This year, we have seen a widespread move by small businesses to cloud-based IT platforms that allow them to respond to market changes faster, thus making better informed decisions and working more productively, all while cutting costs.
These common platforms provide extensive analytics, follow the information flow of the business, and are simple enough that users with wide-ranging technology skills can constantly change the business without writing (too much) code. They provide not only a foundation to improve processes, but also to gather insights for business acceleration.
Moreover, they bring an operational scalability to traditionally bespoke enterprise IT. From Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, to Google Cloud Computing and others, these platforms provide very suitable if not substantially improved replacements for what used to be expensive, custom builds.
Before you jump on the train however, beware of these three common issues we’ve seen:
1. Adoption — In our experience, a top-down approach is often needed to establish a common platform across an enterprise. When the platform push comes from the bottom-up, enterprises often end up with multiple platforms.
2. Skills and roles — As enterprises move from proprietary platforms to the cloud-computing model – platform as a service (PaaS) – companies will need to invest in new skills for their IT team so that they have the agility to manage cloud applications.
3. Platform management and long-term viability — As large and sophisticated as these new platforms are, they are still relatively new. Enterprises will need a steady, experienced hand to manage their integration and operation. They will also need to understand platform’s vision and monitor its future growth to ensure that it remains viable and appropriate for the organization.
Moving to these large, powerful platforms will provide small enterprises not only the ability to connect previously silo-ed teams, but perhaps more importantly, a foundation to improve their business processes and take a step ahead of the competition.