PBT Group thought leadership
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (the fusing of physical, digital, and biological) is well and truly upon us. Digital transformation has become commonplace and the likes of the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Virtual Reality (VR) are part of strategy discussions. But how is this impacting on cloud approaches?
In many ways, the cloud can be considered one of the enablers or catalysts to this digital age. Just look at the influence it has had on changing IT within organisations.
Technology departments used to (predominantly) fulfil a support function focused on hardware and software. Thanks to virtualization, more organisations started to embrace ‘as-a-service’ solutions. This meant their in-house IT teams could integrate more fully with the rest of the business resulting in more efficient and cost-effective systems and processes.
Hybrid before all else
While there has been much debate on the benefits of public versus private cloud, the one that has gained the most traction has been a hybrid approach. It takes the best from both worlds and gives decision-makers the perfect platform to launch proof-of-concepts before rolling it out to the rest of the organisation.
The hybrid cloud has also seen changes in not only how data is stored, but also how Business Intelligence (BI) tools are used to analyse data and provide decision-makers with information to make organic changes to business strategy.
Such has been the growth of data that companies have come to rely on the cloud to not only provide the required IT services, but also contribute to business continuity and disaster recovery strategies.
With IoT seeing the exponential growth of connected devices and data channels, companies need solutions that not only manage data better, but also use that [data] for insights informing their own digital transformation objectives.
Not just technology
Perhaps more critically, the digital transformation journey should not just be viewed as a technology one. Despite how the cloud has made IT ‘more mainstream’, some companies still believe that digital is about the software and virtual services implemented.
This could not be further from the truth. If digital transformation is to be effective, the company must embrace a different way of viewing technology and business. In fact, these two areas should not even be separate in the current environment.
Data, BI, and the cloud form a symbiotic relationship in a digital business with additional overlays such as real-time analysis, data science, and decision-automation. All these elements are required to work in unison for the effective digitization of customer engagement and internal operations.
The hybrid cloud will remain integral to the success of the digital transformation initiatives of a business. Without it providing the foundation needed for data collection and analysis, companies could risk losing their relevancy to more forward-thinking competitors.