Ah, digital transformation. Those two words are seemingly everywhere. Companies all over the world are rushing to embark and complete it, each with varying levels of success. Many companies see digital transformation as quite the difficult and expensive challenge. Small businesses, especially, tend to be more intimidated by the process. Fortunately, cloud technologies are here to help.
First, let’s define digital transformation. Pretty much everyone has a slightly different description of what it is. One thing we can all agree on is that it refers to the process of synchronizing the IT aspects and components of a company with its business strategies. In short – we are using technology and its benefits to the fullest for the better of the entire company and its business.
This process can come in lots of different ways and it varies, depending on the company and its goals. For a neighborhood store, digital transformation can mean simply using a cloud-based service, which keeps track of the inventory and analyzes what sells well and what doesn’t. For a larger business, it could provide a selection of tools to develop and bring new products and services to the market faster and more efficiently.
So, how can the cloud facilitate the digital transformation of businesses all over the world?
In reality, the cloud is already helping businesses of any size and in any field to integrate digital technology into their everyday activities. The Cloud Industry Forum held its own research and found out that 80% of companies see the cloud as important for their digital transformation strategy. Furthermore, the cloud leads to an average of 26% cost savings, and 38% of cloud users implementing such strategy say that the cloud has given their organizations a significant competitive advantage.
Companies these days are moving a lot of their information, including HR and payroll, to the cloud. This often gives them the ability not only to make their workforce more agile, but also to compare and analyze their own data against other data sets. Sharing such knowledge was frowned upon for decades, but things are rapidly changing.
Cloud services also offer a variety of additional tools and features. Companies can get them on a per-case basis, instead of paying a fortune for a huge subscription package and ending up using only a handful of the available services.
“The rise of PaaS (platform as a service), in all its flavors, indicates that the focus of innovation is shifting even further toward software development,” said Dave Bartoletti, principal analyst at Forrester Research to TechTarget. “Cloud computing platforms are becoming developer platforms first and foremost, not simply new infrastructure hosting locations or collections of cheap infrastructure.”
Providers add features and updates all the time, so you’re not stuck paying huge money for a dedicated system that gets outdated in a couple of years at best. Instead, with the cloud, you always get to use the best available features, and security is often much more reliable. For small businesses, the cloud saves the extra costs of setting up IT infrastructure and gives access to capabilities, which were reserved only for the big and resourceful players.
All of this means that businesses actually pay less for more IT services and capabilities. And they get to employ more advanced digital strategies. Plus, maintenance is easier and, as a result, the company’s employees are able to focus on what really matters, instead of fiddling with IT issues or an old platform. So, yes, the cloud can, and does, definitely help companies with their digital transformation and you shouldn’t be missing out on it.