Cloud strategy

How cloud helps enterprises to modernize their applications to support the organizations’ strategic goals

Creating a cloud strategy isa corporate-level responsibility. While the IT department may drive it, for the cloud to succeed as a business enabler, every senior leader, including the management executives of an organization, must be involved in formulating it to ensure that all decisions around the cloud are aligned to the strategic goals of an organization. Business leaders could be looking at faster time to market, cost savings, agility, or resilience and the cloud can help deliver these goals by modernizing enterprise business applications.

The use of legacy IT systems becomes a hindrance when companies want to try innovative business models or scale up to meet new customer demands. These old systems usually run on complex proprietary protocols that require high maintenance. They are generally incompatible with modern IT systems and applications.

To realize organizational goals, it becomes essential to re-platform applications to the cloud at an enterprise level, breaking down monolithic applications into microservices for better scalability. The journey to the cloud continues even for those who have already migrated their legacy infrastructure and apps.

As companies begin to enjoy lower costs and greater flexibility, they look for higher-value services from their cloud applications. They recognize that the cloud isn’t just for lowering application downtime or garnering better scalability. It is about leveraging it for innovation and doing things better. It is about quickly ramping up computing power to run an experiment and fail fast or succeed. It provides the option to hand over your database management to cloud service professionals so that you can focus on driving new strategic priorities.

Why Cloud? Cloud Apps provide the best platform to exploit emerging technologies

Legacy systems run in silos and do not integrate well with other technologies. This prevents organizations from taking full advantage of new and emerging technologies such as data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence which demand a multi-fold increase in processing power. Only the cloud can spin the computing capabilities required to run an AI-based program or a big data experiment.

Cloud lowers costs, enables big data

Application modernization can be expensive with the financial implications of upgrading systems, software, and applications. Cloud computing helps by lowering upfront investment costs involved in IT systems and software with on-demand, pay-as-you-go models.

Data isa highly valued business resource and as it is combed for insights using analytics, enterprises must build the capabilities to store and manage a high volume of data. Modern cloud data management helps tear down data silos and provides governed access to data that is secure. Cloud vendors can manage and automate data backups and speedup data recovery in case of any incidences.

How do you align your cloud strategy with your business goals?

The ongoing pandemic has catalysed cloud computing across industries, enabling more agile and swift modernization. Organizations are no longer viewing cloud as a means to survive butas a tool to achieve their new business goals in the new normal.

Take, for example, Peloton, the fitness company that launched a highly personalized customer experience at the beginning of the pandemic where it provided thousands of customers the experience of cycling together in live-streamed classes using AWS cloud infrastructure. Encouraged by the success of these classes, the company unveiled several new features in 2021, such as riding in new virtual scenic environments or using new fitness tools.

Every organization has business goals that are complex and layered. It is a good practice to document the strategic goals of the business and tactics that will be used to achieve them. An assessment of costs, ROI, and payback time must be made before choosing the right cloud solution. Understanding the organizational culture and how it may impact cloud implementation is another critical aspect to consider.

To achieve success, it becomes an imperative to consider a hybrid cloud strategy as no single cloud architecture can take care of the various nuances of the business. For instance, a bank may want to keep its most sensitive data in a private cloud while leveraging the public cloud for its less-critical services.

Once a decision is made between public and private clouds, it is essential to bring in self-service capabilities so that data, insights, and actions are made available to all employees including business partners. By devising rules for automated provisioning and role-based access along with security measures, a robust cloud strategy can achieve business goals and ensure democratization of data, empowerment of employees, and protection of interests of the enterprise and business partners.

The article has been written by Pravin Kulkarni, Vice President and Delivery Head – SAP Practice, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Infosys

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