Organizations across the globe have been tirelessly working on improving their agility and scalability. Due to a sudden change in the business landscape caused by COVID-19, business leaders suddenly found themselves having to rise to the call to action. The results are staggering – the unanticipated impact and pace of the global spread of COVID-19 caught businesses off guard. Many failed to quickly adapt to the changing circumstances as they were not well-equipped in their ability to scale down impacted resources and operations in response to a halt in customer demand. Some were just not ready to operate their businesses 100% remotely.
Conversely, in sectors such as healthcare and other essential services, several organizations could not keep up with the unexpected rise in demand as they lacked means to quickly ramp up their operations. Most of these companies that could not adapt to the changing circumstances had one or all the three critical traits of the modern enterprise ecosystem missing – agility, elasticity, or mobility.
In this article, we’ll discuss how organizations can make their ecosystem agile and elastic and support mobility – and how these qualities are going to help organizations scale their businesses in the long run.
The role of elastic services in business agility
In today’s world, businesses are faced with a variety of challenges that require they quickly adapt resources to address a dynamically changing environment. After the pandemic declaration, organizations found themselves having to provision new remote working solutions in a matter of hours. Monolithic application architectures are designed for a certain level of capacity. Sudden changes in demand add stress to existing resources, such as a rise in network utilization due to the entire workforce requiring VPN connectivity to on-premise applications. These networks may have never seen these levels of utilization before, and therefore, become bottlenecked, resulting in poor user experience or worse, slow mobilization of resources toward an urgent demand.
Adapting elastic services to actual demand
In other situations, agility is needed to pivot and re-invest resources away from impacted operations or loss in demand. An organization can consume elastic services and managed services to deploy the minimum resources needed to service actual demand. Managed services providers can help business units in distress with predictable, recurring services at fixed annual terms, which allows leaders to re-prioritize full-time staff members to newer product lines or more strategic initiatives. A well-positioned product organization with a properly designed Cloud-Native Architecture can auto scale with the minimum resources needed to run an application and scale out to meet the demands of a growth spurt.
Flexible, collaborative, and secure digital spaces enable enterprise mobility
In addition to agility and elasticity, the third critical requirement that came to the spotlight during the recent crisis is enterprise mobility. Previously, IT leaders have elected to utilize digital workspaces as a flexible benefit to augment in-person activities with remote capabilities, such as the occasional work from home. However, it was not until the current crisis that several organizations looked at full-scale enterprise mobility as highly differentiating, if not mission-critical to success.
However, full-scale enterprise mobility is not a switch that one can just flip. It needs technological, cultural, and behavioral changes. The workforce, particularly newer generation workers prefer to work from home and operate more on results, rather than “working a shift.” Managed services providers can help businesses design a flexible remote setup that can be further leveraged to drive a culture of collaboration.
How to implement elastic services: The three-step approach
Given the requirements of each business are different, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to ensure the successful implementation of elastic services and guarantee agility, elasticity and mobility in an enterprise ecosystem. However, following the three-step process described below helps organizations design a custom implementation plan suited to their needs.
Step 1 – Discover: Identify the business goals the organization is trying to achieve by implementing these services and the potential risks that can jeopardize the effort.
Step 2 – Analyze: Analyze the business goals and map them to the desired outcomes. Perform capabilities assessment against the current architecture – mapping out demand versus usage patterns and identifying the opportunities for modernization.
Step 3 – Plan: Define the implementation roadmap. Enterprises can choose the buy, build or partner route to implement and operationalize a modern enterprise ecosystem.
Elastic services make businesses risk-tolerant and sustainable
Setting up modern infrastructure and developing it to an enterprise-level, especially during this time of crisis, is a demanding task. However, enterprises must not look at this exercise to combat only the current crisis. An agile, elastic and mobile enterprise ecosystem helps companies tackle new initiatives with less worry. Consumption friendly elastic services can allow organizations to pay-as-you-go with minimal up-front investment costs. This ability allows organizations that can mobilize with high agility a competitive advantage in the experimentation of new initiatives or expansion to new markets while having a risk-managed auto-scaling architecture to turn down resources to what’s minimally needed to keep a foot in the game. Most importantly, the decision to fail fast and stop investing becomes more attainable and less regrettable.
|Joey Lei is the director of service management at Synoptek, a global systems integrator and managed services provider. Prior to joining Synoptek, he was a lead product manager for Dell EMC’s Data Protection Division. Lei managed product lines contributing half a billion in annual product revenues and was a founding product manager for Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager, Dell EMC’s newest generation data protection and data management solution.
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