Innovating to Stay Ahead of the Curve

AllCloud Blog: Cloud Insights and Innovation

The public cloud services market has seen incredible growth over the past few years, with 2019 set to take the cloud sector over the $200 billion markaccording to industry experts, Gartner. The fastest growing segment is IaaS, infrastructure-as-a-service, projected to grow 27.6% in 2019 alone, allowing companies to leverage that growth to expand their own business whether they be a Software-as-a-Service or a cloud-enabled organization. AllCloud works alongside partners AWS and Salesforce, giants in the public cloud arena and both of whom are continuing to see exponential growth from year to year.

By standing on the shoulders of these giants as facilitators of the move to the cloud, businesses are riding the public cloud wave and reaping the benefits that these leaders have created. Companies are realizing opportunities to improve revenues and consolidate their IT processes. Businesses are making future-focused decisions that keep themselves relevant and competitive in today’s dynamic business landscape.

With this growth and so many success stories in industries across the board, becoming a cloud-enabled organization sounds great. But, how do thriving businesses approach this move?

The Agile Path

Many businesses use agility as the focal point for moving to the cloud. Unlike legacy systems, which often have heavy hardware requirements or take months or even years to implement, the cloud is known for quick implementation, and therefore, quick results. For organizations who want to pivot easily, trial ideas and ‘fail fast’ where necessary, cloud applications can offer the best return on investment.

Factors like flexibility and being quick to scale are cloud-enabled benefits which allow businesses to be more customer-focused, rather than product-focused. In the age of the customer, Salesforce argues that “brands must invest in technologies that enable them to cultivate deeper customer relationships over time.” Utilizing the cloud to find flexibility and quick value can delight your users in terms of automation and personalization, providing the data you need in a CRM that tracks the important engagement along your customer journey.

On top of this, advances in the cloud can support companies with offering specific competitive advantages. One example is omni-channel services that need well-built connectivity between back office and front office, and between layers of IT infrastructure and platforms. This connectivity can provide a 360 view of your customers, improve workflow efficiencies, help you provide faster service and increase your overall customer satisfaction.  Moving your application to a microservice architecture is another advance unique to the cloud and provides competitive advantages such as continuous rollouts that limit downtime, lower risks and improve performance.

The Innovation Path

Other businesses focus on innovation as the reason for moving services to the cloud. Rolling out new features in-house is a lengthy task, expensive and high risk. On the contrary, using cloud-based infrastructure and applications lets a company trial new services in a low-risk environment. With so many companies looking to use innovation to stand out from the crowd, the cloud provides a perfect staging and production area, for every environment.

Artificial Intelligence is one such example. Developing AI for your product or service in-house would take months of planning and a heavy chunk of your budget, and all before you know how beneficial it will be for your customers or your bottom line. In contrast, on the cloud, you can find ready-made technology that can provide white-box AI that you can roll out in hours, rather than weeks or months. Your brand can adopt the latest AI trend, from chatbots to automation of tasks, all as part of your ‘as-a-service’, and with minimal impact on your in-house development of a core product or service.

The cloud model also allows businesses to embrace ‘bottom up empowerment’, where teams can make decisions even at the lowest levels, and take operational responsibility for choosing the right technology for the challenge at hand, reducing micro-management and empowering teams to provide unique value at every stage.

Becoming a Truly Cloud-Enabled Organization

We believe that in order to make the most out of your business’s move to the cloud, you need to focus on both Agility and Innovation. A company that uses agile methodology alone might make smart infrastructure changes, but could miss out on the competitive advantages of utilizing third-party cloud services. On the other hand, if innovation is your focus, you’re losing out on the advantages of quick implementation, industry-leading opportunities for scale, and customer-focused DevOps. A fully cloud-enabled organization looks to leverage the benefits of agility and innovation, consolidating their IT infrastructure, utilizing the cloud for scale and flexibility, as well as risk reduction, increased revenue and better customer relationship management.

As well as requiring both paths, this process will rely on constant iteration. The cloud is fast moving, and digital transformation is a continually evolving process. Your business needs to be able to monitor infrastructure and platforms, third-party additions, operating systems, and customer and business metrics to stay on top of must-haves such as security and compliance. A continuous focus on the cloud in all aspects of your business, even creating a center of excellence on the cloud, is the way to see the greatest benefits.

The cloud isn’t going anywhere, and businesses need to find a way to stay relevant in this new competitive arena. The future is here, and companies can change or be changed. With support, businesses can take advantage of this new reality to grow fast, make smart changes, and embrace the connectivity and integration of cloud technologies.

Sounds daunting? A well-planned roadmap for both business and technology will prepare your company with the best way to roll out your move to becoming a cloud-enabled organization, creating a reality where all your assets are ‘talking’ as much as possible.

Get in touch to schedule a call and find out how we can make this happen.