By: Madhavan Krishnan, Vice President, Cloud Solutions, Virtusa Corporation
The cloud revolution in enterprises has very clearly crossed the of proof-of-concepts phase and has truly entered the mainstream adoption aspect. There are few popular initiatives which are being widely embraced by the enterprises and the most popular initiative in the cloud computing paradigm is currently “cloud migration” programs of some kind or another. Finding business value for these programs is not hard to fathom – they include hyperelasticity in infrastructure consumption, subscription based models, and agility derived from rapid speed of deployment of applications. These factors will continue to drive cloud adoption into the foreseeable future.
There is a far-reaching trend playing out beneath the surface with the potential to create an impact far greater than cloud migration programs. This trend can be termed as the “up stack” cloud revolution. These are basically the “cloud enabled” services that have the potential to inculcate enterprise applications with data, mobility, and internet scale architecture capabilities from cloud to make a truly transformational impact on an organization.
Some wide-reaching impacts of “up stack” cloud is that it truly equalizes few of the far-flung capabilities, which includes data analytics at scale, unstructured data processing, machine learning, and multi-channel “reach-out” capabilities, to any small, medium, or large enterprises on a consumption based approach. This is the core extent where the true impact of cloud is going to be felt for years to come.
The world’s leading cloud platform provider companies like AWS, Microsoft, Google, and IBM – are majorly focusing their vitalities on the continuous rollout of new services in these areas. All of these companies have cloud platform offerings that has an ability to collect, process, and transform data at internet scale. Most of these companies offer a very simplified way to embed the complex machine learning capabilities and algorithms to process data such as voice, text, video, images, and other unstructured data analytics into enterprise app portfolios. In addition, the ability to collect, process and disseminate information across the platforms and devices at the “click-of-the-button” from the cloud also has a huge impact. These are some of the early impact of the revolution these cloud-embedded capabilities are about to cause.
Here are some of the ways an enterprise can prepare itself to take advantage of “up stack” cloud capabilities which are offered in the market today:
Building a pool of engineers to take advantage of upstack cloud
To take full advantage of the innovations in the cloud, it is essential to cultivate and train employees to be “full stack” experts; these are the people who can connect the dots across on both an enterprise infrastructure and application capability features offered by cloud platforms.
A significant portion of the workforce who have some programming experience can be trained and groomed to be full stack engineers in the months and years to come through consistent exposure and opportunities to work on a range of projects that leverage cloud services across platforms.
Many of the new innovations coming from the leading cloud providers are embedded in their platform offerings that expose APIs (application programming interface). A strong programming capability thus becomes fundamental to succeeding in the emerging tech world
Reimagining applications design to leverage cloud native features
By default, the core organizing principle of enterprise architecture is to leverage cloud native features such fault-tolerant, responsive, auto-scaling multi-channel and off course natively driven. Applications need to be designed for an “AI-driven world” which is enabled by the cloud to make them both smart and learning systems. These applications are partly built, assembled and packaged into portable containers which lend themselves to seamless deployment across the cloud platforms. To make these application modules truly scalable and accessible over run-time, a well- designed API strategy will serve well to make the architecture truly reusable at ‘internet scale’.
Taking advantage of prevalent data driven capabilities
Every aspect of the IT Life Cycle Management (ITLM) is going to be infused with data-driven transformation which will happen through products and platforms. Infrastructure or applications, development or testing, deployment or support – these are all going to be driven by products and tools which are imbued with the data-driven capabilities. The impact of this will be far-reaching in the way platforms or services are going to be delivered to customers going forward. This implies that every organization product, platforms, or services involved will need to reinvent their offerings with services that are rich with data-driven capabilities, and are self-learning, self-healing and “smart” all at the same time.