Blog: How to fast-track digital transformation with cloud-native analytics
Cloud forms the foundation of the modern business world. Today’s forward-thinking leaders realize that legacy solutions can stagnate business growth and stifle their ability to compete. Cloud computing, on the other hand, can create the speed and agility enterprises need to improve performance, uncover new opportunities, and move forward at pace.
Digital transformation naturally hinges on digital tools like Slack, Jira, or 1Password. Apps and platforms like these are critical for driving collaboration in an increasingly digital environment. But businesses need more than apps and project management software to truly transform: cloud-based architecture is necessary to gain a true strategic advantage.
How cloud computing fuels digital transformation
Transformation is about modernizing business processes to speed up the time to value from your business data.
The end goal of the transformation process is always to improve the customer experience. To successfully achieve transformation goals, each business application, from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Finance, and Online Transaction Processing (OLTP), must integrate with your existing ecosystem, which includes both technologies, and people.
When enterprises modernize their teams and shift their business tools to the cloud, integration becomes more viable and more streamlined. Cloud computing is the delivery of services, like data storage or software, through the internet. And businesses that use cloud computing quickly realize benefits such as reduced costs, increased productivity and performance, and improved data security.
Without cloud computing, digital transformation is not possible. McKinsey affirms that leading businesses adopting cloud computing can “bring new capabilities to market more quickly, innovate more easily, and scale more efficiently” than their counterparts who move more slowly toward a modern digital infrastructure.
Ultimately, by investing in cloud infrastructure, the business can access data at the right time to support changing business priorities – streamlining the transformation.
Cloud computing services
Cloud computing includes different types of services that cover the frontend of an app or site (where users operate) or the backend (where the developers do their magic). You can choose which service suits your transformation needs best:
1. Software as a Service (SaaS)
Like Astrato’s cloud-native analytics solution, SaaS is a distribution model for delivering software across the internet. People can access these apps from anywhere that has internet access.
The main benefit of SaaS is its cost effectiveness, since it eliminates the need to pay an upfront purchase and installation cost. Plus, the software resides in a multi-tenant environment, meaning multiple users can access a single copy of the software. This easier, broader access supports a more efficient, more sustainable way of working.
2. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
A well-known example of IaaS is Amazon Web Services (AWS). IaaS service providers typically “supply a virtual server instance and storage,” TechTarget explains.
What’s great with this service is that you can choose the instance – small to extra-large – that suits your business workload. Users have the freedom to access and configure their storage as they see fit. Another plus is that you also land up reducing the maintenance needed on on-premises data centers.
3. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
With PaaS, you get the scalable, flexible cloud platform from the service provider, but you can control the apps running on the platform. This is used mostly by programmers and developers to host development tools. Since the entire platform is delivered by a third party using cloud infrastructure, there’s no need to update any operating systems or maintain hardware, making app development and management smoother.
Using cloud to streamline transformation
Cloud solutions help support faster, more sustainable digital transformations, but these solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all. Choosing the right solutions based on specific business goals and needs is critical to the speed and efficiency of such an effort. Here are five key steps to consider when you’re setting up cloud solutions to speed up transformation.
1. Create a cloud strategy
Kicking off your transformation journey using the cloud is wise, to say the least! To begin, you’ll need to create a cloud strategy. Remember that you’re not dealing purely with the technical aspect of the cloud. Most areas of your business will be affected by the transformation, and your people and teams will be just as important to its success or failure as the technology you choose to adopt and implement. Include all key stakeholders in your strategic plans and discussions to ensure that the solutions you’re proposing are effective across the organization.
2. Develop the cloud architecture
Once the strategy is in place, a specialist team will need to investigate relevant cloud architecture options to see which solution will work best for the business. Decision-makers like CIOs and CTOs must explore the cost and risks involved in order to select the best fit.
3. Cloud sourcing
Sourcing, or selecting the right service provider for your business, must align with business and technical requirements. The wrong choice can easily create concerns about issues like “compliance, execution success, cybersecurity, and vendor risk,” McKinsey elaborates. And the right source decisions “not only mesh with the company’s risk appetite but can also “bend the curve” on cloud-adoption costs, generating support and excitement for the program.”
4. Cloud migration
This is the technical or implementation phase. Shifting from old systems to new cloud architecture is a change that involves people, processes, and structures. Business leaders must keep in good communication with those that know the products or services best to streamline the migration process.
5. Cloud operation
At this stage, you’ll investigate how technical teams like IT and Data interact with the business and ask them to adapt accordingly to suit a cloud environment. A few principles to consider when changing your operating model include:
- making everything a product: changing IT or data projects into products that customers and employees can utilize
- keeping in communication with business leaders: you’ll need to be in touch with them frequently to ensure quick decision-making
- creating a developer-friendly experience: the technology delivery process will be revamped throughout, using cloud-native practices to create the best developer experience
Astrato’s cloud-native analytics
Your business tools cannot be the cause of slowing down your entire organization. By selecting modern analytics solutions, your Business Intelligence will provide everyone with access to real-time insights, and gear up your transformation.
Your business will have access to game-changing features like:
- Time Travel: travel back to a set point in your data, track changes over time and answer new types of business questions fast.
- Writeback: transform your read-only dashboards into two-way data stories that empower everyone to work smarter.
- Dynamic Embeds: embed filters into your business process tools like Salesforce and get intelligent insights where you need them.
Cloud solutions are the keystone of a digital-first organization. With them, you’ll gain the speed, agility, scalability, and adoption to differentiate and transform your organization for the modern business world.
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