Improving Business Fluidity


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Improving Business Fluidity

  1. 1. WHITE PAPERImproving Business FluidityWith the Enterprise CloudInformation is the lifeblood of business. When transmitted steadily and unimpeded to andfrom people and systems in an organization, information provides an organization’s pulse.The flow of information is what animates remote equipment in a manufacturing facility,gives a field technician access to schematics that reside on a server, enables a purchasingorganization to negotiate contracts with suppliers, and makes it possible for a company toengage with customers in real-time.Business fluidity, where information can be accessed any time from virtually any location, is a necessaryevolution that will radically change business models. It will give organizations the ability to be moreaware and more agile than ever before—critical success factors in competitive markets. By 2015, Gartner predictsThis paper describes how new cloud and mobile technologies are helping organizations transforminto fluid enterprises where employees, partners, and customers contribute to the collective that the typical knowledgebusiness intelligence. worker “will own severalThe Emergence of Enterprise Clouds wireless devices, will beBy 2015, Gartner predicts that the typical knowledge worker “will own several wireless devices, will be continuously connectedcontinuously connected and will communicate and collaborate in a wide variety of ways without beingtied down to specific locations and services.”1 and will communicate andThis acceleration of mobile device usage in the work place is fueling demand for multi-platform collaborate in a wide varietyapplications, increased bandwidth, and the computing power to operate them. IT departments already of ways without being tiedstraining to accommodate diverse smartphones and laptops may reach their breaking point when theexpected wave of tablets hits their network. Gartner projects that “by 2013, 80 percent of businesses down to specific locationswill support a workforce using tablets.” 2 and services.”1Organizations whose IT infrastructure is inadequate for supporting a mobile workforce are turningto an off-premise, public utility-type model: the enterprise cloud. The cloud-based model enablesorganizations to quickly expand their networking, computing, and storage capacity in a way that issecure and reliable. Not only can organizations move applications, processing, and storage into thecloud, they can enhance the distribution of data and information as well.The enterprise cloud delivers data and applications to any connected device, whether it’s a desktop,notebook, tablet, or smartphone. Users receive enriched, real-time information exactly when andwhere they need it. These new ways of interacting with information and services help improvedecision-making and performance at both the individual and organizational levels.Collecting Intelligence From Humans and MachinesThe constant exchange between users and the systems hosted in the enterprise cloud createscollective business intelligence that can be tracked, filtered, analyzed, and turned into useful,actionable information. As machine-to-machine (M2M) applications gain acceptance and scale1
  2. 2. Improving Business Fluidity With the Enterprise Cloudthey too will contribute intelligence to the enterprise cloud. This intelligence, combined with theintelligence that people-to-machine communications provide, will make machine-to-peoplecommunications more effective.Two types of enterprise cloud applications are emerging: “network intelligent applications,” which will The constant exchangedraw intelligence from resources derived from the wired or wireless network for use in embeddeddevices; and “communications-enabled business processes,” in which a communications function is between users and theembedded in an application to make the application more intelligent. systems hosted in theNetwork intelligent applications for the transportation industry are being developed around the world. enterprise cloud createsFor example, in the U.S., there are now applications to support compliance with Comprehensive SafetyAnalysis 2010 (CSA 2010), a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative designed collective businessto reduce commercial motor vehicle-related accidents. These applications automatically gather intelligence that can bedata from multiple and disparate sources such as independent vehicle telematics platforms, fleetmanagement applications, vehicle inspection reports, maintenance activities and others. Companies tracked, filtered, analyzed,can immediately access the cloud-based applications via mobile devices to produce data or records and turned into useful,in real-time as they are needed. actionable information.Communications-enabled business processes (CEBP) are emerging in the healthcare industry, which is findinginnovative ways to combine CEBP and unified communications approaches to create solutions suitable forfixed and mobile devices. One is a new field force management product for home healthcare workers. Thisapplication can combine an employee’s calendar application with location-based mapping tools toautomatically generate the most efficient site visit schedule and driving routes based on the worker’s locationand the locations of the intended home visits. It can also access a patient’s records before the workerleaves the patient’s home or provide online resources that provide helpful information for the patient.Many of these applications are enhanced by the capabilities offered by the enterprise cloud.Accelerating Mobile AccessMobile broadband networks, used in conjunction with enterprise cloud applications, are importantenablers of these new services. Already, 3G-based mobile broadband networks have stimulated demandsfor sending data to and from cloud-based services and established interdependency between cloud andmobile services. The 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, now being deployed by operators aroundthe world, will accelerate this trend by providing substantially better mobile data speeds, consistentconnections, and coverage employees will need to access enterprise cloud applications.Video will play an important role because LTE networks will be able to easily accommodate streamingof high-definition video to smartphones, tablets, and other devices. The convenience of remotevideo transmissions and video interactions between personnel made possible by LTE is expected totransform how many work tasks are conducted and how business decisions are made.For example, a utility company could give a technician a video-enabled mobile device for use whileexamining damage to a transmission tower. That technician could stream video of the damaged area toan engineer who can review the video, access the damage in real time and collaborate with the onsitetechnician to resolve the issue. The utility company can avoid the time and travel costs that traditionalapproaches would consume and quickly bring the unit back into operational condition.Envisioning the “Fully Aware” EnterpriseAs organizations adopt the enterprise cloud and the new generation of enterprise applications it willfacilitate, the culture of the organization will change. The organization as a whole and the individualswithin it will become more aware of the business information the applications generate. They will havebetter capability to act on that information in ways that benefit the organization. These benefits willextend throughout a business’s ecosystem as the fluid exchange of information extends to businesspartners, suppliers, customers, as well as employees.Thanks to the intelligence of the enterprise cloud, mobile decision makers can instantly access an ever-expanding wealth of data that can be turned into actionable insights. This information provides userswith greater awareness and understanding of their working circumstances and the contexts in whichthey are working. As a result, employees will be able to make better decisions for their organizationsand organizations, in turn, will better serve their customers and shareholders.2
  3. 3. Improving Business Fluidity With the Enterprise CloudThe impact of this type of awareness—already powerful at an individual level—will be amplified whenaggregated across an enterprise. When the many individual components in the organization share aheightened awareness of business conditions, they can drive action on their business strategies moreaggressively and influence global opportunities accordingly.Business Operational Models Will ChangeAs new enterprise cloud services take hold, organizations will begin to develop new and innovativeoperational models.One model that will profoundly change how corporations operate is the concept of “dispersedexpertise.” According to this new model, a company could establish remote teams of high-valueprofessional experts. These individuals could provide customer care services, engineering expertise,radiological diagnostics, or other types of services using a mobile video conferencing application.While this is just one operational model that might emerge, it illustrates the type of innovation thatwill be possible with the advancements in cloud and mobile technology. It highlights the levelof services that can be obtained, the conveniences that can be created for business partners and Thanks to the intelligencecustomers, and the cost-control that can be achieved. of the enterprise cloud,The Concept of “Work” Will Change mobile decision makersThe pervasive use of mobile devices has already expanded the traditional notion of work so that it includesnot only activities performed by onsite employees during traditional business hours, but also work that is can instantly access anperformed at other time periods and from remote locations. Expect further shifts in the concept of work when ever-expanding wealthemployees can interact with each other and business information from more types of devices and enterprisecloud applications. Companies should make an effort to anticipate this conceptual shift, the operational of data that can be turnedchanges resulting from this shift, as well as the general changes in work culture that are sure to emerge. into actionable insights.Traditional Computing Architectures May Become ObsoleteThe increased acceptance of cloud-based applications that can be used by any device in the field forinformation access or content creation will prompt companies to shift away from some legacy businessarchitectures. For example, use of on-premise hardware and software may be replaced in some casesby Internet-based approaches that can be more easily used via a range of devices and thin clients.Internet-based applications will also perform better on small-sized devices compared to solutionsthat use middleware to convert traditional content for non-traditional devices. These approaches willcontribute to improved productivity and help control equipment and software licensing costs.Data Storage and Analysis Will Be EasierThe amount of data accumulated by business and industry will continue to increase as remote meteringand other various mobile and wireless enterprise applications push information to the cloud. Whethera company uses a private cloud or adopts secure and encrypted public options that enable it tomaintain control over its data, cloud-based storage will be easier and cost effective for business toinstall and maintain over traditional approaches.Cloud-based storage will make it easier for business analysis, trending and reporting and to drawfrom and merge data from operational segments of a business in ways that were not previouslycontemplated. The analyses drawn from the robust and cross-referenced data sources will givecompanies new insights into the state of their businesses and better capability to anticipate futureconditions that might affect their operations and competitiveness.Business processing platforms that facilitate the exchange of cloud-based data between trusted sourceswill be used to securely connect authorized companies, suppliers, vendors, and customers to businessdata and analytics. This access can improve the quality and pace of decision-making for the participants.When accomplished on an enterprise scale, this will help improve overall business functioning.Developing an Enterprise Cloud StrategyThe fusion of mobile and cloud services that is creating the enterprise cloud is certain to have substantialand transformational impact on business. It will create a new, “fully aware” enterprise, new businessoperational models, new work cultures, and render some costly traditional systems obsolete. Thesechanges are certain and already beginning to occur. If they haven’t done so already, businesses shouldbegin considering ways to embrace the enterprise cloud and the new opportunities it will bring.3
  4. 4. Improving Business Fluidity With the Enterprise CloudBecause the development of an enterprise cloud strategy is a complex undertaking, businesses do About Verizon Businessneed to employ best practices as they conduct their due diligence to identify opportunities and Verizon Business, a unit of Verizonrisks and create their migration strategies. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis. Evaluate the capital and Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a globaloperating expenses your company now requires for its IT systems, services, and support and compare leader in communications and IT solutions.those expenditures against cloud service options. Identify your company’s next major IT capital We combine professional expertise with oneexpenditures—such as your anticipated need for new storage and server infrastructure —and create of the world’s most connected IP networksa plan to transition those components to the cloud. Determine how cloud services will enable you to to deliver award-winning communications,change your operational model and the tools your employees will need to be effective in their jobs IT, information security and networkonce the new infrastructure is brought into the cloud. solutions. We securely connect today’s extended enterprises of widespread andDevelop a mobile strategy to take advantage of the wave of opportunities that the enterprise cloud will mobile customers, partners, suppliers andunleash. One approach is to categorize employees according to their mobility or information needs. employees—enabling them to increaseIdentify those who will benefit the most from new or better applications and the types of devices and productivity and efficiency and help preserveservices that will serve their needs. Develop profiles for the solutions you need to develop, segment the the environment. Many of the world’s largestoptions according to the types of features they must offer, and identify those that represent the highest businesses and governments—including 96priority, are easiest to implement, and those that might need further development or optimization. percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousandsCreate a pilot group to develop and test the types of devices and applications you want to bring into of government agencies and educationalyour business and select employees from across your organization to participate in the program. institutions—rely on our professional andThese participants can help identify communications bottlenecks and business problems that could managed services and network technologiesbe solved by enterprise cloud solutions. Their involvement will generate goodwill in the company and to accelerate their business. Find out moreencourage acceptance of the changes you’re about to make. at how new, enterprise cloud-based business processes will affect the customer experience andhow the exchange of information between suppliers, partners, and customers will in turn affect thatexperience. Investigate ways to provide new customer care solutions. Consider how customer informationcan be better accessed and used by your company via the new applications you will introduce.Finally, develop or update security and mobility policies and processes to address the new communicationsmodels. This will be especially important for intelligent enterprise cloud services that generate largevolumes of data transmitted between devices and data storage environments. Solutions are availableto maintain data integrity and control access when you launch your new services.ConclusionThe secure flow of information within and around an organization—stimulated by enterprise cloudapplications and services that involve a broad range of information sources, access methods, andend-points—will transform business. It will impact operations, worker behavior, and a company’scompetitiveness. Recognize that transforming an organization into a business that uses and deliversinformation in new, fundamental ways is an ongoing process. The process should become part of the overallcontinuum of business, part of an organization’s DNA, and should be pursued as a core competency.Verizon, leading innovators in the development of new IT infrastructure and services that will createthe mobile-minded and fully-aware enterprise, can provide the professional services and partnershipscompanies need to pursue these transformative strategies.To learn more, contact your Verizon representative for more information or visit “The Communicating, Connected, Real-Time Mobile Worker of 2015,” presentation by Nick Jones, Gartner, given at the Gartner Portals, Content & Collaboration Summit, September 16, 2010.2 “Gartner Top Predictions for 2011: IT’s Growing Transparency and Consumerization,” presentation by Daryl Plummer of the Gartner Group. December 15,© 2011 Verizon. All Rights Reserved. WP14944 3/11The Verizon and Verizon Business names and logos and all other names, logos, and slogans identifying Verizon’s products and services are trademarks and service marks orregistered trademarks and service marks of Verizon Trademark Services LLC or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks and service marksare the property of their respective owners.4