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Building Tomorrow's Digital Enterprise on Cloud - Part 1

IDC in its 2013 Predictions "Competing on the 3rd Platform" predicts that the Next Generation of Platform opportunities would be in the intersection of Cloud, Mobile, Social and Big Data.

My discussions with Client IT executives across industries over the last few months has clearly shown a growing interest for building such a platform to address their digital transformation needs. They realize the importance to look at this strategically from a Digital Consumer engagement perspective and the need to align their internal projects and initiatives focusing on Mobility, Cloud and Social Integration to maximize business value. Consumers today demand seamless access across devices/channels and the ability to integrate into the context of their digital experience. Next generation of platforms need to address this transforming consumer engagement model.

Foundations of such a platform I believe would leverage Cloud-based applications enhanced with API Management at its core to address the needs of Integrating the Enterprise with their Digital Ecosystem and consumers on Mobile Apps & devices, Social Media by leveraging Cloud Services for elastic scaling and Analytics on API usage trends to generate business insights.

In this blog series we will talk about Cloud adoption trends that we are seeing in the marketplace and how this Digital convergence is influencing cloud adoption models and the evolving need for Enterprise API Management on Cloud for value realization.

In this initial blog, we will look at Cloud adoption trends. While a large number of enterprises are still figuring out their Cloud adoption strategy and are riding the initial wave of cloud adoption (Infrastructure as a Service), there are a few out there in the Wild West who are surfing their way up to the second wave of cloud - building, deploying and managing business services on Cloud.

I sometimes wonder if there really is a long-term (sustainable) value for clients to merely port or migrate existing applications onto Cloud. While the adoption of IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) aspect of cloud provides clients with lower TCO in the short-medium term and enhances IT Department's ability in responding to dynamically changing business needs with agility, it does not by itself deliver any net new business value. Analysis of Client's cloud adoption trends indicate that SaaS is still the preferred model to deliver business capabilities from cloud and the drive for PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) adoption by migrating your existing apps to a cloud-based middleware platform is still the least preferred one.

For platform-as-a-service model to work and deliver business value, they cannot afford to be merely technology driven. They need to embody a Business Platform that can be 'offered as a service' and provide value to their partners and customers in the marketplace. Health Information exchanges is a good example of such a Industry PaaS / Business Platform that can be offered as a service and this is driven by the continuous digitization of health records and the value around collaborating and sharing this on-demand information about customer health data in real-time, across the different parties involved in the health ecosystem. This data is no longer confined to some back-end applications of the hospital, clinical labs and insurance companies.

Transformations in this growingly digital world requires enterprises to reinvent themselves using cloud and not re-package themselves.

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