Organizations carefully plan budgets for investing in items that will directly benefit the bottom line. However, there's no guarantee that a solution that works today will still be viable for the business in a few months or years, particularly as technology evolves and user demands shift. This makes it especially difficult to make a case for new technology and incorporate initiatives that will stand the test of time.
Cloud computing has emerged as an answer to bridging the gap between legacy infrastructure still being used, new technology currently being implemented and innovations yet to come. Businesses will no doubt want to ensure that their cloud strategy and investments carry them forward. Companies must build a future-proof infrastructure that will ensure their cloud investments withstand the sands of time.
Cloud value on the rise
More organizations are beginning to realize just what the cloud can do for them, and demand for these services is increasing. According to Everest Group research, the value of cloud services grew by 60 percent from 2012 to 2015. The agency also predicted the market for these solutions to increase by 27 percent through 2018. This rise is largely driven by the cloud's delivery capabilities, customization options and integration features, all of which help provide client-specific software that meets particular business pain points.
As companies become more interested in the potential of cloud services, it will be important to ask critical questions of the provider and ensure that they are evolving according to user needs. This will not only help improve your bottom line, it will also propagate further advancements.
Future-proof contracts from the beginning
Thinking far into the future can be difficult when looking at a new solution and negotiating features that will stand the test of time. CIO noted that vendors might offer standard service levels across all of their customers, which could create problems when responding to future needs and supporting accounts effectively. Organizations should ensure transfer access across user classes without added costs, volume discounts for hitting growth targets, protections in the event of an operational change and flexible audit processes.
By instituting these demands from the very beginning, businesses can pair with a vendor that will help them evolve without raising the price for doing so. In this way, the cloud can be an enabling partner within the infrastructure for adequately licensing and provisioning every user in the system without breaking the bank. These negotiations will also make the cloud cost structures more manageable.
Preparing for the next wave
Current technologies within the cloud aren't the end. In fact, the cloud platform itself is expected to serve as a base for other initiatives. At Google's NEXT conference last year, Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet, noted that machine learning will be the next big layer of programming and will leverage cloud capabilities to drive business transformation.
In addition, the next wave of cloud computing could involve serverless architectures. Using machine learning, the platform will be able to dynamically determine how much infrastructure is needed and automate provisioning for application support. This will significantly save time and resources associated with building and managing software. The system can easily scale and failover, ensuring that organizations receive constant uptime.
"Cloud computing started as a way to abstract physical infrastructure and data centers," Forbes contributor Mike Kavis wrote. "The next generation of cloud computing will focus on abstracting virtual infrastructure and the operational processes that go along with managing that infrastructure."
As more processes go digital, it will be important for organizations to build an infrastructure that ensures their cloud investments will stand the test of time. By understanding the driving factors behind cloud growth, future-proofing contracts from the start and leveraging emerging technologies, businesses can effectively leverage the cloud for years to come.
For more information on how to future-proof your investments, contract Inspirage today. Our PLM solution scales to accommodate changing processes and supports the evolving needs of end users.