Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) firms are in a unique position in the world of business. They merge artistic creativity with technical proficiency, and their projects touch millions of lives. As such, the IT needs for these firms are unlike any other. Enter IronOrbit GPU-accelerated INFINITY Workspaces – a platform that directly addresses and resolves these specialized requirements.
1. What are IronOrbit INFINITY Workspaces?
IronOrbit INFINITY Workspaces, for those unfamiliar, is a turn-key Managed Desktop as a service (DaaS) solution designed to facilitate seamless collaboration, ensure data security, and enable scalable IT infrastructure. At its core, it offers a platform that centralizes the myriad of software applications, data sources, and collaboration tools that AEC professionals rely on.
2. Scalable Infrastructure
AEC projects can range from small home renovations to grand-scale infrastructures like airports. Accordingly, IT demand can surge or decline rapidly. IronOrbit offers scalability that ensures firms only pay for the resources they use, allowing them to expand or contract based on project needs. This flexibility is essential to keep costs in check while ensuring that the IT infrastructure can handle the demands of large-scale projects.
3. Seamless Collaboration
Collaboration is a cornerstone for AEC projects. Various professionals – architects, civil engineers, structural engineers, and more – need to share their insights and expertise. With INFINITY Workspaces, real-time collaboration is facilitated, whether team members are in the same office or spread across the globe. The shared workspace offers a cohesive environment where 3D models, blueprints, and documents can be viewed and edited collectively, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
4. Data Security and Compliance
Protecting sensitive data is of paramount importance. INFINITY Workspaces provides state-of-the-art encryption and security protocols, ensuring that project data, client information, and proprietary designs remain confidential. Furthermore, for AEC firms that operate internationally, the platform assures compliance with various regional data protection regulations, alleviating potential legal concerns.
5. Streamlined Software Integration
AEC professionals use various graphic-intensive applications, from Revit and AutoCAD software to project management applications. INFINITY Workspaces enable integration of these tools, ensuring that users don’t have to hop between different platforms to get their work done. This integration increases efficiency, reduces the potential for errors, and ensures a more cohesive workflow.
6. Remote Accessibility
Modern AEC firms often operate in a decentralized manner. Whether it’s architects who need to visit sites, engineers who are on the move, or consultants from different regions, remote access to the workspace is crucial. IronOrbit ensures that the digital environment is centralized and accessible from any device, anywhere, at any time. This ensures continuity of work, regardless of physical location.
7. IT Maintenance and Support
One of the most significant challenges faced by AEC firms, especially smaller ones, is the need for regular IT maintenance and support. IronOrbit provides 24/7 support, ensuring that any technical issues are swiftly addressed. We partner with your IT teams to manage your infrastructure and day-to-day operations allowing you to focus on the big picture.
8. Environmental Sustainability
In an era where sustainability is more than just a buzzword, AEC firms are often at the forefront of sustainable design and construction. IronOrbit echoes this sentiment by offering a cloud-based solution. This reduces the carbon footprint associated with maintaining in-house servers and hardware. By choosing Infinity Workspaces, AEC firms can further their commitment to environmental responsibility.
The AEC industry is in a constant state of evolution, driven by technology, sustainability, and shifting client needs. To stay competitive and effective, firms must ensure their IT solutions are top-notch. IronOrbit INFINITY Workspaces address the unique challenges faced by the AEC sector, offering a solution that is flexible, secure, collaborative, and sustainable. In an industry that builds the future, it’s only fitting that their digital tools are equally futuristic.
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Business leaders are making cloud migration a top priority. They realize there are many benefits to having at least part of the IT infrastructure on the cloud. Those who have already adopted cloud technology are busy working to bring the investments in technology to maturity so they can reap maximum benefits.
As we move into the middle of 2023, the advancements in cloud technology continue to transform the way we live, work, and interact with each other. Companies constantly innovate and improve their offerings with the growing demand for more efficient and secure cloud solutions.
Businesses are rethinking their computing approach and expanding beyond the traditional models of everything from security to how they route and access data. Even during this economic and market uncertainty period, business leaders realize they can’t afford to neglect technology to fortify their positions against disruptions or unforeseen events. They’re under immense pressure to drive business growth while, at the same time, doing more with less. Doing more with less is one of the great promises of digital transformation. Cloud technologies can enable companies to do more with less by providing access to powerful computing resources and services on demand. The excellent news for companies is that they can tap into a growing portfolio of capabilities without investing in and maintaining expensive hardware and infrastructure.
In a recent Gartner presentation [Watch Video], distinguished VP Analyst David Groombridge mentions how Cloud computing is nothing new. Still, increasingly businesses want to move the cloud conversation away from technology and focus more on business value by seeking cloud platforms specific to their industry vertical. An industry cloud platform provides services spanning software, medium, and infrastructure-as-a-service. Industry cloud platforms deliver composable modules of the industry-specific capability to deliver against defined vertical use cases.
Business technologists can rapidly use composable components to create differentiated value offerings in their verticals. These things increase innovation and agility and reduce time to market. Our earlier blog about digital transformation looked at how reconfiguring LEGO components to solve problems is like using digital technologies to build new solutions and systems. The design of LEGOs is modular. The individual pieces can be added, removed, and rearranged to create new structures. Similarly, digital technologies are modular. You integrate or replace various software components and services as needed.
An Industrial Metaverse
The Industrial Metaverse project, a collaboration between Siemens and NVIDIA, is a prime example of using digital tech to create something new. The Industrial Metaverse creates a virtual replica of the physical world, using advanced technologies such as AI, 5G, and high-performance computing. This virtual replica allows manufacturers to simulate and optimize entire factories and supply chains, from product design to production and logistics. Similar to building with LEGOs, the Industrial Metaverse project uses digital building blocks to create a virtual world. Innovators explore and optimize this virtual world to pave the way for more efficient and sustainable manufacturing processes. Clients can collaborate on significant engineering projects involving IoT, Digital Twins, and real-time analytics.
Technology Can’t Do it Alone.
Delivering technology alone will not be enough. We must plan for the impact of that technology on our brand, our customers, and society as a whole. And that requires sustainable technology. Some organizations define sustainability as that which is good for the environment. Others consider sustainability is about taking care of the people inside the organization and outside. Still, others believe safeguarding the core of the business is the critical definition behind sustainability.
The resounding message at the Gartner IT Symposium was that sustainable technology offers a two-for-one win delivering both societal and financial benefits. Sustainable technology is ultimately about reducing material and energy use in IT services. To enable enterprise sustainability outcomes through technology such as emission management software and traceability, delivering digital solutions allowing clients to reach their sustainability objectives.
In a recent article in the Harvard Business Reviewby Aamer Baig, Jan Shelly Brown, William Forrest, Vinayak HV, Klemens Hjartar, and Lareina Yee, McKinsey’s technology practice leaders have offered some new year’s tech resolutions for executives in 2023. The leaders suggest that combinatorial trends will become essential to consider. Instead of betting on individual trends, they advise thinking about how different technologies can create new possibilities when used together. They call these technologies combinatorial trends. The article gives examples of these trends, such as electric cars and blood type-based treatments powered by applied AI, machine learning, cloud and edge computing, and immersive reality technologies. When used together, the impact of these technologies is not just additive but multiplicative.
The leaders expect some combinatorial approaches to start scaling in 2023, such as applying the process that led to mRNA vaccines to other diseases. The article also suggests that companies must prepare for tipping-point technologies such as 5G, AI, and cloud, which are hitting mass adoption. Boards need to prioritize the budget for upgrading IT foundations that enable speed, security, resiliency, and reusability, which require investments in automation, data foundations, cleaning up tech debt, and continually renewing the IT architecture. The article also highlights that tech leaders must master the art of doing more with less and free up engineers from admin, bureaucratic, and manual work to focus on development.
Older Technologies That Are Still New
Two technologies are trending in 2023 that have been around for a while. They have only recently started to gain traction and become widely adopted due to technological advancements, changing business needs, and the increasing demand for faster, more efficient, and cost-effective computing solutions.
Edge computing dates back to the 1990s when the first content delivery network would make some content, like images and video clips, closer to the end users via geographically closer data collecting nodes. Technological advancements such as 5G networks, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have made edge computing more practical and accessible. Edge computing is gaining momentum in 2023. The technology involves processing data closer to where it is generated instead of transmitting it to a central data center or cloud for processing. By bringing computation and storage closer to the point of data generation, edge computing offers several benefits, including reduced latency, improved data security, and real-time decision-making capabilities.
Businesses can leverage edge computing in a variety of applications. In the manufacturing industry, for example, edge computing can collect data from sensors on the factory floor and analyze it in real-time, optimizing production processes and improving product quality. Similarly, in the retail sector, edge computing can power smart shelves that monitor inventory levels and track customer behavior, providing valuable insights that can help retailers improve sales and customer satisfaction. In the healthcare industry, edge computing can collect and analyze data from medical devices and wearables, allowing healthcare providers to monitor patient health in real time and provide more personalized care. Using edge computing can help organizations become more efficient, reduce costs, and provide better customer service.
The trend toward edge computing will revolutionize how businesses operate in the cloud. By leveraging the power of edge computing, organizations can benefit from improved performance, enhanced security, and real-time decision-making capabilities. As more businesses adopt edge computing in 2023 and beyond, it will become increasingly important for companies to keep up with the latest trends and innovations in cloud technology.
A cloud computing model that allows developers to build and run applications without server management is called a Serverless Architecture. Although this technology has been around for years, this type of architecture is gaining popularity because of its numerous benefits for businesses, including reduced costs, increased scalability, improved agility, and faster time to market. Kubeless and Fission are open-source computer programs allowing you to run small code without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. They work with a tool called Kubernetes which makes it easy to manage large groups of computers.
Google App Engine, introduced in 2008, was the first tool that could let you write code without worrying about the computers it ran on. With App Engine, you could write code that runs when someone visits a website, and you could store data that your code uses. There were limits on how long the code could run and how long it could take to get data from the storage system. One of the key business benefits of serverless architecture is cost reduction. With serverless computing, businesses only pay for the exact amount of computing resources they use instead of maintaining and paying for a fixed server infrastructure, eliminating costly hardware investments, maintenance, and upgrades, resulting in significant cost savings over time.
Serverless architecture also offers increased scalability, as the infrastructure automatically scales up or down based on the workload, ensuring optimal performance at all times. Auto-scaling is significant for businesses that experience fluctuations in traffic and demand, as it eliminates the need to over-provision resources and allows the application to handle sudden spikes in traffic without downtime or performance issues. Another advantage of serverless architecture is improved agility. Developers can quickly deploy and update applications, no longer having to manage the underlying infrastructure. Being freed from existing infrastructure reduces the time and effort required to launch new features or make changes, allowing businesses to respond faster to changing market conditions and customer needs.
Finally, the serverless architecture enables faster time to market. Developers can focus on building and improving the application instead of worrying about the underlying infrastructure. Not having to worry about having the infrastructure to support development reduces the time and resources required to bring a product to market, allowing businesses to innovate and iterate quickly in response to customer feedback.
Companies Should Focus on Building Strong Cloud Foundations
The technology side of digital transformation is fundamentally changing how businesses approach cybersecurity, and moving to the cloud is an essential building block in this process. Companies need to focus on building strong cloud foundations to fully leverage the benefits of the cloud, such as scaling applications and automatically adding capacity to meet surges in demand. This foundation involves developing application patterns suitable for multiple use cases and implementing robust cloud economics capabilities, or FinOps.
FinOps capabilities enable companies to monitor and track cloud spending, determine the unit economics for different cloud usage scenarios, and optimize cloud offerings and pricing arrangements to meet the business’ consumption needs. However, many companies tend not to focus on cloud costs until they reach the $100 million mark (McKinsey Research), which is a waste and a missed opportunity to generate value.
The potential power you’ll gain through moving to the cloud will drive business innovation in the years ahead. By embracing the cloud as an initial core component of their digital transformation strategy, companies can achieve significant cost savings and operational efficiencies while enhancing their cybersecurity posture. But more importantly, having a solid cloud foundation is vital to unlocking access to new and emerging tech.
The technology trends emerging his year are awe-inspiring. The implications of how impactful they’ll be on shaping our work and our life are compelling. The biggest challenge to business leaders is what to make of these technological advancements and how they will create new possibilities when combined with the right strategy.
Every business is different. There are different needs and different goals. Maybe your main objective is to save costs. Perhaps it is to widen the profit margin or be ready to pivot the business model immediately. Insofar as technology priorities go, the usual suspects for IT leaders are optimization, increased scalability, and support for any pioneering efforts. And it all has to be achieved through responsible investments in technology. Be ready to invest in technology with an eye toward the company’s future development, not just addressing immediate challenges.
The Cloud, AI, and 5G are major C-change technological shifts because they are becoming prevalent. A McKinsey study shows that companies will have 60 percent of their environment in the cloud by 2025. Another survey reports that half the companies have adopted AI in at least one business area. CIOs and CTOs must prioritize spending to upgrade IT foundations for speed, security, and resiliency. Budgets may become tighter over the last few years. Organizations can no longer afford to have IT priorities shaped by individual business units. Tech spending will benefit from a more holistic approach involving top leadership.
Migrating your organization’s Microsoft 365 environment can be a daunting task. Proper preparation and understanding make the process smoother. Whether moving from an on-premises environment to the cloud or from one cloud provider to another, consider your current situation, where you want to go, and how you want to get there.
Here are some key things to remember when migrating your Microsoft 365:
Plan Your Migration Strategy
Before you start the migration process, you must have a clear strategy. Your plan will include the following:
a list of tasks and milestones
a schedule for testing
validating the migration
Your strategy should also consider potential risks like downtime, data loss, or compatibility issues. Working with a trusted provider with experience in Microsoft 365 migrations is essential to minimize these risks.
Understand Your Current Environment
Before starting the migration process, you must clearly understand your current environment. Understanding means the Microsoft 365 applications you’re using and any third-party integrations or customizations.
You should also identify any data that may need to be migrated, such as emails, documents, and contacts. This determination will help you determine the best migration approach and identify potential challenges.
Choose the Right Migration Approach
There are several approaches to migrating your Microsoft 365 environment, each with benefits and drawbacks. The most common strategies include the following:
Cutover migration: This involves migrating all your data and users at once. This approach works best for smaller organizations with basic IT environments.
Staged migration involves migrating your data and users in stages. Ideal for larger organizations with more complex IT environments.
Hybrid migration: This involves running your on-premises and cloud environments in parallel. It is a good choice for organizations that want to maintain control over their IT environment.
Base your migration approach on your organization’s specific needs and goals.
Validate Your Migration
Before you go live with your migrated Microsoft 365 environment, check that everything works as expected. This evaluation includes testing your applications, integrations, and customizations, as well as ensuring that your data has been successfully migrated. You should also have the plan to address any issues that may arise during the validation process.
Choosing the right provider for your Microsoft 365 migration will weigh heavily on the smoothness of the experience and the quality of the result. Finding the right provider is crucial. This decision will impact the smoothness of the experience and the quality of the result. We at IronOrbit offer experienced and comprehensive support for Microsoft 365 migration, ensuring you receive the guidance you need throughout the process and beyond.
When selecting a provider for your migration, there are factors to consider, such as pricing, service level agreements, and customer support. At IronOrbit, we understand the importance of these factors and strive to offer competitive pricing, top-notch service level agreements, and unparalleled customer support.
Don’t let the complexity of Microsoft 365 migration overwhelm you. With proper planning and support, you can ensure a seamless transition to the cloud. Choose the right migration approach, understand your current environment, validate your migration, and most importantly, choose the right provider – IronOrbit.
Contact us today to get started on your migration journey!
You read about how cloud computing revolutionizes businesses’ operations everywhere you look. As overused as the expression might be, it happens to be true. Moving to the cloud does revolutionize how you do things. It also opens your business to more and more possibilities as your cloud strategy matures.
A January 6, 2023 Harvard Business Review (HBR)article, points out that:“Last year, many CEOs changed their outlook on cloud computing, essentially going from I’ll do it because that’ what my CIO recommends’ to ‘I want to be all in.’ Companies should focus on building out strong cloud foundations that allow them to take advantage of the most important benefits that cloud provides.”
That’s why Gartner predicts public cloud spending to reach $600 billion this year.
But is a public cloud environment the best way to go for your company?
What is cloud computing? It’s important to remember that not all cloud computing is created equal. In this article, we will explore the different types of cloud computing environments and their benefits to help businesses determine which one best suits their needs, but first, let’s review.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing delivers computing services, including servers, storage, databases, software, and other resources over the internet. Instead of owning and maintaining physical hardware and software, users can access these resources remotely through a network of servers.
One of the most significant advantages of the cloud is that it allows small businesses to leverage the latest computing technology at a much lower cost. Cloud computing enables users to access services on-demand, scale up or down as needed, and pay only for what they use without costly hardware and maintenance. Cloud computing has become an increasingly popular technology among businesses of all sizes thanks to its flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness. However, not all cloud computing is created equal. There are different types of cloud environments. Exploring the different types of cloud computing and their benefits will help you determine which one is best suited to your business needs.
The cloud is a collection of web-connected servers and software that can be accessed and used over the internet. This means that you don’t need to host or manage your own hardware and software. Furthermore, you can access these systems from anywhere with internet access. Cloud computing is all around us, from checking our Gmail inbox to watching our favorite shows on Netflix. The emails, video files, and other information we access are located on a server somewhere in the world. Still, we can access them quickly, easily, and inexpensively thanks to modern cloud computing technology.
Public, Private, and Hybrid Cloud
The type of cloud you should deploy for your business depends on several factors, such as the purpose of your cloud environment, regulations governing data storage and transmission, and other considerations. There are three primary deployment models for the cloud: public, private, and hybrid. All three models provide users with any time, anywhere access to files and applications that drive their businesses, but they do so in different ways.
The public cloud is a service offered by third-party providers that use shared infrastructure to provide services such as storage, applications, and computing power. Public clouds are the most cost-effective and flexible option for businesses that require scalable solutions, as they are charged on a pay-per-use basis. Additionally, public clouds offer ease of use, as there is no need for maintenance or upkeep of the infrastructure, and updates are automatically applied.
A private cloud is an infrastructure owned and operated by a single company or organization. Private clouds provide more control and security over data, as they are not shared with other users. Private clouds are often used by businesses that require a higher level of protection, such as financial institutions or government agencies.
Hybrid clouds allow businesses to store sensitive data in a private cloud while taking advantage of the cost-effectiveness and scalability of public clouds for less-sensitive data. A hybrid cloud combines elements of both public and private clouds, allowing businesses to take advantage of both benefits. This model is ideal for companies that require scalability and flexibility but also need to maintain high security and control over their data.
Which type of Cloud is Best for Your Company?
Now that we’ve explored different cloud infrastructures and their unique features, it’s crucial to determine which type of cloud is the best fit for your business. Each business has special needs and considerations, such as budget, security, compliance requirements, and resource constraints.
Take time to evaluate your business needs and choose the type of cloud infrastructure that best aligns with your mid and long-term goals and objectives. Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, selecting the correct type of cloud can save you many headaches and sleepless nights. The right cloud helps you streamline your operations, boost efficiency, and stay competitive in an ever-changing business landscape.
Small to Mid-Sized Businesses (SME)
A public cloud is typically the most suitable cloud computing environment for small to mid-sized businesses. Huge third-party cloud service providers operate public clouds and offer services to multiple organizations or individuals over the internet. It resembles an apartment building owner renting out rooms to individual tenants.
Public clouds are cost-effective, as they operate on a pay-as-you-go basis, with no upfront costs or long-term commitments. They are also scalable, meaning businesses can quickly expand their computing resources as their needs grow.
Public clouds also offer a range of services, including infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), allowing businesses to choose. For example, with these three different types of service, a PaaS solution provides a platform for developers to build, test, and deploy applications without having to worry about underlying infrastructure.
Whereas IaaS provides users with virtualized computing resources such as virtual desktop, storage, and networking, allowing them to build and manage their software applications and systems.
SaaS delivers ready-to-use software apps over the internet. Users don’t have to install and maintain their apps. They just log on and begin working.
Limitations of Public Cloud Computing for Small to Mid-Sized Businesses
Public cloud providers usually have a wide range of security measures to protect against cyber-attacks, which is critical for businesses that must keep their data and systems secure.
Overall, a public cloud can be attractive for small to mid-sized businesses. At least at first glance. But once you look under the hood, there may be a few things to give you pause. For one thing, there is little room for you to control your environment. There is little wiggle room for customizing any aspect of the infrastructure to meet specific needs.
For another, if you expect a speedy resolution to problems, you’ll probably be disappointed. Support and troubleshooting problems can become disruptive if they take a long time to resolve. When submitting trouble tickets to public cloud providers, the response time and support quality vary widely, making it difficult to predict how quickly they can help you resolve issues.
A third and final consideration has to do with compliance. SMEs must often comply with strict regulatory standards, particularly if they work with government contracts. Meeting HIPAA or NIST requirements can be challenging in a public cloud environment.
Large & Enterprise Level Companies
The most suitable cloud computing environment for large and enterprise-level companies is typically a private or hybrid cloud. Single organizations operate private clouds. These cloud service providers host on-premises or in a data center owned and operated by a third-party provider. In the case of IronOrbit, we own and control our data centers.
Private clouds offer greater control over computing resources, allowing organizations to customize their environment to meet their needs. Private cloud providers also can provide better cybersecurity and privacy layers, keeping data within the organization’s system. Hybrid clouds combine public and private cloud environments, allowing organizations to take advantage of the best of both worlds. For example, a private cloud can keep more sensitive data. The public cloud can be the place to store less sensitive data. Hybrid clouds provide the flexibility to scale up or down as needed and offer cost savings by utilizing public cloud resources for non-sensitive data.
Large and enterprise-level companies typically have complex computing needs that require significant resources and high levels of customization. Private and hybrid clouds offer the flexibility, control, and security to meet these needs. However, it is essential to note that private and hybrid clouds require significant infrastructure, expertise, and maintenance investments. Organizations must also have robust security measures to protect against cyber attacks.
Overall, private and hybrid clouds are the most suitable cloud computing environments for large and enterprise-level companies requiring high-level customization, control, and security.
No matter what type of cloud infrastructure a business chooses, moving to the cloud presents an opportunity to reimagine how they do business and the value they bring to their customers. Cloud technology enables firms to be more agile, flexible, and responsive to changing market demands. By leveraging the scalability and flexibility of the cloud, businesses can streamline their operations, improve their customer service, and gain a competitive advantage.
With the cloud, businesses can access new technologies and tools that were once out of reach, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data analytics. This can help businesses better understand their customers, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. Ultimately, the cloud helps business leaders change their perspective. Some may even have a paradigm shift that dramatically impacts long-term vision and direction.
They wrote that Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company, Takeda uses “edge” technologyto help hemophiliacs monitor their enzymes at home. Edge
computing complements cloud computing by enabling data processing and analysis closer to the data source, dramatically reducing latency. This level of real-time mission-critical application would not be possible without cloud technology.
The article also introduces us to ENGIE, a French energy company that uses cloud technology to transform itself into a renewable and low-carbon energy provider across 70 countries. By creating a single, unified view of each customer using a PaaS tool, ENGIE can make customer insights accessible across all 24 business units. Here’s a case where a cloud computing platform enables ENGIE to quickly deliver tailor-made solutions for customers, such as its partnership with the University of Iowa to help the school become coal-free by 2025.
“Cloud is too important to a business’s fundamental competitiveness to be treated as an IT program. It’s about creating a platform for the efficiency, innovation, and growth that will determine the future success of your business.” Bhaskar Ghosh and Karthik Narain,
What CEOs Need to Know About the Cloud in 2021
Understanding the different types of cloud and their benefits can help you determine which cloud deployment model is best suited for your business. Whether you choose public, private, or hybrid cloud, cloud computing can help your business reduce IT headaches, boost productivity, and enhance security, all while leveraging the latest computing technology at a lower cost because you’re not having to re-outfit your IT infrastructure.
But the bottom line is cloud computing, not matter which type of environment you start with, will make all the difference in the sustainability of your company. Companies should develop cloud-first strategies and look towards building cloud economic capabilities, called FinOps. The longer companies delay, the more opportunity they waste to generate value. As the HBR article mentions, “FinOps capabilities can monitor and track spend, determine the unit economics for various cloud usage scenarios, and translate the business’ consumption needs into optimal cloud offerings and pricing arrangements.”
Moving to the cloud is a gateway opportunity for businesses to continually build on technology and nurture the possibilities of creating new digital value propositions for their customers. Beyond the surface-level benefits of increases in scalability and agility, cloud computing provides free-flowing access to new technologies, tools, and resources that help companies innovate and differentiate themselves in their respective markets, which is essential for staying ahead and driving growth. In this way, cloud migration is a foundational step to digital transformation.
Cloud computing allows for easy collaboration and the sharing of data and resources among team members, clients, and vendors. That’s why overall growth in cloud spending continues to be strong. But collaboration and sharing merely scratch the surface of what cloud computing offers. The cloud democratizes computing technology. Cloud computing helps organizations reduce IT headaches, boosts productivity and strengthens security. Small and mid-sized businesses can give enterprise companies a run for their money.
Moving all or part of your IT infrastructure to the cloud enables companies to benefit from new technologies in various ways. Here are examples of some of them:
Scalability: with cloud computing, companies can quickly scale their computing resources up or down as needed. Increased scalability allows you to quickly and easily take advantage of new technologies without investing in expensive hardware.
Flexibility: use cloud services to run applications and store, or process large amounts of data. Test and experiment with technologies and see how they work in your environment.
Cost-Effectiveness:cloud computing can be more cost-effective than traditional on-premises solutions because you’re not making significant upfront investments in hardware. Pay for only the resources you need.
Speed: set up, configure and start using new workstations in minutes. Speed helps companies prototype new ideas, test new technologies, and get the latest products and services to market more quickly.
Access to Leading-Edge Technologies: many cloud providers offer access to cutting-edge technologies, such as AI, machine learning, and big data analytics, as part of their services. Companies can test out technologies without building and maintaining the infrastructure themselves.
Data Security and Compliance: Companies can leverage IronOrbit’s security and compliance features to keep data secure and comply with regulations.
Company-maintained data centers require personnel and hardware. They’re expensive to set up, operate, and maintain. IronOrbit helps you reduce your physical IT footprint and eliminates the tedious, intensive work of managing servers and data centers. Moving to the cloud eliminates costly IT infrastructure. Less infrastructure means your IT staff is not spending time patching servers, updating software, or doing tedious maintenance. Instead, they can work more strategically with stakeholders on high-value business objectives.
IronOrbit’s pay-as-you-go model provides tremendous agility to your business. You can now deploy technology solutions that were once too expensive or complicated to handle. With IronOrbit, you can scale your environment based on your need without paying extra for what you don’t need. Since IronOrbit builds and maintains its environment, we can offer you a cloud solution that makes the most sense for your situation. The IronOrbit cloud provides the kind of control you’d expect from having on-premises servers. Only your environment is safer, more robust, and more resilient in our cloud environment.
For example, let’s say you operate an accounting firm. When tax season rolls around, traffic to your website surges dramatically. Suddenly, you need equipment that can handle the traffic increases. That means you’re paying extra for the power you’ll need for a fraction of the time. The resources to support the site automatically kick in to accommodate the surge if you’re on the cloud. Companies that are quick in adopting cloud computing will have the upper hand in innovation and scaling their business. Those companies that don’t move at least some of their resources to the cloud may have difficulty keeping up and staying competitive.
Moving to the cloud provides companies of all sizes with a gateway opportunity for growth. Scalability, flexibility, and the speed of cloud computing mobilize companies to create new growth engines and business models. Cloud computing can also enable companies to improve their data security, comply with regulations, and collaborate more effectively with partners and customers. Accessing cutting-edge technologies and services gives companies a competitive edge in the market.
While there are some trade-offs and challenges to consider, the benefits of cloud computing greatly outweigh the costs and risks, providing a solid foundation for growth and success. So, companies should consider moving to the cloud as a part of their long-term growth strategy. Stay competitive and adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape. Contact us for a no-obligation consultation. Start your journey today.
Digitization and climate change are both hot topics. The two subjects are also getting used together in the same sentence more frequently. For example, did you know digitization is good for reducing carbon emissions? According to the World Economic Forum, Digital technologies have the potential to reduce global emissions by 15%.
Since the pandemic lockdown, people have been working from home. The workforce has been slow in returning to the corporate office setting. An IFS survey conducted last year reports that almost three-quarters of respondents plan to increase spending on digital transformation. The climate control benefits include a reduction of CO2 emissions due to less commuting and travel to in-person meetings. Technologies like Microsoft Teams have made multi-site team meetings easy and readily available.
Cloud migration is the price of admission to competing in the digital world.
Moving your IT environment to the cloud reduces the need for additional hardware, but more importantly, to your bottom line and the environment, cloud migration modernizes your operations. While being on the cloud, and using robust cloud-enabled services like IronOrbit’s INFINITY Workspaces, won’t make your business carbon neutral, it is a significant first step on that journey.
How You Can Reduce the Environmental Impact on Doing Business
Hardware casings, cords, adaptors, and other electrical products are called E-waste. E-waste is a growing problem. Significant environmental damage happens because nature cannot absorb these products. E-Waste is a significant contributor to the haphazard disposal of old electronics: they’re inert. All E-Waste products contain hazardous materials of one kind or another. The toxic materials are predominantly lead and mercury.
By switching to IronOrbit’s cloud, you can reduce the amount of hardware because you no longer need to invest in so many on-site computer stations. There’s no need to pay for its maintenance or replace machinery when it becomes obsolete. Instead, you only pay for the exact services you need. Over time, this saves you money. Cloud computing can help your company become sustainable while making it more profitable and productive.
Reducing Needless Travel Reduces Carbon Emissions
INFINITY Workspaces is our brand of DaaS, robust technology that enables employees to work remotely with ease. There are different INFINITY packages to fit specific use cases. Even designers and engineers can access the most demanding modern applications on their mobile devices. INFINITY Workspaces empowers Geographically dispersed teams to do their best work. The technology inspires productivity while eliminating the need for lengthy commutes. It also eliminates the carbon emissions associated with daily commutes.
Adopting a work-from-home environment or even a hybrid workplace is an excellent way to reduce your business’s carbon footprint. You could also save some money in the process.
Shared Data Centers Reduce Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
On-premises servers and data centers use substantial amounts of energy both for running and cooling. The manufacturing, packaging, and shipping of the hardware and peripheral products also add to GHG emissions. Companies can reduce emissions considerably by moving to a cloud computing environment. Once a company moves to the cloud, they use shared data centers. Like the ones operated by IronOrbit, shared data centers run far more efficiently than individual facilities or on-premises servers. There is no longer a need for personal equipment.
A recent forecast by the International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that cloud computing will prevent the emission of more than one billion metric tons of CO2 between 2021 and 2024. Moving away from legacy software and hardware and towards cloud adoption is a logical next step for companies. Insofar as business continuity and investment in the future, cloud migration is a necessity.
Cloud computing and all the digital benefits of having your IT infrastructure on the cloud are valuable for IT departments. IT departments can work more closely with business leaders to develop new sustainability goals. It is favorable for companies, and of course, it contributes to a healthier environment.
Contact us for a no-obligation proof of concept. We’re here to help.
At a recent design and manufacturing conference, a question came up. “Is the industry ready to make use of new technologies?” The answer came back, a resounding no. Most companies have skipped the step of digitizing their existing processes, so they’re not ready for new digital inputs. Perhaps an excellent intermediary step would be to reimagine business as usual by partnering with a managed service provider (MSP).
Shifting to a managed services environment is a critical step for many businesses. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with wondering about your next best business decision, then you’re not alone.
Many companies haven’t figured out how to change themselves enough to grapple with legacy challenges, let alone how to solve new, more complex puzzles like digitizing operations. By having an MSP like IronOrbit, companies can take their time becoming more comfortable with the idea of digitizing. When companies are ready to digitize, they won’t need to do major surgery on their IT infrastructure or data architecture before they begin. Instead, they’ll have a reliable partner who can focus on providing the right technology at the right time.
The Growing Skills Gap
In January 2021, a McKinsey study found that 87% of companies worldwideare aware of a skills gap. Gaps in IT departments will become increasingly conspicuous as emerging technologies continue to get a foothold. In the digital age, companies need to move fast. Ongoing IT education is prohibitive for many organizations. Even if the financial resources are available, the process is too slow. There is a genuine need for businesses to move faster than before. Whatever they can do to enable their operations to be more transformative and innovative with their use of technology, the better off they’ll be for whatever happens next.
As soon as an IT, enterprise resource planning (ERP), or e-commerce business solution is down; an organization instantly loses profits. Efficiency and expertise are necessary for getting these solutions back up and running. Bracing for the storm of increasing demand and decreasing labor power, business leaders may feel stuck when making their next move. If this is the case, managed services could be a solution. Here are the factors to consider.
Bridge the Skills Gap
A recent Prudential survey reports that businesses that focus on continuously expanding employee skills have a tremendous advantage over those companies that don’t. When critical business technology goes down, companies can’t wait for internal IT teams to figure it out. Having a managed services partner like IronOrbit can efficiently solve the issue; moreover, a predictive analysis might prevent such disruptions in the first place.
Your Perfect IT Partner: Five Things
When considering a managed services partner to fit your business, there are five key characteristics to consider:
Cost Savings – With IronOrbit’s managed services expertise and ability to efficiently solve IT challenges, you’ll notice significant cost savings by filling the skills gap and preventing extended downtime, lag issues, and recurring IT problems.
An Increase in Productivity & Efficiency– Supporting your business and employees is IronOrbit’s reason for being. IronOrbit’s Managed Services free your internal IT, so they can focus on other priorities and increase your business’s efficiency.
Quick Response Times – IronOrbit’s support staff is available when you need them so you can increase efficiency. IOCentral’s self-help automation tools make it fast and easy to open support tickets and check status around the clock, three hundred and twenty-five days a year. IronOrbit guarantees a consistent and reliable communication line to address urgent issues efficiently. Access to IronOrbit Resources and Specialized Expertise. IronOrbit service providers are certified professionals who have the expertise your business needs.
An Extension of Your IT Department – With IronOrbit’s Managed Services, you’re not just getting a solid and secure IT infrastructure; you’re getting a partner who can liaise between your IT department and your ERP and e-commerce providers for the most effective solutions. Your team will have more time to spend on furthering business-critical activities than solving IT problems.
Finding What Works for Your Business – IronOrbit has the expertise and innovative technology to best support you and your team regardless of the business needs. IronOrbit’s Smart Managed Services enables you and your teams to step away from any IT needs to focus on critical strategies for sustainable business growth. You’ll have more bandwidth to experiment and figure things out. Plus, you’ll have a technology partner ready to provide options for any challenge that may appear on the horizon. Companies face innumerable disruptive threats and risks. IronOrbit’s Smart Managed Services ensure smooth sailing for your IT environment now and in the future. We’ll be there whenever you’re ready to do more of anything, including digitize operations.
Please call us now at 888-753-5060 for a free no-obligation consultation.
2022 will continue to see the digitization and virtualization of society and business. The need for sustainability, increasing data volumes, and computer network speeds will drive digital transformation as companies move from a survival strategy to one of thriving.
As promised by Moore’s Law several decades ago, technology advancements continue to accelerate, but the speed at which these accelerations are occurring far outpaced earlier projections. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report says, “Developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and genetics and biotechnology are all building on and amplifying one another. More than a third of the desired core skill sets of most occupations will be comprised of skills that at not yet considered crucial to the job today.”
When you think about what technologies might be game-changing for your company in 2022, you aren’t thinking about nanotechnology, quantum computing, or neural interfaces. As much as the tech giants may want to forecast a utopian future based on these technologies, what your company needs right now is technologies that will help you get more done with less, work from anywhere, and support your organizational objectives.
Let’s dive into some “right now” technologies that can be disruptive in a good way to your workflow and organization as a whole in 2022.
Digitization and Virtual Environments
The trend toward leveraging big data and the digitization of workflow within organizations makes virtual work environments possible. During the pandemic, everybody scrambled to set up home offices. The organizations that already had a virtual IT infrastructure had a much smoother transition. Employees just had to grab their computers from the office and take them home. Others had to work through it and make adjustments along the way. Most of those that didn’t transition went out of business.
It’s interesting to note that many business leaders are still grappling with the employee question of when (or if) they’ll be returning to an office environment. Sharyn Leaver writing for Forrester, predicts only 10% of companies will remain fully remote. Of the 60% planning to shift to some sort of hybrid model, one-third of those firms will fail in their first attempt at anywhere work.
New technologies are emerging in every area. Cloud computing continues to be at the forefront of every discussion because it is foundational to everything else. All IT services, applications, and cybersecurity protocols are delivered through the cloud.
Last October, at Gartner’s IT Symposium in Stamford, Connecticut, analysts reported that enterprises must move away from “lift and shift” migration and toward Cloud-Native Platforms (CNPs). The power of cloud computing provides scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities “as a service” to technology creators using internet technologies, delivering fast time to value and reduced costs. For this reason, Gartner predicts CNPs will serve as the foundation for more than 85% of new digital initiatives by 2025, up from less than 40% in 2021.
Aamer Baig writes in an article for McKinsey, “Most companies we know are well into their cloud journeys and understand notionally that the cloud offers a big opportunity. But many are struggling to capture the full value cloud offers. As in the adoption of any new technology, of course, hiccups are inevitable. But the fundamental issue is that companies are looking at the cloud as a source of IT productivity improvements rather than as a source of transformative value—which is more than $1 trillion, by our calculations.
Improvements in productivity and efficiency gains through cloud-migration programs can generate significant cost savings, but they essentially represent better ways of doing what IT already does. CIOs have a crucial role in getting the business to focus on the far bigger prize: the new businesses, innovative practices, and new sources of revenue that cloud either enables or accelerates.
One pharma company built its GxP-compliant IT environment on the cloud and uses an ecosystem of cloud services that connect with manufacturing instruments, robotics, and other systems. It has been using a combination of scaling, instance management, storage, workload processing, and data-warehousing services to accelerate vaccine development.
A large agriculture company put into the cloud the vast amounts of data it had accumulated on improving equipment maintenance and used advanced analytics to generate insights that became the basis for a new business offering to growers.
CIOs need to master cloud economics and target business areas that can benefit from the cloud’s advantages of speed, flexibility, and scale. As importantly, they need to consider how to make the large-scale changes to IT’s operating model that are needed to build the capabilities to generate new value. Fewer than 10 percent of technology leaders, however, say they are most focused on hiring cloud talent, placing it at the bottom of hiring priorities. That’s a red flag, especially considering that almost 50 percent of CIOs plan to migrate more than three-quarters of all workloads to the cloud in the next two years.”
AI will continue to improve and become ubiquitous in the year 2022. Even the most rudimentary of businesses are utilizing AI devices connected to nearly everything and using AI in:
Robotic Process Automation
Companies using AI devices accumulate tremendous amounts of customer data. This well of information just then needs to be categorized and analyzed for pro-growth decisions based on real-time data. 2022 will see a dramatic jump in the utilization of AI due to the higher speeds available through the widespread adoption of the 5G network.
Before rushing out to buy the latest and greatest in AI technology, it’s a good idea to do some research or delegate an IT innovation team to do some preliminary homework. Become familiar with the capabilities of the technology and ensure it aligns with the mid-range and long-term strategy of your organization.
In a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article first published in 2018, Thomas Davenport and Rajeev Ronanki wrote about the importance of understanding which technologies perform what types of tasks, and the strengths and limitations of each. They write, “we encountered several organizations that wasted time and money pursuing the wrong technology for the job at hand.”
Since many organizations, even large enterprise companies, can lack the necessary in-house expertise to evaluate new and emerging technologies, it’s necessary for business leaders to work closely with IT to identify the right consultants to advise on high-priority projects.
Davenpot and Ronanki found that nearly a majority of cognitive technology projects had to do with robotics and automation. Business leaders have two schools of thought when it comes to automation. Some see automation as a way to eliminate full-time employees while others see it as a way to automate menial tasks in order to make better use of its people. Amazon for instance has been looking at ways for its people to devote more time to building new products. The Hands Off the Wheel program began in the retail management division to develop ways for machine learning to handle repetitive mundane work such as keeping its gigantic warehouses stocked with products to sell.
When companies make it clear that they are using AI to help people rather than replace them, they significantly outperform companies that don’t set that objective (HBR).
Alex Kantrowitz, author of ALWAYS DAY ONE: HOW THE TECH TITANS PLAN TO STAY ON TOP FOREVER (Portfolio, 2020), writes in an article for Harvard Business Review, that Amazon’s transition to Hands Off the Wheel took years to roll out and a great deal of training. “The retail-division employees were despondent at first, recognizing that their jobs were transforming. Yet in time, many saw the logic. ‘When we heard that ordering was going to be automated by algorithms, its like, ‘OK, what’s happening to my job?’”
According to Kantrowitz, Amazon didn’t implement this program to reduce headcount but rather free up personnel to invent and oversee new product development. Kantrowitz makes an essential point: “Had Amazon eliminated those jobs, it would have made its flagship business more profitable but would have missed the next new business opportunity.
Entrepreneurship and seizing opportunities through leverage are at the heart of Amazon’s raison d’être. At no other time in history has it been as easy, fast, and inexpensive to start a new business. Amazon’s view is that it is a facilitator of entrepreneurship, providing the investment, platform, and resources to help build new businesses.
Amazon first opened its online shelves to small businesses in 2000. In 2018, the company created an internal Small Business Empowerment team. In a press announcement, CEO Dave Clark said, “We made the decision to open our store’s virtual shelves to third-party sellers. At the time, big-box retailers had been pushing small businesses out of the retail market. We bet that bringing selling partners into our store would not only be a win for customers who want vast product selection, low prices, and fast delivery, but it would also be a win for small businesses wanting to reach more customers, increase revenue and profits, and create good jobs.”
The number of US sellers who surpassed $1 million in sales grew another 15%. Kantrowitz concludes, “If Amazon is any indication, businesses that reassign employees after automating their work will thrive.”
A recent Forrester study shows that technology leaders will focus on human-centered technology transformations. Indicating that less than 15% of firms nominated digital transformation as a priority in 2022, the report suggests leading firms will use emerging technology to unlock the creativity of their employees and drive innovation that focuses on outcomes, not just financial results.
The trend of “______ as a Service” technologies has exploded in the past few years. 2022 will see more of this trend – for several good reasons.
Subscription-based business technologies:
don’t force you to buy more than you are using
are easily scalable up or down
are flexible to match market fluctuations
can be deployed easily and quickly
Maybe the best part about subscription-based technologies is the zero-coding needed to utilize them. You don’t have to have an in-house IT team. These technologies come pre-built and can integrate easily with other technologies in use within your business. In addition, because the technologies are virtual (in a cloud environment), your business has less exposure to cyber risk and a higher level of business continuity readiness.
The more data that a company creates and gathers from the public, the greater their social responsibility becomes for the protection and use of that data. Whether your company needs to have transparency, governance, and accountability regarding data to protect your brand or you have legislative and industry-standard compliance mandates to adhere to, the technologies revolving around compliance are here to stay and will be growing throughout 2022. These new compliance technologies will help streamline your compliance efforts, minimizing the effort and money expended on compliance concerns.
Employee Wellness and Retention Technologies
The pandemic has brought a wave of resignations and shuffling of employees from one company to another. Business leaders are looking to technology to make employment at their organization more attractive to prospective – and current – employees. This desire to improve working conditions for employee retention has resulted in the utilization of many technologies. These advancements range from wearables that help employees monitor wellness for a work/life balance to new features built into ergonomic forms that reduce stress and improve employees’ workday in repetitive motion tasks.
Other considerations regarding employee wellness and retention technologies are tech that improves communication and collaboration on tasks and incorporates that “water cooler” chat function lost in the social distancing and work-from-home exodus of 2020.
By using tech to reincorporate that human connection into the virtual workplace, companies are helping to give their employees more of a sense of camaraderie and belonging – rather than isolation.
Your business, like many others, is reliant upon technology to maintain your competitive edge. It’s important to know what technologies other companies are leveraging – both within your industry and the broader marketplace. But knowing that other companies are having success with or planning on implementing game-changing tech within their organizations isn’t enough. Companies that take decisive action will face the fast-paced challenges of the next few years much better than those that are more cautious. Combine strategic planning with bold decision-making as you prioritize your technology objectives for the next 12 months. You must have a trusted IT partner to vet those technologies and advise you about their potential ROI within your particular business.
2022 is shaping up to be a year of both promise and uncertainty, but one thing is sure: companies that build a platform to embrace new tech within their workflow will have an advantage out of the starting gate.
While not the magic bullet that solves all your operational problems, moving to the cloud forms the foundation of building a solid technology platform.
Businesses that took the opportunity to remake and future-proof their infrastructure and workforce during the pandemic will continue to pull ahead of the competition. As we move into 2022, it becomes imperative for companies to move to the cloud to accomplish two strategies:
Be agile and flexibly prepared for the unexpected
To Take advantage of emerging AI-enabled digital technologies
These two objectives mean large-scale changes to IT’s operating model. The more technology-savvy people in the company should take the lead in understanding what moving to the cloud would mean for the company. Target specific business areas and look at how having workflows on the cloud benefits operations through increased speed, flexibility, and scale, which are the standard hallmarks of having operations in a cloud environment.
Speed, Flexibility, & Scalability
If you want to deliver digital capabilities anywhere and everywhere, consider how the IronOrbit ecosystem uses the core capabilities of cloud computing to provide scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities. Our teams of engineers and business visionaries have taken the complexity out of migrating your environment to the cloud, so you benefit from faster time to value and reduced costs.
The improvements in productivity and efficiency can generate significant cost savings over time; however, the actual benefit delivery is optimizing IT functions. You’ll be doing things you’ve always done, but you’ll be doing them better, and your operations will be much more resistant to disruptions.
Our new automated self-service portal, IOCentral, delivers a fast and easy way to scale storage, networks, databases, and computer functionality. An intuitive interface allows you to scale business functions more quickly by connecting essential software and microservices. Using AI-enabled technology, IOCentral enables flexibility and comprehensive ecosystem management from one pane of glass.
Speed, flexibility, scalability, and reduced costs indeed represent long-term value, but those in and of themselves do not convey the urgency for moving to the cloud. For that, we need to look further ahead.
The Bigger Business Benefit of Moving to the Cloud
Taking full advantage of your move to the cloud means looking at the new possibilities available to your business because now your business is part of the global cloud ecosystem. The cloud now becomes a catalyst to build new capabilities and value propositions for your customers.
This larger prize focuses on building innovative practices, new sources of revenue, and learning from the unique knowledge flows that will inspire leadership, not IT, to create new digital value propositions for your customers.
Without the cloud, leadership will never be able to enter the competitive arena of 2022 and beyond, let alone have the possibility to innovate new products and services.
The Cloud Delivers All IT Services, Apps, and More.
Be ready to use new digital technologies and stay ahead of change. Call now for a proof-of-concept of how IronOrbit can prepare your business for sustained success.
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