Future-proof your cloud strategy with a 360 degrees approach

19 July 2021 Consultancy.in 4 min. read
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The pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance and value of working in the cloud. Vivek Mathur and Prasad Nair, partner and director at Deloitte in India, outline why embracing the cloud – with a 360 degrees approach – should be an integral part of any business strategy.

To tide over the crisis, companies had to change their methods of running their core business operations. Overnight companies were forced to look at viable options to sustain operations with workforce constraint due to lockdown restrictions and health concerns.

This is where cloud comes in – areas where cloud services were leveraged include remote working / work from home (cloud enables virtual workstations which allow employees to login from any device, anywhere and anytime) and video and audio conferencing (cloud-based video and audio solutions that enables the hosting of virtual meetings with clients, trade partners and internal teams).

Vivek Mathur, Prasad Nair, Deloitte

The use of cloud was also significantly upped for backup and disaster recovery purposes (to ensure no loss of data and business continuity), to cater the rapid shift to new ways of serving clients (enabling the rapid digitisation of customer processes) and to fuel innovation (shifting innovation to the cloud to rapidly prototype and deliver new offerings).

Organisations with a mature cloud roadmap were able to manage the change at a faster pace compared to organisations without a cloud roadmap. For example, a leading banking shared services team enabled secured work from home for its entire tech force within a week’s time by setting up virtual workstations on cloud.

The cloud advantage

Onboarding of any new team member could be done seamlessly without the regular hassle of procuring and setting up a laptop and office entry which often used to take weeks. Similarly, a major consulting firm in India could deploy custom mobile based solutions for managing social distancing norms at office with workflows that integrated with various functions within the firm and also track and trace Covid-19 effected employees and provide required medical assistance within weeks.

The volume and variety of data generated by organisations during this period and on-demand compute required to run large and complex payloads to deliver rich user experience to large user bases is costly and difficult to manage. Lead times in delivering such massive infrastructure via conventional methods with required agility is difficult.

Procuring hardware with cross border logistics challenges and limitation of onsite workforce availability in setting the infrastructure will lead to delays. The flexibility, extensibility and elasticity delivered by cloud makes it easy for organisations to move fast, at low costs without any upfront investments.

Before the pandemic, companies were looking at cloud for innovation, agility, time to market, etc. however post pandemic companies are more so looking at cloud for basic services like backup and disaster recovery, online productivity tools, remote working and enablement.

The future is in the cloud

The pandemic and its effects are here to stay. Covid-19 has affected everyone psychologically and this will impact purchase behavior and channel for engagement. Businesses will come up with novel business models to attract and retain consumers. For example, businesses like jewellery where in-store channel was the most preferred for the design nuances, value of merchandise and the pricing complexities are now offered as a door service.

The need to be end-to-end digital is a necessity and companies will invest in initiatives like SMART factories, command centers, augmented reality, remote operations, and more. The IT industry will see tremendous innovation on technology and solutions required to deliver to these demands and a greater need of talent.

To attract and retain talent, enabling workforce from anywhere will be key. Cloud will be pivotal as demand (business needs) and supply (talent) will both depend heavily on cloud as backbone to enable these solutions.

It is not about just migrating to cloud but setting up a 360 degrees cloud strategy encompassing architecture, platform capabilities, operating model, security and site reliability. A well-defined cloud strategy and operating model will help enterprises adapt to any future unforeseen scenarios. There is no better time than now for organisations to initiate their cloud journey and develop a cloud blueprint to adapt to the new normal.