The Keys To Accommodating Innovation

Howard Baldwin

Have you ever tried to maintain a classic car? It’s not easy. Parts become unavailable; you have to bolt on aftermarket equipment. The car begins to look less sleek and more like a contraption, and it just doesn’t run as well as it should.

The same is true of technology. It’s hard to add innovative technology to a creaky chassis. And yet, with business demanding new functionality faster than ever before, that’s just what IT is being asked to do: maintain a chassis that can’t accommodate new technology.

That creates a conundrum for IT. Why? Because system reliability honed over time doesn’t always accommodate agility. The first key is to bring reliability and agility together. The second key is remembering that time passes. The last thing you want is for today’s innovation to become tomorrow’s intractable legacy. How can you create a system that constantly welcomes change?

Equally important, how can you create a system that allows a resource-constrained IT staff to serve the needs of multiple departments, all of which are clamoring for help to create a competitive advantage? Everyone wants to undergo their digital transformation yesterday, but IT simply can’t accommodate all those demands without some outside help.

What IT needs is a stepping stone, a pathway that lets it take a test drive of new technology (to continue the automotive metaphor) and find out whether it’s a good fit or not. And in technology today, that’s the cloud.

Cloud computing is already bringing multiple companies considerable advantages: reliability, security, flexibility, elasticity. But its value comes from more than just moving data. It’s not just a question of network or technical integration. Cloud helps integrate within and between data. Its ability to do high-level data integration helps enterprises funnel that data into applications and business processes no matter where they run. Getting the data out of a business process is equally important as the data itself.

Aiding this effort are its technologies, which come with far better integration capabilities than have previously been available (that’s what makes hybrid clouds work). Thanks to open-source technologies such as Hadoop, enterprises can integrate data together for advanced analytics. Thanks to industry standards such as HTML5, enterprises can integrate data into user interfaces for a better end-user experience.

Without a doubt, the cloud is rewriting the rules of how enterprises can accommodate innovation. These advanced integration capabilities are helping enterprises create personalized, customized data flows and business processes that help employees do their jobs based on specific roles and personas. And with the ability to analyze these digitized data flows, they’re deriving even better insights about how their companies function.

The cloud enables the enterprise to take systems for a really long test drive, after which it can be sure about whether they’re the right wheels for its work.

For more innovative cloud strategies, see What’s The Return On Developing In The Cloud?

Howard Baldwin

About Howard Baldwin

Howard Baldwin has been writing about technology since OS/2 was released