Things are changing at a revolutionary pace in the world of business. Whether you’re selling products or services, you’ll find that what worked 20 years ago simply won’t work today. The Internet has transformed how we live, work and play and businesses now have to adapt to meet the requirements of a digital era, an era in which people are demanding more and more from their IT, mobiles, apps and tablets. If your business is not part of this digital transformation, as it’s called, you risk being left behind and losing out to your competition or simply becoming disrupted, just like video rental shops, pay phones and, rather sadly, record shops for the most of us.
Digital transformation basically refers to the huge changes in technology across the IT spectrum and takes in mobile technology, social media, big data and the internet of things. As a business leader, you need to see this transformation as an opportunity to put in place a new way of working to get the most out of social, digital and mobile and other technologies as they emerge. You have to start thinking digitally as you come up with new business models and ways of using technology to improve services and products for customers, partners and staff. You need to create operating models that use new tech as a way of setting your company apart from the competition.
After all, people have come to expect instant access to information they need and constant access to services via the web and mobile. We are now well used to cloud computing and social network sites. We shop online, send mail, chat, flirt, and do business via apps. And social media is no longer a plaything. People use sites like Facebook and Twitter to collaborate on projects, to communicate and market goods and services. And we expect these digital connections to extend to other areas. This explains the popularity of services like Netflix, Spotify and Uber. Why go to the cinema, shop or flag down a taxi when you can get these things simply by tapping an icon on your phone? Technology is no longer seen as a tool to help you do business but the basis of new business and a key to innovation in itself. You simply can’t be successful if you don’t go down the road of digital transformation.
Of course, this means that huge volumes of knowledge, data and content is now digital and all this has to be kept somewhere, which is why the cloud is key to digital transformation. After all, Cloud computing is no longer the future of IT, it is the here and now. Businesses worldwide have taken to the cloud like ducks to water – with nearly 70% of UK organisations using at least one cloud-based service and over 50% of companies in the US using public cloud. And without the cloud, none of the other factors that are part of digital transformation would be possible. We use our phones and apps to access cloud applications, social media sites rely on cloud-based platforms, and the data used to run and connect objects in the Internet of things is usually analysed and stored in the cloud too. The cloud drives transformation by helping people consume new innovation faster. They don’t have to wait for physical upgrades when new applications can be downloaded in seconds.
Companies are moving their legacy IT workloads into the cloud to get the benefits of technology such as infrastructure, applications, platforms and business processes via the Internet. But they are also getting the huge flexibility, scalability, speed and capacity of the cloud, and this is essential to digital transformation.
So it is important to consider how the cloud can help you grow, rather than simply save you money and enhance efficiency. A business needs to align cloud strategy with business goals like boosting demand, and finding new sales channels. You need to embrace the public cloud to take full advantage of a rapidly changing business environment.
It is time to start seeing your cloud systems as the gateway to digital transformation. Take a long term view and try and picture where your industry might be going in the next ten, even twenty years. If you’re business isn’t prepared and at least partially cloud based, you could end up being the next Blockbuster video.
If you want to know more about digital transformation, or are wondering how cloud technology could transform your company, get in touch with the team here at Damson Cloud, we’d be happy to give you the benefit of our expertise.