Keep innovating with cloud Services
If we have learned one thing from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is that the online world has taken a prominent place in our existence and can no longer be ignored. Its biggest driver? The cloud. Increasingly companies realise that their future will take place in the cloud and that they cannot miss out on this. Because what if your competitor has the power of cloud and knows how to use it?
Online is a must
Of course online has been at the forefront of our minds much longer, but a lot of companies still do not focus massively on online strategies. In 2020 having an online strategy is no longer considered a luxury. Online used to be something companies did besides their usual business. The investments needed for implementing a solid online strategy are quite steep, which made choosing to focus on online a strategic choice.
Today this is no longer the case. You should just do it. Whether you are a restaurateur in lockdown (again) who wants to set up a takeout and delivery service, are selling trinkets from China for next to nothing, or are a large supermarket chain. You want to be online, because your customer is online. In some cases online is the only place consumers go these days.
Quick results at low costs
The average IT manager of a large(r) organisation often spends about 80-90% of his IT budget on maintaining the status quo. This leaves very limited resources to invest. Spending the remaining budget by taking risks might not sound very appealing. How nice would it be if you could conduct a number of experiments at a low cost?
Innovation requires experimenting. With cloud technology you get the opportunity to conduct experiments at low entry costs. You are furthermore able to pull the plug on an experiment if it does not give you the desired results, without having to think about wasting significant investments.
Shorter time to value with managed services
Every day companies are realising that the power of cloud can be used to execute business ideas that were considered impossible until recently. Furthermore the cloud allows you to respond quickly to changing circumstances. Cloud technology is not necessarily new. It has been around for over 10 years and was used for the virtualisation of computer centres. However recently cloud has gone through a rebirth making it much more valuable than it was when it was just a data centre all the way across the internet. Modern cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure offer a wide range of reusable “managed services” in addition to the well-known virtualisation technology. These services can be used as a building block of semi-finished product for creating your own solutions: you only need to add your own business perspective. In the landscape of your cloud provider it is becoming easier to connect these managed services, without requiring much programming. The most important advantage of managed services is that the underlying infrastructure no longer requires attention. Which means there is no more need to spend a lot of time or money on it. Examples of managed services are databases, API gateways, and machine learning applications. Instead of losing a lot of time and money setting up, maintaining and adjusting these solutions, they are now turnkey services. You can immediately start work on applying the respective service. For example you will get the first insights based on machine leaning with Amazon Sagemaker by simply putting in some data. Because the underlying matters hardly need more attention, time, money and personnel can be used to achieve results faster, but above all to outperform the competition in places where it matters: the customer experience! You no longer have to spend your time competing for who can best maintain a database.
Cloud for everyone
With the modern cloud, a democratisation of the technology landscape has taken place. The same technology and innovative power has become accessible to everyone. Deep pockets, or shallower pocket: innovations that until recently were only available for big companies with ample R&D budgets are suddenly in reach for smaller players. A big difference between the cloud and having your own data centre is that there is no big up-front cost. In many cases, cloud offers a pay-as-you-go model where payment is made according to use. No fees have to be paid in advance, but with increasing use you will pay more. You can however count on a solid return on investment. That is why it pays to experiment with different applications of the cloud. Does something not work properly? Unplug it without having to say goodbye to major investments. Is something working well? Scale up easily to grow even more successful.
From experiment to digital transformation
The combination of access to advanced technology and disruptive cost models does not only offer a wealth of possibilities, but comes with some challenges as well. Taking advantage of what the cloud has to offer is of course possible for a single solution, but you will not really benefit properly until you choose to place your entire application landscape in the cloud. In many cases this means you need to execute a cloud migration. With a cloud migration you not only transfer your applications to the cloud, but also adapt your processes and work methods in order to take full advantage of what the cloud has to offer. Ultimately this means lower operational costs and shorter turnaround. However, cloud is not some magical solution for cost reduction. In many cases, a migration to the Cloud will be quite expensive up front. This has to do with the fact that simply transferring the status quo to the cloud without making adjustments is not enough to make full use of the possibilities of the cloud. By gradually making adjustments to the application landscape and software production processes, these benefits can be achieved and will in many cases lead to significant cost reduction in the long term. Even if it only means you no longer have to invest time in manufacturing the underlying infrastructure and you can therefore use money and resources elsewhere: the cloud will help you compete at a different level.
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The digital future of companies takes place in the cloud. More and more companies are realising that this is something they cannot miss out on. Because what if your competitor knows how to use the power of cloud? Can you still close the gap or are they out of reach?