Revisiting the cloud

Revisiting the cloud

No one doubts the extent, depth and speed of the changes that characterize our current era. The mass media refers every day to "digital transformation", and more broadly to the "fourth industrial revolution". These are driven by new technologies, such as the internet of things, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, genetic manipulation and renewable energy. They are radically transforming the way we live through their impact on production and traditional consumption.

At this point, it is obvious that a key technology facilitating this pace of change is cloud computing, because it provides the flexible, scalable and efficient computational resources that these technologies require.

It can also be said that cloud computing is no longer a future technology, on the contrary it is well established, so it is worthwhile asking the following questions: Why should we still be discussing the cloud in 2017? Surely it has already been approved? The simple answer is no.

First, we must consider the current Chilean context. For example, “Chile 4.0: Cloud Computing and the future of productivity” [1] was jointly produced by Fundación Chile and Microsoft, and it revealed that there is plenty of room for improvement in Chile, both in coverage and in the extent to which this technology is used. This study indicated several potential causes for this phenomenon, but the most convincing idea is that the tangible benefits of cloud computing have not yet been accepted, and that these advantages have not yet been adequately publicized. It goes without saying that assistance from technology partners can support this process!

Furthermore, the emphasis within cloud computing has changed, as the industry is moving toward multiple models, which go beyond the hybrid cloud and IaaS. Platform-as-a-Service has matured and uses resources in a more agile and efficient manner. Consuming multiple cloud environments and interaction with legacy infrastructure complicate aggregated resource management, and agile development initiatives have preferred new tools, such as containers, distributed non-relational data bases, and popular application architectures, such as micro-services.

Given this situation, we can now ask ourselves, What are the features required for a modern Enterprise Cloud service in our region? The response must include at least:

  • Flexibility: the service should be able to adapt to the customer’s requirements. Do you need a machine with specific resource requirements, data protection and connectivity? No problem!
  • Self-management or managed services: the service should allow customers to include managing each layer as part of the service.
  • Not simply generic IaaS: the service should go much farther, and rather than discuss virtual machines it should discuss services.
  • Data protection and security: the Cloud platform should comply with industry best practices, such as using data centers and associated services that have achieved certified compliance with the most important security and reliability standards in the industry.

Therefore, we can repeat the question, Has the cloud already been approved? Are these attributes sufficient when discussing the Enterprise Cloud? In our opinion, there are still some points to emphasize, in order for companies to really understand its advantages:

  • Integration and broad service portfolio: a true Enterprise Cloud service must be able to expand; to encompass both hyper-scale public cloud services that provide consistent Multicloud services, and legacy platforms.
  • Emphasis on process and resource management: a service team whose objective is making life easier for customers. How?  Providing and optimizing the platform, focusing on continual process improvement, continual KPI improvement, and specifically efficient resource management. This will facilitate cost control, while maintaining a balanced trade-off between agility and control.

Therefore, it is only by integrating these characteristics that a genuine Enterprise Cloud service can be provided, which releases the benefits that this technology has promised to users since its inception.



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