It’s more than just cloud
Cloud-first policies are starting to prevail in both the public and corporate sectors around the world
This is increasingly true for many of our clients, because cloud has become a key enabler for rapid, transformational change.
However, it’s important that cloud-first isn’t limited to ‘cloud only’. For most enterprise organisations, cloud forms a component of a much larger technology ecosystem, so the question you need to ask is ‘how can I best harness or leverage cloud computing as part of a broader solution to achieve my business objectives?’
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At Dimension Data, we’ve always been focused on helping our clients achieve their business goals. We’ve adopted a ‘cloud at the core’ philosophy, acknowledging that for most of our clients there is always going to be cloud and non-cloud components, but with cloud playing a central role. ‘Cloud at the core’ both describes the way we are taking our own solutions and services to market, and how our clients are implementing and utilising our cloud services to achieve their ambitions.
Dimension Data’s own decision to invest in our cloud capabilities over the past five years has been driven by our own ambitions to rapidly grow and transform our business. We have invested in cloud services to meet direct client demand, but also to be agile enough to quickly develop new solutions and services, and standardise these for consistent delivery in all the regions in which we operate. And, by building cloud as a core component our services and solutions offering for clients, we have been able to become far more competitive and innovative in a market where it is becoming more difficult.
Cloud has been transformational for Dimension Data, just as it has been for our clients, so our strategy is to build it in at the core of almost everything we do. Our investment has given us a cloud infrastructure that our clients can use in any way they choose – enabled by data centres, networking, and security, enhanced with consulting and professional services, and sustained with support services and managed services.
It has also provided us with the platform for developing standardised, consistent solution offerings to host enterprise applications such as SAP or the Microsoft collaboration suite that we can deploy globally via the 16 data centres we currently have around the world. It has enabled us to establish centres of excellence to develop our solutions and services in different locations, and share that best practice across our regions.
Critically, by adopting cloud at the core, we have been able to address the business needs of our clients in each of the countries we operate – more efficiently, more cost-effectively, more responsively, and more rapidly. We’ve combined the power of long-term client relationships, and our regional and local service delivery capabilities with a scalable, globally-consistent and highly-available cloud infrastructure that is helping our clients achieve their ambitions every day.
For the Tour de France, A.S.O. (the event’s organisers) wanted to find new ways to engage with the billions of fans who follow the race every year. With cloud at the core of our solution, we have revolutionised the viewing experience by transforming the way race date is analysed and delivered to the cycling community – the fans, the media, the teams and the experts – and we will continue to build on that innovation for every year of our involvement in the Tour, powered by our cloud infrastructure.
Another transformational project that has cloud at the core is the work we are doing with wildlife conservation with a pilot program we have been running near Kruger National Park in South Africa. Cloud infrastructure has given us the capability of tipping conventional wisdom on its head. The typical approach to managing the conservation of endangered species – in this case the rhino – has been to monitor the animals themselves, often a highly invasive process and potentially a threat to their wellbeing. Even by doing this, by the time the conservation team is alerted to a problem, the hard has already been done. Now, we will be able to use the cloud to collate and analyse data from a multitude of sources – including CCTV and scanning of all park visitors and their vehicles, seismic sensors, thermal imaging, drone cameras and historical data – and relay that information back to park rangers on multiple devices in real time for them to act decisively on the potential threat. It’s a model that can be adopted for use in any number of conservation programs around the world.
I’ve heard a lot of other powerful stories about how our cloud services have been transformational for our clients around the world, helping them to achieve greatness with cloud at the core – in government, hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing sectors – and in the future we look forward to telling your story too.