Let’s face it. The good old days of long-term subscriptions and long-term commitment to certain brands or services have long passed.
Pay-per-view and pay-per-use have beaten the old subscription models in all areas of the media and service industry. Today’s customers (among them the much-cited Millennials generation) will thoroughly research the market before making any decision, and are accustomed to an ever-expanding world of choice.
The truth is, if you have a certain need today, it might (and likely will) soon change.
Just as our lifestyles are constantly on the go and altered by the digital age, so are our habits as consumers, and those of our customers. Customers don’t want lock-in or a long-term commitment. They want the ability to easily and quickly switch to better offerings and price opportunities, better performance and the best customer value that supports their needs at any given moment.
Tomorrow is another day, and with it comes an entirely different set of demands. Businesses need to understand this and quickly adapt or they will find themselves being left behind.
Business Agility Matters
Huge corporations that maneuver like battleships struggle to change their course when it comes to new challenges in the market. According to Forrester, 70 per cent of the companies that were on the Fortune 1000 list a mere ten years ago have now vanished.
Clearly, businesses small and large need to adapt to the changing habits of their customers and quickly change the ways in which they operate, or risk losing profits and being left out of the race.No two customers are alike and no two departments are alike
No two customers are alike and no two departments are alike – projects have peak demands, changing target dates, testing and development cycles, as well as unplanned shelf time. It’s not only the market that quickly changes, but also our infrastructure needs when it comes to supporting day-to-day affairs.
Rome fell in part because this giant empire became sluggishly slow in re-adjusting to new realities, enemies, and the demands of its citizens… businesses eager to strive are better off to analyse the failings of many large corporations and understand why business agility matters from the top to the bottom line.
Cloud, Mobility and Big Data – Everything Points to Agile
The unstoppable rise of Big Data and analytics is here to help businesses and organisations make quicker and better decisions, reacting faster than their competitors.
Knowing one’s users, their purchasing behavior and interests is critical, and that’s why Big Data is playing a key role in engineering a better user experience and increasing customer attrition.
The reality for businesses is that often they will have to know where the crowd is headed even before the crowd itself does. But it’s almost impossible to foresee where the industry as a whole will stand in five years and where technology and market needs will be.
The same applies to your own business planning: who will be your customers? What will their needs be? Where is your business heading? Change is around every corner, you need to adapt to unforeseen changes and surprises, and when you land that next big opportunity, you better be ready to take the job, immediately.
Why the cloud is mushrooming
For good reasons the as-a-Service models of the cloud are growing and blossoming and are helping businesses achieve swift changes, move to new markets or regions, easily launch new services, and stop paying overhead for idle server farms that foresee demand of potential, crystal-ball assumptions of where business needs will be in a few years.
The cloud has brought a new agility where IT departments can instantly provision new resources, additional resources, or even entirely different resources for an hour, two hours, a week or a year!
It’s all there at a click of a button and these solutions even deliver those enterprise-grade features that mean real business applications can already run in the cloud, seamlessly, today.
To boldly go where no agile storage has gone before
As we look at the role of datacenters, traditional storage models of advanced planning, heavy CapEx, five year buy-in, and single vendor lock-in can not, and will not, support these new agile business structures.
As such, businesses will demand new models and agility will prove itself a key differentiator, integrated into every level of an organisation’s operational mode. Infrastructure models will see a full overhaul, and new models will emerge that not only bring more business applications to the cloud, but also bring the fullness of cloud agility goodness back to the enterprise, on premise.
The future of agile storage will be a conglomeration of software-defined infrastructure – flexible, hybrid, multi-tenant storage that delivers exceptional cost-efficiencies – and the as-a-service, OpEx-oriented, flexible model of the cloud.
Agility will finally enable IT departments to spearhead strategic initiatives and deliver services rapidly – while maintaining full control over physical infrastructure, yet doing away with inefficiencies of and leadenness of hardware ownership.
The future belongs to the agile business. The sooner organisations take advantage of agile infrastructure models, the faster they’ll win and stay ahead in the game.
Dani Naor is VP if International Sales at Zadara Storage.