Companies are accelerating their usage of cloud-based Al software and services, as part of their pursuit of business performance and growth. While no doubt there has been improvement, Australian companies are still behind their global counterparts when it comes to accelerating their digital transformation journey. No industry is exempt from the impact of digital transformation, so it is critical that all firms understand how investing in new technology can support their business priorities in the market – whether it is to survive or to innovate.
Where are you?
A global IDC survey has revealed that the largest portion of companies (34%) are just managing to stay afloat in this evolving, data-driven world. Also known as the ‘IT agenda’, such businesses are only executing their digital transformation strategy on a project basis. This means they are simply aiming to maintain a minimum amount of hardware and software, hiring an IT team to focus on maintenance and keep costs to a minimum.
Yet a small number of organisations are positioning themselves as “data thrivers”, with 11% of organisations relying on data insights to provide their strategic edge in the market. Known as possessing the ‘transformation agenda’, such companies have aggressively invested in new infrastructure to support digital transformation, turning to their IT team to improve operational efficiency and evolve business practices. For the IT team, being a part of a business focused on transformation is often more satisfying and inspiring to operate; however, it is also more challenging.
Transformation-driven IT teams face higher expectations, compared to teams operating under the IT agenda, to harness their company’s volume of data for future success. They require flexibility to make decisions and implement them quickly in a cloud, shifting data as necessary. If a project is unsuccessful, Transformational IT teams are expected to quickly disassemble workflows and associated applications, and scale the cloud back down, rather than face hundreds of useless, and costly, machines that no longer have purpose.
How can we stay ahead?
In the past few years, a vast majority of companies with a transformation agenda have taken the leap to hybrid cloud technology to leverage the agility, scale and services of a public cloud against the security and familiarity of an on-premise/private cloud.
The now cloud-smart companies are taking a step back to learn about the focus and strength of each cloud provider, and how they compare to on-premise cloud storage. Ultimately, as each cloud provider continues to emerge with stronger, unique capabilities, customers will be able to choose a vendor that meets their unique business requirements.
To me however, as companies try to stay ahead, I predict the next phase will be the extreme growth of hybrid multi-cloud environments.
How can a Hybrid Multi-Cloud make you an ‘innovator’?
Success in data innovation comes from maximising the resources available to become the best, most efficient and most innovative version of their business. Five years ago, the concept of a hybrid cloud and on-premise environments was the ideal solution. Indeed, organisations are placing more importance on varied data formats, with 56% of companies embracing hybrid cloud services. Nowadays, as technology continues to rapidly evolve, innovators are looking towards a hybrid multi-cloud solution for its unique and seamless ability to distribute workloads between several cloud environments, including on-premise locations.
Do companies already use this approach?
Amazon Web Services is one of the world’s leading cloud computing platforms, offering tools such as database storage and content delivery. As part of its partnership with NetApp, its solutions are now available in Australia. AWS’s investment into multiple clouds (yes, more than one), and the innovation it has enabled, has resulted in reduced infrastructure costs and increased flexibility. This has thus allowed Amazon to focus on seamlessly delivering its services to all corners of the planet.
You do have what it takes
Operating by the transformation agenda is a strong start to building a foundation for growth, for any company. But in a world where being super is no longer extraordinary, companies are challenged to take it one step further and to think a little bigger.
Change is critical for companies wishing to chase and retain success. This can be facilitated by implementing technology to not only help make tasks easier to perform, but as an investment towards long-term business objectives. The key to retaining a competitive advantage in the race is to lead with innovation and aspire towards the future.
Quite simply, rather than embracing the transformation agenda, companies need to live by it.