Cloud: Everything to play for, no time to lose

The most successful organisations find strength in adversity. 2020 brought more of that than the business community has seen in a generation, and the most forward-looking businesses are already learning how to rebuild stronger than before. Seizing the opportunity to innovate in the cloud is critical to that process, serving not only as a tool to accelerate recovery but as a touchstone for digital transformation.

Many companies moved to the cloud as a result of the pandemic, taking advantage of its most fundamental characteristics - supporting distributed workloads, enabling remote working and collaboration. Now, businesses are looking beyond those immediate changes to plan for longer-term transformation. Yes, the cloud offers better security, flexibility, agility, and therefore resilience than companies can hope to achieve on their own, but those characteristics only form the base business case for cloud migration.

The need for digital transformation

Organisations are now fundamentally reimagining their entire business model supported by technology-enabled by the cloud. Failure to modernise could condemn businesses to irrelevancy or worse. In its report on digital recovery, McKinsey found that just 8% of companies believe their business models will remain economically viable as the business community moves toward digital transformation. It warned that companies could see revenue shrinkage of up to 12% over three years if they don't adopt a first-mover position.

The impetus for change is already evident and growing rapidly. In its 2021 CIO Agenda survey, Gartner found that 76% of global CIOs had already reported more demand for digital services during the COVID-19 crisis. Enthusiasm for digital transformation is growing, with 83% expecting that demand to increase further during 2021, even after we begin emerging from the pandemic.

The pressure is mounting on leaders to invest in and adopt cloud technology. Yet it’s human nature to pause for thought, to take caution and raise concerns. From my conversations with customers and other technology organisations, companies are worried about security and compliance. They are also concerned about a lack of in-house expertise and resources. These are all valid concerns and the best way to overcome them is to identify a partner to help define the best process and deliver on your journey.

Delivering business success

A technology partner can help with many elements that underpin any cloud endeavour. The most fundamental involves defining the scope of a cloud project, what workloads should move to the cloud and what workloads should stay on-premise.

A strategic partner initially extracts themselves from the workloads and technology to focus on business goals, looking beyond the short-term technology needs at the longer-term business opportunity. Visionary companies will use their departure to the cloud as an opportunity to instigate more profound changes across the entire organisation.

Digital transformation and cloud adoption are inherently complicated and full of risk. This makes it critical for organisations to find a partner with a strong track record, offering the consulting expertise, and infrastructure to support a smooth and successful journey.

As a global Microsoft Azure Expert Managed Service Provider, Logicalis offers the Production Ready Cloud Platform, a pre-configured cloud environment that supports the entire migration process from end-to-end, quickly and at scale. Its ability to report non-compliance in real-time helps alleviate customers' regulatory concerns, while its built-in disaster recovery guarantees resilient operations during adverse events.

Cloud migration in action

For example, Logicalis helped a global children's charity divert more of its donations to charitable outcomes by almost halving its global IT expenditure.

By consolidating disparate systems in the cloud, it was also able to improve its rating with charity watchdogs. An optimised cloud environment provided employees uniform access, allowing them to log into over 3,000 cloud-based apps with a single identity. It's an excellent example of how a well-designed cloud architecture can be a security asset and help increase productivity whilst also significantly reducing costs.

Companies are already capitalising on these longer-term opportunities for the cloud. Gartner predicts that worldwide spending on public cloud technology will grow 18% during 2021, driven by these digital transformation possibilities. After a year of intense pressure, organisations are entering a period ripe with opportunities. There's everything to play for, and no time to lose.