In the business world, the customer is always right. The modern patron, however, has many different needs than the ones of 10 or 20 years ago. There is a high level of availability that has to be inherent of the organizations that people frequent. According to Forbes contributor Louis Columbus, this is particularly true of the manufacturing industry.
"Unifying customer data, analytics and reporting across all front-office and manufacturing operations is a strong catalyst for continual selling and profit gains," he wrote. "Having a very clear, contextual view of customers' requirements through every phase of the inquiry-to-order and quote-to-cash processes can save manufacturers days and weeks of lost productivity."
But these are the kinds of benefits that can be experienced by any company, regardless of industry. The only way they can be achieved, however, is through the flexibility of the cloud. The demands of the present day customer need to be met with the utmost agility. For companies that have not sought out solutions of this caliber, the time to start considering them is now.
Cloud implementations can be difficult
But just because there should be a sense of urgency behind seeking enterprise cloud does not mean that decisions should be made hastily. Because there is still a relatively small understanding of the technology in the common culture, many people falsely believe that all clouds are the same.
"The cloud has a significant caveat," wrote Lifehacker contributor Shehnila Zardari. "It is essentially a black box. Users know little about its internal structure, how it functions and who has access to the data inside. We put information up there and hope it comes out again, without knowing anything about what happens in between."
It is this lack of information that can lead businesses to select inferior cloud solutions. Public infrastructures are the biggest dangers to watch out for in this sense. These servers are shared in their nature, meaning that those signed up for a public provider will have to compete for resources during peak usage hours. Not only that, but the lack of segregation between clients can result in security breaches – which can have stark financial and legal ramifications.
This is why those seeking out enterprise class cloud computing should invest in private server hosting. This allows businesses to have the perks of public architectures – third-party management, etc. – without any of the downsides. For those companies that need to begin their journey to the cloud, private hosting will be critical.