The right ingredients for a Cloud First Strategy

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Public Cloud continues to dominate the market and we have seen a snowball effect in the way that IT departments tackle their IT challenges and consume services. The sheer number of people moving away from dedicated infrastructure and adopting a data centre zero strategy speaks volumes. The computing power on demand to consumers is beyond what is attainable for most IT departments to provision, so it’s hard to ignore the draw of Public Cloud. However, we all know it’s not quite as simple as adopt, migrate and carry on as normal. If only it were that simple, but as they say, there’s is no such thing as a free lunch.

Speaking of lunch, I wanted to focus today’s blog specifically on the food and drink industry.

As an Account Manager, specialising in the food and drink sector, I have noticed a huge change in how IT managers are addressing their IT strategies. Traditionally the network has been viewed merely as a utility (although this could be said for any industry). Businesses have typically neglected the network until the point where it becomes outdated, making it both unreliable and costly to the business.

However, with the focus now being on increasing automation and collaboration across global offices, and improving communication from the production line through to supply chain and distribution. Forward-thinking manufacturers are now using communication tools to remove the need for pick lists from the factory floor, using the network to support communication giving live updates on pick requirements.

This is a great example of how the network is now being used as a vehicle for improving processes and outputs. In an industry where time is money, even making a 1-5% improvement in production line efficiency can drive staggering increases in revenue.

To illustrate the point, Cisco has recently predicted that 56% of all cloud workloads will be in the public cloud in three years’ time. Changing application requirements are pushing organisations to adopt a hybrid strategy. This will enable them to consume applications from a range of platforms, and as a result, the demands on the network have changed, creating a need for the Cloud-ready network.

How is the network evolving?

At one of our recent SD-WAN seminars, Ian Wharton, Head of WAN Service at ANS, talked about the lack of enthusiasm to adopt the next generation digital networks. This is understandable though. WANs haven’t changed for decades. No matter how you look at them, they are essentially just tin and copper. However, change is on the horizon. SD WAN is beginning to gain traction and Cisco’s acquisition of Viptela has created a buzz and a platform for the Cloud-ready network.

So, what does this mean for the food and drink industry?

No network means no cloud. Without networks, users cannot access their cloud services. Without networks, applications, data, and users cannot move between clouds. Without networks, the infrastructure components that must work together to create a cloud, can’t operate.

How can ANS help?

As an end-to-end Cloud Services Provider, we understand the journey that data takes from the cloud all the way to the end user device. With over 20 years’ experience in building networks, we have honed our expertise in designing open, resilient, secure and scalable networks, that are not only flexible but also automated.

We’re also a multi-carrier service provider, which means we take a more resilient approach in order to create bespoke connectivity solutions while still using the Tier 1 infrastructure our customers expect. ANS has their own core network which gives us the ability to integrate the large carrier infrastructure into our own network. This carries multiple benefits for the customer who will experience much shorter change SLAs, higher grade performance and resiliency while still being able to rely on a traditional tier 1 core.

On a closing note, as an aspiring Account Manager at ANS, I’m always looking for inspiration from influential thought leader from the past and present. To make my point about change, I thought this quote from John F. Kennedy was rather fitting:

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Case in point, don’t be afraid of change. There will be hurdles to overcome and if you make a mistake, remember to fail forward.

If you’d like to find out more about how ANS have helped food manufacturing giants, Greencore to adopt a cloud-ready network, watch the video here