Cloud: A Digital Transformation Enabler

Nitin Mishra,  Netmagic | Mumbai | December 08, 2016 17:52 IST

Digital disruption is descending upon the enterprises like a rolling storm. In their tireless and unremitting quest to stay relevant in this dynamic environment, organizations are striving hard to become digitally empowered. And rightly so, as going digital is the way forward to seamlessly bring in collaboration, convergence, and disruption for increasing competitive intensity within an organization.

But it’s worth noting here that cloud is a vital cog in the wheel of digital transformation. In fact, it lays the foundation of the digital evolution of an enterprise. The adoption of cloud model helps an organization advance into the digital realm.

Digital Without Cloud Is Like a Half-Built Bridge
If there is something that defines the digital enterprise it is the need to seek out new business models. Digital technology paradigms are constantly evolving like the shifting sand under our feet. Innovation is the only survival mantra.

Cloud model acts as a catalyst for innovation. While adapting their business models to the digital arena or building new business models, organizations need agility, ability to scale up and down, efficiency, elasticity and cost optimization. Cloud provides all this and more. 
Cloud offers a platform for tech experimentation, rapid development, deployment, and distribution. With the cloud, testing new projects is more cost-effective and low-risk, deployment times are faster and its pay-as-you-go model is easy on the pocket. It supports the agile development methodology. Cloud helps you innovate like a start-up and deliver like an enterprise.

The cloud model provides immediate, on-demand access to the latest solutions and approaches and ready-to-deploy environments for creating and delivering the innovative business strategies and products. It makes innovation affordable and attainable.

In fact, the cloud model and digital innovation have become closely intertwined. Early adopters of thehybrid cloud are outpacing the organizations that are yet to embrace the technology. A recent survey by EMC (now acquired by Dell) reveals that companies that aggressively adopt hybrid cloud are 3 times more likely than non-adopters to be approaching their digital business and infrastructure readiness goals. Clearly, hybrid cloud capabilities are important to enabling digital business transformation.

Conversely, organizations that have shied away from the cloud model have struggled to achieve the same levels digital maturity. Saddled with unstable infrastructures, legacy systems anchored in the past and systems management methods of yore, their IT departments are caught in a reactive mode of trying to support current outdated systems while trying to keep up with the changing times. Time is sneaking up on them like a windshield on a bug.

Advancing in The Digital Journey with Cloud
McKinsey believes the value of becoming a digital enterprise should be in pruning costs by replacing labour-intensive tasks with software-supported activity, either through full automation or through improving the productivity of individual workers in their jobs. This is where cloud plays a critical role. It brings in automation and increases efficiency

Cloud facilitates interoperability. When systems are transitioned to the cloud platform, their ability to combine with other systems goes up considerably. This paves way for various kinds of innovations involving better communication, data analytics, mobility, and customer interaction.

Dematerializing is the fundamental principle that we will take along in the digital arena. Cloud helps you dematerialize. Today, Uber has become the biggest taxi company without owning any taxis. Facebook has become the world's largest online content company but doesn't own any content. Airbnb is the largest holder of room inventory but does not own a single room. These enterprises have been a roaring success because their business model is all about technology differentiation. Today, technology has moved away from the fringes to the center of business. So businesses are now reimagining their business models around technology. Cloud frees up your ITresources to act as digital champions.

Cloud helps CIOs focus on what is important by divesting non-differentiating assets. It helps CIOs to divest themselves of legacy systems and ownership bias. By embracing the safety and economics of the cloud, CIOs can lose the dead weight of undifferentiating software and infrastructure.

In the digital era, customers experience is the barometer of the success. A Cloud-enabled and cloud-delivered business model helps organization discover newer channels of increasing customer outreach. It helps not only the IT staff but also the LoBsto respond to the real business opportunities by forging closer ties with customers and creating never-before-imagined customer touch points.

The author, Nitin Mishra is the Senior Vice-President - Products and Services at Netmagic (An NTT Communications Company).