So—you’ve finally convinced your CEO that moving to the cloud will increase the company’s agility, efficiency, and bottom line. The big question: now what? The fact is, despite its promise, cloud adoption itself won’t optimize your digital transformation. It’s time to start selling your boss on the following three additional cloud strategies that could help improve your efficiencies even more.
Enhanced Cloud Strategies: Server-less Computing
Despite its name, server-less computing isn’t really—well—server-less. It’s actually a system where the infrastructure for your digital environment remains on the cloud, eliminating the need for developers to worry about servers, provisioning, deploying, and patching—in other words, all of the mundane tasks developers usually face. Still, the real benefits of server-less computing are far beyond increasing developers’ workday efficiency. Server-less computing essentially allocates resources on demand, allowing you to pay only when your function is running. This helps reduce overall costs, allows for faster time-to-market, and is incredibly scalable.
The only downside to server-less computing? Right now, it’s still in its early stages. In fact, in a recent survey, 65 percent of U.S. IT professionals said they have yet to utilize it. That’s not to say server-less computing isn’t useful. To the contrary, it’s probably one of the best cloud strategies we’ve seen to date. Companies adopting it now will be even further ahead in the digital transformation game.
Enhanced Cloud Strategies: Deduplication
We all know about the importance of de-duping in mail merges and data pulls. But when it comes to cloud strategies, deduplication is even more important. In essence, this cloud strategy identifies blocks of data from different files, directories, servers, and even locations and saves only the changes made to them. For instance, if you are working on a design file with a fellow colleague, and you both continue to save the document variations on your network (i.e. Document 1, Document 2, Document 4), deduplication cloud strategies will save just one copy of the file, along with the changes made to it—rather than saving numerous files themselves. It’s like file compression—but crazier.
Needless to say, by reducing the amount of data being stored, you can dramatically decrease storage costs, improve your overall security, and improve recovery response. In fact, research shows system de-duplication can reduce storage space by 80 percent and backup size by up to 99 percent.
Deduplication can happen at the source (i.e. your company) or at the target (the cloud environment). Either way, it will dramatically improve your system performance and bottom line. In today’s market, I’d say deduplication is essential to optimizing your digital workflow.
Enhanced Cloud Strategies: Cloud-based Analytics
I don’t have to explain to you the importance that data does—and will continue—to play in digital transformation. As the amount of data continues to grow, companies are discovering that cloud-based analytics, or cloud business intelligence (cloud BI) is increasingly important to their job functions. Why? For one, it makes data analysis easier. Cloud-based analytics offer visual dashboards, reporting, automated reports, data discovery, and enhanced security features, all with maintenance being handled by the provider. With the Internet of Things (IoT) continuing its onward march, I’m guessing cloud-based analytics will only get hotter in years to come—especially with the increased need for real-time data analysis.
Speaking of which: while adopting server-less computing would put you at the front edge of digital transformation, in my opinion, adopting cloud-based analytics would simply keep you in the game. Some 90 percent of sales and marketing teams already say cloud BI are important to their work in 2018, and its adopting has doubled since 2016. In other words: if you haven’t adopted analytics cloud strategies by now, you’re in trouble!
Despite the fact that “the cloud” gets a lot of hype for improving company efficiencies, the fact remains that other cloud strategies like server-less computing, deduplication, and cloud analytics offer users the chance to further enhance their business—allowing them to make the most of their cloud environment. Sure, the cloud is great. But by adding these competencies, it can be even greater.
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum.