Continuum of capabilities: Reimagination of business with cloud

Today more businesses are aware that cloud can bring more than cost-efficiency and scale

By Ajoy Menon

IKEA faced an unexpected challenge at the start of the pandemic. It had to manage an online shopping frenzy that was more than double its regular ecommerce volume, which meant a rapid reinvention of multiple processes.

A tough task for many, but Ikea had a trump card handy. It had already been laying the foundation for company-wide, cloud-enabled digital transformation. This enabled it to manage the rise in demand, including the implementation of new services and processes, within just days instead of weeks or months. This is a great example of the genius of the cloud.

The cloud is evolving as it matures. Today more businesses are aware that it can bring more than cost-efficiency and scale. But still only a small subset, just over 12%, are even touching the possibilities of what cloud can offer, according to Accenture’s recent research.

These are ‘Continuum Competitors’; organisations that see the cloud as a continuum of capabilities, and as an operating model and not just a single, static destination.

Clearing the path to innovation

For some organisations, cloud is viewed either as a public cloud or shared datacentres, and this can include a mix of private, public and edge clouds.

Continuum Competitors have a different mindset altogether. For them, the cloud is a spectrum of capabilities enabling continuous innovation. Their cloud environments are not defined by or limited to only one type of cloud (public/private/hybrid/ multi) or service provider but involves an array of seamlessly connected cloud-first technologies that can be accessed from any location.

Re-architecting the journey to success

Cloud migration can be challenging. Organisations may have to navigate legacy systems, changing operating models, manage compliance and regulation, all while always ensuring cyber-security and data protection.

Continuum Competitors regularly re-assess their cloud journey and continually optimise their infrastructures.

Research shows that there are four key steps that these organisations take to unlock the potential of cloud:

1. Map out a clear strategy: First, understand the many capabilities of the Cloud Continuum and how to use them. The next step is to identify priorities that will act as guardrails to define where investments should go.

2. Establish best cloud practices: Stay on course with your strategy by ensuring continuous alignment of the organisation with your goals.

3. Focus innovation on experience: Continuum Competitors use the cloud to enhance employee collaboration, reduce rote tasks, and deliver more on innovative customer experiences.

4. Maintain continuous commitment: By continuing your cloud commitment, your organisation benefits from staying on the course of sustained innovation and growth.

Like IKEA, other Continuum Competitors including Samsung, Sephora, Starbucks, and Carlsberg, are ensuring they are ready to navigate the next market disruption or exploit future opportunity with the help of the right technology foundation – cloud.

(The writer is senior MD, Lead – Accenture Cloud First, Advanced Technology Centres in India)

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