Cloud Computing

Hosting applications in the cloud for business agility

The term ‘cloud computing’ which started as a buzzword in the early 2000s is starting to truly come of age. As per Gartner, the worldwide public cloud service market is expected to reach a massive $331.2 Billion in 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% since 2018.

One of the key drivers for cloud is the agility and the cost benefits it brings to the organization. Cloud enables organizations to respond faster to the changing market as well as cater to the ever-demanding and evolving customer demands. Cloud has enabled IT owners to spend more time advising their business partners with data-backed insights and strategy to drive more business growth and faster time to market.

Need for Business Agility

While business agility is important for organisations, the need is not uniform across different functions within the organisation. For instance, if a retailer aims to double its sales through an e-commerce channel,the need to improve customer experience becomes an absolute essential compared to changes in the product management side.

Given that most organisations don’t have an unlimited budget, it is important to prioritise and determine which parts of the business actually require agility before rushing headlong into cloud implementation uniformly across the landscape.

Building Agility in Business

Building the required business agility in the IT landscape starts with assessing and defining the right processes first before moving to implementation with the required technologies.

Refine processes and reimagine them in a digital native way

Incumbent organizations with complex systems need to take steps that will transform them into agile, responsive entities at enterprise scale. To do this, they must reimagine their business processes. Applying sentient principles such as garnering continuous feedback from user groups, providing guided practices, facilitating instant simulation, conducting design thinking workshops to curate ideas for improving efficiency can reduce latency and optimize processes resulting in seamless and superior user experience for all stakeholders.

For example, food delivery aggregators effectively leverage all the data in making recommendations and go beyond just order history. They delve into the user space, delivery location, order types, time of order, etc. Investing in digital data platform which helps in analysing and making recommendations on the fly, enables organizations to increase the wallet share of the customers.

Facilitate with the required technology

Once the processes are restructured, the next question is: what are the technologies needed to create the future IT landscape? This could mean implementing technologies such as micro services, containers, PaaS, mobile apps, globally distributed systems, stream processing, cognitive services, IoT, Blockchain, AI/ML, etc.

Creating the new IT Landscape

The new IT landscape is created through development of new applications with modern technologies and / or with decomposition of monolithic applications by business functions and creating a microservices architecture. The decomposition enables transformation of existing applications to an adaptive cloud architecture while building new ones that are in a cloud native state. To work in the interconnected business landscape, the applications should expose their functionalities in a platform agnostic manner and should be vendor and technology neutral.

Scaling the IT delivery capabilities

To execute the transformation successfully, it is required to impart new technology skills to employees and also bring in soft skills on agile, explorative work and risk taking, to maximize value derived from the new technologies. It also makes business and economic sense to partner with an IT service provider to not only bring the right technology expertise like cloud native, etc. but helps transform the culture of the IT organization to be more agile, drive innovation, etc.

By Narsimha Rao Mannepalli, EVP and Head – Cloud & Infrastructure, Infosys

 

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