Why and when does an enterprise require hyperconverged infrastructure?
Enterprises and businesses in all sectors strive for the most efficient infrastructure. The explosion of business data poses additional challenges to IT decision-makers. Weak storage solutions could be disastrous for a business. Organizations need to invest in a reliable IT solution that will bring together all IT infrastructure components. They need a solution that will increase overall workplace productivity and reduce cost.
Hyperconverged infrastructure can be the perfect solution for enterprises. It provides uniform scaling along with the simplicity of deployment and ease of management. These features of HCI translate into operational efficiency and reduced costs. As businesses slowly emerge from the fragile economy caused by the coronavirus impact, hyperconverged infrastructure can help them come back strongly.
Let’s have a look at what hyperconverged infrastructure is and how you can benefit from it.
What is hyperconverged infrastructure?
Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is an IT framework. It combines computing, networking, and storage into a single turnkey platform to increase scalability and reduce data center complexity. Hyperconverged platforms usually run on standard, off-the-shelf servers and include a hypervisor for virtualized computing and networking and software-defined storage. Hyperconverged platforms are designed for scalability. For example, it allows you to cluster multiple nodes for creating pools of shared storage and compute resources.
Compared to traditional enterprise storage infrastructure, you can customize hyperconverged infrastructure to make it flexible and easy to manage. It can provide the agility of infrastructure without relinquishing control of your hardware.
Why and when does an enterprise need hyperconverged infrastructure?
Hyperconverged infrastructure offers scalability, reliability, data protection, and more. However, it does not mean HCI is for everyone. It is not recommended for applications that need low latency and contend with high I/O rates. For applications with the right workload, it proves useful in addition to the data center reducing costs and simplifying IT.
Initially, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and other general-purpose workloads with fairly predictable resource requirements started using hyperconverged infrastructure systems. However, it has become a suitable platform for enterprise applications, private cloud, edge computing deployments, and databases. In other words, a hyperconverged infrastructure system can be used by smaller enterprises that need faster and more reliable storage solutions.
With the landscape of technology evolving faster than ever before, enterprises are increasingly moving to the cloud. As workload requirements grow, organizations realize the need to add nodes to their system. To achieve this, they need a 100% software-defined storage solution that aggregates the storage and compute performance between servers and nodes.
That is why enterprises need a hyperconverged infrastructure system. It can provide such necessary solutions, replace silos of servers, storage, and virtualization, and avoid the need for separate management tools and processes.
As technology begins to settle down, the rate of HCI adoption is expected to increase soon. So, it is crucial to know its benefits and make an informed decision.
12 benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure
1. Simpler design
Though hyperconverged infrastructure is not cloud-based, it is ideal for the cloud era. It comes with a framework that has a flexible and simple design. Hyperconverged infrastructure eliminates silos and other barriers that slow down development. In this way, it helps the organization to accomplish most tasks more swiftly. In the current fast-paced world, having the ability to act quickly is vital.
Scalability has been the top reason for many enterprises to choose HCI. Each hyperconverged infrastructure appliance is a self-contained unit that is designed from the ground up that maximizes compatibility. It allows expansion of data center capacity by simply attaching an additional unit.
An HCI cluster is made up of preconfigured, and self-contained building blocks called nodes. Since nodes can be pre-optimized, admins can easily add them without having to contend with integration issues.
3. Ease of implementing hybrid systems
Hyperconverged infrastructure combines virtualized computing and networking with software-defined storage. This facilitates identical software deployment, whether hosted on the cloud or at the data center, meaning that a team can quickly deploy applications on-premise and combine them with a public cloud. That makes it perfect for any enterprise that plans to build a hybrid infrastructure.
4. Simplified management
With a traditional system, an organization would require specialists to manage each of the different elements: storage, compute, and networking. Thankfully, a hyperconverged infrastructure simplifies this management issue. It allows consultants or even general tech staff to oversee the entire setup.
Administrators can work from a single management platform that consolidates administrative tasks. It helps them eliminate management silos that come with traditional infrastructure. Additionally, it frees up IT personnel for other critical tasks such as focusing on new initiatives.
The inbuilt multi-node architecture of hyperconverged infrastructure offers a highly reliable system. Since fault tolerance and disaster recovery are built into an HCI platform, other nodes can compensate for one node’s failure. This aspect also includes self-healing capabilities that automatically identify and address issues. Admins can add or replace nodes without workload disruptions.
6. Improved performance
Hyperconverged infrastructure is capable of improving workload performance, even when running multiple application types. It can meet the performance demand of varying workloads, including virtual desktop infrastructure. It can also accommodate changing performance requirements without the need to reconfigure the entire hardware.
7. Efficient data storage and protection
Since data storage and protection are a part of its infrastructure, hyperconverged infrastructure can make these processes more straightforward and efficient. It can provide data protection functionalities such as data duplication or snapshots. Disaster recovery and prevention is also made easy with hyperconverged infrastructure.
Being software-centered, HCI gives an enterprise the opportunity for regular backups using public cloud storage. Scattering data across multiple nodes, HCI ensures that the entire business is not affected when just one piece of hardware goes down.
8. Automated infrastructure
Automation has been impossible for most complex IT infrastructures. However, in HCI storage, servers and infrastructure support services are virtualized, making automation of routine operations achievable when centralized management tools are implemented. It enables administrators to quickly deploy cloud infrastructure, automate complex processes, and eliminate time-consuming manual tasks.
9. Workload consolidation
Over the years, HCI products have been supporting workloads beyond back-office applications and virtualized desktop infrastructure. Hyperconverged infrastructure’s ability to consolidate multiple IT functions into the same platform is most beneficial for an organization. It makes it easier to migrate virtual machines between different appliances or even between data centers.
10. Easy upgrades
Hyperconverged infrastructure provides a unified environment that makes upgrading hardware and software much faster and easier. It can streamline and simplify upgrades, eliminating the need to balance independent systems. It provides a flexible and adaptable environment for restructuring systems or hardware. Besides, it does not have risks that come with other systems. Hyperconverged infrastructure offers a unified platform that uses integrated technologies and standard protocols. It makes it easier to implement performance upgrades.
11. Software-defined infrastructure
Software-defined capabilities help in driving operations and maintaining the overall health of the environment. These capabilities make automation more comfortable to implement than with legacy systems. Software-defined infrastructure can quickly and easily accommodate upgrades, multi-storage types, and new components. It can thus simplify IT, handle diverse and changing workloads while improving overall efficiency.
12. Lower costs
Most enterprises adopt hyperconverged infrastructure because it reduces the running cost of workloads throughout their life cycles. It can consolidate hardware resources and maximize their use. Moreover, it will tremendously reduce the need for more servers and minimize power and cooling requirements.
Since you can build hyperconverged infrastructure with commodity hardware, organizations can avoid expenses that come with deploying specialized servers, storage, or network components.
Hyperconverged infrastructure uses direct-attached storage. It helps enterprises avoid the high cost that comes with deploying and managing a SAN. With the help of a reference architecture, they can buy HCI software and build their HCI platforms.
How can organizations adopt hyperconverged infrastructure?
Organizations must adopt hyperconverged infrastructure to reduce the complexity associated with network management across servers and storage. The best approach is to make a trial with a small project and then scale up as the need arises.
If you want to adopt HCI, you can start by surveying your existing infrastructure and figure out what you want to achieve by moving to HCI. It will help you refine your needs and identify what features you will require so that you get to focus on the right vendor offerings.
To tackle the toughest challenges, organizations need to adopt solutions that deliver. Consider these factors when adopting a hyperconverged infrastructure:
- Adequate support: The right HCI solution must support a broad set of application deployment models. It needs to be fast and consistent to run your mission-critical apps.
- Scalability: The right solution should complement your current IT needs and adapt as those needs evolve.
- Seamless integration: The HCI solution should be flexible enough to support multiple hypervisors, whichever cloud environment most appropriate for them.
Learn more: Take a look at how InfinCE, an infinite cloud platform, ensures secured work-collaboration within an organization and helps enhance company efficiency & growth!
Over to you
Organizations need reliable and faster storage performance now more than ever before. Hyperconverged infrastructure provides a path to secure and modern infrastructure. Most organizations consider the solution critical to their strategic IT priorities. What about you?
Chat with us and get the answers to all your questions on hyperconverged infrastructure.
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Why IT is the guardian angel of businesses during a recession?
- Advantages of cutting-edge IT solutions
- 9 practical examples of how IT solutions recession-proof your business
- Use the present crisis as an unprecedented opportunity to lead
Decreased revenue churn and the uncertainty in the global economy is making it difficult for many businesses to keep their financial wheels turning during the COVID-19 slouch. They are forced to revisit their strategies w.r.t. how they manage and operate their business, and vital to this is re-visiting their use of technology.
IT solutions lead to new ways of innovation and this can help organizations make lasting improvements to recession-proof their business. IT solutions allow leaders to redesign processes from the ground up. IT automates processes, with data captured at the right moment to deliver insights on processes and how to streamline them. IT innovative solutions rewire organizations to perform better through a fundamental reboot of how work gets done.
This article presents
- How businesses are adopting IT solutions to improve productivity and cut costs, while they recession-proof their business.
- 9 practical examples of IT solutions.
Advantages of cutting-edge IT solutions
– Improve productivity
Lack of technology has been one of the reasons why employees are unable to reach their productivity targets. According to a recent Workers’ Experience Survey, 85% of employees said they would prefer their organizations to provide them with the entire IT ecosystem (including tested and supported devices, accessories, and so on) that will help them to be more productive in their work.
– Cut costs
Most businesses are understandably reluctant to loosen the strings of their purse in the current situation of uncertainty. However, done in the right way, IT innovative solutions can be self-sustaining, and each of the incremental improvements will pay for the next leg of the journey. Take cloud computing for example. Cloud computing allows you to get rid of the hardware cost. Instead of purchasing your own equipment, the provider can offer you all that you need to keep your business running. Since it works on a per-per-use pricing model, it saves you from paying for any unused software/ hardware. 47% of IT executives report that their IT costs have dropped by 30-50% after they started using cloud infrastructure and apps.
– Recession-proof business
Technology will help you ensure that your business not only survives the imminent recession but also thrives. Among the many things, IT solutions will help you gauge customer engagement in real-time, keep your data clean to maximize new business growth potential, free up more time for employees to sell, and manage client experience.
9 practical examples of how IT solutions recession-proof your business
Data privacy continues to be a major cause of concern as incidents of phishing and other threats are on the rise. Businesses must rely on new and innovative IT technologies to help them differentiate and ensure growth in the evolving marketplace. Businesses that lack effective security measures face the ever-looming risk of exposing themselves to data theft that would result in breaking the trust of their stakeholders, customers, and the marketplace. Now is the time for a new take on protecting your organization.
2. Contactless shopping
The COVID-19 led safety norms such as social distancing have pushed businesses to use technology to lower interaction between people, products, and infrastructure. Contactless shopping allows your customers to conduct entire transactions on their mobile devices without touching anything else. For those who prefer stepping out to shop, technology solutions can be integrated and implemented for contactless shopping.
3. Omnichannel for retailers
Innovative technology ensures that retailers have an omnichannel presence across all touchpoints. This means that they can go beyond brick-and-mortar locations to mobile browsing, social media, online marketplaces, and every online channel where the customer is inclined to browse. It helps retailers manage their tasks effortlessly while allowing customer engagement through a common quality service across various sales channels.
E-commerce solutions enable centralized management of all the orders as well as the inventory of both the digital and brick-and-mortar stores. This technology can direct the order placed online to the nearest store for faster delivery providing enhanced customer satisfaction. Automatic updates of the inventory ensure better stock management across all the stores. It further assists in automatic stock replenishment.
View Infographic: The Truth About E-Commerce, 2017-2020
5. Self-checkout systems
Secure cash handling machines and automated self-service checkouts are a huge success for retailers. Though initially it was used to reduce cost and for security reasons, now it has proved helpful in limiting staff contact with cash that is touched by other people, an essential technology in the current scenario.
6. Digital payments
For businesses that do not have access to expensive, automated machines, contact with cash can be limited by digital payments for in-store transactions. Low-value payments can be made contactless with just a ‘tap.’
7. Virtual trial rooms
Retailers can use several options available for customers who would like to see and experience the product before they make a purchase. Magic Mirror is one of those trends. it helps customers see what they would look like in different clothing styles by responding to their hand gestures and voice commands.
Based on machine learning, chatbots copy human conversations and react to written or spoken requests to deliver a service. Chatbots provide extensive customer assistance while your customers are shopping online. It allows you to provide customer support 24/7 leading to greater customer satisfaction. It keeps your customers engaged with interactive communication. Chatbots ensure that the buyer’s journey continues uninterrupted in the right direction. Since they are automated IT solutions, they allow your organization to handle several customers at the same time.
9. Robotics in logistics
Use of Robotics in your logistics will ensure that you accomplish the same amount of work with improved efficiency and less cost. Businesses need workforce capability while they adapt to changing environments. COVID-19 has forced a large number of the world’s working population to go on extended periods of sick leave which has resulted in an increased need for workers. However, robotics could eliminate such concerns as these technologies become more widely used, becoming increasingly affordable and available. It has the potential to create a limitless workforce that does not claim retirement benefits, paid time-off, and other additional aspects of costs associated with human workers.
International Finance Corporation reports that logistics companies (including 3PL players) have increasingly turned towards robotics and automation for surviving the coronavirus crisis.
Use the present crisis as an unprecedented opportunity to lead
As the world is increasingly moving toward newer technologies, the expectations of consumers are also rapidly changing. The present scenario with the pandemic is further accelerating existing trends that push products and services towards emerging technologies. Organizations must be led by this change in behavior and meet their customers where they are. The current pandemic is a serious wake-up call for all businesses to recession-proof their business and mitigate the risk from such adverse conditions. Pick the right technology to propel your business growth. Partner with us and allow us to get you there!
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Why Does Your Business Need IT Consulting Services?
IT departments or on-site IT professionals have become increasingly significant for many types of organizations- small and large, today. As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people work, giving rise to alternative workplace strategies, businesses are forced to rethink IT technology and strategy to keep up with the ‘new normal’. Companies, therefore, expect their IT budgets to grow.
So what’s IT consulting in simple terms?
Gartner defines IT consulting as “advisory services that help clients assess different technology strategies and in doing so, align their technology strategies with their business or process strategies.”
IT consultants are needed for software implementations, training, and maintenance. Some companies try to do these activities on their own. Many have succeeded in getting their software up and running to what they think is “Best Practices” for their company. However, with a technology consulting company like Fingent, you’ll rest assured that you’re dealing with someone who knows the product end-to-end. You’ll get to collaborate with an expert who knows how to look for alternatives or add-on solutions for that product. Thus, you end up streamlining the entire process of conversion, training, and implementation with an IT consultant.
Read more: Software Development Outsourcing – Why software development outsourcing is a smart move now?
Why should you hire IT consultants?
1. Flexible staff: Most IT consultants offer their services on a contract basis. Organizations may need to supplement their team for a holiday season; they may be rolling out new software or merging companies. There are a lot of situations where a company needs a lot more people for a small amount of time. They don’t have to hire full-time salaried people and then lay them off. Consultants can come in for a short time and do the job for them.
2. Proven expertise: Your organization may be the best in your LOB. But you may not have the required know-how in house, to implement the best IT solution for your business. Well-experienced IT consultants can advise the best modus operandi to ensure that your new IT project runs smoothly. A reputable IT consultancy would also bring in the shared knowledge of its many business partners. So, you’ll be at the receiving end of the latest trends and updates of the IT industry.
3. Outsider perspective: You are a part of your company. So, you may not spot the blunders that an outsider can quickly point out. Since IT consultants have already worked on similar projects before, they can quickly identify what would work and what would not. They can also bring in different schemes that can help improve ROI that may not have been visible to you.
4. Train employees: Employees are an asset to your company. So you have to provide them with the necessary training facilities to develop their skills and keep them engaged. IT consultants are always at the top of their game, making them good trainers. Suppose you have implemented a new ERP system. After understanding the needs of your company, IT consultants can provide customized training programs to your staff and equip them towards a smooth transition.
Read more: Digital Transformation Consulting Services – How digital transformation solutions redefine businesses with effective digital experiences
Business benefits of hiring IT consultants
1. Reduced Costs: Hiring in-house staff solely for your IT technical needs or training your existing employees are other options that you can consider instead of hiring IT consultants. While hiring new employees, you’ll have to include the added costs along with their salaries, including taxes, benefits, and overhead expenses. On the other hand, for training existing employees, you’ll have to shell out on a trainer and the skill acquired may not even be used in the future. Hiring IT consultants will help reduce downtime. Often, you bring in consultants to address a specific issue for a short period. Therefore, they prove to be more budget-friendly.
2. Better Security: Cyberattacks continue to derail large and small businesses alike. Consultants who specialize in IT security can help tackle and prevent these risks. After analyzing the risk points in your system, IT security consultants can advise on the best security practices that would suit your company. IT consultants can help prevent possible risks by implementing regular updates on your software, training employees to identify malware, developing appropriate disaster recovery solutions, and so on.
3. Focus on core business: SMEs generally fall into the trap of trying to save money by doing everything themselves. The companies whose core competencies lie in non-IT related industries have observed that finding solutions for IT problems zaps them of their time and energy. Not to mention the rise in frustration levels of your workforce as they spend hours doing what they’re not good at in the first place. Once you outsource your IT needs to a specialist, you’ll see speedy execution with higher efficiency in completing the project. Thus, investing in an IT consultancy will lead to better ROI.
4. Increased productivity and efficiency: IT consulting experts can help businesses optimize their systems. They can help homogenize your IT infrastructure according to the industry best practices. The resultant consistency can help streamline processes, create resilience, and reduce costs related to IT support. Next, as mentioned earlier, IT consultants help manage tasks like software updates, data, and network security that would otherwise be monotonous for your employees, enabling them to focus on increasing profits. Many enterprises are moving to the cloud to reduce their infrastructure costs associated with outdated physical servers. An IT consulting partner can help you realize the full benefits of the cloud by integrating all existing systems, making a smooth transition securely, and avoiding common mistakes.
Read more: Digital Innovation – 10 Services Offered by Fingent to Prepare Your Business for the Future of Digital Innovation
As technology grows by leaps and bounds, organizations have to find ways to grow along with the growth in business. The right IT consulting firm can help you use technology as a tool to increase productivity and reduce unwanted expenses. Need help to manage your IT needs? Fingent’s round-the-clock and customer-centric IT consulting services are bound to give you a competitive edge. We’re just a phone call away! Contact us now!
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Transform Your Business IT Infrastructure With Kubernetes
Today’s competitive world requires businesses to come out with applications that offer unified customer experience along with premium quality. In this scenario, every enterprise CIO is concerned about their IT infrastructure that needs to support such high-quality applications that are sophisticated in terms of capacity, customization, scalability, security, and cost factors. This is where Kubernetes, the open-source container orchestration platform has evolved as a de facto standard in enhancing the IT infrastructure of enterprises to achieve their business goals with positive outcomes.
What Is Kubernetes?
Kubernetes can be explained as a workload distribution and orchestration method for servers that are clustered in a data center. It ensures the availability and accessibility of resources as well as offers a balanced execution for multiple servers involved simultaneously.
Being a mechanism of distributed data processing, Kubernetes can enable any number of servers of various kinds at the same time, which can be located at any distance, to share workloads for a common client. These workloads are then presented to clients as services. Through this mechanism, Kubernetes enables the client system to access services via the network, pass data, and collect responses from the network as well.
Why Use Kubernetes?
Many data points reveal rapid Kubernetes adoption for their IT infrastructure benefits. Google-created Kubernetes is now part of the CNCF (Cloud Native Computing Foundation) and can be run on-premises or within the public cloud.
Kubernetes deploys applications cost-effectively as it consumes less IT manpower for application management. Additionally, Kubernetes makes applications more portable so that they can be moved easily between various clouds as well as internal environments.
How Kubernetes Can Benefit Your IT Infrastructure
Kubernetes is a system that can be used to deploy applications efficiently. As a result, it can help enterprises save money by using less manpower to manage their IT infrastructure.
Kubernetes effectively automates the management of containers. As containers allow pieces of code to be assembled into smaller and easily portable pieces, and larger applications involve a bundle of several containers, Kubernetes can organize multiple containers into units. Thus containerized applications can be scaled in an automated manner, making it more feasible with only lesser resources required to manage multiple containers.
Kubernetes offers these capabilities to your business:
- Multi-cloud flexibility – As more enterprises are running on multi-cloud platforms, they benefit from Kubernetes as it easily runs any application on any public cloud service or a combination of public and private clouds. It is a great way to avoid vendor lock-in and allows you to assign the right workloads to the right cloud.
- Faster time to market – As Kubernetes can help your development team to break down into smaller units to focus on single, specific, and smaller microservices, these smaller teams tend to be more agile. Additionally, APIs between these microservices can be a huge benefit to your IT infrastructure by significantly reducing the amount of cross-communication between the teams. Thus, Kubernetes manages large applications across multiple containers efficiently and also handles service discovery by allowing containers to communicate with each other. It also provides access to storage from different vendors such as Azure and AWS.
- IT cost optimization – Kubernetes provides a feasible container-based architecture which makes scaling of applications much simpler, using the cloud and hardware investments of your enterprise. This automated scaling of applications to meet business needs without over-provisioning your infrastructure will free up your resources and lead to the optimization of IT costs.
- Improved scalability and availability – Performance and scalability are two critical factors that make an application successful. Kubernetes serves as a critical management system that can scale up the application as well as its infrastructure whenever the workload increases, and scale it down as the load subsides. This auto-scaling capability of Kubernetes can handle any kind of metrics, be it resource utilization metrics or custom metrics.
- Effective migration to the cloud – Kubernetes can handle rehosting, re-platforming, as well as refactoring. It offers a seamless path to port your application from on-premise to cloud effectively.
Related Reading: 5 Trends That Will Transform Cloud Computing in 2020
Kubernetes offers a simpler way of managing containers effectively. It not only reduces your business cost but also provides value to your customers.
Drop a call to us right away if you are looking out for options to reduce complexity and costs related to your IT infrastructure. Our experts will guide you on a feasible and agile way to structure your IT infrastructure for positive outcomes.
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Why Businesses With Matured Cloud Footprints Should Move To The Hyper Hybrid Cloud?
The Cloud is no longer an option. It is the revolution that has become inevitable for businesses and more and more businesses are recognizing this and moving their data into the cloud. They are implementing mature cloud strategies that call for comprehensive cloud management solutions. They need a solution, which can handle the scale and complexity involved in advanced integration and orchestration. The hyper-hybrid cloud becomes extremely important here and is paving new operational avenues for all businesses.
This blog explains the reasons why and how your business can benefit from moving on to the hyper-hybrid cloud.
Understanding What Hyper-Hybrid Cloud Is
The hyper-hybrid cloud is the best of two cloud services, private and public. Let’s break it up to get the complete sense of the term.
In business terms, the word ‘hyper’ means greater, or more than usual, and ‘hybrid’ means mixed. As the name suggests, hyper-hybrid makes use of both on-premises private cloud, as well as third party public cloud resources but with increased diversity, and complexity.
The hyper-hybrid cloud forms an inter-routed plumbing system, as it were, between private and public clouds with greater flexibility according to the businesses demand, needs, and cost changes. It also provides virtualization and virtualization software management so that businesses can easily visualize hardware assets and move them to a private or public cloud as the need may be. This is the reason why many industries are moving towards the hyper-hybrid cloud instead of getting locked in with only a private or public provider.
Related Reading: Core Challenges While Enterprises Move to Hybrid Cloud and DevOps
Should Your Business Move to the Hyper-hybrid Cloud?
With the massive array of options available at hand, businesses are adopting a “multi-cloud” strategy as opposed to the cloud strategy. This means that they are adopting a hybrid cloud with at least one public cloud and one private cloud. What they need is a system with multiple applications and infrastructure services on both the cloud platforms with flexibility and maneuverability. That is what ‘the hyper-hybrid cloud’ is.
Although some businesses are successful with public cloud providers, a few others have found it necessary to keep some resources private due to cost, performance, and compliance considerations. Consider these questions to check if your business is suitable for a hyper-hybrid cloud model:
- Is your business serving a number of verticals, each with a different IT security and performance requirement?
- Do you want to optimize cloud investment without compromising the value proposition of private or public cloud technologies?
- Do you want to improve security on existing cloud solutions?
- Do you want a cloud solution where you can conveniently switch between public and private clouds depending on your needs and what the market offers?
If your answer is yes, then moving on to the hyper-hybrid cloud is your best option.
Related Reading: How Secure is Your Business in a Multi-Cloud Environment
Five Incredible Benefits of the Hyper-hybrid Cloud
- Flexibility: Varying IT demands can be managed with greater flexibility. The distribution of workloads across private and public infrastructure based on performance, cost and security can be easily handled in line with your business policies.
- Increased automation and consistency: As your business grows, you cannot afford to spend too much time on your resource utilization projects which must remain accurate, nonetheless. The hyper-hybrid cloud helps your business automate processes by implementing rules which allow you to access the resources according to your business requirements. This way, it ensures that the process is consistent even if it must be repeated over multiple environments.
- Scalability: When it comes to managing intensive workloads, the hyper-hybrid cloud is highly scalable. It can scale down to utilize the private cloud or scale up to utilize the public cloud according to the need of the hour.
- Enhanced security: Since the hyper-hybrid cloud integrates the public cloud model with on-premises cloud hardware, it provides your business total control over systems, security, and policies. Similar to a private cloud model, the hyper-hybrid operates behind a firewall. The security of sensitive information is guaranteed as it operates from a private cloud. At the same time, this allows your business to manage the day to day enterprise operations on a public cloud that can easily be scaled according to your needs.
- Well balanced: The hyper-hybrid cloud structure makes it easy to divide the workload between both the cloud computing models and provide the maximum capacity to accommodate the demands of your business. It enables your business to stay competitive with the aid of such a versatile platform.
Related Reading: Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure: How It Benefits Your Business
Experiencing Success With Hyper-hybrid Cloud
The hyper-hybrid cloud plays a crucial role in helping your business respond to the changing market needs and demands. It is both beneficial and critical for a business that wants to enhance productivity and security, and improve scalability and consistency. Fingent can help you successfully meet the challenges of implementing a hyper-hybrid cloud solution. Talk to us to understand how we can solve your dilemmas related to cloud platforms.
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What is Business Intelligence?
Business Intelligence (BI) turns data into information. It is the sum of applications, technologies, and methods adopted to glean strategically relevant information for the business. The task involves collecting, integrating, analyzing, and applying historical, current and predictive information related to the business. The objective is to gain strategic insights, evaluate risk, and improve decision-making capabilities for top management, business owners, and other stakeholders.
Business intelligence information encompasses both internal data and external data related to the business. Internal data may include operational data, data from sales, financial data, and more. External information is fairly wide in scope and may include information from the external supply chain, social media channels and more. Another dimension to external information for business intelligence is information about competitors and other companies, for benchmarking, and to gain a competitive edge over such companies.
Many businesses now apply business intelligence to make informed decisions, rather than relying on hunches or unfounded assumptions. For instance, restaurant owners use business intelligence to decide the menu to be added and removed from a restaurant menu. Automobile manufacturers apply business intelligence to add new features to their car models. Tour operators use business intelligence to optimize their itinerary. The possibilities are endless. Businesses may use Business intelligence to modify their internal work processes as well.
Business Intelligence Vs. Analytics
One might mistake Business Intelligence as being another name for the much-hackneyed business analytics. While both business intelligence and analytics involve aggregating and analyzing data, the similarity ends there.
Business intelligence aggregates data to make it explicit what is happening to the business, whereas analytics aggregate data to delve into why it happens. For instance, business intelligence evaluates sales performance by extracting data from various sources and presenting it in the form of intuitive graphs. Analytics involves running statistical tests to make explicit whether sales performance correlates with advertisements and promotions undertaken.
While both business intelligence and analytics involve analysis of data, the scope is markedly different. In a sense, Business Intelligence ends with the basic mathematical operations of addition, averages, and percentages to the dataset. Applying advanced algorithms complex formulas, statistical operations such as regression analysis, correlation analysis, and more, to answer deeper questions related to the dataset comes from the realm of analytics.
Technically, Business Intelligence encompasses ETL tools to access and transform data, OLAP (online analytical processing) tools to handle complex queries, tools to manage metadata, development tools to generate various reports and dashboards, and others tools for publishing, scheduling and distribution capabilities. Analytics co-opt different methods of analyzing information, such as descriptive, predictive, regression, neural networks, and the tools to apply such methods.
What is a Business Intelligence Software?
Business intelligence software enables enterprises to undertake business intelligence tasks.
Any Business Intelligence system worth its byte involves the following activities, and software to undertake such activity.
- Data warehousing, or bringing together all data, such as sales data, operational data, data from financial reports, competitor sales data, social media talk, and more. ETL (extract-transform-load) tools usually facilitate the task of extracting data from several databases, systems, and applications, transforming it as required, and loading it into the target data warehouses, analytical applications, and other systems.
- Data visualization, or presenting the information in a visually appealing way, for users to make sense of the data in a better way. There are different visualization types, such as charts, graphs, infographics, and more, and various enabling tools for each type. Each visualization type serves a specific purpose. For example, Pie charts are best suited to communicate relative performance, whereas bar charts depict trends in the best way. Some intuitive methods such as “slice and dice” are gaining popularity of late, for its powerful capabilities.
- Management dashboards, or well-grouped set of visualizations containing most relevant information to any stakeholders, usually reserved for top management. OLAP tools, used to aggregate data and handle complex queries, are commonly associated with Business Intelligence
Several types of tools enable data visualization and management dashboard capabilities.
- Spreadsheets such as MS-Excel are the most common method of presenting the Business Intelligence data. The ease of work nature and universal availability of spreadsheets are however marred by serious limitations, such as limited security, limited collaboration features, limited automation capabilities, and a high degree of inaccuracy and variability. Various other tools offer seamless and advanced automation, security, and audit capabilities, which MS-Excel lacks.
- Operational reports, often custom made for the enterprise, list data at a very detailed level, in a highly-structured and logical format.
- Querying and analysis solutions allow business users and analysts to generate business queries and reports rapidly. The ad-hoc nature of these tools offers unbridled flexibility. These tools also come with intuitive graphical interfaces. A middleware layer which converts database conventions to normal business nomenclature, and dashboard drag-and-drop functionality spares end-users from the need for technical proficiency to use these tools.
- Dashboard management systems offer easy access to key information in intuitive and graphical formats. It displays the required set of key performance indicators, metrics, and other relevant information in a single consolidated view, greatly improving the user’s decision-making capabilities.
- Data mining tools allow analyzing large data sets to discover patterns and build predictive models. data mining application use algorithms, statistics, advanced mathematical techniques, and sophisticated data search capabilities, to unearth insights otherwise not discoverable.
- Online analytical processing (OLAP) tools facilitate the rapid visualization and analysis of business metrics. Users may store and access data in multidimensional OLAP cubes comprising of measures, and text values. Queries from OLAP cubes are much more powerful than simple database tables and offer users advanced insights into past performance and various “what-if” scenarios. Users may use such cues to evaluate information from various dimensions and perspectives. In fact, OLAP operations constitute the fundamentals of most advanced functionality used by data visualization tools.
Top Business Intelligence Tools 2017
Until a few years ago, users had a limited choice of comprehensive Business Intelligence tools. The choice was limited to platforms offered by biggies, such as IBM, Oracle, SAP or Microsoft. The high cost of the software and the associated complexities made business intelligence out of the reach of most enterprises, except big corporations.
The advent of the cloud changed things, making business intelligence more democratic. Business no longer needed to build their own BI infrastructure in-house, as SaaS providers perform the resource-intensive tasks of data gathering, persisting and reporting, allowing businesses the ease, affordability, and convenience of the subscription model.
Some of the top ETL tools include Oracle Warehouse Builder, SAP Database Services, IBM Infosphere Information Services, SAS Data Management., Elixir Repertoire for Data ETL, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), and more.
Some of the top OLAP tools in vogue include Yellowfin, Stratum, Birst, Profitbase BI, and the quintessential Microsoft SharePoint, among others.
Here is a rundown of some of the leading data visualization and dashboard software in 2017
- Dundas BI, one of the most popular browser-based business intelligence and data visualization platform, offers integrated dashboards, reporting tools, and data analytics capabilities.
- Domo, A cloud-based suite, makes it easy to integrate multiple data sources, including databases, spreadsheets, social media and also legacy cloud-based and on-premise solutions deployed in the enterprise.
- SiSense support business data with powerful visuals and tools, making it handy for users with little or no technical skills.
- BOARD, a centralized tool, hosts data and conducts multidimensional analyses. It boasts an impressive client list, which includes US Navy, Giorgio Armani, and Puma, among others.
- IntelliFront BI enables viewing multiple data sets from a single pane. It also distinguishes itself with strong automation features, real-time dashboards, and on-demand reporting.
Self Service Tools
The emerging trend of self-service business intelligence, made possible by the advancement of mobility, analytics, and other relevant technology, empower end-users with the ability to undertake business intelligence tasks by themselves, without necessarily having advanced technical skills.
As it is with several other sectors, Google has also entered the business intelligence space, and with time, is sure to give established incumbents a run for their money. It is now possible to build an intuitive BI dashboard powered by Google Data Studio reporting tool and Google BigQuery, a cloud-native data warehouse capable of analyzing petabytes of data in double quick time. As always, all these Google tools are open-source and free, giving developers the unbridled freedom to co-opt it in their systems, the way they want it.
Google’s new offering competes with Microsoft Power BI, another free, self-service cloud-based business intelligence offering from the Microsoft staple. Non-technical users may leverage this offering for aggregating, analyzing, visualizing and sharing data easily.
Businesses would do well to consider developing custom suites facilitating such self-service options, integrating ready-to-use Business Intelligence tools to the extent required. Partnering with a competent IT software solutions provider would enable the business to roll out highly intuitive business intelligence apps and other solutions, empowering end-users to gain the required insights easy and fast, without having to wait for the IT team to do the job and spoon-feed them with reports.
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