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How To Use The Cloud For Digital Transformation

Tue, 08/01/2017 - 10:40
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Cloud Services

Digital Transformation is a hot topic in the world of technology and for good reason too. With technology advancing at such a rapid speed, it would be hard to argue that digitising would have overwhelmingly negative effects on an organisation. Traditional or legacy solutions that require hardware and human intervention are often being replaced by software only or cloud based solutions that utilise automation to complete tasks; Soon enough artificial intelligence could take that a step further.

Digital Transformation is the change associated with the application of digital technology. Digital Transformation inherently enables new types of innovation and creativity rather than just supporting traditional approaches to business.

Setting business goals with digital transformation

Implementing and applying new technologies must be part of a plan and to be used most effectively this plan must be in line with the organisations goals and objectives. Many organisations will be aiming to cut costs, improve customer experiences, increase revenues or drive efficiencies.

Dependant on the requirement or goals of an organisation different aspects of digitisation can be adopted. In many cases, cloud-based technologies will be used, primarily for speed, ease and aspects of automation.

The journey to the cloud

Each journey to the cloud will be different and as there are so many cloud services the approach may vary widely. For businesses to undergo cloud implementations, the process should be as easy as possible and service/technology providers should assist in this. Achieving digital transformation is not the only reason for organisations wanting to move towards cloud usage models but for some the challenges of adopting cloud, outweigh the benefits.

The challenges of adopting cloud

One of the most common reasons for businesses not being open to the idea of cloud is a lack of technical resource, including but not limited to bandwidth availability. It may seem obvious but ‘cloud’ based services are run via the internet and without internet they aren’t going to be available – businesses in remote areas may have to rely on local systems or improve the internet provision they have available to make use of them.

For many businesses who have successfully utilised ‘traditional’ systems and solutions there is no compelling reason for them to change systems and move to cloud. Implementing new systems, cloud or otherwise, requires a large amount of forward planning, testing and knowledge all of which take time. Trying to save time and improve efficiency is a goal for most businesses so implementing large-scale change projects may not make sense.

Cloud platforms make previously inaccessible systems accessible to businesses of all sizes (DR is a prime example of this), but with solutions coming in different shapes and sizes, how do you know which one is right for your business? Businesses will have different technology requirements and will have to do their due diligence to find a solution that fits, in some cases there may be barriers to this such as pricing or support contracts.

“It’s not a solution unless it solves a problem”  

A positive journey to the cloud

Implementing cloud-based solutions is often simple in as much that there is no additional hardware required and no physical kit to be set up. Because of this, many cloud services can be installed via the internet making implementation flexible enough to meet short implementation windows and tight schedules. This approach has additional benefits such as the ability to gradually scale-up implementations rather than taking an all or nothing approach.

Choosing the right technology partner is just as important as choosing the underlying technology that you are going to be using, especially if it is part of long-term business plans. When choosing cloud providers, it is important to understand that the provider will be there to assist you with set-up and throughout the lifetime of the service.

While cloud is now an established platform for services to be delivered from, it still leads the way in technology development and making innovative products and services available to the mass market. Innovations in new technology drive efficiency across all industries and for businesses looking to digitally transform, can rapidly change the working landscape of business.

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