Over the past eight years, a remarkable shift has taken place in how companies perceive and utilize cloud technology. Initial skepticism about data security and storage has given way to unwavering confidence since the pandemic. This transformation isn’t limited to just large enterprises. Even SMBs and start-ups have embraced the cloud’s myriad advantages.
Cloud Optimization: The Journey
In the pursuit of an optimized cloud strategy, enterprises must address several critical components. This includes seamless integration of diverse cloud solutions to facilitate communication, guidance, and strategies to reduce unnecessary cloud spend. This will allow for the transition from private data centers to public clouds with hyperscalers and migrate resource-intensive applications like ERP and CRM to enhance performance and scalability on public cloud platforms.
As cloud adoption increases, different industries find themselves at varying stages based on their specific needs and use cases. Sectors such as BFSI, retail, and healthcare are leading the charge with cloud investments within these sectors geared toward enhancing customer experiences, driving cost efficiency, and accelerating revenue growth. A strong case in point is Axis Bank. The multi-billion-dollar private Indian banking and financial services firm powers its digital banking transformation with AWS to build its secure digital banking services in three months. This transformation empowered customers with cutting-edge experiences, like opening online accounts within six minutes and instant digital payments—the outcome: a 35% boost in customer satisfaction and a remarkable 24% cost reduction.
Understanding these nuances is key to optimizing cloud investments moving forward. As technology advances, cloud providers increasingly rely on partners like System Integrators (SIs) and developers to implement complex solutions. However, while partnerships facilitate innovation, there exist multiple challenges that enterprises must understand and navigate adeptly.
Key Challenges and Focus Areas in Cloud Optimization
In this evolving landscape, the need for enhanced support from the ecosystem has become increasingly evident. Cloud providers rely heavily on various partners, including SIs, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and Resellers. These partners bring a crucial capability to the table: the ability to implement and integrate cloud solutions with existing environments, addressing use cases that enterprises struggle to tackle independently.
As technology becomes more intricate and diverse, cloud providers face the challenge of effectively collaborating with their ecosystem partners. The complexity of contemporary projects and use cases demands a seamless integration of diverse components, highlighting the necessity of efficient partner engagement.
Developer ecosystem and innovation imperatives:
While technological trends like Low Code/No Code and the emergence of citizen developers hold immense potential, they must still be integrated into the cloud landscape to develop innovative solutions that cater to both enterprises and consumers.
Governance and Regulation:
Government policies not only benefit cloud providers but also create a conducive environment for end customers. How governments design and implement these policies, while ensuring flexibility to encourage increased cloud consumption, will significantly influence enterprise decision-making in the coming decade.
Optimizing Cloud Consumption:
During the pandemic, enterprises invested heavily in cloud consumption and secured bulk contracts based on pandemic levels. But as the world moves beyond the pandemic, enterprises lack additional use cases that they should explore and are hence cautious.
In addition to the above prevalent pitfalls, building a robust partner ecosystem that facilitates interconnectedness, dependability/reliability, and aims at maximizing value for all stakeholders involved is critical yet challenging.
Playbook for Success for Cloud Optimization
During times of economic uncertainty, enterprises must look at multiple levers to optimize their cloud plans and build a defensible moat centered in the cloud:
- Targets and Benchmarks: Enterprises need to ask what they want to achieve and how it’s going to benefit their organization. They also need to marry this with their current financial capability- bringing in transparency on where they stand and how much they can invest into new technology and optimization initiatives across all teams. It is important to take this transparency and target individual business functions as well.
- Driving Functional Innovation: Enterprises must consider how their specific business needs will benefit from technology –whether it be horizontal solutions or industry-specific ones. This will help determine the use cases they need to place bets on and identify the right partners to implement the chosen solution.
- Prioritize Cloud Optimization: Enterprises that integrate tools to optimize cloud investments will see an ROI by reducing costs and improving efficiency at the same time. At the same time, they need to measure results to find opportunities to scale up initiatives within the business function or even throughout the enterprise at large.
- Workload allocation: It is important to decide whether these solutions and technologies will run critical or non-critical workloads. Critical workloads can be run on-premise to monitor and intervene as needed closely. Once they achieve stability and rhythm in the workflow, they can be moved to the public cloud.
- Partnerships: Cloud marketplaces, in addition to the partner ecosystem, are the next channel for enterprises to procure solutions and technologies. A recent analysis of the cloud marketplaces market reveals that growth in the space will reach upwards of USD 150 Bn by 2027, depicting a more than 85% growth in adoption. These marketplaces offer accelerated and simplified procurement of purpose-built solutions customized for each business unit. Compared to direct contracts, cloud marketplaces offer 50% faster sales, making it easier for organizations to build quicker, better, and smoother tools.
In a swiftly evolving landscape, businesses have embraced cloud technology’s transformative power. From verticalization to strategic partnerships, success hinges on optimizing investments. As industries advance, so do the challenges evolve. To navigate these deftly, enterprises must continually innovate, foster collaboration, and wield the cloud’s potential to secure a prosperous future.