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Is your cloud helping you win in the ‘Age of the Customer’?

Martin Bishop, Head of Network Applications and Services, Telstra Global Enterprises and Service | April 9, 2015
Telstra's Martin Bishop identifies the top tips for how businesses can build a customer-centric cloud, enabling them to effectively satisfy increasing demands.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

When it comes to today's marketplaces, there's no doubt we're operating in a buyers' market. Consumers can buy anything almost instantly, from computer software through to the latest movies. We can easily find the information we need, compare and evaluate it immediately, before purchasing directly from the handheld device we're using. Deliveries are increasingly taking place on the same day, and the whole purchase can be completed within hours.

Given this, it's no surprise to see brands becoming increasingly customer-centric. Although interestingly, the most successful are likely to be those focused on facilitating the purchase process - empowering consumers to do what they want, when they want, how they want - rather than just improving the overall service delivered.

Building a Customer Centric Cloud

IT is at the center of this new enablement, with cloud platforms being a critical component. An effective cloud solution will help deliver the flexibility and scalability your network requires to seamlessly address the demands of your consumers.

However, if you're still finding your way with cloud, how do you know which model to select to build the best customer-centric cloud? We understand it can be a daunting process deciding where to host your infrastructure, the level of control needed, and the best suited cloud provider to work with.

When building your customer-centric cloud, begin by asking yourself five simple questions:

1.     Who are your customers and how do they behave?

2.     Do you have enough timely information on your consumers, and are you listening to their needs?

3.     Does your speed to market match the speed in which your consumers operate?

4.     How secure does your IT network need to be?

5.     Do you have the infrastructure and platforms in place allowing you to meet your customers' needs?

Developing this understanding at the outset helps ensure you have the information needed to make the correct decisions when building your new cloud platform designed to win in the 'Age of the Customer'.

The Hybrid Factor

Having answered the above questions, it's likely you will have strong business cases for rolling out both public and private cloud platforms. For instance, private cloud provides the security you need to protect sensitive data, while a public model empowers you to rapidly respond to consumer needs. Therefore, building your customer-centric cloud on a hybrid cloud platform assists in providing you with the choice you need to facilitate pushing workloads and data to customers.

Encouragingly, as the cloud market has settled and technologies matured, cloud providers have increasingly looked to offer a portfolio of hybrid services covering most, if not all, business requirements. The security, flexibility and scope associated with hybrid cloud today is a significant improvement on the platform's initial capabilities, which is why it is an appealing option and one for which support is growing swiftly.     


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