Digital Transformation Journey: Why a cloud strategy is never the endpoint

Susan Bowen

 January 09, 2019


Over the years, cloud computing has become somewhat of a ‘buzz word’ when talking about digital transformation. Cloud Technology often seems to be over simplified as something that a business acquires or does once, rather than a journey or strategy requiring continuous investment.

The misconception that cloud is a simple, one and done process is problematic for many of the IT decision makers I talk to. And, across regions and industries, a common issue they express is that the board level decision makers to whom they report, don’t understand the complexity or true potential of cloud computing.

Too many cloud choices?

There’s a huge amount of choice available within the cloud market, from public, private, and hybrid cloud to multi-cloud and hyperscale cloud – the many options can seem overwhelming. Most business leaders understand that cloud can provide enterprise-grade IT without a large investment in infrastructure, but with a proliferation of cloud choices, it’s hard to know which is the best cloud choice for a specific business.

When the starting point is the problem

Believe it or not, part of the problem is knowing where to begin. Often the best place to start is with what is keeping you up at night. What major business issues or challenges would be a weight off your shoulders if solved? Once you’ve identified these problems, you can then begin to find the right solutions.

On the surface, cloud is often seen as a way to save money or scale the business. But, cloud-based services and cloud-native applications can also be a catalyst for wider digital transformation, especially with the emergence of technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality and the Internet of Things. Cloud can be key to enabling and supporting these emerging technologies.

Digital transformation requires a cultural shift

To buy into the cloud journey, the people factor is as important (if not more important) as putting the right technology in place. Everyone impacted needs to be on board – both the executives who champion an initiative and the frontline employees who will be directly impacted need to see the value it brings.

When selling the idea internally, it’s critical that you link it to the business strategy. Pivot the hype into quantifiable value — which starts with defining the business goals.

For example, is the impetus behind digital transformation about decreasing costs? Or is it about increasing productivity in the workforce? Is there an aging data center that needs to be replaced? Or perhaps the business is looking to accelerate innovation?

When cloud is part of the solution

There are a number of ways to address each of these objectives by leveraging cloud solutions. Defining business goals and expected outcomes will lead to the right investment choices; and understanding how ROI will be measured can drive significant benefits. Plus, this methodical approach may uncover opportunities to optimize beyond initial cost savings.

Selling the idea of cloud and ultimately, digital transformation, may also involve getting leadership on board with the idea of working with a service provider — this is not to replace your IT team, rather it’s about accessing expertise and experience in order to put the best possible solution in place. A trusted technology partner will be be at your side for the transformation journey, helping you navigate to the right cloud choice for the business.

Without a doubt, employing cloud-based services and cloud-native applications can play a critical role in any digital transformation. But, not to sound too trite, when it comes to cloud, it really is all about the journey. That being said, the journey can be made significantly smoother through clearly defined objectives, thoughtful consideration of the human factor and by accessing the right expertise.

Of course, here at Cogeco Peer 1, we pride ourselves in the best-fit solutions and advice that we provide to our customers every day, whether they’re digital transformation journey is just beginning or it’s well underway.

To find out more about your cloud options, and how Cogeco Peer 1 can help you on your journey to digital transformation, download ‘The Business Leader’s Guide to Digital Transformation in the Cloud’ here now.

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