By Fabio Tiviti, Senior Vice President & General Manager, ASEAN-India, Infor
In virtually every industry, organizations of all sizes have reached the tipping point where they’re now recognizing the value of cloud deployment and acknowledging that migrating on-premises solutions to the cloud brings many benefits. This is a massive shift from the early days of cloud computing, where many organizations were cloud-shy, worried about security, protecting intellectual property, and giving up their heavily modified solutions. Now, cloud technology providers have proven the reliability of cloud platforms and demonstrated stringent security, robust capabilities, and ease of deployment—driving more businesses to the cloud than ever before.
Change the way business is done
Operating in the cloud sets an essential foundation for modernization in today’s digital age. For any organization that’s still on the fence, here are some key trends to consider that demonstrate why migrating to the cloud is not just a critical factor for conducting business today, but also being ready for how business will be done tomorrow.
1. The need to remove data silos and democratize decisions at all levels
Data in on-premises solutions is often siloed and provides only minimal insight to key decision makers, leaving executives, employees, and partners without direct access to critical information. In contrast, cloud solutions typically centralize data in the cloud, creating a single system of record for an enterprise, with data universally accessible and useful. The cloud enables the right data to provide the right insights at the right time—in the right context, form factor, and security model. As a result, organizations are empowered to speed decision-making, improve the customer experience, and mitigate risk.
2. Industry-specific capabilities are a requirement, not just a “nice-to-have”
Organizations need their business solutions to provide industry-specific capabilities so they can deliver best-in-class products and services to their customers. Leading cloud providers preconfigure industry-specific capabilities into their solutions, giving organizations the unique functionality they need, without complex customizations. This allows an organization’s business systems to be more adaptable and provides a long-term platform for growth.
3. Today’s workers demand a modern user experience
As a new generation of digital natives enter the workforce, they demand technology that is user-friendly and supports how they like to work. This often means software that mirrors the look and feel of the mobile and social applications they use in their day-to-day lives and that provides immediate access to data and collaboration. Cloud technology is typically more user friendly for not only employees, but also customers, partners, and suppliers—essentially, an organization’s entire business ecosystem.
4. Hybrid cloud deployments take center stage as integration improves
Organizations are looking for solutions that offer choice and efficiency, so they can focus on what truly differentiates them from the competition. The shift to the cloud comes with multiple deployment options. In fact, many of today’s organizations have cloud components that are tied to an on-premises core solution set. Over time, an increasing number of deployments will shift from such a hybrid approach to a pure cloud model. Integration technology continues to improve in ease of use, implementation time, and cost of ownership.
5. Trusting a cloud partner to reduce the risks of cybersecurity threats
With cybercrime seeping into virtually every industry, ensuring that enterprise systems and platforms are protected from the financial impact of security breaches is critically important. Data breaches cost organizations $3.92 million on average, and present overwhelming vulnerabilities. Industry-leading cloud partners have greater cybersecurity resources available than most organizations could ever hope to have on their own. By moving enterprise systems and platforms to the cloud, organizations can effectively hand off cybersecurity responsibilities and significant costs to a committed cloud partner.
6. Push for post-sale revenue drives support for subscription-based business models
In the fast-changing digital age, organizations are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, meet the evolving needs of their customers, and improve profits by creating opportunities for post-sale revenue. Cloud-based solutions can provide real-time data that’s accessible anytime, anywhere, enabling organizations to turn traditional product offerings into services, such as a subscription-based business model. Such a customer-centric feature can become a differentiator, adding value, building relationships, preventing commoditization, and adding profit. Adopting a subscription-based business model creates a recurring revenue relationship by charging customers a regular, generally time-based fee. This approach allows organizations to increase their focus on customer experience while positively impacting the bottom line.
Embrace digital transformation
For organizations to remain relevant in the modern age, they need to embrace digital transformation to make them more nimble, able to react quicker to ever-evolving industry and market changes. For instance, removing data silos can set up organizations to collaborate better and have accurate, up-to-date information for informed decision-making. Industry- specific functionality allows organizations to leverage that technology to meet their unique demands. And a modern and intuitive user experience enables users to be more productive.
Cloud-based business solutions are the key to modernizing how organizations do business. But migrating to the cloud doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Hybrid implementations allow organizations to leverage technologies that improve business processes, while still relying on existing systems to deliver critical functionality that might not be quite ready yet to move to the cloud. Whether an organization’s business systems are completely in the cloud or they exist in a hybrid environment, the security capabilities of the cloud are more robust and can evolve more quickly than that of virtually any on-premises-only implementation. And with new means of operating, come the potential for creating new revenue-and business-models, such as subscription-based services.
Cloud computing has come a long way. The longer that organizations wait to adopt cloud-based solutions gives the competition that much more time to leverage the cloud to drive their businesses forward. Don’t get left behind.
Multiple paths to the cloud
When creating a cloud migration strategy, a crucial first step is to consider the strategic priorities of an organization’s business. Determine which path to the cloud will drive the most value, and focus on one of these three strategic areas:
Core business functionality
Moving core business functionality such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) or financial management to the cloud can produce significant returns, but often takes an extended time to realize those returns.
Narrow business processes
One way to balance risk with return on investment is to focus on narrower business processes that mainly affect specific teams within an organization. Often these “edge” solutions allow businesses to generate benefits that free up resources for larger initiatives.
Transitioning data to the cloud allows organizations to aggregate enterprise-wide data and break down information silos. This enables a data-driven culture where meaningful insights can be continuously reviewed to help teams work better—both individually and together.
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