an extensive list of features. MVP is also a great way to validate your own plans and evaluate the value proposition of the application.
The cloud supports this by providing tools for innovation and development as well as almost unlimited capacity. This development will continue in the cloud of the future, giving new applications a better chance of succeeding in their goals.
Thus, the fastest and most likely acceleration of success to business benefits is through #NEXTGENCLOUD thinking, cloud-enabled applications, and the MVP business model. The second part of the blog will later discuss more technology perspectives and the achievement of long-term benefits.
The author of the article, Codento’s Lead Cloud Architect, Jari Timonen, is an experienced software professional with over 20 years of experience in the IT industry. Jari’s passion is to build bridges between the business and technical teams, where he has worked in his previous position at Cargotec, for example. At Codento, he is at his element in piloting customers towards future-compatible cloud and hybrid cloud environments.