IT Consulting has gone all-in with cloud, in the sense that IT consulting companies are taking a “cloud first” approach when it comes to providing new business services with their clients.
This comes as no surprise as many companies have already made the move. According to Forbes, 74% of Chief Financial Officers have reported that cloud computing had the most measurable impact on their business last year. The growth in cloud-based services agrees with them, as enterprise cloud spend is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16% through 2026 (Wikibon).
But when it comes to IT consulting, how can a technical consultant provide more value with the cloud? Below are some the biggest areas the cloud has been providing the most value in the IT consulting space.
One of the biggest areas cloud has been providing the most value is in the secure storage and backup arena. Traditionally, companies would need to buy network attached storage (NAS) devices and provision them as they required in RAID configuration to store all their important files. However, solid state disks (SSDs) are expensive, and companies finding out that on-site magnetic disks are susceptible to corruption, natural disasters, and other issues that can cost companies their data.
The cloud computing model commoditizes storage on a global level, which means massive economies of scale only achieved by companies like Google and Amazon are now available to every business. Companies also get better security when it comes to secure storage. For example, with Google Cloud Storage, in addition to being low cost and providing redundant storage, a company’s files are encrypted by default at rest. Depending on frequency of file access, companies can also opt for various archival storage classes such as Nearline and Coldline to lower their storage costs even more.
The use cases for business analytics and predictive intelligence are two of the hottest areas for IT consulting right now. Businesses are generating more and more data than ever before. Big Data is exactly what the name implies - companies are not only creating more data, but maintaining more data which gives rise to the potential for predictive insight.
While artificial intelligence (AI) traditionally was purely in the domain of science fiction, businesses have access to incredibly powerful cloud-based AI tools that can help derive patterns in their data. Everything from sales and inventory forecasting, fraud detection, and product recommendation engines are all being driven by AI in the cloud and businesses can take advantage of these technologies right now.
Call Center Systems
How do you allow all of your customer service representatives to operate from a centralized location if they’re located all over the world? The cloud can connect and centralize your workforce no matter where they’re situated, bringing all of their efforts and data into a centralized ecosystem. Call centers traditionally had to be centralized offices with all representatives on-site to handle call routing and access critical customer systems.
However, with the cloud powering VOIP phone servers and CRM systems now, your call center systems and CRM systems can be interconnected without needing to be in the same physical location. This allows businesses the flexibility to hire call center representatives from a variety of locales, some of which may be closer to major customers if proximity support is needed. In other words, the cloud allows for more flexibility in your service systems so that you can focus on the customer, rather than on the limitations of the systems themselves.
Besides secure storage and business intelligence, the other benefit businesses are reaping from cloud-based services is business continuity.
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey ripped through the greater Houston area causing upwards of $125 billion dollars in damages (Source). Contributing to that large figure of loss was the amount of downtime, lost data, and destroyed resources that businesses experienced. This includes lost server/compute resources, downed phone systems, lost files, and more.
While a hurricane isn’t the first thing that would cross a business leader’s mind as something to worry about, its one example of the many things that can affect the normal operations of a business - things like power outages, unexpected incidents, and forced Windows updates which can cause normally operating services like domain controllers and VOIP phone servers to go haywire.
The cloud solves this by allowing IT consulting professionals to create a cloud-based architecture that can auto-heal and autoscale as needed. The cloud also eliminates a single point of failure such as a datacenter or an office because business resources can be spread across multiple regions and zones.
IT Consulting 2.0
The business atmosphere is constantly changing and rapidly evolving, and IT consulting services must keep up with the new on-demand economy that all businesses are now servicing with their customers.
A cloud first approach offers businesses many strategic and defensive advantages that keeps them at the top of their game. Accounting systems, CRM’s, marketing platforms, and content management systems have all moved to cloud which allow business leaders the flexibility of accessing critical systems from anywhere in the world.
Businesses from small to enterprise are in an inflection point where legacy systems must be modernized and moved to the cloud, or at the very least, adapted to integrate with cloud-based systems. Whether completely cloud-native or hybrid, IT consulting professionals like KaizenTek can help your organization become stronger, more agile, and more resilient by modernizing your systems for the cloud.
Which services are ready to move to the cloud and how can your organization scale and modernize? Tell us what’s on your mind in regards to how you’d like your business to become more flexible in how it operates and scales.
Tags: it consulting, technical consultant, independent consultant, secure storage, cloud native, google cloud