For most organizations, digital transformation and the cloud go hand in hand. If you’re looking to innovate and become more competitive in your space, without having to worry about being held back by infrastructure, cloud technology is what can get you there. Cloud enabled digital transformation opens up the realm of possibilities so you can continue to build, iterate on development, and not get slowed down by infrastructure investments or legacy dependencies.
However, getting to the point where a cloud environment can enable this kind of growth in your organization can take some time. Let’s explore the role this type of computing can play in your digital transformation strategy and the steps you can take toward enabling this transformation along the way.
What Role Does The Cloud Play In Digital Transformation?
The digital transformation of a business can happen in quick bursts or slow, deliberate steps, but the goals are the same: moving workloads, applications, and data to more flexible spaces that allow for lower-friction innovation, testing, and eventual implementation of new technology. The cloud plays an important role in this, allowing companies to create and test new applications without paying for or setting up additional infrastructure.
Moving to the cloud gives companies a playground, a sandbox that’s nimble and can scale up and down as needed, spinning up new resources with ease. When done right, it can save money and resources. By moving from a CapEx to an OpEx model that allows organizations to pay for what they need and reduce waste.
How Cloud Computing Can Expand Digital Offering
Cloud enabled digital transformation also opens the door for more digital offerings to be used at your business. On-premises applications can be limited in scope. They’re not often flexible and available across devices – you may need to be onsite to log in to the server, and there may be too many dependencies for it to work reliably in any setting. Cloud computing eliminates this issue, allowing end users to access applications and workloads on any device, and increasing options for integration considerably.
How Cloud Adoption Can Benefit Your Digital Transformation Journey
Because cloud adoption and digital transformation are often thought about in tandem, it’s important to take a step back and outline the benefits that come with adding cloud computing into the mix.
Resistance to innovation decreases any time you can find a scenario where elements “play nice” with one another. Many file types can be stored on the cloud, which means you can host video, image, and document files in a way that is able to be accessed by multiple business applications with ease.
Not only does cloud technology improve accessibility for applications, but it also makes data accessible to end users in more ways, across devices and in offsite locations. This gives IT leaders the flexibility to designate access as they see fit, instead of being limited by architectural constraints.
Because you’re not buying equipment or paying for a space, you save a lot on upfront costs with the cloud. Most multitenant and public cloud platforms allow for both pay-as-you-go purchasing, as well as bulk pricing for a prescribed capacity at a set amount of time (one-year or three-year contracts, typically). Bulk pricing can be priced at a 50% discount or greater, depending on the platform.
Cloud providers offer guaranteed uptime as part of their agreement with customers, allowing for peace of mind and improved reliability.
Cloud providers also offer protection against data loss, malware, and data breaches. These assurances can be further bolstered by additional layered cybersecurity measures.
Scaling up your cloud computing doesn’t have to be a big production. There’s no need to hire additional staff or scout for new data center locations. You can easily scale up and down resources as needed, on-demand or on a set schedule.
Coupled with this is the idea of elasticity, the ability that the cloud has to expand or contract resources suddenly with an unexpected surge in demand. Elasticity can serve as an extra safeguard to cloud users who need to meet resource requirements but don’t have an ongoing need to accommodate heavy workloads.
Workflows can make repetitive tasks easier, and the cloud enables automation that can replace the kind of manual tasks that are bogging down your IT team and keeping them from more complex projects that will benefit your business long-term. Automation can be a small or large contributor to your overall efficiency, plus it can cut down on manual errors that may pose a problem down the line for security or data integrity.
Speed Up Time To Market
With all of these benefits also comes a faster speed at which development teams can bring a product or service to market, which can give you an edge on your competition.
What Are The Main Stages of Cloud Transformation?
When working on cloud enabled digital transformation, your business will undergo five main stages:
- Planning: What would a successful cloud strategy look like at your organization? Would it mean completely moving an application so that it functions in the cloud? Would it be enabling mobile devices to login and add billable hours to a timesheet? Your plan should outline your particular success markers and metrics.
- Identifying potential roadblocks: What potential roadblocks might you encounter when trying to move to the cloud? If a critical application doesn’t work properly in the cloud, you could lose hours of productivity or essential data. Thinking about problems before they arise will provide your best line of defense.
- Properly size your environment: Consider what you can do to rightsize your environment. Spend time evaluating your environment needs and be realistic. If there are resources you’re currently hosting, but are not necessary, don’t bring them with you to the cloud. This provides a good opportunity for cloud optimization, think about proper allocation, and clean house.
- Decide what to modernize: What could benefit from more modern technologies or newer ways of doing things? When the cost of maintaining an old system far outweighs the cost of making a change, it’s time to work towards modernization.
- Evaluate cloud impact: While there are many great reasons to undergo cloud adoption, you shouldn’t do it without specific reasons in mind. Were you looking to improve customer experiences? Innovate on a pre-established offering? Increase your revenue? Choosing key performance indicators (KPIs) and evaluating them frequently to confirm that cloud adoption is moving your business in the right direction is an important loop to close.
What Drives A Digital Cloud Transformation Strategy To Take Place?
Speaking of the right reasons, your digital cloud transformation strategy may have been spurred on for one or several of these reasons:
Focus On The Customer
Recently, customer expectations have shifted. Technology that may have been reserved for enterprise companies in the past is now the standard. Customers want their experience with a business to be user-friendly, easy to navigate and understand, whether that’s in retail, healthcare, or manufacturing spaces. Committing to digital transformation means placing an increased focus on the customer, and process improvements that can be made to cater to changing customer expectations.
Transforming Data Systems
Digital transformation presents an ideal opportunity to take stock of your data. Just like you might get rid of clutter before moving, you can use this time to remove data that isn’t being used or won’t be necessary post-migration.
Desire To Adapt To New Technology
Bringing a better experience to the customer can be one of the reasons your organization is looking to embrace new digital technologies. This doesn’t come without its challenges if you need to adapt legacy technology along the way, but one key step in digital transformation is figuring out how to evolve.
Preparing The Organization For Changes
Many people are creatures of habit, and work is no exception. Creating sweeping organizational changes can mean encountering resistance from people who don’t want their day-to-day to look different. However, IT leaders can also look at this as an opportunity – working towards organizational change through a digital transformation project, and implementing the change successfully, can make it easier to implement more business-wide changes down the line. In both instances, identifying champions early on can smooth out the process.
Digital Cloud Transformation Service Models
Cloud enabled digital transformation changes, big or small, can require a lot of effort on the part of internal IT teams, and place pressure on employees to go over and above their daily duties that may already leave them short on time. Working with a partner that can provide various digital cloud transformation service models (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS) can lighten the burden.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS has become a popular model for individual consumers and businesses alike. In a business setting, this looks like accessing applications normally through a web browser or an app that are managed by third-party providers.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
With this model, the cloud provider handles servers, storage, networking, and security – the nuts and bolts of the platform – while the internal team can develop and manage applications on top of the cloud framework.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
With PaaS, your business is only responsible for managing your applications and data, while the third-party provider handles everything else. IaaS provides infrastructure support, including hardware, software, databases, and networking, but allows the organization to control elements such as the operating system and middleware.
Make Your Cloud Enabled Digital Transformation Possible With TierPoint
Digital transformation, when enhanced by the cloud, can help your organization forge a path to your digital future. Put customers first, prioritize innovation, and modernize your processes with help from our digital transformation experts. We offer cloud services, hybrid cloud consulting, application modernization, and data and analytics services that can help you grow your business at the pace of evolving customer needs.
Ready to jumpstart your digital transformation? Schedule a consultation today.
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