Powering R&D with cloud-based ecosystems

María Lucía Villegas

María Lucía Villegas

Jan 14, 2022

3 min read.

Companies were forced to start working remotely two years ago and some experts predicted when given the chance, they were going to go back to their offices as it was very difficult for employees to get used to new routines and work methods. However, technology has put its best efforts into facilitating remote work and those companies that were successful in implementing the right tech and culture were able to stay that way.

The rise of remote work also led to the implementation of cloud-based ecosystems that are accessible from anywhere in the world. This is how companies started migrating to the cloud to improve remote teamwork and their data management in general.

In 2022 more than ever we’ll be able to see how significantly bigger this trend is getting. Pre-pandemic and traditionally, when looking for data storage solutions, we had to choose between two options, the first one was pay-as-you-go public cloud solutions and the second one was on premises private cloud solutions.

Now we’ve realized there’s no reason to stop there, that’s why there’s an increase in demand for hybrid multi-cloud environments and entirely cloud-based ecosystems and research shows that the market for hybrid tech will reach $100 billion evaluation this year.

Hybrid and multi-cloud solutions offer the best of both worlds. The difference between these two is that the first one implies having an on-premise private cloud combined with public cloud servers as whereas the second one uses multiple public servers to store different kinds of data. One example of the last one is when different areas of the company use different cloud-based software for each of their activities.

Implementing a cloud-first approach brings many benefits to companies like optimizing costs, reducing downtime, improving performance, or achieving business goals faster by leveraging the best cloud solution combinations. And while many companies are developing their cloud-first strategies to support remote work, there’s one huge benefit that may be missed by most of them: enabling innovation and R&D.

To this day innovation and R&D is an area that for most companies is still platonic. Big corporations and different case studies have shown us that investing in Research and Development could scale up businesses as it provides powerful knowledge and insights that can lead to significant improvements or the development of life-changing products and services. However, not every company has the resources (especially time and money) to prioritize these activities.

What if the cloud can solve a big part of this problem and support market-wide Research and Development? Cloud-based ecosystems can provision infrastructure and provide data centers as well as virtual network security for companies to access data and support research while saving resources.

To illustrate this view, let’s take a deeper look at how R&D works in part of the scientific community. Deloitte executed a study on radical data interoperability that revealed that while scientists spend up to 30%-40% of their time searching for, aggregating, and cleansing data, shared infrastructure, and resources for master protocols can reduce the research cycle time by 13% to 18% and overall costs savings of 12% to 15%.

As these cloud-enabled data exchanges significantly improve the scientific world’s research, they can also be used to optimize innovation processes in a business-centered ecosystem. Deloitte also expects that in the next five years data marketplaces could disintermediate data aggregators and resellers, providing new opportunities for large-scale and secure data transfers across organizations.

We see this kind of model in the business world every day with open innovation, where companies and organizations share knowledge and information outside the business to collaborate in creating possible solutions. This model has proven that it can actually increase the value of results as it diversifies perspectives of the problem and widen possibilities.

Today, cloud-based ecosystems encourage and facilitate collaborations in which companies can exchange data in order to reduce time and optimize resources when executing R&D projects. This can be a driver to markets’ growth since it democratizes knowledge and pushes innovation for more complex problems.

With the cloud trending within organizations and collaboration thriving culturally, we’d expect these models to only get stronger in the next year. However, there are still some practices we need to improve like transparency, regulation of data security, strengthening model architectures, and embracing cloud automation, analytics, and machine learning to accelerate and scale innovation across the ecosystem.

Even if there’s a long way to go to have optimal cloud ecosystems that work for collaborative R&D, the benefits that organizations can obtain are worth the while. In the meantime, there are two this we can start doing: first, constantly search for different technologies that can prepare us for data-driven models, and second, start building our R&D programs and strategies that will be the foundation for our evolution in the next years.

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