More businesses are looking into cloud as the route to innovation, growth and faster disruption. It’s not just a means of reducing costs.
The first wave was the birth of cloud computing. The second was the growth of innovation and the addition of hybrid cloud as a viable strategy for development. Now, the third wave of cloud computing enables businesses to take advantage of cognitive computing. But, to really understand the potential impact of the new wave, we need to take a closer look at the first and second waves.
A brief history of cloud
2006 saw the launch of Amazon Web Services (AWS), the first wave of cloud. A decade later, AWS is now operating at a greater than $14 billion run rate, with high profile customers such as Netflix, Lyft, and Airbnb. The cloud model was a new way to deliver IT resources and services. Many reaped the benefits of paying only for the services they used, when and how they used them.
However, security and privacy concerns stopped some users from fully exploring the benefits of the public cloud. Therefore, larger enterprises started building their own private cloud. This was useful at the time, but these systems did not provide the full benefits of leveraging a cloud model.
Over time, cloud-computing services evolved. In fact, an IDC report from late 2016 mentioned companies were entering the “second wave” of cloud. It was no longer just about cheap computing and storage. Key components of the second wave of cloud computing include:
Innovation and business value. The Cloud delivery model impacts all areas of an organisation. It allows companies to deliver IT services with more focus on specific customer needs such as security and localisation. It streamlines the entire process.
The mix of public and private cloud with a hybrid strategy provides effective management and security capabilities. We’re not only seeing more complex processes being controlled in the cloud now, but also much more movement between private, public, and on-premises cloud environments. Moving beyond the hype, we’ve realised the cloud’s full potential.
This is the second wave of cloud, and it’s still evolving. In order to better serve their customers, companies need to adapt their computer resources.
The third wave – already providing powerful results
The third wave is already upon us. Connecting more than IT resources, it brings specific cloud services to vertical industries such as retail, manufacturing and healthcare.
In this third era of cloud, we’ll also see more machine-to-machine communications powered through the cloud, a cognitive form of computing.
Cognitive computing pulls away from the legacy data center capabilities and places more emphasis on the cloud. The industry is estimated to reach more than $47 billion dollars in 2020.
The increased availability of computing storage resources combined with the evolution of analytics is accelerating the growth of cognitive computing. The ultimate goal is to simulate human thought processes. Think artificial intelligence that can play and beat grand masters at chess.
Now, you may ask - what does all this mean to the channel and our end customers? If you’re new to cloud, or looking to strengthen your cloud practice, here are seven suggestions you can take to guarantee success in the long-term.
- Partner with vendors that are already embracing IoT, big data, cloud, analytics, and even cognitive computing.
- Work with an IT distributor that has an established cloud and an extensive solution portfolio.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your distributor can offer assistance with sales, technical, and marketing enablement support.
- Encourage members to collaborate with technology in different ways. This will develop initiative and boost critical thinking skills across your organisation.
- Identify problems to solve within your current customer base that will lead to critical breakthroughs; how can they disrupt the business while also increasing revenue streams?
- Build application/software development capabilities in house, or collaborate with third party services. Some distributors, like Tech Data, offer these services or can advise you on finding a third-party input.
- Learn from the best. Look into cloud platforms that already use cognitive computing. These can help you develop and test new applications as well as help run in a production state.
Cognitive computing will appeal to high stakes investors like banks and retail/manufacturing companies. However, a cognitive-enabled cloud platform will be required to lock down potential investments.
Companies should embrace cloud – not just for cost-cutting and streamlining, but as an opportunity to innovate. Staying at the forefront of industry evolution is essential to staying in business, or to better yet, thriving in the market.
Leverage Tech Data’s comprehensive Cloud and Next-Generation technology portfolio, with the Cloud Solutions team. By gaining access to our commercial and technical enablement, end-to-end services and multi-cloud management, we’re putting you in control.
If you’re an existing partner and want to learn more about Tech Data, or if you’re looking for a valued partner to help accelerate your business, get in contact with your local team today.