Whether ready or not, organizations across industries, regardless of their size, are today forced to embrace digital transformation (DT) in some way or another. And, while doing so the cloud has emerged as the centerpiece for building a “digital-first” organization. Cloud computing offers the power to co-innovate with service providers and it also enables offering intelligent solutions that are accessible, adaptable and agile. Today, we’re witnessing an interesting transition from a cloud-first era to a cloud everywhere where the enterprises of today are asking “which type of services?” instead of “whether they should or not?”
If you’re also someone who wants to pace up your digital 2.0 goals, now is the right time to take a cloud-first approach. Through this write-up, we’ll try to capture the real value of how CIOs/CTOs can align their investments & strategy that is centered around digital transformation & cloud computing.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
- Digital Transformation With Cloud
- Benefits of Cloud-Enabled Digital Transformation
- Strategy for Cloud-enabled Digital Transformation
- How Companies can Reap Value from Cloud Platforms
Digital Transformation With Cloud
The scope of digital transformation for any organization is much broader than simply shifting record-keeping practices that were paper-based to digital files. In this digital day & age, the implementation of digital devices, apps, digital storage and more allows businesses to change their processes to intuitively engage customers.
In the modern scenario, it helps ensure;
- Remote workers stay on the same page
- Large projects get completed without in-person IT support dependency,
- Data remains secure even if it is accessible to anyone who needs it
The new channels brought forth by cloud-powered digital transformation must allow businesses of any size to keep pace with the digital age. The focused services should be able to support modern-day essentials, including apps, IoT devices, machine learning, big data analytics, augmented reality and more – which require heavy amounts of computing power with hefty processing capability and robust security mechanisms. And, all of this without the need to purchase and maintain physical servers or a facility to house them.
Growth prospects of Cloud
- Gartner suggests global spending on cloud services is expected to exceed $482 billion in 2022, up from $313 billion in 2020
- Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report prompts that 31% of enterprises spend more than $12 million on cloud services annually.
Benefits of Cloud-Enabled Digital Transformation
Cloud adoption is the first step towards any successful digital transformation. And, one of the essential steps in this process is digitizing the data. Though to transform a multifaced business is a lengthy process and it requires intense research with in-depth knowledge of the application. By leveraging platforms that offer a robust infrastructure, a business can rebuild its service offerings, databases and more.
Listed below are some of the benefits they can enable businesses to leverage;
- Minimal outages: The cloud’s resources help reduce critical downtime by minimizing back-end and client-facing outages.
- Efficiency: Offers a single window to manage & implement changes for companies with multiple offices or locations. Even troubleshooting can happen from one location, without the need for the IT teams to travel in between.
- Adaptability: Cloud object storage allows many file types critical to a business to be combined in one place. Video, images, and more can be made available for access by each of a business’ applications.
- Security: With superior protection from security breaches, data loss, and malware threats in the cloud the data stays safe.
Strategy for Cloud-enabled Transformation
By now you could relate to how cloud and digital transformation can help modern businesses to realign their business process. It is by optimizing the various aspects that are valued by today’s digital economy. And for that, they need an effective business strategy.
There are essentially four key components of strategy by considering the organization’s goals, current structure and processes – much needed to make the “right” shift towards optimization.
Here it goes;
- Technology Selection: Working closely with a cloud enablement partner, you can specify technologies and determine your needs. An essential aspect here would be to identify legacy technologies that might create experience roadblocks in your overall growth journey.
- Data Requirement Analysis: A detailed examination of data systems would reveal the right input about current data, identify substandard data types and remove unnecessary or unused data. Outlining a plan to audit current data and building a knowledge base of the new data type is something your technology partner can offer before combining them for the shift.
- Process Mapping: The most crucial yet difficult part of any strategy – the business process must focus on how to realign resources & operations to serve customers better. And, further decisions must be made in favor of changes with the digital interface that ultimately serves the customer well.
- Organizational Alignment: This step primarily deals with the mindset to accept and work with it. With dedicated IT representatives & employees well-versed in explaining the new processes, change management can be dealt with swiftly. The objective here is to help ease the organizational changes in nearly every aspect of business after transformation.
Cloud for Digital Transformation – Approaches
While we’ve discussed the key components of strategy, let us now also discuss the different approaches that could enable digital transformation with cloud. There exists three general approaches to enable both client-side and back-end operations (called the different types of cloud computing);
Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Offered on-demand, it uses the internet to deliver third-party managed applications to avoid download needs by clients or businesses.
- Third-party cloud provider hosts software apps and provide them on-demand across the globe.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- A comprehensive option, it offers IT computing services like software, hardware, databases and platforms with network, processing power, storage, and servers.
- Allows application development by purchasing resources on-demand with the changing computing needs.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Allows company’s software developers to create and manage custom applications
- Third-party vendors can manage IT infrastructure and access to computing resources (servers, storage, security, integration layers, network components, & more)
How Companies can Reap Value from Cloud Platforms
With the cloud, organizations can innovate more quickly, scale efficiently, innovate more easily and seize new market capabilities faster. All this while also reducing technology risk.
Here are the top 3 considerations for CIOs and tech leaders;
1. Focus on cloud investments that enable increased revenues & high margins.
To enhance business agility, innovation, and resilience, it is important to consider adoption by embedding reusability and composability factor. Such investments in digital transformation strategy can be rapidly scaled across the organization. This way you can extract maximum benefits out of cloud computing and achieve your potential cost savings rather than considering it for a specific application.
- Better Respond to Market Demands: Cloud-native companies leverage end-to-end automation to deploy hundreds and even thousands of releases every day. Cloud automation enables utilizing best-of-breed capabilities to speed up the time-to-market.
- Innovation Opportunities: Every top cloud service provider offers a wide range of services across the marketplace while offering access to 3rd party ecosystems. Cloud computing empowers you to co-innovate with advanced functionality including data aggregation, natural-language processing, machine learning, quantum computing, and more.
- Flexible Scalability: Cloud-based services enable companies to use computing power, resources, and bandwidth for a specific time instantly as per the organization’s needs. You only need to pay for what you consume.
2. Select the right technology and sourcing model that aligns with business strategy and risk constraints
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach in defining cloud architecture design. Determining the right one by making accurate sourcing decisions can have a significant impact on risk and cost implications. A reliable technology partner can help you evaluate your unique business needs and further can help strategically determine the best fit for you.
As-a-service Options – Where to use What? While adopting the cloud in the digital transformation journey, CIOs and CTOs must determine whether to procure SaaS offerings or build their applications to run on IaaS or PaaS services.
There are multiple architectural models to choose from for running custom needs in the cloud, each with its advantages and drawbacks. It is vital to define and have a clear understanding of what they are for CIOs. It would help them to often create a tailored approach by leveraging services that embed operational efficiencies during migration to maximize the benefits:
- Traditional virtual machines (VM) involve lower transition costs and restrict vendor lock-in, depending on the app, but it fails when it comes to agility or time-to-market.
- Refactoring applications to use containerization and deploying them to the cloud enables enhanced business agility, flexibility, scalability, and sustainability with increased productivity.
- Modernizing legacy monolithic applications to cloud-native by re-architecting requires higher investment but yields lower cost of ownership and long-term agility.
3. Developing and implementing an effective cloud operating model
Capturing the real value of cloud migration requires changing both how IT as a function works and how it works with the business. Here are a few tips to future-proof your strategy:
- Automating as-a-service platforms help reduce or automate repetitive manual tasks so that the team can focus on building products. This helps enhance the reliability and scalability of applications in production.
- Adopt a site-reliability-engineer (SREs) model
- This model binds application development and core infrastructure services
- They also enhance the stability and reliability of apps in production and diminish or automate repetitive manual tasks so that the development team can focus on building products.
- Enterprises must redesign the end-to-end delivery process, using cloud-native practices.
- Business leaders require frequent interaction with knowledgeable decision-makers for business-oriented products to achieve the speed and agility
As the world evolves and tech moves at breakneck speed, digital transformation is increasingly evolving as a mechanism of survival. And, in this, the cloud-based solutions are helping accelerate the digital transformation journey. In an era where success is measured by customer experience, both cloud-enabled and cloud-delivered business models would enable organizations to discover newer channels to maximize CX in the long run.
Explore Hash Bang Industries custom cloud development services to learn how next-gen tech partners can do smart investments by leveraging cloud managed services and streamline the shift to SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. With the right tools, we can make digital transformation possible with digital experts & advisors who can help and support companies to adopt the most suitable solution for their requirements. Our teams with the right mix of extensive experience & knowledge of technologies help deliver on projects of any scale & complexity to increase business agility.