Recent advancements in the cloud make it an obvious choice for utilities to host their CIS. We break down the major reasons below.
In just a few short years, the Cloud has evolved from a cutting-edge technological advance to the new default method for managing business architecture. Not since the advent of the personal computer, and later the evolution of the smartphone, has a single technology provided such significant disruption across the entire technological landscape. As a heavily regulated and scrutinized industry, utilities are right to be wary of newer technological trends, but the recent advancements in the cloud have permanently redefined the concept of the data center, and all organizations, utilities included, now have to seriously consider the cloud for all major system deployments.
In particular, the Customer Information & Billing Solution (CIS) is an ideal system for cloud migration, as its position at the center of a utility’s technological landscape allows it to derive the most benefit from a migration to the cloud. The benefits of the cloud are numerous, but there are three prominent reasons that all utilities should consider the cloud today:
· Reliability & Security
· Cost Control
The early days of the cloud were a minefield of security and reliability concerns, as numerous small cloud providers sprung up without significant investment in their operations. These days, however, those concerns are a thing of the past. Major cloud providers, like AWS, Azure, IBM, Oracle, etc., have invested fortunes in state-of-the-art data centers that are completely secure, both physically and logically, and built to withstand even complete disaster through smart off-site backups. Even more, these organizations employ teams of data, infrastructure and security professionals to ensure that operations remain within defined parameters and uphold all manner of regulatory requirements. This all means that modern, major cloud providers are more capable of maintaining reliability and security than any single-entity data center.
With security no longer a concern, that leaves utilities free to pursue one of the biggest drivers toward cloud adoption: modernity. An increasing number of technological solutions now have a cloud offering, and more than that, many cutting edge solutions, which will become the standard solutions of tomorrow, are cloud-only. All legacy businesses, and utilities specifically, need to begin taking on the cloud soon in order to prepare their operations for the eventuality of the cloud. Moving data and processing off-site requires significant investment in new and updated procedures and regulations, so getting a footprint in the cloud is a great first step in preparing the organization for future cloud-based solutions. Plus, having the CIS exist in the cloud space can free up the available options when evaluating future cloud-based software, as the heavy lifting has already been done.
Finally, the biggest asset of embracing the cloud is one of its oldest benefits: value. Cloud adoption can mitigate numerous fluctuating expenses involved with managing a data center, including many emergency expenses as hardware pieces fail, grow beyond their support cycle, or no longer suit your needs. With the cloud, the infrastructure is completely managed and controlled, all for a predictable operating expense. Even better, in a managed services situation, utility IT resources can be freed up to work on revenue-generating applications and projects, rather than simply be a resource expense maintaining devaluing IT hardware.
In total, the cloud has broken through the barriers that once stood in the way of adoption, and now presents almost exclusively positives for utilities looking to migrate their operations off-site. As the centerpiece for most utility IT landscapes, the CIS is a prime target for this migration, and will provide both immediate and long-term benefits for those utilities willing to take a step into the future.