It’s not easy to stay competitive when any company with an Internet connection, a few dollars, and a dash of ambition can access tell-all data and analytics.
How your company answers the question “How do we get an edge over our competitors?” is as critical today as it was when push-button phones were the height of innovation. While there may be many ways to answer such questions, especially with all the complexities of doing business today, increasingly organizations are finding their advantage in scalability.
When we think of automation and scalability, we think of processes, networks, software, and companies rising to meet demand. Scalable systems, software, or organizations, have a distinct advantage over their non-scalable counterparts as they can adapt smoothly to the changing needs and expectations of users or customers.
The ability to automate and scale is a strong indication that a company is stable and competitive. In the past, organizations had physical constraints such as memory and hard drive space that prevented them from being able to scale to demand. Cloud computing replaces the old infrastructure — and the mentality around it — with a new system that can scale and adapt to whatever situation or demand arises.
Cloud automation and scalability: The case of NNIT
NNIT is a Danish IT service provider with strength in the life sciences, renewable energy, and dairy industries. As NNIT grew, its chief business challenges became increasingly apparent: It needed to cut costs and offer a wider range of value-added services.
In 2008, NNIT’s IT team successfully convinced management to move to the cloud, centering its argument-for on reduced costs, increased agility and flexibility, audit and approval trails, and repeatability. Like many organizations at the time, NNIT had been outsourcing key processes like-for-like to lower-cost environments such as China and India.
Cloud, for NNIT, was a way to get to that next level — to stop outsourcing processes and start automating them. This gives rise to what NNIT’s Head of Cloud Services and Service Development, Jasper Bagh, calls a “virtuous circle.” Suddenly, customers were prepared to buy standardized services — and NNIT had the scale to create more automated processes.
For NNIT, automation resulted in lower prices, with faster delivery times and reduced risk level — altogether, an attractive proposition to customers.
The future is unlimited
IT automation and virtually unlimited scale are the future of cloud. The Managing Director of Google Israel, Barak Regev, describes cloud adoption as a way to move beyond simply replacing physical infrastructure with cloud services and virtualization.
Cloud is becoming a matter not of hosting but of software evolution — of freeing up developers and IT groups to innovate with technology. With automation, ideally, everything is fully managed, and IT has only to think about software development — launching apps and new cloud-powered services. This appears to be the direction in which cloud is headed.
Cloud automation will provide organizations with a range of attractive business and technical benefits that can support the growth, efficiency, and security of your organization, including but not limited to:
- Worry-free infrastructure deployment. When you can design a robust infrastructure once as code, you can take your foot off the petal as your tools take care of deployment. Cloud automation often results in dramatically lower error rates. All the while, your lean and efficient IT group is free to deliver.
- Value-plus app development. Cloud automation can lead to an acceleration in the development and refinement of your app and website functionality.
- Scalable infrastructure. With cloud automation, it is possible to scale IT systems on demand, with a few clicks. Scalability means not just rapid growth but also cost savings through the automation of on-demand scalability as opposed to having to maintain a bloated infrastructure to ensure now-and-again peak demands can be satisfied.