Cloudification enables businesses to become truly digital and agile
by Tom Demeester, Business Manager, Atos Belgium
Brussels, July 25, 2019
Organisations all over Europe are facing unique economic and digital challenges. While digital transformation provides tried and tested answers, many Belgian organisations remain reluctant to embark on this journey.
Transformation is affecting businesses at an ever-increasing pace. Think only of the impending Brexit, the ongoing requirement to meet GDPR guidelines, or the internal pressure on IT departments to cut costs and move from a CAPEX to an OPEX model. These are just a few examples of change that is either ahead of us or already taking place.
In the digital transformation age, organisations have a plethora of solutions at their disposal to radically reshape and innovate their business models; however, they also face competition from international challengers, who have already discovered and are taking full advantage of the available opportunities.
Even Chinese companies such as Alibaba (which has opened a distribution centre near the city of Liege) have already started rolling out their innovative services and are ready to take on national and European retailers. Meanwhile, organizations such as Uber and Airbnb have amply demonstrated how industries can be disrupted in a very short timeframe. And other industries are about to follow: car manufacturing (with the connected car), pharmaceuticals (with a far more personalized level of healthcare), financial services becoming increasingly mobile and automated)… Belgian organisations must understand that in terms of digital transformation, it’s not almost 12 o’clock – it’s already past 12 o’clock!
The time to act is now, and cloudification will play an important role in the success of their digital transformation journey.
What is cloudification?
Cloudification means more than just ‘moving towards the cloud’. It also refers to the immense business opportunity that follows when you transform to a new business model, enabled by cloud computing and other technologies. No journey towards the cloud can be considered successful if not accompanied by the adoption of other technologies such as IoT, blockchain and AI.
Even though the journey to the cloud requires a thorough technical makeover and transformation, the ultimate goal for organizations should be to focus on those business aspects that differentiate them from the competition. This focus can be lost when having to deal with all the administrative and technical complexities involved in crafting the best cloudification strategy. However, when you focus on the aspects that are at the core of your business and outsource those that are not, you are on track to achieve the best possible cloudification result. You will have all the building blocks available to become a smart enterprise: digitized and automated processes in a mobile and data-centric computing environment where decisions are based on the available knowledge and intelligence.
Wanted: reliable cloud broker
It is clear from the above that a thorough cloudification strategy requires a significant level of focus and dedication, as the world of available technologies is changing rapidly and becoming increasingly complex. Most organisations are better off relying on an external party to accompany them on their cloudification journey. Such an external partner can be called a ‘cloud broker’ or ‘cloud agent’.
Typically, a good cloud broker can be relied upon to bring their experience across the cloud ecosystem. Their vast experience in both legacy and cloud environments will enable them to offer companies the best of both worlds in terms of choice and best practice and provide them with the ideal roadmap for their cloudification journey.
A cure for (some of) our pains
With all the complexities of embarking on a cloudification strategy, the rewards at the end of the journey are well worth the effort – particularly with the added value of a reliable cloud broker partner. In some cases, cloudification may simply become a necessity. According to some studies, for instance, the cost of healthcare will skyrocket – from 6% of the GDP in OECD countries today to 14% of the GDP in 20601 – if governments don’t embark on their cloudification journey straightaway.
In the long run, the path of digital transformation will lead from “intelligent” to “ubiquitous”. This is what happens when companies manage to repeat their successful digital transformation in new environments, for new markets and in any geographical area. Companies such as Google, Netflix, Amazon, and Alibaba have become extraordinarily good at automatically retooling their offerings for millions of individual customers and leveraging real-time data in the process. Such successful strategies would have been impossible if they had not moved to the cloud.
This is why organisations need to prepare thoroughly for the journey right now, not only on technical but also ethical, organisational and other levels. The examples above may be out of the reach of many, but they can still serve as guidance and inspiration.
*1 Source: OECD
Chief Commercial Officer, Atos Belgium & Luxembourg