Digitisation is a priority for business leaders worldwide – whether you’re in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, or any other industry. Cloud has now become a vital component in achieving those digitisation requirements.
As we continue to feel the effects of the pandemic, and its impact on working conditions, it’s even clearer that cloud remains instrumental in helping businesses adopt, optimise, and accelerate digital strategies. Cloud is a critical component for most businesses, and if you want to future-proof your technology, it’s critical for you, too.
The benefits of cloud
The fundamental properties of cloud – availability and scalability among them – make it not only attractive but also cost-effective for businesses of every size. If you’re concerned about resiliency within your business, the high availability of cloud is a huge bonus. Plus, you have the ability to create backups and disaster recovery solutions faster and more simply than you would in-house.
We live in a world where people want things fast – no matter what it is, we tend to be impatient. Cloud helps with that, accelerating time to market and modernising your business and processes.
If you’re concerned about security, as many business leaders were in the early days of cloud computing, that’s changed significantly over the years. Microsoft Azure offers a way for you to provide greater protection both on the cloud and through your on-premises environments, with robust security and threat detection.
There are a tonne of other benefits to cloud, which we’ll cover in another post.
Paths to migrate or modernise, or both
Getting started with cloud is all about migration and modernisation. The two approaches are closely linked: migrations provide the foundation for your scalable and secure infrastructure, and then modernisation builds on that foundation to innovate legacy applications to be more agile or offer richer user experiences.
You may be thinking, “that’s all great, but where would we start?”
One of the big advantages of Azure is that you can move to the cloud and modernize and migrate at your own pace – one that makes sense for your business needs.
Azure solutions for hybrid estates allow your IT team to manage a mix of on-premises and cloud resources, applying consistent management and governance controls across both. That flexibility means you can continue to maintain some resources on-premises, even as you move other resources to the cloud.
Simplifying the management of diverse IT environments is more important than ever in today’s digital world. A recent Flexera “State of the Cloud Report” notes that 82 percent of enterprises today have a hybrid cloud strategy and 92 percent have multi-cloud strategies.
Expand your cloud value
Once in the cloud, you’ll be able to take advantage of plenty of opportunities to increase the value of your investment. Just as application modernisation can follow (or integrate with) your earliest migration, there are other ways to use the cloud to advance your digital goals.
For example, you might build on your new cloud infrastructure to modernise your data estate. Azure’s data and analytics services help you unify data from multiple sources so that you can get richer and more actionable business insights from your data.
The benefits of using data as a strategic asset are significant. A 2020 Harvard Business Review study found that organisations that embrace data to drive digital transformation experience:
You can also choose to explore a number of other opportunities, such as:
- Using cloud to accelerate innovation
- Increasing security and compliance
- Driving consistency across hybrid IT estates
Cloud is transforming industries
Cloud-enabled digital transformation is happening across industries worldwide. Many organisations are already using cloud to address their most important business challenges. Let’s look at a small sample to see what’s possible.
In Retail, evolving buyer behaviors are prompting retailers to focus on better understanding their customers to serve their needs more effectively, and ultimately, reshape and reimagine the retail experience. At the same time, cloud can help to bring much needed resilience to retail supply chains, enabling more robust operations.
For example, Walmart has chosen Microsoft as its preferred and strategic cloud provider, tapping into the full range of Microsoft’s cloud solutions to accelerate digital innovation in retail. Walmart’s family of brands and international businesses have been taking advantage of a broad base of Microsoft cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and internet of things (IoT) solutions to accelerate innovation.
Other large-scale retailers like Albertsons have migrated to Azure to gain agility and scalability at lower cost so they can confidently support increases in e-commerce and meet buyers’ changing needs during the pandemic.
Within Manufacturing, cloud is also helping companies become more agile, innovative, and competitive to attract and retain both customers and the next generation of workers.
Finnish-based manufacturer Outokumpu is using Azure to transform the value it gets from data, enabling the company to increase output by 10-15 percent, while also bringing down quality defects by as much as 40 percent.
Cloud is helping Financial Services companies protect against growing threats like cyber and financial crime while increasing agility through modernisation of aging financial systems.
Dutch-based ABN AMRO modernised its approach to data with Azure, helping to unlock better decision-making across the company.
And in the Healthcare industry, cloud has allowed health organisations to accelerate digitisation to support the rise in virtual healthcare, enabling both patients and providers to interact virtually and access vital data while securing sensitive information.
Australian-based New South Wales Health Pathology offers a great example of an organisation that’s innovating diagnostics by using Azure to deliver a modern digital health platform.
Another example is German-based Siemens Healthineers, which provides digital health services to cloud-connected customers through an Azure-based digital health platform. By using Azure Arc, the company can efficiently manage remote hospital machines and secure on-premises customer data with confidence.
Get started today
If you’re not sure whether you’re ready to migrate to cloud, or you want to explore your options, talk to one of our experts. We’ll run through your business needs and priorities and let you know what benefits you can unlock, what to expect from a migration, and what investment you should be planning.