If you are in a cloud state-of-mind, congratulate yourself on taking the first big step!
Investing in the cloud is not an easy decision for anyone. It takes a lot of planning, business case deliberation, and a host of activities related to the actual migration and modernization of the organization. Maybe all of this is still on for you, as cloud is a journey and not a destination. Whether you moved to the cloud already, are moving to it (cloud-first), or are a cloud-born (cloud native) organization, one thing is sure—the cloud brings a breadth of business benefits if utilized to its maximum potential. So, are you able to evaluate all the possibilities and decide what is best for your environment according to the unique market conditions faced by your organization?
Even if you have made initial investments for the cloud, a barrage of queries still exist. What are the next steps? Has the market remained the same or has it evolved? Has the pandemic accelerated your cloud and technology adoption? Keep in mind that your peers and competition have also moved to the cloud, probably to the same cloud service provider (CSP). They, too, are probably leveraging the same tools and skillsets. So how do you differentiate now, and continue to stay relevant based on the technical advantage that was once thought to be exclusively yours? Add to this, the complexity and choice sprawl that the cloud has brought over the years. There is now a need to align more business outcomes and KPIs to your cloud investments to make sure that they will pay off. Your cloud stakeholders, including end-users, partners, customers, etc., deserve a more consistent experience. How do you move from a sub-optimal adoption of cloud to one that helps you reinvent your stakeholder experience?It is true that the cloud has brought the same revolutionary effect as virtualization once did to the business. The former was more about efficient usage and getting more out of data center investments. Cloud is instrumental in promoting technology in the business for most of the organizations by lowering entry barriers and democratizing technology. Today, a card swipe can get a developer or an organization start with utilizing the cloud or, for instance, any of the services of AI/ML, etc. Any organization, end-user, or customer, is faced with a multitude of available choices today—from cloud service providers, their native services, system integrator (SI) capabilities, partnership opportunities, and tools sprawl, just to name a few. The million-dollar question is, “how to choose smartly to build a responsive, scalable, and resilient business using the cloud investments to accelerate transformation and maximize business value?”
There is a definite need for every player to evaluate the options available in terms of their organization’s priorities, goals, and the unique market conditions, and rethink their cloud investments accordingly. The next wave of cloud investments need to be based on business growth, agility, and customer experience as the motivation factors over cost, consolidation, or DC exit strategies. Relevant scenarios could range from building the next set of customer experiences, reducing time-to-market, opening new revenue channels, or just staying compliant globally. These could then translate to a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud use case from a business-down view for staying relevant in the market.
Once it is seen from a ‘business-down’ perspective, organizations can start looking at utilizing the hybrid cloud model for servitization of everything, built on the principles of ‘any app, any cloud, any data, anywhere.’ An important aspect of this rethinking is the operations that help organizations reap benefits from the deployment model or technology stacks. Without an appropriate ops model from the agile, apps, FinOps, or integrated perspective, it is almost impossible for organizations to absorb the hybrid cloud model as a culture within the organization and experience business benefits in the long run. Thus, it is ops that will create the next wave of differentiation for customers, as they look toward extreme automation, productivity, efficiency-led initiatives, and real-time insights for critical decision-making and revenue growth.
Lastly, this rethinking activity cannot be done alone, effectively. Organizations must choose their cloud service providers smartly by considering the holistic capabilities in consulting, offerings, vertical solutions, operations, partnerships, talent, and culture. Cloud has reached the point where it can make or break any organization’s ability to move toward accelerated growth in this digitally crowded and hyper-competitive space, especially in the post-pandemic period. So choose smartly to make sure your organization is not catching up with the industry reactively, and is always differentiated proactively.