THE STATE OF CLOUD COMPUTING: WHERE TO NEXT?

Today, cloud computing can be considered an essential part of business technology that provides many different hosts and services to choose from. A staggering 94% of businesses are estimated to be using at least one cloud service, according to the latest State of the Cloud report.

As of Today, What Are The Benefits of The Cloud? 

Employing technology with the cloud offers many benefits for virtually any size business, which influences the increase in use of this technology since it has been introduced as a business tool. According to the IDG 2020 study on Cloud Computing in companies, which bases its results on a survey of more than 500 IT professionals, 81% of companies have at least one application or part of their computing infrastructure in the Cloud. This data represents an increase of 73% compared to 2018.

Many cloud computing services are available on-demand and are comparatively inexpensive to alternative options of data management. If the scalability or data collection varies from month-to-month, the cost of service is normally correlated. Traditionally, there was the risk of buying an expensive computer network and realizing that it was not scaled for effective use. However, cloud providers may not require a long contractual obligation and it is highly customizable, so no cloud space goes to waste.

Cloud computing can offer services to both public and confidential business functions. A cloud-based email account is an example of a public cloud computing service. However, many companies use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access secure private clouds, such as those only accessible to people who work in a particular company or department.

Downsides of The Cloud: 4 Things You Should Not Overlook 

There are many advantages of cloud such as accessibility from anywhere on any device, flexibility, etc. Nevertheless, there are potential drawbacks of the cloud that should not be ignored:

Security and Privacy Issues: Attacks on organizations around the world remind us that a good infrastructure is necessary to increase protection for sensitive information from both external and internal attacks. Although cloud service providers (CSPs) have their security procedures, there is always risk of unauthorized access to the heart of these informational assets. However, the major CSPs such as Azure, AWS, Google, and others spend large amounts of money to ensure that their services are secure. A breach of security would bring significant financial losses to a provider.

Interruptions: This is a symptom of when the cloud server is down, which can occur either when high-volume traffic causing the server to overload, or if there is any planned maintenance activity. This is referred to as server downtime. Since all the data is stored in the cloud, it can not be accessed during the downtime period, thereby causing delay in response.

A reliable internet connection must be available with enough resources and capabilities to deal with slowdown, frequent outages, or prolonged service downtime.

Conditions of Service: It is not yet easy to migrate cloud infrastructure from one vendor to another as cloud technology has not yet seen a simple solution for migration. This may be because of differences in technical framework and network criteria from the vendor which can influence how migration takes place, and what can be salvaged. This might lead to additional costs and complexities in the migration.

Transparency: Many organizations are unclear on who owns the data that is hosted in the cloud. The ownership of data is a critical issue which can have legal repercussions. Therefore, it is necessary to know if once the data is uploaded to a system, the cloud becomes the property of the cloud service provider. At the same time, the terms and conditions of the agreement regarding the management of these assets are not always known exactly.

To overcome the limitations of cloud computing and to build more efficient solutions; cloud computing is moulding itself into a newer approach, Edge computing. Distributed computing infrastructure, or edge cloud computing, can facilitate applications to come closer to data sources like the Internet of Things ( IoT) – connected objects and devices equipped with sensors, software and other technologies that allow them to transmit and receive data – to and from other things. More companies are testing this model and have found positive impacts from both a technical and optional standpoint.

What is Edge Computing?

Edge computing refers to a distributed computing model that allows business applications access to data and direct actions. This model can be supported using IoT devices or a local perimeter server.

Edge computing offers lower latency, more efficient communication, and a variety of other improved capabilities for new applications. The lower latency allows much faster communication speed which can connect systems within a few milliseconds. With this level of speed, it can push new applications to be able to operate in real time more often which is particularly useful with technology such as virtual reality or autonomous driving. As a business tool, this can elevate a company’s analysis capabilities and internal operation functions.

Another great perk is that cloud infrastructure can be stored locally, which heightens the security capabilities and the privacy of the data. Instead of depending on a large but minimal cloud space that is maintained in another location, businesses can host the data in close and secure locations under control, along with any hardware used in tandem.

These new capabilities will have a significant impact on devices. Edge computing will allow some of them to be unloaded with processing capacity since this will be able to take place on the network, closer to the user and in real-time. This will lead to a reduction in their cost (simpler devices) and their energy consumption (less process), with which the number of connected devices will increase and will also generate new growth opportunities in the connectivity business.

How Edge Computing is Used in Companies

Data Storage: All companies have continuous data that they want to use and, due to efficiency and risks of loss, proper storage space needs to be provided. Edge computing can host the data to make it as accessible as if it were in the local network and replicated, but at a higher speed.

Artificial Vision: The decreasing price of components and advances in artificial intelligence have increased the functional use of cameras and sensors. These cameras have the potential to create spectacular value in public security, automatic stores, and robotic warehouses. However, there are also increased risks for non-stakeholder privacy and cyberattacks. Edge computing enables a secure, efficient, and privacy-friendly deployment, where raw images never leave the local realm.

Industrial Internet: Production and deployment processes are rapidly being digitized. This requires being able to control information to the millisecond to ensure efficiency, quality, and safety of workers. This level of stability and scalability can only be done with Edge computing and 5G networks in business environments.

Video and Augmented Reality: Virtual and augmented reality are also becoming part of the production and operational processes of companies. Edge computing creates and environment where VR and AR technology can be functional at peak capacity. This can impact training capabilities, client facing technology, and physical security measures.

Even with recent advancement in technology such as Edge computing, the current cloud framework remains a necessary business tool for today’s environment. With the increasing digitization of the market and everyday life, it is important to have the right technology to respond as an enterprise. While there are a variety of obvious benefits to the cloud, it is imperative that users pay attention to the risks/liabilities of adopting this technology. It is also beneficial to follow the development of new cloud technology, with the biggest developing being Edge computing. This is an opportunity to obtain further competitive advantage and so that enterprises do not fall behind the data management technology wave. At this rate, Edge computing could be a common business tool used both in the private and public sectors for various business functions and operations.

Artificial Intelligence: The benefits for the company in 2021 

84% of companies around the world consider that Artificial Intelligence is a key factor of competitiveness. It is estimated that the Artificial Intelligence market will reach 126 billion USD by the year 2025 on a global scale.

Undoubtedly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the key to selling in 2021. More than 60% of high-performance companies have increased investment in AI in the last year to respond to the situation derived from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary sectors that have led this investment are healthcare, automotive, and financial services.

Thanks to the application of Cloud Computing and Big Data technologies, in recent years, AI has developed rapidly based on the imminent arrival of 5G networks and the entry into a hyper-connected world. It is estimated that by 2025, customer service organizations that incorporate Artificial Intelligence into their multichannel platform, will increase operational efficiency by 25%.

Artificial Intelligence allows you to analyse purchasing habits, influence strategic direction by extracting data on trends, or help identify and track inventory accurately while being efficient.

Areas such as customer management, marketing, or sales are taking advantage of these initial AI applications, such as the creation of simulation models or propensity to purchase. AI is also used as well for the personalization of the purchase process using Machine Learning technologies. Out of a sample of current AI users, 87% said they were using or considering using artificial Intelligence for sales forecasting specifically.

Artificial Intelligence helps companies that are users, have a greater organizational flexibility by adopting best practices in models, tools, technology, and use of performance data.

Artificial Intelligence can be implemented directly as a tool to improve performance levels and production safety coefficients in the company. You can even automatically recognize and catalogue employee invoices, saving labour costs and improving efficiency.

In addition to the entire application to analyse data and perform calculations, Artificial Intelligence can directly influence the process of so-called “real-time marketing”. Analytics and Artificial Intelligence will be the emerging technologies that will have the greatest impact on marketing techniques. This technology helps companies better understand customer behaviours and purchasing trends. It also acts as a tool to predict future changes in customer wants and needs, based on mature and new data points.

AI applications also make it possible to increase efficiency and social welfare while promoting the protection of the environment. For example, the application of a smart heating solution that uses reinforcement learning technology, can reduce up to 10% fuel consumption.

Artificial Intelligence will be used in all fields and sectors such as medicine, energy, transportation, education, scientific research, and logistics systems. Also, AI can address critical problems in different traditional and specialized industries. In recent years, an example of this is “smart agriculture”. Smart agriculture is operated by farmers who can have total control over their entire plantation, through AI integrations. A software interface that correctly analyses the data can warn about potential red-flags in real-time so that farmers can take necessary actions that will protect the crops. This kind of process can help make sure the products are the most profitable and ready for sale. This process can also decrease the room for human-error and reduces potential costs of having to hire additional farm hands.

The flexibility of a great organization is exhibited by reporting the impact of AI on the income statement as it facilitates the best practices of tools and technology, data usages, and models. Hence, the corporate strategy and finance departments, along with the supply chain, will be the ones that perceive the greatest impact of the adoption of AI in economic terms.

With AI, comes the massive collection and management of data points. We are fully entering the fourth industrial revolution, which is expected to generate a world in which virtual and physical manufacturing systems can cooperate with flexibility on a global level. We can extract the best knowledge value from data through Big Data technologies and AI application. The compelling reason is that traditional methods cannot process such large and especially varied volumes of data generated at high speed, in real-time, and at any time and place. This also helps eliminate the possibility of human marginal error, when conducting these kinds of analysis.

Using AI daily will become one of the main recurring trends for the evolution of future ecosystems. At this point, it is likely that Artificial Intelligence will drive industrial development and help companies achieve long-term, environmentally friendly, and profitable growth, at a global scale.

Digital Transformation: Towards Cultural and Technological Innovation of Companies

“The big question that organizations must ask themselves in the digital age is how to respond effectively to the increasing digitization of society, not only in terms of how to avoid becoming obsolete in the face of competition but also how to adapt and lead the way. Digital disruption”.

Digital transformation is a continuous process over time, in which many factors beyond the technological ones are involved. It is of little use to digitize a company if employees are not empowered to adopt digitization in their work. Therefore, an organization’s cultural change is considered the most complex challenge of digital transformation for all companies.

Sustainable digital transformation focuses on carrying out a progressive digital immersion, divided into a series of phases or steps so that the next step projects are not addressed until the different initiatives of the common step have been completed. To carry out the most complex digital initiatives, it is necessary to go through the following degrees or steps of maturity or digital immersion, the so-called Immersion ladder.

Phases of Digital Transformation 

Digital Foundations: In the first phase, what we call Digital Foundations is established. In this step, initiatives are carried out to establish a base on which the digitization of a company will be built on. The architecture and strategies that coordinate the different digital actions to be carried out include a social media plan, CRM execution, and different digitization processes.

Digital Expansion: The second step is the stage that we call Digital Expansion. In this phase, symptoms begin to appear outside the organization, known as digital contact points. Employees are also being empowered in digital skills, and the results of actions carried out in digital media are being analyzed.

Digital Optimization: We identify the third stage as Digital Optimization. At this point, the actions of the previous step are delved into. The companies that are in this echelon have a true digital culture. They can analyze digital information in an advanced & predictive way, and with self-learning processes. They also interact with their customers through the channels they always prefer, collect their feedback in an advanced way, and can enhance the innovations derived from co-creation.

Digital Maximization: The last step, which few companies reach today, is Digital Maximization. At this stage, automated processes are seen in which authentic artificial intelligence is applied. Large amounts of data, both internal and external, are analyzed, allowing for robust personalization of the customer experience. This allows creating new business models based on the digital world, such as virtual reality or augmented reality.

Pillars of Digital Transformation 

A company that wants to start a digital transformation process must consider key elements that help drive the process forward:

Leadership: The success of digital transformation in a company does not depend only on the degree of digitization but also on its managers and leaders’ ability to drive change. This implies adopting agile management styles that facilitate the evaluation and implementation of new models, sources of income, and opportunities.

Customer Experience: Digital Transformation is closely linked to Customer Experience. It must aim to use technology to create new ways of communicating, predict customer needs and behaviors, and improve omnichannel strategies. 

Business Model: A business model is a way a company creates, delivers, and captures value. Within the Digital Transformation, companies must be willing to evaluate and modify:

  • Value proposition: that is, the products and services it offers.
  • Value delivery: these are the distribution channels, customer segmentation, and the relationship with them.
  • Value creation: the resources and alliances to create the products.
  • Value capture: An adequate Digital Transformation also implies a revolution in costs and sources of income. Therefore, the need to have the support of the directives in this function.

Organizational Culture and Agility

Technology within the Digital Transformation is the great pillar within the path of change. However, technology could not act in the desired way if it is not accompanied by processes of practice and relationships between human agents. In this way, technology is linked and shaped by the culture and the organizational context; thus, Digital Transformation will be a more complex process that involves all the actors in the organization.

Digital Transformation requires investment in human capital and culture. Also, for a company to respond adequately to rapid changes in society, it must become an agile company.

To learn more about how agile is changing the way we work, listen to this podcast on agile culture and how companies are beginning to adopt it to improve their processes and make them more efficient in the fourth industrial revolution.

Benefits of Digital Transformation 

An adequate Digital Transformation will have 7 positive impacts on:

1. Competitive advantage: Digital transformation allows a company to create new products and services according to customer needs, and this undoubtedly allows diversifying services, making better decisions, and driving growth versus versus its competitors.

2. It promotes the culture of innovation: Agile innovation management in companies is one of the most important tools to adopt new methodologies that deploy the creation of new products, solutions, and business opportunities.

3. Improves productivity: When automation processes are adopted in companies, employees’ better performance is guaranteed, who see digital tools as the ally to achieve the objectives.

4. Greater brand presence: When we talk about a company having an omnichannel strategy in its digital and physical channels, it is because the said company has understood the importance of providing the best service to its customers, and the digital transformation allows these channels to communicate and flow with each other, avoiding setbacks in customer service processes.

5. Give importance to data:  A company’s databases must be converted into stocks to have a greater impact on the market. Digital transformation allows better decisions based on the big data generated through all areas of the company.

6. Reduce costs: When methodologies such as Agile or DevOps are adopted to develop technological products in an agile way, errors in their production are reduced, which gradually lowers the company’s costs. In addition to the automation of processes and cloud computing for information storage, avoiding the purchase of physical servers and their maintenance.

7. Customer satisfaction: It is perhaps the greatest benefit that digitalization brings to companies. Knowing customers allows providing a better experience, more agile and secure services, and direct communication to help the company attract, convert, and retain loyalty more appropriately.

Technology applied to Digital Transformation

Big Data: Big Data is the tools and techniques that allow the real-time processing of large amounts of data collected from different organization’s internal and external sources.

The processing of this data and its subsequent analysis will make decisions based on predictions, anticipate people’s needs, and distribute budgets more intelligently.

Cloud Computing: Cloud computing has great advantages for digital transformation. 

Cloud services allow computer tools such as databases, servers, analysis, networks, and software, within a flexible and low-cost infrastructure. 

The cloud also facilitates access to different technologies, deploys services almost immediately, and has architectures based on microservices, delivering greater agility and scalability.

Mobile: With the arrival of smartphones, mobile technologies’ development has been escalating rapidly, promoting apps that open a new form of relationship between organizations and their customers, suppliers, and workers.

Artificial Intelligence: AI is a set of techniques that allows machines to perform actions rationally. In this way, companies can understand customer needs, suggest the perfect product to the right person and streamline the sales process.

For companies’ benefit, artificial intelligence is used to automate processes and capture and analyze information, bringing benefits such as cost reduction and optimization of services and products. This type of service is widely used in the financial sector, which has pointed to banking’s digital transformation for a few years.

Conclusions 

The digital transformation process in the company is not something that is not trivial and must be implemented with strategic planning. It involves profound changes in the company at all levels and must necessarily encompass all departments from senior management to operators. The digital transformation methodology will help the company develop a digital strategy that will improve the company’s processes, which will translate into an increase in productivity and an increase in the efficiency of the processes.

WordPress vs Drupal: The CMS Battle Continues! 

One of the most important tools for any business to use is a CMS (Content Management System)

CMSs are a fundamental asset that allows us to create, develop and maintain a web page, which is why it is important to choose according to the digital content of the website.

WordPress vs Drupal are two of the most common CMS seen on the web. They present different characteristics such as security, the manager’s simplicity, variety, optimization, or quantity of plugins.

General terms of WordPress and Drupal

Without a doubt, WordPress is the most user-friendly and intuitive blog builder available today. This is possibly one reason why users tend to prefer it, and it is that its popularity makes it easier to work since there are tutorials, courses, and virtual academies where you can learn to work with this CMS.

The many uses of the services offered by WordPress: e-commerce, blogs, or professional business websites are some of the most general examples of users who use this platform. There are also websites developed in this great CMS for forums, portfolios, events and even E-Learning. Some examples of WordPress-based sites are Mercedes Benz, The New Yorker, Whitehouse.gov, etc.

Drupal, on the other hand, corresponds to one of the best-known CMS worldwide.

Companies such as Harvard, Twitter, BBC, and NBC News are some of the most popular sites that work with Drupal and is that it covers a large series of web pages such as blogs, personal or corporate websites, forums, E-commerce, or networks social.

Now: Why choose one CMS over the other?

As we have seen, both WordPress and Drupal contain a wide range of very useful features that provide many advantages to design a professional website. Financial benefits, such as adjusting cost, flexibility on production, and freedom to select features, must be considered.

At this point, you may be wondering: WordPress vs Drupal, which one should I choose? Next, we will detail all the characteristics that will help you make this decision.

WordPress and Drupal interface

The interface within a CMS is one of the most critical points since it corresponds to most content creation. Both WordPress and Drupal have a virtual interface, and for both managers, these interfaces present a facility within the platform.

The WordPress interface is one of the most intuitive, which makes it easy to learn to use. It is simple, with floating buttons with which you can modify the blog or website.

Being one of the most used CMS, there is a community of many followers, ready to offer you help if you need it. There are also options to learn how to handle it through blogs or portals made by the people who use it and are part of this “forum”.

Although you use programming languages ​​to develop web pages, you do not need to know how to program with code, so almost anyone can start WordPress.

On the other hand, Drupal has a very welcoming and intuitive interface. Like its relative, you will not need to know programming languages ​​to develop and modify your web page.

In conclusion, you can publish new content frequently without changing code lines, adding resources, or managing your website’s configuration and appearance that you like the most.

How do WordPress and Drupal work?

WordPress is the most popular CMS on the internet. As we mentioned before, its interface makes it easy to work for beginners or experts. This is a great advantage since you can start a personal project without having to look for an expert in programming or website development, and it is that also at a more professional level, companies or organizations that decide to work with this CMS would save time and money in finding a web developer.

Drupal is a more modern content manager (CMS), so not everyone knows how to use or work with it. Its installation requires a little extra knowledge, especially if we compare it with the installation of WordPress.

In conclusion, in WordPress, you can start from scratch and with the free themes, you will be able to present a web page of good quality and with good material, while in Drupal, you will have to go to a web developer since it presents highly personalized or coded themes.

Which is more customizable between WordPress vs Drupal?

Both CMS have a wide variety of customization options, although WordPress has a greater number when we talk about plugins. WordPress brings thousands of pre-established templates with which you can change the website’s appearance to give it the most customization according to your website model.

What is the most secure between WordPress vs Drupal?

Even though all platforms can be vulnerable, we can say that the two managers have work teams made up of developers to address the lack of security within any website within their power.

Drupal has better security and content management. Some companies have a series or group in charge of the different facets of creating and maintaining a website. This makes the page more vulnerable, as more people have access to it, which can put a risk against the website.

Due to a lack of skills or personal reasons, a person can add, remove information, or content that leads to the website’s deterioration or breakdown. Drupal reduces this risk by only allowing certain users (such as administrators) access to make changes. For some content to be uploaded, it must go through the review of the website’s managers or administrators.

In Drupal, the content is previously uploaded to the website, and once it is approved, it is there that it becomes visible to the community or users in general.

WordPress is considered a bit more vulnerable than Drupal. It relies heavily on third party plugins. That is why Drupal is used by government brands that require security and control over their pages.

What are the costs of these CMS?

Whichever manager best suits your needs, you can start both for free!

Drupal is open-source software and is completely free to download, use, and customize your website.

WordPress is a free service where you can start a project from scratch. Although the professional themes and plugins are paid, they have more features: security patches, maintenance, and other extra options. Such is the case of the language options in both managers.

Drupal presents multilingual functions by default, while in WordPress, you must purchase plugins to acquire such a function.

SEO in WordPress and Drupal

Currently, SEO positioning is an important factor for any web page. With Drupal, you can generate URLs based on each content. Also, you can connect your website with the profiles of your social networks. WordPress offers an ideal foundation for search engine optimization. Remember that having a good SEO will exponentially improve the traffic on your website.

How does file management work in these CMS?

Some web pages have a large amount of content, from organizations, businesses, entertainment, or government websites. All of these will need management of the content of the web page. Drupal offers content collaboration; that is to say, a group or a series of managers can divide the work since this manager allows it.

Functions or positions such as preview, editing, or programming are the most important and useful tools you can have in this content manager (CMS), ideal for companies that formwork teams for the organization and manage their web content. WordPress also has a service that offers a library where you can upload files such as images or videos.

Which CMS should I choose between WordPress and Drupal?

Creating a web page must go through a series of procedures: Having reliable hosting and owning a web domain corresponds to this process.  The choice of a content management system is essential in this process, and it is that this is the one that will give life to our websites in every way. The customization, security and loading speed are some of the features and benefits that must be considered when choosing our CMS.

What are the best factors between WordPress vs Drupal?

Although they are platforms with characteristics of great advantages for the design, creation, customization, and maintenance of a website, you must study your website’s needs and your availability of resources. Criteria such as financial flexibility, company objectives, and scalability.

For more similarities that Drupal and WordPress have in this context, the managers present marked differences. For example, in WordPress, although the ease of creating content is greater, to carry out a more professional website, you will have to have use paid services, such as plugins and themes.

While in Drupal, even if you do not need to invest such an amount of money, you will have to find an expert in this area; since its complexity is greater, although it has characteristics such as content and information management.

Both CMS are useful, and each one has its advantages, so everything will depend on you and the work you will do. Now tell us! In this WordPress vs Drupal Which one would you choose? Have you already used one?

Conclusion

WordPress is a common platform for creating small websites to customize yourself and expand with thousands of awesome themes and plugins. If you plan to go with the functionality, you cannot build on your own. It would be far easier to find support and recruit professionals.

On the other hand, Drupal is suitable for more complex websites and other web ventures that WordPress cannot manage. However, to take advantage of all that strength, you will need to be familiar with HTML, CSS, and PHP. You should be a competent programmer if you want to create complex websites with Drupal.

Both Drupal and WordPress have benefits and drawbacks but choosing between them should be quickly based on your objectives. Which option did you choose?

Microservices Best Practices You Should Know

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Legwork lives on in the things we created, our memories, shared experiences and, so we don’t forget, here for good measure. It has truly been an amazing decade–goodbye.

Everything You Need To Know About Monitoring Kubernetes

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Why IT Modernization?

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Why Companies Like Netflix, Uber, And Amazon Are Moving Towards Microservices

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5 Reasons Why You May Want To Stick With A Monolithic Architecture

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Breaking Down A Monolithic Application: Microservices vs. Self-Contained Systems

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Legwork lives on in the things we created, our memories, shared experiences and, so we don’t forget, here for good measure. It has truly been an amazing decade–goodbye.