The cloud has revolutionized IT for individuals and organizations alike and it is enabling a propagation of new business models for a digital age.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, nine out of 10 companies chose to advance their digital transformations by modernizing core infrastructures and adopting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) capabilities to increase operational agility, and competitiveness. Yet business leaders continue to face pressure to modernize, by making future-focused technology and process choices that meet the business needs of today and solve tomorrow's problems.
“Accelerating a smarter cloud migration will increase scalability, security, efficiency and sustainability,” says Kalyan Kumar, Chief Technology Officer and Head – Ecosystems at HCLTech. “But the greatest value from the cloud comes from its ability to enable innovation, helping businesses to reinvent how to develop, deliver and sell products and services, at speed.”
A smarter approach to cloud
Embracing the cloud as part of a commitment to continuous modernization is essential to thriving in the digital era. According to McKinsey research, for companies that adopt an effective business-enablement model, cloud adoption has the potential to generate $3 trillion in EBITDA value by 2030.
In the banking industry, innovation is driven primarily by cloud-enabled application programing interface (API) strategies. These allow banks to use advanced analytics capabilities to personalize products and online banking applications for their clients, who now expect an enriched, immersive, seamless and convenient experience.
“Customers used to go into a bank and build a relationship with a teller. Now, their loyalties are attached to a user interface,” says Siki Giunta, EVP and Head of CloudSMART EVP & Head – CloudSMART Offerings Strategy & Industry Cloud Consulting. “That's a big innovation capability.”
Organizations have embedded agile composability and resiliency in their business decision-making processes and are now adding customized capabilities and Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) offerings to create on-demand environments.
The convergence of cloud adoption and next-generation technologies such as private 5G, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and serverless computing has accelerated the digital transition and opened the door to pioneering innovation. “For example, next-generation applications on the edge are creating exciting opportunities for industries such as oil and gas,” enthuses Giunta. “Thanks to its distributed and localized nature, edge computing significantly improves data security and privacy. It has the power to transform the handling, processing and delivery of data from devices.”
The convergence is also helping to transform smart cities from a futuristic promise to a reality, unlocking and enabling data quality and reliability amongst sensors, edge devices and cloud platforms. And in the healthcare industry, AI-driven cloud computing is enabling organizations to develop ground-breaking research and development in areas such as cancer diagnostics and automated tumor contouring.
Cloud innovation can drive sustainability
The environmental footprint of the digital world is expanding as energy consumption rises to meet demand. Greenpeace estimates that the technology sector could be responsible for 20% of global electricity consumption by 2025, with the expansion of cloud computing a key factor in this surge.
Deeper metrics and intelligent big-data analytics will help organizations to understand their cloud resources, while tracking their cost and carbon footprints in real time, critical in this age of cyclical shortages and climate change. More visual and centralized management tools and analytics will also ensure that idle resources, and underutilized or excessive assets or processes are easily spotted, and the underlying issues addressed.
As cloud technologies become more powerful, it’s critical that organizations have sustainability front of mind from the design stage, suggests Santhosh Jayaram, Global Head, Sustainability, HCLTech: “Modernizing cloud usage must be part of the solution, as smarter analytics and automation can help to accurately report and optimize data.”
Enter the cloud “doers”
Modern, sustainable business models are competitive differentiators and companies of all type and size are in the spotlight to improve their performance. In an ever-changing, complex landscape, however, businesses should both research their options extensively and seek expert advice before coming to a decision. Working with a technology partner that understands the ecosystem in which your business operates and that has broad connections that include tech providers, app providers and cloud providers can provide value. No business has time or budget for trial and error, so having access to an array of predictable and resilient options will be essential.
“In creating a modern mindset for the future, we have moved from an era of ‘cloud talkers’ to ‘cloud doers’,” says Giunta. “Now is the time to tap into a culture of innovation and curiosity.”
In 2023, the topics in this article will be explored in detail as part of a broader ‘cloud enablement’ research campaign due to be released by HCLTech in partnership with FT Longitude.
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