Even if you are not a technology company, you are still in the business of technology. What do a manufacturing company, a bank, and a fitness chain all have in common? The cloud. Even if you are a tech company, you may be shedding your internal IT capabilities, choosing outside providers to fulfill development or other needs. In other words, if you’re not developing the cloud yourself, you are outsourcing it.

The cloud is everywhere

We’re all familiar with the cloud on a personal level, storing and accessing data in remote servers via the internet. Even my mother, who just bought her first cell phone (yes, her first cell phone this year) is. This can be as simple as sharing a picture with friends on social media. We know that the amount of data set to be stored and managed in the cloud, whether the perceived value to society is low or high (where do cat videos fall?) is set to explode exponentially. As our Michael Bennett Cohn points out, almost 70,000 hours of entertainment is viewed on Netflix in one minute.

Turning to the cloud for business applications

While many companies traditionally built out their own laborious IT capabilities, expanding their IT footprint and expertise, IT competency is shifting towards more-agile cloud management, including finding the right partners to streamline your cloud business. To use a music metaphor, rather than building out a full orchestra, the focus has shifted to becoming the conductor, who manages all the moving parts in one harmonious song.

Operationalizing innovation

The new tech giants have gotten the hang of exploiting scale, speed, and automation when it benefits them. Freed from the need of investing in large IT systems, companies from new startups to industry giants choose what services they need, when they need them. This is what allowed WhatsApp to be valued at USD 19 billion by Facebook, even though it had fewer than 60 employees. What companies such as WhatsApp figured out is that they must transform by operationalizing a continual stream of digital innovations at a pace faster than that of competitors.

What does this take?

This requires new capabilities at every stage of the application process: from reducing development and testing time, to rapidly putting applications in place across a complex, multi-generational global digital infrastructure shared across both private and public clouds. Platforms that allow developers to wrap technologies from third parties in automation, whether on-premises or in the cloud across business locations, are essential. Why? Automation means that digital workloads are more safely deployed, orchestrated, and governed, resulting in better measurability, optimization, and economically efficient synergies.

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This is what we call digital industrialization, in which every business will be a software company and will require the same digital, industrialized infrastructure and operations that today are used by only a few hyperscale cloud service pioneers. As Ericsson's Jason Hoffman, Head of Product Area Cloud Systems notes, we are only at the very beginning of the cloud era. Today's major cloud companies are small relative to the magnitude of data set to come online through the growth of cloud applications in fields such as healthcare, government, and transportation. Jason Hoffman's The wisdom of clouds tells us that the winners in the cloud industry have yet to be determined.

And if every business is the cloud, what does that mean for you?

Read industry pioneer Jason Hoffman's The wisdom of clouds, on why the future is open for the taking.

Download the article by Jason Hoffman

Digital Industrialization

Celia Glowka

Celia Glowka works with product marketing, positioning, social media management and content communication strategies for Ericsson’s Business Unit Cloud & IP. Previously, Celia managed projects which delivered go-to-market strategies for international companies entering the US market: from start-ups to established companies, from tech to otherwise. Celia is currently working on her MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Santa Clara University, and holds an undergraduate degree from U.C. Berkeley.

Celia Glowka