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Business cloud: can your company exist if you're not in the cloud?

a graphical interpretation of cloud computing
(Image credit: Image Credit: Wynpnt / Pixabay)

For global executives, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the cloud migration process, such as to the best cloud storage or best cloud hosting services. In a press conference with Morgan Stanley, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, stated that many executives have realized, “I won’t exist if I am not in the cloud”. Business continuity will depend upon two fundamental points:

  1. Competitiveness: Is your workforce productive and collaborative? Do you leverage your data to enhance customer service and gain new customers? Have you optimized your operations for cost and efficiency? 
  2. Resilience: Is your business able to respond to market pressures and opportunities with agility? Do you consider your organization secure against rising threats? 

Is your business confident in these areas? If you are not, that’s a challenging place to be, and you run the risk of falling behind.  

Businesses should look to data to meet fundamental points 

Unlocking the value of data is no easy task. However, once a robust cloud-based data platform is in place, the data team can work on the alchemy that turns raw data into the golden nuggets of business insight, and CIOs can double, or even triple, development velocity in the short term. 

However, optimizing data is an elaborate task. It includes developing approaches to data governance, redesigning processes as modular applications, and tapping into the benefits of flexible, scalable, cloud-based technology. 

By focusing on building an intelligent digital architecture on a modern cloud estate, businesses activate data value and reap the rewards. Putting data at the center of organizational evolution enables businesses to gain a clear view of their operations, make informed decisions, and increase their agility.

The importance of business agility  

Business agility is the ability of a business to realize and meet customer demand by rapidly adapting goods and services. COVID-19 has forever transformed customers’ lives, particularly in the adoption of digital, resembling a “decade in days” shift. 

The pandemic has created an extremely competitive landscape; therefore, business agility is a key enabler for organizations to sustain their operations and remain competitive. Traditional IT infrastructures have issues in rapidly delivering resources to support new initiatives. 

Business cloud computing models are the ideal IT service solution to overcome issues in IT resources, and simultaneously promote business agility to achieve competitiveness. Organizations that can adapt their structures to deliver their products or services promptly can reshape consumer decision journeys. 

Businesses already in the cloud benefit from an accelerated rate of product development that directly aligns IT infrastructure with business goals and objectives. Enabling them to shift and rescale IT processes on-demand, optimizing IT asset usage. 

Post-pandemic, business resilience and security should sit at the heart of business development, and companies must adapt fast or risk losing out to those who have already made the move to digital.

Security is at the heart of resilience 

Insider data breach incidents, whether accidental or malicious, are on the rise and are expected to have increased by 25 percent in 2021. As we begin to transition into a potentially post-COVID world, many organizations will adapt to the “new normal”. 

Data privacy matters will become more pressing, and potential budgeting issues and evolving international relations are set to impact cyber security professionals. Even for companies that are already in the cloud, we are seeing an opportunity to better define and deploy security technology to remove vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of future attacks. 

Organizations must continue to adapt their approaches to security and invest in new models. The only effective approach to security and business resilience is a holistic, architectural approach – that is manageable, adaptable, responsive, and developed with the right partner.

Engaging experts 

C-Suite executives believe their organization cannot capture agility benefits by simply shifting applications to cloud platforms. During the application of digital transformation, organizations should take holistic considerations into account as early as the planning phase of their business strategy. 

This means that cloud project decisions should not be started in isolation from a single business unit, because such thinking leads to negative performance and spiralling costs. Problems are inevitable when an application is pushed into the cloud without the network and security teams being involved in the planning stage. 

Leaders need to understand how to utilize the latest cloud technology innovations to deliver on their business strategy and objectives. Provided organizations set ambitious goals, develop a business case, adopt agile ways of working and build a standardized and automated cloud platform, they can draw significant value from cloud-powered innovation. 

Currently, the biggest challenge is the pace of innovation coming from Microsoft and other public cloud vendors. If organizations want to live at the forefront of technology and remain competitive in an already saturated market landscape, they must invest heavily into interpreting and translating public cloud innovations into solutions that answer business objectives. 

This challenge can be mitigated by working with an established partner, who can lead you through the various cloud complexities and get you ahead of your competitors. 

Businesses should choose a trusted, proven partner, with experience in private, hosted, hybrid, and public clouds to ensure they receive a secure, agile, scalable, and universally available environment, whilst conforming to the strictest security standards regardless of the location the systems operate in.

The right partner can help its customers navigate change to maximize their technology investments in this fast-moving, ever-changing rollercoaster of a digital world.  Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination – and the right partner can help every step of the way, to ensure you remain agile and competitive. 

Regardless of the stage you are at on your cloud transformation journey or the size of your organization, it’s important to remember that without a continued focus on exploiting the latest technology to gain a competitive edge, you will be left behind. 

So, can your business exist if you are not in the cloud? 

Paul Stapley, Hybrid Cloud Practice Director, Logicalis.