The new ‘On-Demand’ generation of customers, do not want to wait for anything. They get their information, insight and entertainment instantly, on demand. No desire to collect, manage or maintain. No need to memorise or arrange. The world is at their fingertips and at the point of need – they engage in real time to get what they need.
To serve this new breed of customers (& 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. Employees work from just about any place at any given time: their office, home, between appointments or while traveling. 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.
Making staff omnipresent is key to smart enterprises who want to operate efficiently and effectively in fast-paced business environments. Informed and connected workspaces drive productivity and reduce latency, from product development to customer care. Unified Communications and Collaboration tools allow disparate teams to work together in real time and enable individuals to interact efficiently and effectively with co-workers, clients and suppliers. With conferencing and file sharing made easy, collaboration sessions become the de facto standard for office communications, eliminating the need to travel to meet in person.
More and more equipment, functions and processes are software-driven – a new reality, ‘Software Defined Anything’. In ‘Software Defined’ systems the control plane is abstracted from the underlying hardware and is then applied as software to manage most of the equipment (e.g. in a data center).
The goal here is a more service-focused infrastructure that increases efficiencies and enhances 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 is the next-generation cloud infrastructure that can connect and manage the growing number of software-defined devices and applications to their networks, each other, and ultimately to end users – thereby making businesses much more agile.
On-demand deployments and contextually aware presence
Modular services, pay per use and flexible deployment models allow businesses to invest in what is needed now, trimming up-front costs and leaving options open for future expansion. Smart enterprises align their resources with business requirements. 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. Rather than building ‘monolithic’ platforms, the design is implemented around distributed processing frameworks.
Enterprises increasingly deploy Big Data captured from mobile devices, social media, log files, emails, images and video, to drive better business intelligence, product development and customer service. 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 approaches to virtualisation of computers, networks, I/O and storage devices continue to mature, infrastructures become increasingly software-driven, and IT management more efficient. This enables services to be provided dynamically according to individual load and function requirements. 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 & Microsoft are together enabling enterprises to become truly intelligent.