Moving to the cloud as part of a digital transformation process is common. Digital transformation is about innovation and it’s clear that moving your systems to the cloud, whether that’s servers hosted for you (private cloud) or platforms like Microsoft Azure (public cloud), can provide real benefits from a cost saving, maintenance and scalability perspective.
How do the benefits of digital transformation link to the cloud?
A business may embark on a digital transformation process for several reasons such as improving customer satisfaction, increasing margins and profitability or boosting productivity.
However, the main driver is often survival. Businesses must stay ahead of their competitors and adapt quickly to changing situations.
Digital transformation projects are often focused around:
- Customer experience
- Operational agility
- Culture and leadership
- Workforce enablement
Cloud migration is a logical step for any digital transformation project. Below, we look at each of their benefits and how they link together:
- Boost efficiency and universal customer experience
- Improve cash flow
- Automatic updates and increased agility in the market
- Work from anywhere in a new remote world
- Improve security and support workforce
- Collaboration with actionable analytics
- Faster deployments and improved customer strategy
1. Boost efficiency and universal customer experience
Moving to a cloud solution means no more worries about internal infrastructure, hardware, space requirements or large teams to maintain. For example, cloud solutions are maintained for you (by your vendor) and measures can be built for additional support, such as server monitoring to ensure systems are running at optimum level.
Integration across business systems means data is no longer siloed, making it easier to access data across departments. Additionally, the cloud allows data to be accessed via any Wi-Fi-enabled device – ideal for field-based workers or remote teams. This helps contribute to the overall digital transformation project. We’ll expand on this benefit later on in this post.
2. Improve cash flow
With no server and infrastructure costs, businesses can significantly reduce capital expenditure after moving to cloud.
By streamlining business workflows and eliminating overheads on outdated solutions, you can cut unnecessary costs and enable digital transformation with more resources focused on improving customer experience.
3. Automatic updates and increased agility in the market
Businesses that use older legacy, on-premise based systems, will be familiar with the problem of expensive and time-consuming upgrades.
Under a cloud SaaS model, systems are typically upgraded automatically to the latest version of the software as soon as it is released. This means businesses can always take advantage of latest product features and lower “upgrade” costs.
By increasing innovation skills and agility, you can contribute to your digital transformation project and ensure your business remains competitive.
4. Work from anywhere in a new remote world
If your systems are based in the cloud, all you need to access them is an internet connection. This allows your users, whether office based or remote, to have the same access to the business systems anytime and anywhere.
In 2020, COVID-19 completely changed the working landscape. However, despite numerous lockdowns and restrictions on office spaces, many companies managed to continue to work closely with their customers from remote locations (and still do to this day).
This was down to them committing to a digital transformation strategy before the pandemic began.
5. Improve security and support workforce
Cloud service providers make huge investments in technology and resources to ensure their platforms are secure.
Many small and medium business could not afford to implement this level of security on their own servers and infrastructure, let alone manage it on an ongoing basis. In addition, most cloud solutions will include backups and disaster recovery failover as a matter of course, meaning that valuable data is kept secure.
This aids digital transformation as it adapts to today’s more flexible, remote workforce. Supporting a remote workforce requires digital transformation and, to do that, you need the cloud (public, private or hybrid).
6. Collaboration with actionable analytics
With all users having access to the same systems from anywhere at any time, employees can take advantage of cross-team collaboration across the business. Teams can make live edits to data and ensure information is always up-to-date, as well as have access to accurate data whilst on-the-move.
This benefits digital transformation as it gives companies the ability to combine data, such as customer information, from previously disparate sources. Centralised data allows you to quickly view snapshots of the information you need and make more informed business decisions.
7. Faster deployments and improved customer strategy
With no need to build complex internal infrastructure and server environments, the time required to set up new systems or migrating existing systems to the cloud is minimal. Cloud solutions can be built in a short period of time, leading to faster deployments.
Paired with digital transformation, new technologies will create capabilities that can help a company acquire, retain and assist customers while simultaneously reducing marketing spend.
Begin your digital transformation (and cloud) journey today
Digital transformation doesn’t always have to lead to a move to the cloud, as there are still many software solutions that can be delivered “on-premise” (i.e. on servers that you host, maintain and control).
However, digital transformation is as much about removing outdated processes and legacy technology as it is about embracing new technology. Moving to the cloud is the future and many businesses are accelerating their planned digital transformation projects as a result of COVID-19.
So, if you’re considering a digital transformation project or a move to the cloud, you’ll need to find a company with proven experience of handling these types of projects.
At Columbus, we’ve spent the last 30 years helping companies in this exact position. That’s why we’ve used our expertise to create a step-by-step guide outlining how businesses can successfully implement digital transformation whilst minimising risk.
Interested? Download it below.