Four Digital Transformation Strategies To Help Keep Pace With Market Change
Current economic and social forces have created a level of upheaval that has become a forcing function for digital transformation. From communications to selling, the importance of digital operations has mushroomed seemingly overnight. Indeed, research by Twilio found that Covid-19 “accelerated companies’ digital communications strategy by an average of six years while 97% of enterprise decision-makers believe the pandemic sped up their company’s digital transformation.”
We’ve all seen that digitally mature organizations have fared better than digital laggards in meeting this year’s demands. One key lever they have in common is their use of cloud computing as a platform for digital operations. While many organizations have at least dipped their toe into the cloud, the extent to which they have affects their ability to navigate the current environment.
Yet simply fast-forwarding digital transformation is easier said than done. To support rapid transformation, you need skilled talent that understands modern systems. Despite the current market, skilled cloud practitioners remain in short supply. A Logicworks survey found that 86% of IT decision-makers believed a shortage of skilled cloud engineers slowed down their cloud projects in 2020, with 63% agreeing that “it’s harder to find a qualified engineer than it is to find Bigfoot.”
Keeping Digital Pace
Companies face two headwinds: the need to digitize at the pace of the market to keep up with evolving customer expectations and the need to adopt ever more advanced technologies to compete. For organizations seeking to meet — and perhaps even get a step ahead — of these demands, there are several operational approaches that can be used singularly or in tandem to help expedite cloud-based digital transformation.
1. Create A Cloud Center Of Excellence (CCoE)
Moving successfully to the cloud often means culture and technology change. A CCoE can help you make these changes efficiently and effectively by eliminating silos and ensuring the organization maximizes its cloud benefits. The CCoE achieves these goals by bringing together a hand-picked, heterogeneous group of practitioners who are empowered to foster collaboration and prioritize cloud projects, capabilities and workflows. In addition, the CCoE can accelerate cloud adoption by emphasizing behaviors that can lead to cultural change (and can even help fill skills gaps) as they build a foundation for cloud transition as well as develop and share cloud knowledge and best practices with others. As ambassadors for cloud-based digital transformation, the CCoE is adroit at combining its knowledge of cloud tools and processes with its ability to evangelize success to extend cloud infrastructure for business benefit.
2. Consider Outsourcing Complex Workloads
NTT DATA (which is Flux7’s parent company) and Oxford Research recently released a survey about the role of AI in the enterprise. Among transformational technologies, it plays a leading role, with “44% of executives reporting that failure to implement AI will adversely affect their bottom line in the years to come.” AI, along with other transformational technologies like ML and IoT, will only continue to play starring roles as the cloud enables true business transformation that furthers corporate strategy and accelerates market advantages.
Yet these technologies often require even more specialized talent that understands the tools and processes to make them successful. As a result, it’s little surprise that 40% of IT leaders in the Logicworks survey plan to hire outside consultants to help. With a new breed of consultant emerging that can support transformative technologies with advanced skills, enterprises have an emerging option to use this detailed knowledge to their benefit while advancing corporate objectives. Look for partners that have advanced skill sets in the specific technologies you’re pursuing as well as an understanding of your market and how the technology will support your specific business objectives.
3. Unify Hybrid And Multicloud Environments
For industry leaders, hybrid and multicloud computing are assumed approaches to digital transformation. This approach is a simple reality, as it balances the need for advanced compute power for transformational technologies, best-of-breed workload support, the need for advanced security and more. However, a hybrid and multicloud approach can quickly feel like the wild west with each group defining its own nomenclature, best practices, processes and more. To ensure consistency of experience across clouds while maintaining corporate-wide cloud standards, consider employing a unified cloud framework that dictates a singular definition to the cloud approach.
For example, I worked with a retailer that deployed a dashboard for its hybrid environment that standardized infrastructure creation. Developers enter parameters into the UI, and behind the scenes, the dashboard triggers pipelines to deploy infrastructure, connects to a repository, deploys code and sets up the environment, growing the retailer’s consistency of cloud builds across its hybrid environment.
4. Adopt Cloud Brokerage As A Service
Gartner, Inc. defines a cloud services brokerage as a “business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers of that service.” You can think of it as ongoing services that help you keep up with technology changes, providing continuous improvement as you take advantage of cloud-native and other burgeoning technologies, like AI, across clouds. While the CCoE can play this role, a third-party consultant or other partners can supplement your CCoE with cloud brokerage services as well, strengthening your cloud position and allowing you to further push the envelope on cloud-based digital transformation.
While economic and social forces may remain volatile for some time to come, enterprises can take the reins and create consistency in their approach to cloud-based digital transformation. Using these four strategies can give you the ability to extend transformation further into the organization, better manage existing cloud functions and innovate at market speed.
This article originally appeared on forbes.com To read the full article and see the images, click here.
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