Cloud Computing has proven its worth to enterprises by delivering scalability, flexibility, and cost savings, not to forget security. Business leaders are no longer debating on the question of whether enterprises ought to adopt the cloud, instead, they are now seeking answers to achieve modernization by leveraging the technology.
Modernization is required on a regular basis to take advantage of the latest digital technologies and meet the changing needs of an enterprise. A holistic approach involving infrastructure, applications, and services is necessary to realize the full benefits of cloud modernization. A piecemeal approach to modernizing any one or two of these elements is rather ineffective.
The cloud is at the heart of all digital transformation journeys globally. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of the cloud in no small measure. It has emerged as a key lever in rapidly building and transforming businesses at scale. Furthermore, cloud modernization has enabled companies to bring resilience and crisis recovery capabilities at a foundational level to their businesses. Modernization capabilities provide a competitive advantage by allowing easy access to data for new insights that help build personalized connections with customers, employees, and partners.
Large enterprises find that their underlying complexities are often due to data overload in their legacy systems. The unavailability of skilled staff to overcome these complexities is another hurdle to achieving their digital dreams. Today, moving applications to the cloud has revitalized the interest of businesses to revisit their digital agenda.
An exciting aspect of cloud modernization is that it allows hyper-automated platforms to abstract complexities and reduce dependencies on skilled employees. The agility offered by cloud modernization considerably decreases the time-to-market of an enterprise solution adding a competitive advantage.
In the process of cloud modernization, the core players are the many cloud applications driving enterprises in making decisions, gaining insights, and processing valuable data to propel growth.
Transforming Digital Dreams
Achieving digital aspirations is entirely dependent on how mature an enterprise is in using its existing information technology (IT) infrastructure. The degree of maturity or the lack of it is the starting point in undertaking the journey. While every enterprise may have its own unique digital dreams, each must necessarily start with a vision and a roadmap to make them real.
IT infrastructure is the first of the three aspects underlying this transformation process, the other two being applications and services. Further, the infrastructure must address three key dimensions: a vision of the transformation, flexibility to scale, optimizing results from CAPEX and OPEX.
Enterprises must ask if they have the personnel with the right skills to do this by themselves or if they need to partner with an organization that can help roll out their dreams into reality. They must decide whether they want to leverage the public cloud, a private one, a hybrid one, or a community cloud. They need to identify the data and the applications that they would want to store on-premise. Similarly, they must narrow down on what kind of cloud and who they would like to partner with to host their data and applications on the cloud. Answers to these questions will vary from one enterprise to another as there is no one-size-fits-all approach with respect to security, scalability, flexibility, and affordability.
An organization can choose only-cloud applications where the entire processing logic and data is stored and processed on the cloud, or they can opt for a flexible mix of on-premise and the cloud. Applications also vary from being software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and the newer function-as-a-service, with varying cost advantages, accessibility, reliability and are often standardized for safety and security. Enterprises need to weigh their needs against costs and benefits when choosing applications.
Enterprises may choose to partner with firms that provide end-to-end services within and across infrastructure, applications, and services. This must be done considering present and future needs and the skill sets and scale of the partner or partners. It is very challenging for any enterprise to do all this in-house, except probably a few behemoths, because of a lack of expertise.
Digital dreams can remain unrealized due to the high costs and complexity involved in modernization. The cloud provides the perfect solution for enterprises to innovate, scale, and deliver as per business needs without incurring huge CAPEX.
The article has been written by Pravin Kulkarni, Vice President and Delivery Head – SAP Practice, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Infosys