The convergence of Technology and Business: the Digital Business
Today we are living the Digital Business era, undoubtedly an exciting and vertiginous period. The pervasive use of Internet through different devices, everytime and everywhere, is providing many companies with unprecedented opportunities to expand their markets and services, but at the same time, posing new challenges.
The unstoppable growth of Internet since the 1990s and lately the exponential growth of cloud computing, in convergence with business, are fueling this formidable Digital Era. We have also to consider the human factor. Our society has adopted the new technologies and a new generation of individuals have become digital natives that interact, share and buy through Internet. In the end, it is this unique combination of technology, business and digital natives that are making this digital era so extraordinary.
Cloud computing: the new technological metaphor
Cloud computing has become the new buzzword in the IT business. Broadly speaking cloud computing is a metaphor to refer to the consumption of computing resources as an utility: the computation is no longer centralized, it can be distributed over a huge number of servers in multiple locations around the world, and easily accesible.
Cloud computing is the result of evolution and adoption of existing technologies and paradigms making virtualization the main enabling technology. The phenomenal spread of high-capacity networks, low-cost and high performance computing, in conjunction with new service-oriented architectures, have led to a growth in cloud computing.
There are different scenarios of Cloud Computing:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) allows organizations to source additional hardware and operating systems in a more flexible way.
- Platform as a Service provides a service to develop, run and manage Web applications without the traditional complexity of setting up new infrastructure.
- Software as a Service is a model in which the applications are centrally hosted and licenses are typically based on subscription.
From a deployment perspective Cloud Computing has three models:
- Private Cloud is infrastructure operated for a single organization (could be managed internally or by an external provider).
- Public Cloud provides services available for public use, which does not mean that those service are for free.
- Hybrid Cloud is a combination of the previous models.
There are many advantages of cloud computing. To name just the most relevant, there are financial advantages, enabling IT cost to be funded as an expense rather than as an investment; time-to-market can be significantly improved. There are also significant risks that must be properly addressed: availability and security.
The Digital Business
There are new business models in the digital world. The technology is enabling new ways to do business and at the same time is reshaping how companies interact with their clients and with other companies. The new technologies have favored disintermediation and created new opportunities to disrupt part of the value chain in many traditional industries: book selling, music distribution, media and entertainment, digital stores, travel and hotel reservation, to name just a few industries where the disruption has transformed completely the way they worked.
Social media has changed completely the way in which companies manage branding. Reputation in the social media is a critical aspect for many companies. The combination of mobile devices and social media have produced new ways to interact between people and so between companies and their clients. Internet forums, social blogs, podcasts, and wikis, to name just a few, are the new tools that allow people to create, share or exchange information and ideas.
What do all these things mean for the IT department?
The adoption of Cloud Computing technologies in any of its variants is making life harder for IT departments. Every IT department needs to elaborate a Cloud Blueprint to address the strategic planning activity: as-is & to-be, with the associated action plan to move from the as-is to the to-be. There is a tremendous opportunity for IT to become a digital partner of the business and lead the development and introduction of new services and markets.
In order for the IT department to become a digital partner, IT organizations must consider the Digital Business as an opportunity rather than a menace. IT departments must face up with the challenge of developing new differential capabilities and define a plan to start to create them. It’s not just about acquiring new infrastructure, hiring new people or lying systematically saying that they are adopting Cloud Computing. IT must be the herald of the new digital world for the company, leading the adoption strategy and bringing differential capabilities to the discussion and, more importantly, to business achievements.
How can we help you?
Are you overwhelmed by the possibilities of the digital world? You need a partner like Alceo Technologies to help you to navigate through the new digital world. You need a comprehensive plan that ties together your business and technology capabilities and gives your people the empowerment to lead the new opportunities. We can work with IT to analyze and define the current situation, identify the opportunities and set up a plan to create differential capabilities to create value in your business, combining quick wins in the short term with a clear vision of the future.