The impact of digital transformation, coupled with the recent changes resulting from the pandemic, has fundamentally changed how businesses operate. Deploying the right digital infrastructure is critical, and organizations are moving to the cloud to support next-generation digital business processes. The numbers are striking: According to a recent IDG study, 81% of all organizations have at least one workload in the cloud today. The same study found that in 18 months, 59% of businesses expect to have most workloads in the cloud, with 16% saying they will be “all cloud” by that point in time.
The key to success is to build a cloud plan that is aligned with the specific needs of the business and utilizes proven, future-proofed technology solutions. Ensuring alignment between the digital and corporate strategy is necessary to getting cloud right the first time.
The benefits of moving to the cloud are substantial. These include:
- Security is enhanced in the cloud. Every app or workload can be delivered using a consistent, up-to-date and effective security stack that is native to the cloud platform. This is much better than trying to add several different security tools onto individual devices or servers. The improved defensive posture is a game-changer, and every update or enhancement to the security stack is automatically provided to every user.
- Cloud services also increase the level of automation used to run digital infrastructure. Increasing operational automation is essential, as IT resources are already stretched thin and should be focused on innovation, not administering systems. Manual and repetitive tasks that don’t add a lot of value should be automated in the cloud. For example, patching and updating can be done without a demand for human interaction.
- Agility and flexibility are success attributes for a digital business. Cloud infrastructure provides much greater agility, as it eliminates task such as installing hardware, loading software, testing and integrating new equipment with existing IT infrastructure. New applications can be delivered in a just a few weeks or even more quickly. In addition, as new features are delivered by developers, they are immediately available to all users.
- Cloud also provides much greater cost efficiency. The organization only must pay for the resources that are used, rather than over-build resources to meet a forecasted peak. There are also much lower costs for IT operations. Cloud customers leverage the costs of data center staff and resources across all firms using the cloud, rather than paying for it all themselves. The same is true for important functions such as data backup, resiliency/availability,and the management of data center heat and cooling.
Organizations are already reaping the benefits
The benefits of the cloud are proven daily in the real world. Consider the advantages that these organizations gained from their cloud services.
Mass General Brigham is one of the leading hospitals in the world. Using the cloud, they have gone from 9.000 virtual visits per month to more than 250,000 per month. And with cloud infrastructure, the IT team was able to set up a functioning hospital in the Boston Convention Center in five days.
Centrica is a global energy company with operations in the US and Europe. The company has moved 90% of end-user applications into the cloud. With cloud, they can now deploy desktops to a thousand users in minutes, not months. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the cloud enabled Centrica to move from 2,000 employees working from home to 15,000 within a week.
Autodesk is a leading providing of engineering and design software. Using the cloud, the firm can provide high levels of performance for demanding applications regardless of location. The cloud also makes it possible to eliminate downtime and maintenance windows, ensuring productivity for both customers and employees.
The examples above showcase only some of the power of the cloud. As organizations focus on innovation, not the operation of digital infrastructure, the cloud provides the right answer for a modern digital business.