The Anatomy of a Digital Business

Recently, O’Reilly Strata published an article that suggested big data on the cloud has placed a digital nervous system inside every business on the web. Where technology may have once functioned as an exoskeleton—something that separated the inside from the outside by digitizing existing business processes—the web is now becoming a nervous system for every aspect of a given organization. Technology connects workplace teams to their clients, their managers and each other. Rather than digitizing analog business processes, it replaces them with efficient and social project management and switches out cluttered filing cabinets for organized data centers.

But the nervous system alone doesn’t make the body work. The nerves connect vital organs and the outward-facing part of any business to make the magic happen. To understand how businesses function on the cloud, we have to take a step back and see each system working separately.

The Brain

No nervous system can function without a brain. It’s the powerhouse that makes everything else work, the center of a system that controls everything in the body. For companies, that must be the servers and datacenters that store information and software to keep everything running. More and more, these machines are living on the cloud. Some companies are still using traditional IT, others look for quality managed cloud servers, while others still find success with private, secure virtual private server (VPS) solutions. Virtual private servers allow companies to install their own software solutions to manage projects as well as sensitive client information.

The Heart

And which part of the body represents the soul? That would be the heart—the core of any person. Much like the heart keeps blood pumping through the veins in the body, the people at any organization keep work flowing and customers coming back for more. The proliferation of cloud technology has made it easier than ever for teams to work together. Social project management tools like Basecamp, Podio and SharePoint mean less time is spent planning work, and more time is spent doing it. Even HR has gone social, and tools like Rypple are working to counteract the negative reputation of annual reviews in favor of consistent performance management on the cloud. This leads to happier people, a happier organization and happier clients.

The Face

Collaboration isn’t the only part of the workplace that has turned social. Thanks to cloud technologies, every part of a customer’s interaction with today’s digital company has become social. When customers shop online, they interact with the social media accounts of their favorite companies and proprietary software tracks customer experiences to make future interactions more customized and user-friendly than ever.

The Feet

The metaphor might seem odd, but if social has become the face of the modern business, then mobile is certainly its feet. With the recent rapid growth of mobile platforms around the world, the cloud is taking center stage in the minds of workplace managers and customers alike. Cloud storage and VPS solutions mean centrally located data, which makes it easier for companies to relinquish their tight grip and allow their employees to use their own devices at work. Data lies at the center of a wonderful mix of mobile apps for customers and remote collaboration that takes work out of the office and onto the street.

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