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Any small- and medium-sized business owner dreams of growth and success; after all, it’s why they’re in business. But with growth comes new challenges. A small company might not need a dedicated HR team, nor advanced HR systems to assess and optimize their workforce, but both these things are essential when a business reaches a certain size. Similarly, a small business might only require an operations generalist to carry out the finance function; using little more than an Excel document to help. For larger organizations of course, finance needs dedicated professionals using advanced Enterprise Resource Planning and Enterprise Performance Management technologies that are tailored to their business’ requirements.
The cloud has matured to such an extent that most SMBs now understand that the technology by its very nature helps make businesses more flexible and reactive. As a result, we have seen many SMBs adopt a Cloud Platform in order to develop and test new capabilities and applications as they are required. But such platform technologies are only part of a bigger picture.
Without the cloud, the ability of SMBs to achieve this level of integration is limited. Buying a complete on-premises infrastructure capable of building and running business applications is simply not affordable for the vast majority of these businesses. Moreover, such approaches can tie businesses to certain proprietary technologies for the duration of their product lifecycles. With technology advancing as rapidly as it’s doing today, any large scale infrastructure investment may be obsolete fairly quickly.
There is therefore a need for growing businesses to add new capabilities to support developing business requirements. The best way of addressing such challenges is through the cloud; specifically through the integration of Cloud Platform and Compute Services technology.
Cloud-based Compute Services, on the other hand, offer SMBs the best practical solution for creating a truly flexible infrastructure that can grow as they do. SMBs can now take all the infrastructure services they need, as they need them, and fully integrate them with their business and customer applications through Cloud Platforms (which effectively take on the role that was played by middleware in the pre-cloud technology stack). The result is that a business can scale resources to meet its needs and integrate all data, hardware and software to support its growth.
If SMBs are to be able to upgrade their enterprise IT capabilities quickly, they need to be able to integrate their Cloud Platform with the wider technology stack, particularly the compute, storage, networking and security infrastructure .
Moreover, the micro-service approach is one that has integration at its core. Unlike the traditional monolithic approach to app development, micro-services allow businesses to create apps as a suite of independent modular services that can be easily scaled across a business’ operations. So, as a business grows they can use Compute Service-enabled micro-services to seamlessly scale apps across new channels such as the web, mobile, wearable devices and the Internet of Things. This level of integration means that as a business grows and seeks out new opportunities, its IT development architecture can keep pace easily and cost effectively.
Crucially, micro-services can be continually tweaked and updated, making them ideal for fast-growing businesses. Through micro-services, SMBs (and larger enterprises for that matter) can rapidly create and launch new software even if a few bugs subsequently need to be ironed out ‘on the fly’.
In short, Compute Services provide the necessary integration for businesses to add the capabilities they need to develop and grow in an agile way. To that extent, it’s a foundation stone that every business must look to have in place in the near future.
This PaaS article is brought to you by Oracle and Intel®.
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