A dramatic shift to online ecosystems and open platforms is requiring business to efficiently handle dramatic changes in scale, sometimes in both directions, with fintech and the automotive industry as key examples. But today's datacenter infrastructure and operations don’t lend themselves to this kind of elasticity. What is the solution? 

Apple invites customers inside its infrastructure

In its early days, Apple was just like other companies in other industries: it sold packaged products that were delivered by truck to end users and enterprises. Today’s Apple invites customers into its infrastructure to participate in a variety of ecosystems with their partners. For instance, anyone can subscribe to the music application of Apple itself or one of its partners and buy related services from other “stores” in Apple’s “mall.”

A significant footprint of the Apple business does not sell technology. It uses technology to deliver the business.

Fintech startups leading digital transformation

Similarly, some financial institutions are inviting not only their customers, but other financial institutions to run their business within their infrastructure. Most of us have been using our bank’s consumer applications to pay bills, check balances, and purchase new services. Some of us even use PayPal’s services. However, startups and forward-thinking financial institutions are making their infrastructures available to other enterprises in an emerging partner ecosystem known as fintech.

They are beginning the digital transformation of an industry that a 2015 Inc 500 survey of CEO’s said was the second biggest target for disruption, after health care. In addition to the usual offers to automate transaction processing, fintech provides quicker, easier ways for small companies to obtain loans, sometimes from alternative sources such as venture capital firms. It also provides ways to automatically invest your unused cash in index funds with no fees. And it can even convert your cash into alternative digital currencies such as bitcoin.

These disruptive startups and forward-thinking financial institutions don’t simply offer quicker, easier, cheaper services, they know how to analyze situational data so that they can spot trends as they are emerging, understand customer needs better, and target business opportunities with higher precision.

Will car companies become transportation services companies?lynkco_01_03_0-554x300.jpg

Fintech is only one example. The large automobile manufacturers are transforming themselves into transportation companies. Geely Auto Group launched a new car brand that has rethought the connected car ecosytem from the ground up, with its own app store and an open connectivity/infotainment/telematics platform

General Motors is also investing $500 million in the ride-sharing service Lyft to develop an on-demand network of self-driving cars. Ford co-invested $24 million in India-based Zoomcar, and partnered with Baidu to jointly invest $150 million in Velodyne, a company that makes LiDAR sensors for self-driving cars.

Will the business models of automobile manufacturers change from selling cars and trucks to selling ride sharing services to consumers, on-demand transportation to enterprises, logistics analysis and automation to global partners, and urban planning services to cities? How long before your local dealer changes the sign on its Service department to Tech Support?irbnb-600x208.png

This dramatic shift to online ecosystems is requiring business to efficiently handle dramatic changes in scale, sometimes in both directions. Unfortunately, today’s datacenter infrastructure and operations don’t lend themselves to this kind of elasticity. They have been designed to deliver back-office applications to internal business users, and lack the elasticity to rapidly meet the changing workloads of a modern digital enterprise.

Developing elasticity in your IT infrastructure

You can't bolt-on elasticity. It has to be designed from the ground up, and it must include:

  1. Private disaggregated hardware combined with public cloud, that can be rapidly reconfigured to provision workloads of different sizes and purposes.
  2. Software-defined infrastructure that in addition to reconfiguring the hardware, makes hyperscale administration feasible by simplifying processes and automating routine tasks.
  3. Policy-driven developer platforms that make it easy to distribute workloads between private and public clouds to optimize cost, performance, and timing.

All three requirements for an elastic infrastructure are met by Ericsson Hyperscale Datacenter System 8000, together with Ericsson Command Center and Ericsson Datacenter Automation Platform. 

So please read original research by Mainstay on how the Ericsson Hyperscale Datacenter System 8000 offers performance and scalability on par with datacenter leaders such as Facebook, Google and Amazon.

Download the study now

About the photograph

I took the picture of the scooter in Ravello, a small town up the mountainside from Praiano, on Italy's Amalfi Coast, in July of 2016.

Digital Industrialization Cloud Infrastructure

Rick Ramsey

I started my high tech training as an avionics technician in the US Air Force. While studying Economics at UC Berkeley, I wrote reference manuals and developer guides for two artificial intelligence languages, ART and SYNTEL. At Sun Microsystems I wrote about hardware, software, and toolkits for developers and sysadmins, and published “All About Administering NIS+.” I served as information architect before joining BigAdmin, which morphed into the Systems Community at Oracle. I left Oracle in May of 2015, and now write for Ericsson.

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