Sky high with Cloud: Use cases, opportunities, and challenges

Cloud-based services

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cloud-based service adoption enables business enablement, fosters digital innovation, and leads to substantial cost savings.
  • Despite economic challenges, IT leaders are increasing cloud investments, with a focus on cloud-based services, software migration, and workload migration.
  • A multi-cloud approach is gaining popularity, leading to the concept of a "supercloud" for centralized management and cost optimization.
  • Critical factors for success include clear vision alignment between business and IT, changing business operations, and addressing skill gaps.
  • Cloud computing offers valuable advantages, streamlining business processes, enhancing collaboration, and ensuring data security.

You might have come across many cloud success stories wherein businesses have saved millions and brought in process efficiencies. But cloud use cases are not limited to boardroom discussions and presentations, they is also helping businesses achieve their full potential on the field. 

Consider the case of England’s national women’s football team, the Lionesses, which leveraged cloud-based analytics and AI tools to prepare training and strategy plans by tracking and analyzing several data points of its team players. The team faced two broad challenges –
(a) Preparing a training plan for every team player and
(b) Scattered location of team players and coaches.

This made the data collection process very difficult, and it was limited to when players had contact with the coaches. Cloud helped the team to fast forward their preparations by providing real-time data to coaches after every training session and judging coaches on the speed at which they make decisions to direct the team players.

Consider another example of MTB Bank, a bank in Ukraine that faced a business continuity challenge amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. Unreliable electricity, disrupted internet connectivity, and missile threats to the bank’s headquarters were a few alarming reasons for it to question its business continuity plans. To overcome this, they employed Microsoft Azure services to host and run banking applications in a secure and isolated environment. They were able to transfer on-premises critical servers to the cloud and were able to virtualize the systems connected to Ukraine’s national payment structure.

The most realized outcome of deploying cloud is business enablement as it enables businesses to unlock digital capabilities and strengthens ongoing innovations. Cost savings is one of the biggest benefits offered by cloud solutions as businesses no longer need to invest in expensive hardware and software, and can simply rent these resources from a cloud provider. Consider the case of Airbnb, which achieved a 27% reduction in storage costs by deploying cloud storage.

Even though the cloud has a lot to offer, there are certain challenges that organizations face during cloud adoption. One of the leading concerns being data security. Organizations expect data security at the same level as on-premises data centers. In the case of shared servers, any vulnerabilities in the underlying server might result in data leakage. Compliance risk is another challenge as an organization might not have visibility on where servers are hosted. This case is very critical for companies in the European Union (EU) as their data cannot be stored outside of the region and must be stored locally.

Netscribes assisted a professional services firm in assessing the post-pandemic impact of cloud technology on the travel industry.

Related reading: SASE architecture: Bringing cloud security to SD-WAN

The future of cloud-based services: An era of the supercloud

Cloud is at the heart of every modern business and it is projected that the spending on public cloud will double by 2026 from 2023, reaching USD 1.1 Tr in 2026 from USD 531 Bn in 2023. It is a strong indication that IT leaders have a clear focus on the cloud to achieve end business outcomes. In the current economic climate, leaders are not scaling down their cloud investments, instead, they are investing more  and are on the road to doubling these investments which is evident from the following responses:

Q. Due to the current economic climate (inflation, supply chain issues, rising costs, etc.), is your organization changing its cloud strategy in any of the following ways?
N=1,900 global tech and business leaders
Source 

  • 41.4% plan to increase their investment in cloud-based services and products
  • 33.4% plan on migrating from legacy enterprise software to cloud-based tools 
  • 32.8% plan on migrating on-premises workloads to the cloud

Even though  investments in the cloud are increasing, businesses are able to decrease their operational costs which is reflected in increased revenue. To do this, businesses are becoming more cost-efficient by carefully monitoring their servers and deploying AI/ML to increase business efficiencies. Further, businesses are looking for multi-cloud partners, in addition to their primary cloud partners, who can support AI/ML workloads. This is propelling AI towards mainstream adoption. Also, a multi-cloud strategy ensures business continuity and minimizes vendor lock-in.

Businesses leveraging a multi-cloud approach will give rise to the need for a single cloud environment – supercloud, to manage all  multi-cloud through a single platform eliminating the complexities of managing each cloud independently. One of the major benefits that the supercloud offers is cost optimization achieved by bringing the strengths of all cloud providers to the table by creating a centralized control system. This means that businesses can choose the most effective cloud service for a particular task. We believe that supercloud is the future of multi-cloud strategy enabling companies to make the most out of their multi-cloud deployment.

Related reading: Fast, fluid, immersive: Here’s why cloud gaming is a game-changer

Do cloud-based services guarantee successful digital transformation- It can still fail …

Businesses often overlook certain critical aspects of the transformation process, which could lead to considerable losses in terms of effort and investments. These include:

  • Lack of vision and clarity: Cloud strategy has different meanings for different businesses. For some, it could mean improving product discovery in retail, while for others, it could simply be offering a unified view of healthcare data. Misalignment between business and IT goals holds businesses back from realizing true value.
    IT is the backbone of  cloud programs and a majority of the cloud value is realized by business operations. Hence, business operations need to change the way they work. As IT teams are not positioned to map this transition, business executives need to take ownership of the cloud programs that fall within their comfort zone.
  • Skill gap: Cloud skills are in demand across various verticals such as operations, risk management, application, and data science. The inability to hire and retain people with the required capabilities is affecting  timelines for cloud adoption, cloud migration, and cloud maturity process. This situation might differ for organizations who are late cloud adopters vs. early cloud adopters.

Netscribes played a crucial role in supporting an Autonomous Finance Platform service provider’s marketing efforts for their cloud-based order-to-cash process. This involved identifying reasons for digital-transformation failures and implementing a best-in-class approach to ensure a successful transformation process.

Conclusion

The impact of cloud computing on business is immensely valuable. The advantages it offers accelerates organizations to succeed in a competitive market. It allows access to resources required to run a business efficiently without burning a hole into your pockets  for critical hardware and software needs. Cloud computing overcomes all the concerns associated with traditional on-premises systems, providing seamless integration across processes while enabling cross-functional collaboration and a single source for maintaining data security and integrity. It serves as a top layer above all the processes and systems, bridging the gaps of data integration.

Netscribes has been helping companies understand cloud market trends, insights, key solution providers and product comparison studies. To know how we can help you make informed technology solution choices in cloud adoption, write to us at info@netscribes.com

Based on insights from Mayank Jain, Manager, R&I, TMT

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