A great magic act leaves an audience clutching at straws, desperately trying to work out how the supposedly unimaginable just happened
But, there are some tricks that don’t leave us guessing. If a magician were to pull a bunny out of a top hat – we’d hardly be surprised. The expected is much less impressive. In fact, Christopher Nolan explains this in his film, ‘The Prestige’ where he breaks a trick down into three parts; the pledge, the turn and the prestige.
The key here is that the prestige is a moment whereby an audience’s expectations are transformed – the unimaginable happens. This is a concept that stretches far beyond the realms of magic and into our everyday lives. For example, in the world of cloud computing – the prestige helps to explain to companies the limitless potential of the cloud. This means moving beyond the obvious; reduced costs, less overhead – and focusing on the benefits the cloud can have for a business when leveraged correctly.
Consider a cloud solution that uses machine learning to identify anomalies, optimise backup, storage and cost. Based on file extension, age of data, and time since last used, the solution makes recommendations about files that could be deleted, highlighting potential reductions in the cloud bill.
Furthermore, recovery efficiency is another benefit of cloud solutions. Gone are the days of manually sifting through all backups to find the file in question. When it comes to security, finding a clean version of the file, pre-infection, too often requires multiple cycles of restore-and-test, taking hours of work. An intelligent solution uses machine learning to pinpoint the file in its pristine state, streamlining the process and allowing any business to recover lost data with speed and confidence.
There are many examples where the cloud, when combined with the right data and enabling technology, can change the experience from commonplace to extraordinary.
Putting it into practice
There’s no question that in the world of technology, even more so than magic, expectations increase rapidly. When the cloud was first introduced, its main differentiating value was enabling companies to access seemingly limitless resources on demand through APIs from a remote service. Services such as Amazon S3 object storage and EC2 compute engines brought new levels of availability, reliability and cost optimisation the industry had never experienced, let alone thought was possible. Quickly though, new applications, features and advancements were introduced, turning those original innovations into mere table stakes for new vendors looking to join the market.
Enabled by the cloud, things like machine learning and AI environments are becoming a reality and challenging previously set boundaries. The exciting piece about these emerging technologies is that they are not simply “add-ons” but enablers that will open up new doors onto previously uncharted possibilities.
But ultimately the focus has to be on what the cloud can do for the future of a business. “Go to cloud” everyone says. but, getting to the cloud is not a goal, it’s a means to an end for something that delivers business benefit. For most businesses, the normal expectation is that they will move to the cloud and tap into the acknowledged benefits of lower costs, less overhead, autoscaling and other well-advertised cloud capabilities.
Capturing the clouds true value
To capture the true value of the cloud, companies need to move beyond migrating their current workloads to the cloud. They must also leverage the unique features of the cloud, from adding in AI and machine learning, to protecting data, and then using it in new ways to inform the business by adding benefits that weren’t possible prior to the cloud.
Nearly unlimited amounts of data can be stored cost effectively and in a simpler fashion in the cloud compared to on-premises solutions. This is essentially the pledge aspect of cloud data storage. The turn is when data can be ingested straight into the cloud, eliminating the silos that exist in data centres, whilst also removing the requirements for purchasing and maintaining hardware. Today, the prestige becomes things like automation, AI and machine learning, which help companies use this data in innovative ways.
When it comes to the cloud, technology such as AI and analytics can be used to pull untapped value from pre-existing data. But that isn’t the only benefit. With its ability to reduce manual labour by automating previously time-consuming tasks, the cloud enables efficiencies that were never accessible before.
Much like any aspiring magician, competition is business is rife. To stand out from the crowd and remain competitive, organisations need to utilise the data stored in the cloud. With its power and capabilities, enterprises can make informed decisions, identify new value and insights, and drive their business forward.
About the Author
W. Curtis Preston is Chief Technologist at Druva. Druva delivers data protection and management for the cloud era. Druva Cloud Platform is built on AWS and offered as-a-Service; customers drive down costs by over 50 percent by freeing themselves from the burden of unnecessary hardware, capacity planning, and software management.
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