There’s no denying it, digital transformation has become a buzz phrase. But don’t let that distract you from its importance. Buried beneath its overuse is an important strategy that needs to be a part of every organization’s DNA.
This year, 40% of organizations’ technology spending went toward digital transformation — amounting to roughly $2 trillion. And as businesses prepare to wrap the first quarter of the new year (not to mention a new decade), with renewed focus on business goals and strategy, there’s never been a better time to recommit to that digital-first mentality.
But what exactly is digital transformation?
Digital transformation happens when an organization takes full advantage of modern technologies to improve the way it conducts business and maintains an open mindset for continued change and improvement. At the risk of sounding like a motivational poster, it’s not a destination, but a way of thinking and approaching all business decisions and processes.
The cloud has made digital transformation goals more attainable than ever, making it simpler for businesses of all sizes to compete and keep up with ongoing advances in technology. In fact, a study by McKinsey & Company found 81% of organizations that underwent successful digital transformations use cloud-based services.
The cloud is by no means the only component of digital transformation, but it certainly is an essential piece. By leveraging cloud-based systems and infrastructure, you expedite your digital transformation process and open up a world of new opportunities, allowing you to:
Know more with more precise, timely data.
Modern business is data-driven. Real-time visibility anytime, anywhere, across geographies, departments and subsidiaries is a necessity and a competitive advantage. This data-first mentality touches all parts of a business, from the CIO looking to predict technology needs down the road, to the CMO seeking insightful customer analytics, to HR anticipating hiring needs, to the CFO combining past sales numbers with sales forecasts to get ahead of future needs.
Data touches everything, and a commitment to efficient and integrated data collection and analysis can aid organizations in marketing and growth efforts. And data shows companies that implemented digital tools that made data and information more accessible across the organization were twice as likely to report successful digital transformations.
With data driving key business decisions, it needs to be timely and reliable. The speed of the cloud, combined with user-friendly formats, makes being a data-driven organization easier than ever.
The ability to turn on a dime is vital to keeping the modern business competitive and advancing against its business goals. The cloud opens up exciting new possibilities for CIOs and CFOs to think differently about IT and increase flexibility and agility in support of an innovative, digital business.
When it comes to business functions and applications, nothing can give you more nimbleness than the cloud. This flexibility allows your technology (ERP, databases, CRM, CMS, etc.) to grow with you and truly scale because it’s not restricted by outdated hardware and/or legacy systems.
The digital-first move to the cloud can save you money and time by expediting and streamlining processes, since modern cloud systems use AI and machine learning to handle routine management tasks. Rather than spending hours each week completing administrative tasks, cloud managers and administrators can take on more pragmatic roles as data architects. This allows them to use their deep knowledge of your organization’s data and systems to more effectively organize and unlock the value of data collected.
Do more with optimization and greater flexibility.
The cloud can give your accessibility extra flexibility as well by improving your mobile and Internet of Things initiatives. Having the right cloud technology and in place (and the right cloud service provider on your team) can make mobility simple.
And finally, shifting the ongoing maintenance of your software to the cloud also enables CIOs to optimize the use of their IT teams by giving them more time to focus on strategic projects that have a greater impact on your business.
Like most transformations, a business does not simply become a digital powerhouse overnight. It takes commitment, planning, teamwork, and time — sometimes several years — to evolve into a truly digital-first organization.
Having a cloud service provider on your team can help you take those cloud advantages even further and get there faster; by truly optimizing these business-critical investments to do the most for your business.
If you’re ready to learn more about how your organization can leverage the power of the cloud in 2020 and beyond, give us a call. We’re here to answer all your cloud questions.