Unlocking the Cloud

Cloud computing has entered the mainstream, unleashing new opportunities and changing the way technology is used and business gets done.


Building a cloud environment that enables the type of applications required for today’s business needs. Make sure applications meet business requirements and certify that they are designed for real-world conditions. These platforms must support mobile devices, social media, and big data—making it simpler for both employees and clients to use apps and tools and ultimately increase the odds of success.

Selecting the right cloud platform to ensure maximum performance. Developers must work with cloud platforms that enable them to fit their applications natively into customer business processes.

Forging partnerships and building an enhanced supply chain. It is important to understand how a cloud platform enables connections to other organizations and customer bases. Partnerships are key to success, and cloud platforms can make these connections broader and deeper.

Several factors play a key role in determining the success of a cloud initiative. Most successful organizations have established clearly defined cloud strategies and are committed to significant investments in cloud infrastructure. These firms also have pushed adoption across multiple business functions, and have devoted attention and resources to risks and security. In addition, many of these firms prioritize virtual collaboration as a core element of a mobile strategy, and institute Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies as well as using Mobile Device Management (MDM) and other tools that boost oversight and reduce risk.

 

Conclusion

Organizations that take a holistic approach to the cloud and focus on building flexible, agile, and extensible platforms are more likely to achieve a competitive advantage than those that take a piecemeal approach. The leaders are better equipped to address the realities of global business because they manage the multiple issues at the heart of building a successful cloud platform. Key takeaways:

Embrace the opportunities afforded by cloud networks. While cultural skepticism persists about the benefits of cloud computing, cloud leaders are more inclined to say that cloud platforms have transformed IT into a profit center, and are more likely to participate in networks set up by technology providers. They are also prone to rely on the cloud to innovate at the pace of business and meet rapidly changing market needs in real time.

Organizations that achieve the best results engage in substantial planning when they select providers and build a platform. They understand that a cloud environment must enable end-to-end processes and allow developers to reach the customer base. And they engineer high levels of security without being paralyzed by a very real array of threats.

Cloud platforms represent a different—and far more efficient—way to collect, manage, store, share, and use data. As mobility, social media, and big data converge in the cloud, new ways of unlocking the value of data emerge. Customer-facing services, applications, and business processes are at the center of this new approach. Clouds allow organizations to standardize applications and workflows. Yet they also create a platform that supports innovation and fast-track development.

 

The full-length research paper Unlocking the Cloud, published in April 2013, is available for download at www.SAP.com.

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