Adopters of digital technologies have often wanted their IT to change in tune with changing business ideas. Cloud computing has enabled a new way of flexibility in consuming resources, and the native modularity of cloud inherently builds in the quintessential ingredient for market success: innovation.
Many enterprise applications that transition to cloud infrastructure employ a multi-tiered design wherein multiple layers of services combine to form the overall application unit. This layered design paves the way for higher levels of security, application lifecycle modularity, and independent scalability for individual services. Applications deployed in this way often benefit the most from managed platforms (Platform as a Service, or PaaS) running in the cloud.
Cloud computing is all about abstraction – it is a powerful and revolutionary paradigm that offers service-oriented computing and abstracts the software-equipped hardware infrastructure from developers or consumers.
The first level of abstraction, commonly referred to as Infrastructure as a Service, is about abstracting compute and network resources from the underlying hardware infrastructure. In this service model, an organization would have to deploy an operating system, application platforms, and database engine required by the application, and then design an application to interface with these components directly. This model allows custom application code development that is incognizant of the underlying hardware configurations but still driven by traditional design components and limitations.
The next level of abstraction – managed platforms – is where middleware, operating system, and hardware are abstracted from the application software. This reduces organizational infrastructure operations workload, and frees application developers to focus on developing towards innovation and customer-driven functionality and less time deploying and provisioning resources.
Customers adopting cloud-native strategies are constantly innovating, and platform solutions are evolving to meet the demands of modern cloud-native architectures. AWS has the breadth and depth of services and feature functionality required for building cloud-native applications. The generic cloud-native building block architecture shown below displays typical AWS platform offerings that provide and build in these managed platform capabilities.
Managed platforms have revolutionized how businesses deliver value to their end customers. Next we present three instances of platforms TCS has built on AWS to enable business-centric IT for accelerating value to customers.
Hyper-connecting financial ecosystems through “bank-in-a-box” model
TCS BaNCS on AWS is an application platform embedded with pre-loaded product variants for financial organizations, which are configured on-the-fly to comply with rapidly changing regulations and dynamic customer business requirements. The platform provides functionality to build multi-capability products that manage multiplicity of channel, entity, and multi-currency support with full audit and data versioning capabilities.
The new Lifestyle-as-a-Service model
The IoT integration services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 34.2%, and enterprises may develop proprietary cloud-based platforms for smart home solutions leveraging managed platform services for smart home device management, interactive smart assistants, and application augmentation capabilities. TCS built one such connected home platform on AWS IoT Core supported by other AWS offerings for a large manufacturing customer. The platform detects a person entering their house based upon a digital key and then personalizes the lighting according to the user. Additionally, temperature and humidity are monitored for managing climate controls and coffee maker alerts, window blind controls, and TV are controlled using Alexa services.
Smart factory platforms for operational efficiency
For another large manufacturer, TCS built a smart factory platform on AWS IoT Core to create an autonomous, connected ecosystem where data is connected seamlessly – converging the physical and digital worlds and building intelligence into all processes and decisions. This customer lacked a reliable prediction model for maintenance requirements, leading to tool breakage during machining cycles and resultant waste and financial loss. TCS implemented a tool change prediction solution – bringing real-time visibility of KPIs and proving the capabilities and value of remote monitoring and diagnostics. This platform enabled the customer to bring transparency onto the shop floor, and more so transcend from reactive to proactive maintenance, improve labor productivity by 10%, and reduce operations costs due to reduction in waste and unplanned outages.
The value proposition for organizations in implementing a managed platform solution lies in faster time to market for applications and features born in the cloud, streamlined management of applications and integrations, reusable and standardized services that can accelerate innovation and results, and maximizing return and value for resources.
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