In today’s era, businesses no longer see cloud as a way to reduce costs and improve efficiency. Businesses of all sizes are now looking into cloud as the route to innovation, growth, and faster disruption.
The first wave was simply the birth of cloud computing. The second wave is the growth of innovation and the addition of hybrid cloud as a viable strategy for development. The third, new wave of cloud computing enables businesses to take advantage of cognitive computing and the power of the Third Platform. Let’s take a look at the first and second waves to understand the new growth coming in cloud computing.
The Second Wave of Cloud
The first wave of cloud took place back in 2006 with the launch of Amazon Web Services (AWS). A decade later, AWS is now operating at a greater than $14 billion run rate, with customers such as Netflix, Lyft, and Airbnb just to name a few. The cloud model was a new way to deliver IT resources and services, and many took advantage of the benefits of paying only for the services they used, when and how they used them.
However, due to security and privacy concerns many were afraid to explore the benefits of the public cloud. Therefore, some larger enterprises built their own private cloud, which was useful at the time, but they didn’t build systems that would bring 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 only about cheap computing and storage. Key components of the second wave of cloud computing include:
Innovation and business value. Cloud is truly a prime delivery model that impacts all areas of an organization. Companies are now able to deliver IT services through the cloud, but with more focus on specific customer needs such as security, interoperability and localization.
The mix of public and private cloud. Hybrid is the strategy of choice, not only for its performance, but also for the management and security capabilities it provides. We’re not only seeing more critical data and complex processes being controlled in the cloud now, but also much more movement between private, public, and on-premises cloud environments. It seems, as the hype is behind us, we’ve really figured out what cloud can do.
This is the second wave of cloud. Fueling this accelerating adoption is the need for enterprises to scale their compute resources to better serve their customers.
The New Wave Provides Powerful Results
A new wave is approaching very fast and may already be here. The third wave is about connecting more than IT resources. It’s about bringing specific cloud services to a vertical industry such as retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and logistics.
In the third era of cloud, we’ll also see more machine-to-machine communications, or what many call “cognitive computing” and even “artificial intelligence,” all powered through the cloud.
Cognitive computing is a trend that pulls away from the legacy data center capabilities and more towards the cloud. The cognitive computing and artificial intelligence technology industry will reach more than $47 billion dollars in 2020.
The availability of abundant compute and storage resources combined with the evolution of analytics is accelerating the adoption of “cognitive on cloud,” which refers to cognitive services running in cloud and that are available to be consumed through transfer APIs.
The ultimate goal of cognitive computing is to simulate human thought processes but in a computerized model, such as systems that can play and beat grand masters at chess.
Now, you may ask what all this means 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 be successful now and in the future.
- 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 even IOT practice, and that brings an extensive solution portfolio.
- Leverage your distributor for sales, technical, and marketing enablement support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is so much distributors can offer!
- Champion a new culture within your organization by encouraging members to collaborate with technology in different ways and boosting their innovative and critical thinking skills.
- Develop a business outcome sales motion – Identify problems to solve within your current customers that will lead to critical breakthroughs; how can they disrupt the business while also increasing revenue streams and automation?
- Build application/software development capabilities in house, or collaborate with a third party professional services or your distributor of choice. Some distributors like Tech Data offer these services or can suggest a third party based on the type of integration needed.
- Look into already cognitive/digital-enabled and highly secured cloud platforms that can help you develop and test new applications, as well as help run in a production state, while delivering advanced security capabilities and measures.
The verticals that are most likely to invest in cognitive computing and/or artificial intelligence are banking, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare. However, a cognitive-enabled cloud platform will be required as the foundation to achieving a high return on investment.
Companies should embrace cloud as an innovation platform rather than a way to reduce costs and streamline processes. Through innovation, organizations will be able to drive differentiation and value. Staying ahead of the industry adoption curve is essential to staying in business, or to better yet, THRIVE.
To learn how cloud technologies can help transform your customer’s business and increase your profitability, contact our cloud team today at firstname.lastname@example.org; or me directly at email@example.com
About the Author
Raquel Acuna is a Solutions Consultant at Tech Data. Currently, she focuses on Cloud Partner Enablement. Prior to this role, she spent eight years on the Tech Data Cisco team, leading Cisco's Go-To-Market strategy for all of its architectures and solutions. Raquel has served in various roles within the organization such as sales, operations, training, business development, and marketing. She’s excited about all of the opportunities cloud technology brings for the partners, and how new technologies are also transforming the world.