Why did companies and people first start using the cloud? Typically, it was a tactical play to save IT organizations time, human resources and money — table stakes issues. But the platform has quickly evolved, with a new generation of software products leveraging the cloud to drive business agility, scalability to match demand and improved security. The cloud enables the decomposition of monolithic applications and the creation of new internal partnerships that drive new applications to support the business.
This cloud platform has driven digital disruption that impacted not only the IT department but virtually every department in the organization — in almost every industry, around the world, changing the business model and how organizations operate. Now, it’s no longer simply an economic advantage. There is a strategic imperative to leverage the cloud platform to support your business and facilitate its growth.
Simply put, the cloud platform has become a valuable competitive tool. Combined with cognitive computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and innovative thinking, insightful organizations have transformed their cloud platform into a powerful analytical engine that enables consumer and business insights never before possible. This transformation has led to developments such as modern hybrid mobile apps and game-changing business applications that propelled forward-thinking organizations to greater success, and left others lagging behind.
Cloud technology has so quickly become prevalent in the business world that those who don’t quickly embrace it — and cognitive computing —risk the dire consequences of digital Darwinism; they will either evolve or become extinct. Imagine if you could take a 2017 auto factory back to 1920. What would be the competitive impact?
Making it real
This is what cloud native architectures have meant to organizations throughout the world: enabling new operating models that can respond at the speed of today’s business challenges. Cloud platforms are pervasive in almost every industry. Automotive, retail, consumer package goods (CPG) and financial service firms are all looking at how to fundamentally alter the way they develop game-changing applications and services. Industries are moving the needle on customer engagement, supply chains, product quality and safety, and of course, profitability.
Take American Airlines, for example. They operate in an extremely competitive industry where consumers demand better services while exhibiting extreme price sensitivity. The airline was burdened with end-of-life infrastructure in existing data centers that needed to be updated without disruption to service. To address both their architectural needs and their customers’ demands, they chose to migrate to an IBM cloud solution that reduced their infrastructure capital expenditure and enabled customer-engaging applications. The result was better control of their data, better cost management, and a superior, unified customer experience — experiences that lead to loyalty.
How does that work? I’ll tell you about my own experience. Like many of you, I spend a lot of time in airplanes. That means I also spend a lot of time selecting flights, purchasing tickets, checking in at the airport, and when things don’t go as planned, rebooking my flights. If the airline I’m flying hasn’t transitioned to the cloud where they can take advantage of its customer-centric capabilities, the entire process can be a painfully laborious one. Which means that I, as a demanding consumer with high expectations, might decide I won’t fly that airline again.
So, when an airline like American Airlines implements systems that make my life easier, they’re going to get — and keep — my business.
Transformation for all
IBM understands the importance of cloud-native architectures and their role in innovation. We’re absolutely convinced that it will define business and computing for the next quarter century. Dedicated teams of developers collaborate with some of the best minds in the industry to envision the eventual, and to forge a future where the benefits of cloud computing are available not only to Fortune 500 corporations, but to everyone. Through offerings such as cloud-as-a-service, IBM promotes the democratization of digital disruption, paving the way for everyone to participate in the new economy.
Whether you’re developing strategies for a nascent entrepreneurial endeavor or an established global enterprise with thousands of employees, you can take advantage of transformational technologies. With all the different implementation and pricing options now available, the future is within your grasp. With sound planning, new cloud technologies and enough imagination, you could become a market disruptor who changes the course of the future.
Please watch for my upcoming blog that discusses second thoughts CIOs are having about the cloud — and why you should have them, too.
To see how other companies have strategically used the cloud to drive digital transformation, take a look at this webinar: Beyond Agility: The CIO’s guide to enterprise transformation with cloud.