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Why cloud first and cloud now is the most urgent business strategy?

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The COVID-19 crisis has intensified the need for businesses to complete their cloud ecosystem strategy. The benefits are multiple not just for businesses, but also for customers. The pandemic has disrupted the ways of working for highly successful global industries.

Simultaneous supply and demand shocks have exposed the vulnerabilities of traditional business models. As organizations struggle to pick up momentum, they face an existential crisis on surviving the pandemic and at the same time continue to grow, compete and sustain. The biggest challenge is to know how to fulfil the demand for any time, anywhere access to information; access to information and data, and speed will be the competitive differentiator. And, with the majority of the companies working remotely, this demand will only increase in the future. 

How to become an adaptive digital enterprise?

While the pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge, the organizations should not let this crisis go to waste and turn this climate of uncertainty into an opportunity to become an “adaptive digital enterprise.”

So, what does this mean?  It means a secure, trusted, highly resilient organization that remains adaptive under uncertainty. An organization that is authentically customer-centric, powered by hyper-scale, operates at zero marginal cost and is empathetic to sustainability. Organizations need to pivot from stable and predictable characteristics to adaptable ones in a world where the future is uncertain.

In this unprecedented environment, cloud enablement and digital technologies will be among the most potent options to become an adaptive organization. A proactive technology strategy built around adapting operations and building resilience can equip the enterprise with a more decisive competitive edge in a post-COVID-19 world. The current business situation demands a cloud-first response.

The cloud-first response can help organizations become operationally adaptive and deploy new digital experiences in days rather than months. It can deliver business intelligence that would be uneconomical or simply impossible with conventional infrastructure. Businesses using the cloud effectively will benefit the most by quickly leveraging the ability to create resilient and disaster-averse systems anywhere worldwide, protecting data and business application integrity, apart from supporting an increasingly remote workforce. Enterprises that get the cloud operating model right can see dramatic improvements. These include better speed, scale, optimal target-state economics and lower transition costs.

What is the role of the C-suite?

C-suite has a critical role to play in a cloud-first response strategy. They need to become more technology-savvy than they have been in the past and take some vital decisive actions such as revamping infrastructure to support a virtual and globally distributed workforce.

Tactically, this means business continuity through cloud-based platforms that enable a global virtual workforce that can securely connect and conduct business through collaboration software. From a strategic standpoint, rethink workforce planning that supports remote working in the long haul and accelerate the migration of business-critical and mission-critical applications to the cloud to improve resiliency and business continuity. To do so, the C-suite must identify and enforce new commercial models in the cloud to reduce Capex and rebalance IT operation spending. Due to the pandemic’s devastating economic impact, they will need a strategic approach to maximize return on cloud expense and crack capabilities that deliver operational value and increase productivity amid capital constraints.

While rapidly accelerating towards the cloud, ensure not to lose sight of the core tenets of customer trust and transparency by adopting best practices around a security-first, risk-managed, compliance-driven, business-led cloud transformation model.

The author of the article is Ragu Rajaram, Principal Technology Consulting at EY Global Delivery Services.  

The views reflected in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the global EY organization or its member firms.