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Digital transformation needs the cloud

Tom Adams, director of product marketing at Cogeco Peer 1 discusses why digital transformation via the cloud is just the beginning and outlines how much of its potential still remains untapped.

Digital transformation by its very nature, has completely revolutionised the way businesses use technology, ushering in an era of radically different talent skillsets, re-invented processes and enhanced customer experiences – all of which has led to increased efficiency and revenue growth.

Businesses unwilling or unable to transform and adapt, run the risk of lagging behind the competition, or even worse, becoming irrelevant.

Over the past few years, businesses have recognised cloud-based services as a mature and reliable IT resource, with IDC predicting by 2020, over two thirds of enterprise IT spend will go on cloud-based offerings.

As cloud-based services continue to evolve, they are now a key component underpinning digital transformation initiatives. However, it seems we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of cloud’s potential as an enabler of wider digital transformation efforts.

Cloud as a catalyst for wider digital transformation

As more and more organisations begin to understand cloud’s potential, adoption is becoming a business essential, irrespective of industry.

Traditionally, cloud has been positioned as a cost-effective means of hosting applications. While this has led to some positive cloud migration and effective cloud-native application developments, the opportunities go much further than this for those organisations looking to reap the full benefits that cloud has to offer.

The flexibility provided by cloud infrastructure is now vital for the digital evolution of businesses and accelerates wider digital transformation initiatives.

Used effectively, cloud offers significant business benefits including more agility, scalability and efficiency. All of which are crucial requirements to compete and deliver true innovation in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Cloud the enabler of emerging tech

By now, most business leaders understand the value of cloud, and are looking to explore and expand its growing role within enterprise IT.

As companies continue down their digital transformation path, cloud infrastructure acts as a catalyst for the arrival and adoption of a host of disruptive new emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

All of which would not be possible without cloud as the enabler, as they generate massive volumes of data and demand rapid scalability in high performance compute as well as storage.

AI requires an underlying platform that has a large data storage capacity and massive processing capability, two things cloud can provide at the speed demanded.  

Adding to this, cloud offers built-in agility and quality of performance, making it the most viable place for many of the complex AI-driven business processes that drive rapid innovation.

When it comes to IoT, cloud services give organisations the agility and scalability to handle the data storage and processing demands of thousands of edge devices but also needs to be aligned to the necessary level of connectivity to make the most of IoT technologies.

Data must move quickly and securely between the connected device and your infrastructure, and a fast connection allows businesses to make decisions in real-time about your valuable assets.

The right cloud and connectivity services will provide a high-speed and reliable symmetrical internet connection that creates a two-way conversation between the cloud and IoT devices. Sensors can send data to the cloud for processing and analysis. Then the cloud can send messages to the devices about how to adapt.

Businesses striving to differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market, must invest in emerging technologies as they provide opportunities to launch new products, improve customer experience, explore new markets, and ultimately spur business growth and profitability.

Digital transformation isn’t a journey from A to B

The process of digital transformation is not a tick box exercise, and is certainly not a simple journey from A to B.

It’s very easy to lose sight of what digital transformation really is – an ongoing process, rather than one singular large-scale project, and is perhaps better to think of digital transformation as more of a digital evolution.

As companies look ahead to roll out the next generation of digital technologies, it is crucial that they seek the relevant expertise in order to build a business strategy that best supports this evolution of digital transformation and leverages these advancements successfully today, and over the years to come.

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