Accelerating digital transformation with a services approach modern cloud
There are a number of ways to implement a distributed cloud architecture, which Gartner hails as the wave of the future for cloud computing. Almost all of them rely on what Richman characterized as “cloud-to-cloud communications” so that end users are effectively accessing a cloud that’s geographically local. In some instances, this model could involve accessing a centralized cloud (such as that of any of the major cloud providers) via an organization’s local cloud to reduce issues of latency and bandwidth concerns.
According to Richman, “With a more traditional model, if I’m here in the U.S. and I need to access a cloud server in Asia, the performance is terrible. With distributed cloud computing, we’re able to make that experience much better.” This advantage is critical for leaving data where it must remain geographically to satisfy regulations yet keeping it accessible in a performant manner.
There are also certain advantages related to distributed computing and aggregating data across clouds that this variety of cloud computing supports. From a content management perspective, fundamentally what that means is that I can go to my URL and do a single search—across all of my firm’s global content—that distributes those queries to cloud centers around the world, aggregates all of that back together, and brings it back to me in one unified result,” Richman said. With this approach, firms can access public clouds (or any other variety around the world) locally without having to manage their own private clouds, which can become expensive. It’s a credible extension to multi-cloud deployments.
It’s difficult to argue with the immediate value gained from employing the cloud as a means of effecting digital transformation. This approach ensures ubiquitous accessibility at any time with an on-demand payment structure for operational expenses. Moreover, it individualizes functionality for content management according to respective services, supporting best-of-breed deployments for optimum productivity across multiple clouds and physical locations. Cloud-native approaches underlie this subscription economy predicated on dynamic portability; however, to realize its boons, companies must take measures to avoid vendor lock-in.
Those that succeed in these endeavors will remain malleable for whatever changes the IT landscape, and its surrounding business climate, undergoes in the future. “Digital transformation is also enabling agility, both from the vendor side and from the customer side,” Richman concluded. “Basically, we can deliver features faster and changes faster to our customers. We can also learn more easily about what they’re doing and be responsive to their needs, and ultimately deliver them faster. I think ultimately this is a win-win for the industry.”