Seven in ten organisations now use cloud computing as standard* now that traditional barriers to adoption, such as security, are broken down. It has become a cultural norm for enterprises to embrace the cloud to achieve business success, and those organisations need to give some structure to their intelligent enterprise, says Hugh Owen, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing for MicroStrategy.

Faced with the major forces of technology, regulations, market pressures, and competition, organisations are looking to the cloud for solutions. The time-to-value, low cost, and scalability of cloud offerings are forcing organisations to review their existing data architectures and evaluate cloud and hybrid cloud approaches.

These organisations are taking steps towards becoming what we call the “Intelligent Enterprise.” While many organisations may find themselves adopting cloud services in an ad hoc, unstructured way, there is huge value in taking a structured approach.

It’s time to map the Intelligent Enterprise.

 

Mapping the Intelligent Enterprise

So, what should this “Map of the Intelligent Enterprise” look like? This is the architecture that organisations should follow to become a truly cloud-based business, with all the competitive and operational advantages that entail.

At the top of the Intelligent Enterprise, you have the organisation’s most valuable assets—its people. Every member of staff is a stakeholder in the Intelligent Enterprise. These staff all have different roles and requirements from technology, so they will need the devices to access the right content at the right time, wherever they are. They will also need regular training on how to access and use cloud technology to enable them to work even more productively.

Add to this layer the other constituents that work with or rely on those organisations, such as their customers, vendors, the influencers in their space, and others. Organisations face the challenge of providing the connectivity and operability to enable constituents to access the data and applications they need to achieve their business or personal goals.

To map the Intelligent Enterprise, organisations need to take four steps:

1)     Evaluate: IT decision makers need to understand how external forces are impacting the organisation. These factors need to be incorporated into the road map

2)     Catalogue: The next step is to categorise enterprise assets and identify who would benefit from access to information and enterprise systems

3)     Empower: Organisations then need to arm individuals and teams with powerful tools to explore data on their terms, while establishing a foundation for a single version of the truth across the enterprise

4)     Plot a course: Map out the people, processes, and architecture required to build an Intelligent Enterprise

These steps provide the basis to create an intelligence platform to build, deploy, and maintain intelligent applications quickly. This is where applications services really come into their own. Services such as analytics, distribution, identity, collaboration, and telemetry provide constituents with the information they need. Add the ability to create quick reports and you have a compelling proposition.

 

Making sense of the tech stack

Underpinning everything is the technology: cloud services, mobile computing, machine learning, big data, the Internet of Things, and possibly even Blockchain.

In the tech stack, there are a wide range of options open to users that enable fast, simple, cost-effective data processing. These options can handle complex queries and offer globally distributed, multi-model databases to enable the storage of huge volumes of data.

The growing importance of cloud computing for data storage and processes means it is absolutely essential that tools like MicroStrategy make it quick and easy for organisations to access a wide variety of popular cloud services and data sources.

That’s why MicroStrategy connects simply with three of the most widely-used Microsoft cloud technologies—Azure HDInsight, SQL Data Warehouse, and Cosmos DB—to provide powerful analytics and mobility that plugs effortlessly into the broader enterprise data ecosystem.

To make sense of the complex tech stack, we recommend creating an ‘Intelligence Centre’ at the enterprise that builds a set of intelligence environments with a single version of the truth with federated data sets and applications. Architects can then deploy federated applications to users to empower them to access the data they need and work even more efficiently.

Organisation is key to making the most of the potential that cloud computing offers. Are you plotting a course to becoming an Intelligent Enterprise?