Business visionaries take to the clouds

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Author: Malte Dieckelmann, Vice President IBM Cloud – ANZ IBM Global Markets – Cloud Sales

Malte DieckelmannSavvy companies see cloud as a platform for exploiting a variety of emerging technologies – artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and predictive analytics – to develop state-of-the-art solutions to transform their businesses and their industries.

According to Gartner forecasts, spending on public cloud services in Australia will reach $4.6 billion this year, which is an increase of 18.5 per cent on last year. By 2021, in New Zealand, IDC predicts that enterprises spending on “cloud services and cloud-enabling hardware, software, and services will more than double to over $2.6 Billion.”

By 2020, 90 per cent of business models may be driven by cloud.  To be competitive, every organisation needs to understand the opportunities of cloud and how to take advantage of them.

Here are four steps to a winning cloud strategy:

1. Prioritise disruptive and emerging technologies. Identify and develop use cases where technologies such as AI, blockchain, IoT, big data and predictive analytics can transform your business or industry. For each use case, define business values, including expected value and customer experience consequences, then weigh risk and your finances.

Woodside, Australia’s largest independent energy company has been a global leader in oil and gas for over half a century. They combined the power of AI, Watson, and cloud to extract meaningful insights from 30 years of dense and complex engineering data.

2. Build your cloud strategy. Identify which workloads you should move to the cloud to meet your business objectives and product development goals. If some workloads cannot be moved right away, that’s fine. Developing a hybrid approach can be very helpful as you think through your overall strategy for public cloud usage.  For best results, make your strategy enterprise-wide and encourage co-creation efforts across different parts of your company and value chain.

In an Australian banking first, Westpac Group partnered with IBM to implement a fully integrated hybrid cloud platform across their business to deliver premium services to more than 13 million customers.

IBV research shows 79 per cent of cloud high performers run security more often in the cloud today.  Seventy per cent run mobile in the cloud. Sixty-five per cent of surveyed cloud leaders expect to be running IoT apps in the cloud within the next three years.

3. Nurture an “innovation first” culture. Reward innovators and highlight their successes. Encourage developers and data scientists to avoid working in traditional silos and begin collaborating across teams.  Demonstrate how their achievements could not have been possible without the integration of cloud with new and emerging technologies.  Further, innovate those solutions with the help of clients and business partners.

4. Reap competitive and financial rewards. As companies begin to adopt cloud, they are finding that it’s a platform for new ways to handle and drive revenue from data. Think about how your company can create cloud-enabled offerings, enter new competitive territories, spawn new sources of revenue and create original business models. Work with ecosystem partners to increase efficiency and improve customer service. Apply ROI to measure financial success.

Cloud leaders believe cloud technology can fuel competitive advantage in production and service, customer loyalty and business operations. Examples in the IBV study include:

  • Improved functionality (62 per cent)
  • Enhanced product features (59 per cent)
  • Faster time to market (58 per cent)
  • Enhanced product/service customer experience during use (57 per cent)
  • Better customer retention (46 per cent)
  • Enhanced technology agility (63 per cent)
  • Higher employee satisfaction (57 per cent)
  • Improved business scalability (57 per cent)

Business visionaries also realise that cloud’s power will spur innovation within their organisations and throughout their value chains. High performers predict that their enterprises will capitalise on cloud to invent unique customer experiences, attract new customers, create a new ecosystem and develop new business models within the next few years.

You can download the IBV report here.


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