The global business environment is increasingly complex and constantly evolving. Competitive and economic conditions are increasing cost-containment pressures. Customers are more knowledgeable and expectations are rising. Advances in technology and information services are changing the way customers, partners and employees interact. Market opportunities appear on a moment's notice and often disappear just as quickly. Successful businesses must rapidly and efficiently adapt to these changes.
Agility, innovation and quick time-to-market are critical to maintaining competitive advantage and seizing market opportunities. Cloud computing has emerged as a key enabler for business efficiency and agility.
Cloud computing can reduce costs via its usage-based pricing model. For example, a quick market survey reveals a CRM software-as-a-service (SaaS) at $65 per employee, a virtual server at $0.10 per hour, and an application integration service at a few pennies per transaction. Although these cost savings represent a significant and quantifiable benefit in their own right, cloud computing is capable of so much more. Employing a service-oriented approach backed by proven hands-on experience, iFlex helps clients leverage cloud technologies from strategy through implementation for maximum business value.
Our cloud services include:
- Assessment: Business Value Assessment and Health Check
- Implementation: Application Development and Foundation Implementation & Migration
- Strategy & Roadmap
- Vendor Evaluation & Selection
Cloud computing can empower the business to innovate in new and profound ways:
- Explore innovative ideas by quickly building and "live beta testing" solutions with little risk, IT involvement and cost
- Gain deeper insight from complex analytics on extremely large datasets in an accelerated timeframe
- Extend collaboration and information access to customers, partners and employees anywhere, anytime, from any device
- Bring new innovative products and services to market
One doesn't have to look far for evidence of these benefits.
- An online shopping website leverages integrated cloud-based snapshots to quickly provision dedicated project environments enabling faster time-to-market for new products and services by running more projects concurrently with less contention.
- A global news content provider leverages platform-as-a-service (PaaS) to economically and quickly experiment with alternative content delivery channels through social media platforms, mashups portals, and custom web-based APIs.
- A big-box retailer analyzes interactions among users of social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, using massively scaled infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to gain insight into market sentiment, trends and relationships driving optimized merchandising programs.
- A network of insurance providers delivers specialized software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions and a private marketplace for their members to market cloud-based services to other members.
Cloud computing clearly presents several economic and business benefits. However, in practice, it also presents several challenges that can diminish the benefits realized. Its ease of self-service provisioning and management can complicate enterprise architecture and IT governance processes while fundamentally altering how the business and IT interact.
Effective change management is critical to ensure success. Business integration and process automation becomes more distributed and complex. The management and synchronization of information across on-premise and cloud-based applications complicates the drive for comprehensive business intelligence. Employee, customer and partner portals must incorporate cloud-based applications, content and collaboration services. The challenge of securely managing and accessing enterprise content extends to the cloud and, inherently, mobile devices. Determining the most appropriate application of cloud computing proves to be one of the biggest challenges.
Although cloud computing offers value for everyone, it is not appropriate for everything.