Walmart’s OneOps illustrates how the cloud can be a starting point for creating a digital business.
There’s no doubt that business interest in digital transformation is growing exponentially. According to a report by Gartner, CIOs in the private sector expect digital revenues to grow from 16% to 37% in the next five years. Research by Forrester Research, predicts that 47% of revenue will be influenced by digital sources by 2020.
Digital transformation does not assume that the physical business will disappear. However, it assumes that revenue from the physical business will continue to erode until a new equilibrium is reached between the digital and physical environments.
The cloud provides a good starting point that can ultimately create a digital business in a dynamic environment. Walmart decided to follow this route by developing OneOps, a platform the retail giant describes as helping developers launch and manage application in hybrid cloud environments. In January, Walmart made the platform is available to the open source community.
OneOps can be used to deploy apps on Rackspace, AWS, Azure, CenturyLink, and on infrastructure based around the OpenStack environment. Scalability, low-cost, flexibility and avoiding vendor lock-in are the cornerstones of the platform.
The ability to scale up and scale down enables digitalization without the burden of overprovisioned costs. For instance, market consensus can be that 47% of revenue will come from digital sources by 2020 but, specific businesses might be at 27% or 67% of revenue from digital sources. Flexibility is vital in environments that are difficult to predict.
If the scale of the operation is unknown initially and vendors and partners ever changing, the private cloud seems more attractive at times than the public cloud and vice versa, which results in an application that does not have a permanent location. If the permanent location of an application is not fixed – routing, firewall, security and other functions will need travel with the application.
OneOps supports Citrix NetScaler, enabling the application to define the networking requirements.This interoperability eliminates the need for manual configuration each time the application changes location, speeding up deployment time and reducing cost.
Once the network is able to liberate the application, it will provide similar benefits to the most important resource of an organization -- its people -- through collaboration and driving business value by breaking silos.
Currently, the tools that are at the disposal of teams include email, Facebook for Work and Skype for Business.These tools enable different business functions to collaborate in real time and capture opportunities that the market presents.
The next generation of collaborative tools will be specialized for the task at hand. For example, accounts and marketing will have the means to share information in a format that communicates the most meaning. It will be similar to the specialized collaboration tool that OneOps implements through its Design Catalog, which allows developers to create and share their ideas with the team or community at large.
OneOps is a great environment that seems to have covered every possible situation that might occur during a digital transformation process. I would love to hear about similar environments that you have implemented or are thinking to implement in your workplace; please share your thoughts in the comment sector below.
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