Across the globe, organisations are acknowledging the need for digital transformation as new technologies, like data analytics, AI, ML and the IoT make traditional processes redundant and force unprogressive companies out of business. At the same time, shifting customer needs and behaviours demand companies undertake digital transformation in order to evolve. Without the adoption of cloud technology, however, much of this would not be possible. Here, we’ll explain why.
Organisations which have migrated to the cloud and undergone digital transformation experience both significant growth and improved efficiency. It has enabled them to develop new business models that keep them relevant and thriving in today’s dynamic and volatile marketplace. Thanks to cloud technology, they can innovate at pace, make informed, data-driven decisions and speed up the launch of products and services. What’s more, this is achieved more cost-effectively and efficiently.
1. Cost-effective IT solution
The cloud provides organisations with the opportunity to develop a much more cost-effective business model where the need to invest heavily in IT infrastructure is no longer required. By hosting their services and carrying out workloads on the infrastructure of their service provider, not only do they replace significant capital expenditure with less expensive service packages; they also forego many of the associated costs of operating a datacentre, including machine maintenance and server management.
The speed at which servers and software can be deployed in the cloud and the rapidity with which applications can be developed, tested and launched helps drive business growth. Additionally, this agility enables organisations to concentrate on more business-focused issues, such as security and compliance, product development or monitoring and analysis, instead of using up precious time and effort provisioning and maintaining IT resources. Together, these cloud attributes give companies a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Another key advantage that cloud brings to digital transformation is instant scalability. It provides businesses with a cost-effective, pay-per-use way of scaling up, on-demand, to ensure it always has the resources it needs to cope with spikes or to carry out large workloads. This means the expensive practice of purchasing additional servers to cater for busy periods but which are left redundant for much of the time is no longer necessary.
4. High availability
Today’s customers demand uninterrupted, 24/7 access to products and services and putting this in place is a key aim of many companies’ digital transformation. Similarly, some businesses rely on critical apps for processes, such as manufacturing, that also need to be operational at all times. What the cloud brings here is guaranteed high availability of 100% uptime. As cloud servers are virtual, instances can be moved between hardware and this means that downtime due to server failure becomes a thing of the past for cloud users. Indeed, even if an entire datacentre goes offline because of a natural disaster, service can be maintained by moving the instances to a datacentre in another geographical location.
5. Security and compliance
Security and compliance are a high priority for all companies and are often a major challenge to those with in-house systems that lack both the budget and expertise to put effective measures into place.
The cloud can play a significant role in improving both security and compliance. Service providers employ highly skilled security experts and deploy advanced tools to protect their customer’s systems and data and to comply with their own stringent regulations. This ensures cloud users operate in highly secure environments, protected by next-gen firewalls with intrusion prevention systems and in-flow virus protection that detect and isolate threats before they reach a client’s server.
6. Built-in technology upgrades
Keeping up with the Joneses as far as technology is concerned is always a challenge for organisations, not simply for the cost of regularly purchasing newer hardware, but also the effort of migrating applications and data during the process.
By adopting cloud technology, companies no longer have this issue. Service providers regularly update their hardware in order to remain competitive themselves and this ensures that their customers benefit from always having the latest technology, such as Xeon processors and SSD hard drives, at their disposal. What’s more, virtualisation means any migration to new hardware takes place unnoticed.
7. Collaboration and remote working
Digital transformation involves the replacing of outdated working practices and legacy systems with those that support innovation and agility. The cloud is the ideal environment for this, providing both the ability for remote working and improved collaboration. Many cloud-based platforms have been developed with collaboration in mind, offering video conferencing, file sharing, syncing and project management tools for teams to use in and out of the office. Files are instantly updated and are available anywhere with a connection; privileges and authentication can be determined for every employee, and projects, people and progress can be monitored and tracked.
Digital transformation is fast becoming a necessity for organisations, providing the means to help them be more agile, innovative, cost-effective and competitive while being better able to meet the needs of their customers. Cloud technology is instrumental in bringing this about as it offers the ideal environment in which to deploy the technologies and undertake the workloads on which digital transformation depends.