Expert opinion

Top Five Business Tasks with No Way around Cloud

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6 minutes

Despite the fact that infrastructure cost reduction is usually mentioned first when discussing clouds, it is now at the bottom of a corporate customer priority list, if included there at all. The economic efficiency point just reinforces the argument for global business goals. Maxim Berezin, Development Director, CROC Cloud Services, highlights certain key trends that currently shape the demand for cloud services.

Digitalization and ever-growing demand for test environment resources

Development of new digital customer services propels many market players to use cloud providers' sandboxes for faster releases. A small developer chooses a cloud for its flexible and scalable infrastructure, otherwise unavailable. A large company with its own developer team simplifies functional management approval, when it comes to resource allocation. Getting an approval from a CFO to buy a cloud subscription for test purposes is nothing compared to justifying a budget to purchase the necessary hardware. Moreover, a cloud gives direct control over resource costs associated with each project team and each process, so does, for example CROC Cloud. We updated a billing system for Tutu.ru, a popular travel service, to enable a detailed report export feature, which helped the aggregator anticipate and consider costs more consciously, thus almost halving cloud spending.

Expansion into Russian market and local legislation compliance

When opening an office in Russia, a foreign company wants to solve two tasks at once. The first is to launch the business fast with as little IT and labor costs as possible. Marketing and infrastructure support are oftentimes outsourced to local contractors. Sometimes, there is a de jure office in Russia, but with zero employees there, since the head office exercises all management from abroad. Nevertheless, such a company deals with Russian contractors and consumers and therefore has to store and protect personal data locally, and the easiest way to achieve this is to engage a cloud or IaaS, which was initially designed to comply with regulatory requirements.

The same applies to Russian companies with foreign capital, which have acquired a new business with an existing infrastructure – they need to enforce unified IT standards fast. In such a situation, a cloud allows for the new business unit integration with the common infrastructure, which is exactly the case of SK Operations. Some services of the acquired company were hosted abroad, which at the time was not in line with data storage requirements. Therefore, it was decided to consolidate all services within a single cloud platform and improve their manageability.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

The Russian SaaS market is booming. According to J’son & Partners Consulting, it grew by one third in 2018. Competition also intensifies among providers that use increasingly more cloud resources to deliver products to consumers. This is mainly due to challenges in customer base growth forecasting and unwelcome equipment administration costs. In addition, some services might experience dynamic loads and be unprepared for peaks. For example, Directum cracked this problem with Synerdocs, an e-document management system, by leveraging SaaS from CROC Cloud and thus ensuring that solution remains up and running even under a peak load during the reporting periods. The customer opted out of buying equipment to increase IT capacity and performance, as it would sit idle half the time. Rather, the cloud allowed for better use of resources, and that's the reason why the Directum CIO chose to host one of the company's key applications in the cloud, thus optimizing up to 30% of equipment costs.

Business strategy revision and total IT modernization

Consulting projects to analyze performance of dozens of business critical services often result in their migration to a cloud or dedicated infrastructure. With companies' ambitions to gain the lead on the market it becomes obvious that own and often obsolete IT systems are dead weight on this mission. Conventional modernization of such IT systems will drain your budget rather than help invest into solving strategic challenges.

Depending on the business task, customers choose either an express survey of particular systems or a comprehensive infrastructure analysis. A good example of the latter would be a story of migrating some 30 services of a foreign bank in the cloud, while also renting data center equipment to host a part of application systems after a thorough IT audit. We helped the bank to identify bottlenecks, calculate IT asset TCO, design a target infrastructure, given the planned business growth, and, eventually, migrate to CROC Cloud.

Launching a startup

Launching a new business or unit is alone costly, not to mention IT expensiveness. Therefore, using cloud is much better than investing into own infrastructure. If a startup proves successful, it will create a solid foundation for years ahead, where you can increase resource consumption as your customer base grows. If your business takes a downturn, you can always shutdown virtual machines.

CROC cooperates with the startups needing flexible and manageable cloud infrastructure through its corporate accelerator, with 300+ teams graduated from it. Recently, CROC started offering its cloud resources to the most promising ones. Cloud capacity can be allocated to both product development and provisioning of access to apps from external systems. Hinted, an interactive learning hints system for corporate user training, was the first startup CROC signed an agreement with. Today, it is widely used by large banks, retailers, and telecom operators.

Economic uncertainty prompts companies to search for more efficient business strategies and oftentimes resort to cloud services, that allow for quick tailoring of digital technologies to business tasks, keeping business competitive in the long run, and improving performance. Clouds have an exceptional merit of transparent billing that helps economize and calculate overall infrastructure costs with breakdown by project and operational division.

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