Is Cloud Powering the Business of Digitalization?

Chander Damodaran • February 26, 2015
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Cloud is more than just an IT platform. It’s a powerful driver for innovative business initiatives. For global organizations, cloud is taking on a more strategic role within enterprises, as they shed many – if not all – manual processes and eradicate all whirrs of legacy systems in order to bring them closer to the digital realm. Becoming a digital business means employing information technology to manage operations and drive a digital customer experience, as well as developing and delivering new products and services on a platform-based methodology.

Consider this: The Cloud has now proven itself and the days of evangelization are just about over. The business side of most companies recognized the potential of the cloud and has become much more involved in decisions about Cloud and in commissioning its use. As enterprises shift more of their apps and workloads to the cloud, managing the costs associated are critical. Businesses need to apportion operational costs to the line of business functions for the cloud to be an effective long term strategy within the enterprise. When you include private/hybrid cloud in the mix, having the right tools to support this cross-cloud governance is of increasing importance.

Technology observer Esteban Kolsky recently wrote a widely-read (and heavily retweeted blog post) where he stated: “the underlying infrastructure for digital transformation is an open cloud infrastructure”— not private or hybrid cloud.”  Kolsky doesn’t recognize private cloud nor hosted applications as being cloud – yet he believes they are good interim steps, stepping-stones towards adopting the cloud in larger, more complex, compliance-heavy organizations.

So what exactly is the role of cloud computing in a digital-driven business environment? Ultimately, cloud provides the foundation upon which apps, analytics, big data and more can actually happen. Yet, private or public, the cloud does not automatically transform a company into digital mode. Rather, moving to the cloud for the sole purpose of becoming a digitalized business is an evolutionary process. Over the long term, what’s notable about these shifts in business models is the underlying premise that is affecting every business: everyone, to some degree, is becoming both a consumer and provider of cloud-based software.

The long-term implications of the cloud are still being understood as organizations experiment with different private and public cloud models and balance their infrastructure needs across both static and elastic computing requirements.

Looking ahead, cloud computing is ultimately a business model:

  • The key factor for successful digital transformation in regards to cloud will be in providing solutions and services targeted to vertical markets.
  • Media and Technology are two vertical market sectors where there is a well-defined business need for cloud-based services around digital content creation and digital business processes, along with tools for managing content, supporting collaboration and enhancing efficiency.

The digital journey is happening. There’s no debate about that. And, cloud is a good starting point for businesses who are venturing down the long and windy road. Yet, we feel compelled to note — cloud does not automatically transform a company into digital mode. The power of digitalization is a step-by-step process, starting with collaboration between IT strategy and business strategy to deliver both digital assets and physical resources to satisfy internal and external stakeholders.

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