A Cloud-Native Solution for Post-Pandemic Business
If your business is like many others, you’re thinking about how to move forward after the pandemic. What sort of business solution do you need to get up to speed again, to ensure productivity, business continuity, and the best working experience for customers and staff? This blog is about why cloud-native intelligent automation should be on your to-do list this year.
First, let’s review where things stand in the business world. Simply put, as we all know, the world has changed. Businesses and people around the world have been affected. Because of COVID-19, most workers are working from home, at all hours—here, there, and everywhere. And that probably won’t change in the future.
Workforces have been reduced by illness or the need to trim costs or because workers have departed for opportunities that are emerging from the pandemic freeze. Those who are left are often working harder and longer—and, frankly, they’re tired.
Organizations have seen demand for their offering fall or, in some cases, jump up during the pandemic, intensifying the thought that the ability to scale as needed is a survival necessity. Resiliency, the ability to weather natural and man-made disasters, is another business continuity lesson hammered home during the pandemic and one that is top of mind with organizations seeking solutions. Another necessity that’s top of mind is cost optimization.
This challenging period has forced many C-suite leaders to fast-track their cloud migration plans. In fact, 27.5% of IT leaders surveyed in a recent IDC study agreed that large-scale cloud migrations were “essential for business survival” going forward.
Now more than ever, companies need to transform their many distinct processes and functions through an integrated cloud strategy and transformation journey. All of these come together to form a "cloud-first strategy.” This should begin now with determining an optimal cloud strategy and execution plan for seamless migration and modernization to the cloud. It must be secure and cost-effective, employing the right expertise to make the most of cloud’s diverse tools, unlocking existing intelligence and insights powered by cloud data models, and reimagining business functions to emerge stronger as an innovative enterprise.
Taking the work out of work
In recent years, intelligent automation (IA), combining Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI), has offered a solution for organizations seeking to improve their operation in a variety of ways. The technology automates, streamlines, and accelerates business processes, improving productivity, time-to-market, and the customer/staff experience. IA can help businesses meet a challenge coming out of the pandemic: the overworked worker. It can relieve staff members of repetitive, mundane tasks and allow them to pursue higher-value work.
A study undertaken by EY found that “Companies who implemented automation before this crisis began are likely to be experiencing fewer problems while keeping a steady workflow, maintaining productivity, aiding customers and supporting staff.”
More benefits by adding in the cloud
According to Forbes, “As enterprises continue to learn from and adapt to business needs brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, one constant remains: The cloud is a game-changer.” Gartner states that “Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 23.1% in 2021 to total $332.3 billion, up from $270 billion in 2020.”
What can cloud add to intelligent automation for post-pandemic business? In a new world of remote work, cloud computing offers anytime, anywhere access. With their operations in the cloud, companies can become more resilient to disasters and less vulnerable to attack than when using on-premises solutions. A cloud provider’s success depends on offering the most secure, up-to-date services.
Scaling on-demand becomes easier in the cloud with no on-premises infrastructure to bog down operations. No on-premises infrastructure also means no capital or maintenance costs.
With intelligent automation in the cloud, businesses can move faster, easier, and more securely, adapt better to changing market conditions, and be more cost-effective than with on-premises legacy solutions. The cloud solutions are already showing transformative results, including efficiencies and innovations that drive enduring business change at scale and speed.
And that brings us to cloud-native intelligent automation.
All those advantages from the ground up
Cloud-native is a solution that is designed from the ground up to boost cloud RPA. As stated in another Automation Anywhere blog article, “When investing in a cloud-native enterprise application, organizations benefit from an always up-to-date product with automatic updates, fast and simple setup on the web without the need for physical infrastructure, very low maintenance, and higher value with the ability to scale horizontally and vertically.” Any company can be more productive with its everyday tools.
Cloud-native has three design elements to keep the advantages of intelligent automation in the cloud always on:
Microservices is about taking one big service and breaking it into smaller services. While self-contained, the microservices are connected to other services with application programming interfaces (APIs). Each microservice is assigned a job. For example, Netflix employs hundreds of microservices in its streaming service: a microservice for displaying recommendations, one for viewer profiles, one for keeping track of viewing history, and one for parental controls, to name a few.
This architecture offers advantages for development, deployment, and use. Unlike on-premises legacy solutions, cloud-native intelligent automation doesn’t require a client-server approach to deploying software. Software bots are created with a set of microservices—no need to spend the time installing a desktop client or figuring out which solution version to use.
Once a bot is built, it can be easily moved for review, testing, and deployment, accelerating development. Automatic cloud updates ensure developers are always using the latest tools.
A cloud-native solution also offers an advantage with updates. On-premises legacy technologies employ monolithic architectures. Any time updates need to be made, the entire application must be updated, resulting in service disruptions. With a microservices architecture, one part of an application can be updated without affecting the whole.
In addition, a microservices architecture offers enhanced benefits in terms of scalability and security. Microservices can automatically scale horizontally to add capacity without disrupting service or requiring lengthy planning. In terms of security, the micro design makes it easy to determine where security patches need to be deployed. And any microservice that has been breached or threatened can be easily swapped without—again—causing a disruption.
The microservices are contained in packages, enabling fast, secure, reliable, and flexible development, testing, and deployment of features and capabilities. Any issue with a microservice can be isolated and repaired within the container.
CI/CD development framework:
The term continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) refers to operating principles that combine best practices and the latest technology to ensure product updates are delivered frequently and reliably. With this cloud-native framework, the solution is continuously improving while enabling incremental updates without the need for major upgrades.
Move forward with cloud-native
Cloud-native means you can deploy bots to a global workforce at scale, in seconds. Businesses that show resilience in the face of these massive behavioral and cultural shifts will need a technology backbone that embraces the cloud. This will allow them to replace their fixed technology costs with SaaS models, reduce their liquidity crunch, and invest in future growth with variable cost structures. Cloud-native helps build more flexible talent structures and supply chains to tide over shortages and drive demand-led planning and execution. Businesses understand this, and this new realization is what is driving the rapid adoption of technologies such as the cloud RPA across growth markets.
Cloud-native intelligent automation can take you where you need to go in today’s new business world—for productivity, business continuity, and the best working experience.