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Cloud Trends in 2019: Unlocking Your Data

The following blog comes from an interview with Perficient’s Azure Practice Director, Steve Holstad, and is part of a series on cloud trends with experts from within Perficient.

Businesses have a lot of data. This isn’t news. However, the sheer amount of data that businesses have can even surprise them. This is because old models and legacy systems have often left data siloed and unable to interact with other data.

Data being stored in these disparate places symbolizes the lack of a cohesive model that businesses can suffer from. It has also led to businesses asking how they can fix this issue.

For many, the answer has been the cloud. This is because the cloud doesn’t just connect this data. It also lets businesses utilize it in innovative ways to improve both front-end and back-end experiences.

How does cloud enable this?

Simply put, the cloud allows your data to be dynamic. Previously, businesses primarily stored data in their data center, while also having information in places such as their website. The cloud connects all of these touchpoints.

By modernizing core legacy systems such as data centers, businesses are able to pull their information out and put it in simple code. That code can interact with code that was previously in other touchpoints. Bringing data to the cloud also means that people have access to all of these touchpoints, giving them the ability to use this information.

Businesses are embracing this ability. Indeed, Cisco predicts that 94% of workloads will be processed by cloud-based data centers by 2021. Modernizing your data center is just the start of what the cloud can do for you and your data, too.

Cloud tools promote innovation

While the cloud connects your data, it also brings a great number of tools to improve front-end and back-end processes. These tools can bring information together and enable analysis for both immediate changes and long-term decisions, and are useful in a number of scenarios.

Businesses that have suffered from siloed information may look to data lakes. Data lakes bring data of all formats together and allow for quick analysis while also being scalable, meaning that businesses won’t run into storage issues that they may have suffered from with their on-premises data center.

Businesses seeking greater speed and simplified processes can look to AI, bots and virtual agents, and DevOps automation. Those that want to use their information to plan can utilize predictive analytics. Visualization tools can businesses understand the data they currently have. Perhaps most importantly, all of these tools can be used to help improve your customer experience and processes immediately.

Who is leveraging cloud’s data power?

Many businesses are already on the cloud, and business and tech leaders see increasing cloud usage as a priority. Healthcare is one industry in particular that is looking to make use of the power of the cloud for data purposes, with many large providers making the move.

One of the greatest strengths of cloud is accessibility, and this is a benefit that healthcare providers are leveraging. The ability to access data and ensure it’s consistent is vital in the healthcare industry. Patients themselves, doctors, and administrators all need to have this data at different points. Healthcare records also need to be accessed by people across different systems in many cases, which is something the cloud enables.

The cloud’s security is also a great benefit for these healthcare providers, which need to adhere to FHIR standards. These standards are in place to ensure that security remains paramount alongside bringing the best standards possible for patients.

The healthcare industry is not the only area embracing the cloud, though. Financial institutions and banks are making use of the cloud’s data capabilities for similar reasons, while cloud adoption is continuing to increase in all areas.

This is because the value in getting the information out of your data is huge, and doing so can set a business apart from its opposition. The benefits for customers are immeasurable, especially in industries like healthcare. The ability to innovate is only going to make that more important in the future.

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