Within your globalisation strategy, data hosting should be identified as a key enabler. The success of globalisation efforts will hinge on being able to transact (both with customers & internally within your organisation), in a leaner, more efficient way, by maximising your use of digital transactions through your chosen applications.
The world is more connected than ever, but the nature of its connections has changed in a fundamental way. The amount of cross-border bandwidth that is used has grown 45 times larger since 2005. It is projected to increase by an additional nine times over the next five years as flows of information, searches, communication, video, transactions, and intracompany traffic continue to surge. In addition to transmitting valuable streams of information and ideas in their own right, data flows enable the movement of goods, services, finance, and people. Virtually every type of cross-border transaction now has a digital component.
– McKinsey Global Institute
Globalisation requires remote groups to work as seamlessly connected virtual teams, sharing data on a rapid basis and being able to deliver outcomes of change management in an instant. This collaboration and information sharing has gone way beyond emails with attachments and video conferencing. Live document management, multimedia content, inter-company social networking are all now embedded in the way that the most successful global organisations operate and win.
Then comes the Internet of Things. Connected, intelligent devices, processes and actions, which are working their way into the strategy of companies, to enable an age of continuous improvement across the entire organisation. All this takes vast amounts of data to be effective and drive growth and success across your organisation. This is real “Big Data”.
Just like a high-performance sports car needing a racetrack to operate to its best ability, the applications you use must have a high-performing, global network, on which to operate and transact. This consideration of a hosting provider should typically break down into several key areas:
- Hardware quality: dependable hardware, which maintains your required data availability, no matter which time zone.
- Data transfer speeds: rapid & seamless transfer of data, no matter what the physical distance.
- Hosting capacity: always being ready to manage your data growth, through peak and quiet times.
- Security policies: ensuring adherence to differing global requirements for client & employee data security.
Hosting provider capability
- Location of data centres: Working across multiple globally dispersed data centres, to offer best-in-class service, without disruption.
- Policies & procedures: Rigorous policies & procedures to ensure availability of your network & data, through both standard operations (BAU) and times of change.
- Knowledge leadership: At the forefront of understanding and delivering leading hosting technology, while delivering recommendations for change to you.
- Investment commitment: As you decide to invest in your capability, you also need a hosting provider that is investing at the same time, or before you, to enable you to get the full benefit from your investments.
Policies of contract
- Demand flexibility: Working to compliment your specific requirements for increases and decreases in hosting capacity.
- Change management implementation: Enable rapid implementation of your change management activities, without barriers, within agreed procedures.
- Support: High-availability of support resources to assist global users and change programmes, in a timely manner.
Some organisations will not need to consider all the above areas; data transfer speeds might not be a primary concern, whereas the hosting capacity might be of paramount importance. However, these considerations are often vital to the success of a migration to a cloud platform / cloud provider. They ensure a solid, robust and constant strategy is applied across all aspects of cloud-hosted infrastructure and give maximum flexibility and agility when deciding which platform(s) to choose.