As the world settles into a new normal amid social and economic change, a mass migration in the world of technology is happening. Organizations are moving more of their operations to cloud-based platforms as the current uncertainty and volatility brings the benefits of cloud into focus like never before.
To discuss this trend, we sat down with Emily Lewis-Pinnell, Managing Director of NTT DATA Service’s global cloud business.
Q: COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation. Will this trend continue post-pandemic?
A: The short answer is yes. The first few months of the pandemic shined a light on the differences between progressive, technologically advanced companies and digital laggards. Digital native companies fared especially well because their cloud-enabled agility allowed them to adapt quickly to employees being sent home to work, and consumers who turned to online services. Take, for example, the City of Austin, Texas. In a matter of weeks, NTT DATA worked with the city to develop a cloud-native, mobile-optimized application for citizens to schedule COVID-19 screening tests electronically. The application enables city health authorities to securely trace anonymized positive results to assess testing demand and identify high-risk areas for a proactive response.
Conversely, organizations burdened with legacy systems struggled. Faced with an urgent need to adapt – and remain competitive – companies are fast-tracking their digital transformation plans. The trend will only continue as companies transition to the cloud because they’ll realize the potential of these new capabilities to carry them through current and future challenges.
Q: In any economic climate, businesses race against each other, competing to seize the opportunity of the moment. Where are IT leaders focusing their efforts in the current VUCA environment?
A: Speed is becoming a real point of emphasis to business success and IT leaders are turning to cloud providers, like AWS, to help. Shrewd leaders see the current environmental conditions as the beginning of a race to see which organizations can adjust their business models to drive revenue in new ways and create new lines of revenue. The stakes are high as business continuity, customer loyalty, and sustained revenue hang in the balance. Thanks to the elastic nature of AWS services, Agile development and DevOps practices, companies adopting cloud-native functionality can expand their existing footprint and support new requirements in far less time.
Q: Speed is critical, but the most successful organizations must also be able to change direction gracefully. Can cloud architectures offer benefits here, too?
A: Yes, cloud services are more amenable to change than on-premises architectures because applications with cloud native architectures tend to be less intertwined. This makes it easier to introduce new functionality without unintended consequences somewhere else. The ability to make swift course corrections and roll out improvements at a moment’s notice is a powerful advantage in any economic environment. And it makes companies especially well-equipped to cope with whatever daunting challenge may lay in wait.
Q: The speed and flexibility afforded by a cloud-based approach come with appealing financial implications. Can you share a little about this?
A: Cloud’s variable cost model preserves cash for other important business investments and reduces the risk of getting stuck with unused capacity when demand drops. The cloud model removes some of the financial barriers to achieve explosive growth, expand into new markets, and fuel innovation. Simultaneously they provide companies with the ability to roll with market changes while mitigating potentially devastating financial consequences.
Q: Any final thoughts for IT leaders looking to the cloud for digital transformation?
A: A move to the cloud, while advisable for many organizations, is rarely as simple as “lifting and shifting” the company’s current IT architecture. Older applications should be modernized to operate in a cloud environment, and infrastructure should be reconfigured to meet the organization’s present needs. Likewise, if IT leaders are going to realize cloud’s highly touted benefits, they must be prepared to take advantage of its powerful capabilities. AWS auto-scaling, for example, monitors usage needs and adjusts capacity to optimize service and costs automatically.
Ready to maximize your use of the cloud for digital transformation that drives innovation and competitive advantage? Let NTT DATA help you optimize your Journey to the Cloud.