How to Win with Cloud

It may come as no surprise that cloud technology is essential in today’s business fabric. It aids in driving innovation and amplifies business success. But just how does cloud empower organizations to win against the competition?

Cloud is far more than a hub to store and manipulate data. Visionary leaders recognize and understand that in this digital era, cloud is a convergence platform capable of fusing technologies together to bring strategic transformation. It enables organizations to merge multiple leading technologies – artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and predictive analytics – to create and develop advanced and strategic solutions to transform their businesses and their industries. It also improves many aspects within business including ROI, employee satisfaction, customer experiences, scalability and time to market.

Soon, almost everything will connect to the cloud and businesses need to be ready.

A recent IBM Institute of Business Value (IBV) survey found that by 2020, 90 per cent of business models may be driven by cloud to increase the global cloud market to 250 billion USD. In that same year, consumers are expected to have 7 billion personal gadgets, 1.3 billion wearables and 5.7 added touchpoints to the IoT. Also consider the following statistics based on the study:

  • By 2025, 65 per cent of cloud leaders expect to be running Internet of Things (IoT) apps in the cloud;
  • Cloud will empower AI to become embedded in all facets since 46 per cent of high-performing organizations are already piloting, operating and implementing AI solutions;
  • About 67 per cent of cloud visionaries say they will invent first-of-a-kind customer experiences with the help of cloud.

To be competitive, every organization needs to understand the opportunities of cloud and how to take advantage of them. We believe businesses can take the following steps in order to create a successful cloud strategy:

1. Prioritize disruptive and emerging technologies. Identify and develop use cases where technologies like AI, blockchain, IoT, big data and predictive analytics can reinvent your business or industry. For each use case, define business outcomes such as customer experience consequences, then prioritize and identify which use case and disruptive technology makes the most sense when weighed against risk and your finances.

2. Build your cloud strategy. Detect which workloads should be moved to the cloud to meet your business objectives and product development goals. Developing a hybrid approach can be extremely helpful as you develop your overall strategy for public cloud usage. To maximize results, make your strategy available enterprise-wide and encourage co-creation efforts across different parts of your company and value chain.

3. Nurture an “innovation first” culture. Reward in-house innovators and highlight their successes. Encourage IT professionals, developers and data scientists to avoid working in traditional silos and begin collaborating across teams. Demonstrate how their accomplishments create more powerful solutions and results that could not have been achieved without the integration of cloud in new and emerging technologies. Continue to innovate those solutions with the help of clients and business partners.

4. Reap competitive and financial rewards. Cloud is a platform for finding new ways to handle and drive revenue from data. Think about how your company can create cloud-enabled offerings, spawn new sources of revenue, enter new competitive territories, and create original business models. Collaborate with ecosystem partners in creative ways to increase efficiency and improve customer service. Apply ROI to measure financial success.

Leaders and visionaries realize that the power of cloud will enhance innovation within their organizations and throughout their value chains. It can inspire the creation of a new ecosystem and first-of-a-kind customer experiences; attract new customers and develop better business models.

Cloud is the catalyst that can reinvent the future of business but to really reap the rewards of the technology, organizations need to use it as a convergence platform for more advanced strategic reinvention that will create competitive advantage and boost financial success.

Frank Attaie is the Vice President of Cloud at IBM Canada.