We’ve heard about the cloud for quite some time and we’re now seeing rapid deployment in the enterprise due to its benefits, such as increased data storage and security from any given location that’s also easy to manage. It’s no surprise that adoption rates have skyrocketed and cloud-based systems have become an expectation in the enterprise. However, beyond the initial deployment of the cloud infrastructure and its established capabilities, what value will it bring in the long term to both the enterprise and consumer? How can businesses maximize their cloud solution to deliver an optimal customer experience, collect valuable data for decision-making, and ultimately add to the bottom line?
First, a business must determine and define how the cloud provides added value to its customer base. Enterprises are feeling increased pressure to accommodate rapidly changing customer needs, and to keep up, IT departments need an environment that allows them to develop applications, test products and go to production much faster. In this scenario, businesses bring application development and client services to the cloud, ensuring a quicker, more secure platform of engagement.
Maximize the impact
Moving applications to the cloud is just the beginning of deployment. Organizations must also deploy the proper edge and connectivity infrastructure in their respective offices, stores, and restaurants to provide customers access to those applications. Customer satisfaction is a top priority in today’s business landscape, so it’s crucial that Ethernet edge switches are fast enough and smart enough to maintain an optimal user experience.
This means prioritizing business traffic ahead of bandwidth-consuming, non-mission critical traffic and moving network intelligence to the edge. Not only does an intelligent edge device prioritize business traffic, it also supports a strategy that aligns with the subscription-based financial models most often associated with the cloud.
Once customers are connected and accessing applications, companies can leverage analytics to gather and measure the customer experience, ensuring the cloud solution is truly delivering premium results. Analytics also position the company to become a more nimble, revenue-generating entity, enabling the monetization of network infrastructure.
Moreover, analytics allow IT departments to monitor the activity and software being used on a network to determine whether the company should invest more or pull back. These data-driven decisions help to eliminate shadow IT, which is still prevalent in many organizations and the cause of security and business expenditures. If a company is paying for a license that people aren’t using, the CIO and IT department can orient themselves based on analytics to understand what’s actually transpiring on a network. From there, they can better evaluate the software that has been adopted from a security and revenue standpoint.
In addition to cases in the enterprise, it’s worth noting that analytics and monetization are relevant for several verticals as well. In the education sector, for example, IT experts can watch how students interact with applications on a network to determine how it’s helping or potentially hurting them. In large arenas, analytics flag crowded areas to appropriately allocate wireless and provide support for fans. Family members and patients in hospitals are able to interact and connect seamlessly during emergency situations. Quality of experience is a relevant measurement for every industry, whether in a waiting room, classroom or boardroom.
As more companies implement cloud solutions, their post-deployment strategies will become the determining factor for success when offering customers a seamless experience. It all starts with analytics, which offer businesses precise visibility into collected data that could increase sales and improve the customer experience. From there, it’s the organization’s responsibility to leverage their solution as a resource for monetization. With these steps, companies will be positioned to succeed following the implementation of their cloud solution.