What can drastically improve company performance and management efficiency? The best answer, on many markets and in the current competitive environment, is changeover to state-of-the-art technologies for core business processes. This changeover is what we call Digital Business Transformation.
Two things are needed for such transformation. First, state-of-the-art IT solutions to make a company easier to manage. Second, transition to ITaaS (“IT as a service”) by the use of cloud technologies.
The most popular cloud service at present is IT Infrastructure Outsourcing (“Infrastructure as a service”), i.e. transfer of a company’s automated processes to a data processing centre (DPC), owned by a professional service provider. The responsibility level of DPCs extends as high as the operating system, and frequently even higher.
In the previous stage of digital transformation, companies relocated their IT equipment from corridors and basements to DPCs. Today, it is services that are being relocated directly to the cloud. Virtualization technologies enable more effective use of computing capacities, as DPC operators not only provide hosting of engineering infrastructure, but also of capacities, which can now be adaptively controlled and increased to cope with peak loads. This means that businesses can be more flexible, reducing costs and responding quickly to challenges, i.e. they are more competitive.
Russia already has a substantial cloud service industry, delivering all of the tools for process improvement that are familiar to Western business. Our company applies the rules and technologies that customers around the world have come to expect, thanks to which Russian companies have access to the same quality of DPC cloud services as companies everywhere else. The only difference is that, since many Russian providers, including StackGroup, set their prices in roubles, their services are considerably cheaper than those in Western countries. We are highly competitive in terms of pricing.
In the near future, we will witness the next stage of transformation: a shift from local to network cloud infrastructures, interconnected on a global scale, i.e. the same company will provide both cloud and general computing infrastructure in various regions of the world.
StackGroup is already taking steps in this direction. Russian companies can order services in their own country and receive them anywhere in the world with high-quality, Russian-language support. This will be a major factor enabling Russian business to “cross the barrier” and operate outside the Russian market, boosting exports and becoming genuinely competitive worldwide.
Evgeny Gorokhov is executive director of Russian data center operator StackGroup.