Building your digital core in the cloud
Why the first step to growing your business is to take advantage of the cloud
The cloud is now a key part of how businesses operate. For many organisations, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a rethink about how they manage their business and an embracing, or doubling down on, digital technologies. Without the cloud, many companies may have struggled – it helped facilitate everything from scalable storage to collaboration apps and video conferencing software, meaning remote workforces could still work effectively outside of the physical office.
Over the past years, the business perspective of cloud solutions has changed dramatically. The first key recognition is about workflows – and why bringing workflows to the cloud and allowing people to access the space, rather than moving assets and data around is much more efficient. The second big shift is in the rise of XaaS where we’re increasingly replacing CapEx led models with much more flexible OpEx models. And a third is that the shift from ‘whether to use cloud’ to ‘which cloud strategy to follow’ is now firmly in play. For most organisations a multi-cloud strategy combining ‘private’ and ‘public cloud’ models seems to be the way to go.
According to research from TCS, 51% of organisations have increased cloud spending following the pandemic. The trend towards the cloud, accelerated by the pandemic, is only going to increase as businesses shift to a more hybrid work model, where staff split their working time between home and office locations.
Many of the initial hurdles that made businesses nervous about the cloud have now been cleared. Vendors are well rehearsed in delivering on security and minimising worries about downtime. Plus, the offer of ‘as-a-service’ flexibility means businesses can dial their cloud resources up or down as required.
It’s true that any major change in IT strategy will have challenges along the way, but the processes around cloud migration are well established and the idea won’t be as alien to end users as it was a decade ago. In fact, there’s a strong chance that they will have experienced this before at previous workplaces and may use the cloud as part of their everyday lives (think storing photos, media and backing up devices like smartphones). Today, the cloud and the concept behind it is fairly ubiquitous.
Which cloud is right for your business?
Before making the cloud part of your digital core, it's important to detail exactly what needs to be achieved. The journey should have a destination, be that moving to a fully remote workforce, reimagining how the business works on an operational level or something else entirely. It might even be a single, very specific issue or challenge a business is trying to solve.
According to recent statistics from Veritis, 72% of enterprises described their cloud strategy as ‘hybrid first’ or ‘private first', while 58% of enterprise workloads run on hybrid or private. As cloud becomes the preferred model for modern business, it’s important that organisations have the right environment to implement and are aware of the challenges. Financially, the cloud is often a cost-saver as businesses only pay for the resources they use, however poor governance can lead to spiralling prices. It’s also crucial to have the right IT support in place to keep up with the latest cloud architecture and service trends. It’s no use if your digital transformation strategy puts in place a new cloud infrastructure, only to see it quickly fall behind and no longer be fit for purpose.
Whichever cloud solution is right for you, once up-and-running it has the potential to become an integral part of your business moving forward. Cloud is a critical platform, allowing a business to expand its reach and improve resilience, adaptability, and operational efficiency. It also gives an organisation the platform to harness the power of today’s cutting-edge technologies, from data analytics to artificial intelligence and machine learning which may otherwise be out of their reach. A digital transformation strategy that overlooks cloud, or is slow on the uptake, could end up hampering a business’s growth and leaving it trailing behind competitors who place it at the heart of their operations.
Cloud solutions in action
Finding the right cloud solution to guide you through this journey can be a challenge. With cloud serving as the digital backbone of enterprises, navigating through the noise, and getting the right infrastructure is critical. Services and consulting companies like TCS have the tech expertise and long-standing industry experience to help steer clients in the right direction, from offering a framework for cloud migration to delivering the service.
One TCS client making the journey to cloud computing is construction company Mace. Its need to understand customers, supply-chain partners and the construction industry meant it wanted to start transforming into a fully connected global business. Working with Mace, TCS implemented Oracle Fusion to create a support centre to streamline its IT services and business transaction processes. Utilising Oracle’s cloud infrastructure, TCS helped Mace to measure a 10-20% increase in business transaction efficiency for procurement and a 20-30% lift in business user experience. In addition, the organisation was able to reduce costs, boost supplier relationships and maintain contract and legal compliance.
Telecoms giant BT, meanwhile, worked with TCS when the time came to upgrade its IT infrastructure. With 30 million customers across 180 countries, BT was looking to enhance its contact centre, reduce voice and chat volumes without affecting customer experience. TCS deployed the Oracle service cloud solution to equip BT with a unified service to deliver voice, video, and instant message-based customer service. The accelerated implementation saw the new contact centre rolled out in 14 weeks and resulted in a complete transformation of BT’s customer experience and service delivery. The 10% rise in self-service volumes helped to alleviate the strain on time-consuming customer service.
While driving a cloud first strategy, it’s worth remembering that this is more than just a move to cloud hosting of applications. It’s also a drive to re-architecting your applications to be cloud native. Second, it’s a move towards micro-services and API driven models which will enable faster and more agile collaboration within and across ecosystems. And of course, it’s a transformation of the operating model of your business. Without this last critical change being managed, you may miss out on significant benefits of your cloud strategies. The cloud will increase the clock speed of your business. And the people and processes need to be able to handle that.
Whether you’re going all-in on the cloud or looking to use it for specific parts of your business, it’s important to understand the challenges you face and what you want to achieve. By partnering with a company like TCS you’ll be well-placed to find the right cloud solutions to help your business grow and evolve.
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