The digital transformation sweeping through industry after industry demands that company websites, eCommerce sites, mobile apps, and other customer-facing properties be robust and flexible enough to support a new world in which customers — and the marketers working to engage them — are calling the shots.
“We have put a digital shift first and foremost on all of our marketing efforts, rather than taking an in-store or print-first approach,” says Lucille DeHart, CMO of Maidenform Brands. (1) “Our IT and marketing teams have to respond quickly both internally and externally to what consumers are telling us.
Even though we're already embracing technology, we need to embrace it in a way that makes us smarter, faster, and better across traditional platforms." The combination of digital-first marketing initiatives and increasing customer demand for digital interaction is taxing IT infrastructure in new ways - and driving a need for extreme IT flexibility in the face of unprecedented demand elasticity.
For all these reasons, many companies are choosing to work with hosting and managed service providers, both to gain the ability to expand and contract infrastructure as necessary and to leverage the best practices and expertise that providers develop from working with a variety of companies across industries. As more and more customer interactions occur over IT systems, cloud technology puts responsibility for uptime into the hands of professionals who focus on nothing else.
"Customers aren't completely sure how to leverage the cloud as part of a larger transformational initiative to support this emerging 'all-digital' landscape," says Fatigati. "They don't know what the answer is. They're not cloud experts; they're not infrastructure experts.
But they do know they need to figure out how to use technology to succeed and are looking for guidance and best practices that can be applied from other successful deployments or solutions.”
The digital transformation of business is far from over. And as business becomes increasingly driven by customer demands and across digital channels, hosting providers will be extending new capabilities to their customers, as well.
“Think about it as the evolution of cloud economics to address the needs of the enterprise,” says Moran. “You can look at elasticity as ‘scale up’ or ‘scale down,’ but there’s also the elasticity of transformation over time.”