How Cloud Computing Accelerates Business Digital Transformation

Embracing cloud computing and disruptive technologies is imperative for business scale and success -- and to deliver rich customer experiences.

Profitability and business success are achieved by delivering innovative products/services, market leadership, gaining customers, and delivering rich customer experiences. In today’s dynamic world of business, ‘Agility’ is essential for business growth. Essentially, that means, the ability to quickly scale and respond to market or customer demand for products and services. However, achieving scale and agility is enabled through digital technologies like cloud computing, mobility (apps), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data, blockchain, IoT, etc. And for this, the delivery mechanism is Cloud Computing Services. Here’s how Cloud Computing accelerates digital transformation in business.

Two Examples of Digital Adoption

Today, banks boast of their ability to approve loan applications in a few minutes. Heard about the ’10 second loan’ touted by a leading private bank? Traditionally, if you applied for a bank loan, it would take days to complete the human underwriting and approval processes. Banks would need time to check your credit score, bank records, salary statements, collaterals, and other documents to reduce risk. Thanks to technology like artificial learning and machine learning, and the digitization of the banking system, this can all be done in a few minutes – and banks can boast of instant loans.

India is now the envy of its neighbors for its robust digital payments infrastructure in the form of UPI (Unified Payments Interface) that can be accessed through apps like BHIM – developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (an RBI and IBA initiative).

The global pandemic brought about many changes. In an increasingly contactless world where social distancing is encouraged to curb the Coronavirus (COVID-19), cashless payments and digital transactions have soared. In October 2020, the number of UPI transactions broke the glass ceiling and crossed 207 crores (2.07 billion). This amounted to a total transaction value of Rs 3.3 lakh crore. And this spurt in digital payments was because more retail shopping and purchases were made from home during the festive season. With everyone confined to their homes due to the lockdowns and the curbs on public transportation, financial transactions are increasingly being done online, using digital technologies.

These are two examples to show the increasing adoption of digital models.

Accelerated Digital Transformation

During the pandemic, employees started working from home, and customers increasingly consumed services through the cloud. Business models had to change, and organizations were forced to adopt more cloud computing and digital technologies for a distributed environment. Traditional business processes had to be digitized. All physical documentation had to be scanned and digitized. Payments and transactions had to be done online or through apps. These changes, enabled by digital technologies, are collectively called ‘Digital Transformation’. Organizations with 3 to 5-year digital transformation plans were forced to do this in a few months or days when the pandemic was announced. Either that or they would go out of business.

A new IBM study of global C-Suite executives revealed that nearly six in 10 organizations have accelerated their digital transformations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 66% of executives said they had completed initiatives that previously encountered resistance. In India, 55% of Indian executives plan to prioritize digital transformation efforts over the next two years.

The IBM Institute for Business Value study “COVID-19 and the Future of Business,” includes input from more than 3,800 C-Suite executives in 20 countries and 22 industries, including 172 executives from India.

The study shows that most executives plan to focus on internal and operational capabilities over the next two years, such as increasing prioritization of workforce skills and flexibility – critical areas to address to jumpstart progress.

It’s a Service-Oriented Economy!

The world is now moving from products to services. Customers subscribe to services and pay for the consumption of services on a monthly or annual basis. Take entertainment, for example.

When we want to watch a movie, we do not go to a movie hall today. Instead, we subscribe to OTT services like Netflix or Amazon Prime. And we pay monthly or annual subscription fees. These services are delivered over the cloud and streamed through the Internet, reaching our TVs at home through home routers.

People consume services through apps on their mobile phones, computers and TVs. And these services are enabled through cloud computing. In the background, there are technologies like AI, ML, blockchain, IoT and Big Data that are integrated into the cloud to deliver rich experiences as you consume these services. For instance, take Netflix’s recommendation engine that learns your tastes in movies and make recommendations for movies based on your preference and likes. That’s enabled by Big Data, Analytics, and machine learning in the cloud.

Closing Notes

Embracing cloud computing and disruptive technologies is imperative for business agility, scale, and success — and to deliver rich customer experiences.

Adopt digital technologies to enable innovative business models and deliver innovative services and rich experiences to your customers.

In conclusion, You have to embrace Cloud Computing and digital technologies to do that. Cloud computing also promises tremendous cost savings for your business.

So, what is Cloud Computing?

The industry-standard NIST definition of Cloud Computing is:

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources, (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.

Read more about Cloud Computing and what it could mean for your business here: https://www.digitalcreed.in/cloud-computing-basics/

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Brian Pereira has been writing about technology adoption in business for the past 26 years. He is currently the Principal Editor of CISO MAG (EC-Council) and he blogs at www.digitalcreed.in