Today, numerous technology trends are forcing IT to become more dynamic, relevant, and business-aware. These trends include mobile computing, agile development, digitally inclined consumers, and you probably guessed it, cloud computing. The organizations that are willing to step up and face these trends are the ones experiencing transformation and growth, while those stuck in the traditional ways are beginning to stumble. Already, 80% see cloud as an integrated part of their digital transformation direction, and this is why.
Businesses are feeling a sense of urgency to begin a digital transformation as user demand increases and the competitive environment heats up. In order to effectively align resources and strategy with the dynamic business environment and its consumers, many have to turn to new solutions – and the most effective solution is cloud computing. Cloud offers flexible IT resources that make business model transformation, speedy time to market, and the ability to experiment without stress all possible. And beyond its innate benefits, cloud computing is actually accelerating the transformation initiative for businesses.
Cloud has created new conversations within the business environment, and these conversations are better connecting IT with the rest of the business. When you consider that IT is responsible for maintaining the operations of a business, this connection seems quite necessary. As cloud computing has matured, the cloud and digital conversation has moved beyond just the IT department. Upper management is realizing the immense benefits and potential of cloud to enable a digital transformation, and IT’s critical role in this process. The conversation surrounding cloud computing and digital solutions needs to be an all-inclusive one. IT will inevitably appreciate the technical merits of the cloud, while executives will want to leverage it for growth and business agility. Both sides of the cloud are key to a successful transition, so the conversation shouldn’t be one-sided. By considering the cloud from all angles, a business will experience a solution that can truly transform the entire organization.
Digital transformation won’t happen all at once. It takes planning and will probably occur in stages. It’s important for a business to start with the basics, such as transitioning fundamental functions like email, file sharing or phone systems to the cloud, and ensuring they work without issue. Then an organization would move to the next step in its digital roadmap, which will vary from company to company. Industry expert R Ray Wang came up with some basic steps for digital transformation that a business can consider:
- Design new experiences and business models
- Develop a culture of digital DNA
- Apply new technologies to existing infrastructure
- Move from gut- to data-driven decisions
- Co-create and co-innovate with new partners
By transitioning functions to the cloud, IT is free to focus more on business-differentiating initiatives and innovation. And throughout the transition, a business will experience stability, scalability, reduced costs, flexibility, and other key benefits that unburden an organization in countless areas. To remain competitive, businesses need to focus on how they can leverage the cloud to enable digital transformation, change how they do business, and disrupt the market. (WSJ)
Digital transformation used to be a faraway goal to help achieve competitive advantage, but today it’s practically a requirement for a business to remain relevant. Cloud computing has quickly become a critical game changer, but rather than approaching it as the end-objective in itself, businesses should use cloud as an enabler for digital transformation and a resource for continual growth and innovation.