When You Need to Predict the Unpredictable
The COVID-19 pandemic upended the global economy, but business didn’t stop—it adapted. Many organisations rewrote recovery and business continuity plans. Some companies reprioritised projects to optimise costs, while others created new business models and ways of working. Regardless of which path they took, the pandemic forced digital transformation upon businesses that weren’t necessarily ready for it. For years, companies struggled with accumulating technical debt, stalled or ineffective digital transformation projects, and siloed mindsets and behaviors. Those obstacles were magnified as COVID-19 accelerated the scope and scale of the digital economy. Speed is more essential than ever. Agility is an imperative. Organisations are recalibrating technology roadmaps. They’re pivoting and prioritising the “big rocks” crucial to creating a resilient enterprise in a new digital economy.
Bold organisations understand that speed, collaboration, agility, supply chain insights and innovation are enabled at scale by the cloud. They’re migrating applications and deploying new platforms to sustain operations, solidify resiliency and improve customer experience. Cloud technology offers a critical solution, not just for growth but for survival: Fear is a real catalyst for digital transformation. No one knows where the bottom is or how the pandemic will fundamentally change industries and customer behaviors. Organisations must hone their survival instincts and take action to deliver products and services more quickly than their competition, leveraging the power of cloud-based platforms.
The pandemic triggered an economic recession—the first global recession in the era of the cloud. Core cloud benefits of agility, access, elasticity and scale are now put to the test. Business leaders must make an honest, holistic assessment of their strategy and determine where they are on their digital journey. And, above all, keep it simple. The essence of digital transformation, after all, is purposely using technology to deliver specific business outcomes.
What impact will a global pandemic have on the cloud? The cloud is the greatest enabler for both business and delivery agility, but transformation requires bold leadership. Organisations must take action; implement a purpose-driven plan, then execute—with agile partners—at speed. The bold will not only survive, but thrive, in the digital economy.
Empower Business with the Cloud
Smart companies keep it simple. They don’t fall in love with rhetoric or the latest buzzwords. But they didn’t suddenly discover cloud computing, and the cloud doesn’t exactly represent emerging technology. So, what do they do differently? Typically, they view the cloud from a unique perspective. Strategic decisions revolve around a customer-first mindset. They identify and prove specific use cases, and then scale those across the enterprise. They recognise the real value in cloud technologies is as an enabler to modernise the enterprise, rather than simply a way to increase cost savings.
The specific technology, or the promise the technology is expected to deliver on, often gets the most focus, but it’s the people, culture and the mindset for change that is critical for success. Driving user adoption is one aspect of the change management equation, but it’s also about the employees who are delivering the work. Employees also could experience a sense of trepidation, particularly in cases of a large-scale cloud migration, especially if or when the impacts to their workflows and responsibilities are ambiguous. People may resist because they fear their role will become obsolete or their skill set redundant due to automation capabilities delivered by the new cloud platform.
Senior leaders must clearly articulate their vision, equip and empower middle management with the tools and ability to rally employees, and create a sense of urgency around cloud initiatives. In other words, create a common cause employees can embrace to drive the business forward.
Common Cloud Pitfalls
- Lack of leadership resolve: Failed transformation efforts can almost always be traced back to leaders who were unable to communicate a clear vision, or who otherwise failed to set and drive aggressive top-down goals and expectations.
- Failed technology adoption: Organisations often focus on the features of the technology, but it’s the people and the mindset for change that drive adoption and deliver value.
- Minimise the impact of remote work: Organisations may overlook how digital workspaces impact employee moral long-term—forcing workflows and interactions that thrive in a physical environment, into a virtual one.
- Shortage of talent and expertise: Two in five companies don’t believe they have the expertise needed to succeed with their digital transformation initiatives.
- Competitive distractions: Slow moving, outmoded vendors that don’t keep the customer at the centre of the effort will grind migrations to a halt.
When you “think big” and embrace the art of possible, you can develop a vision for modernisation that not only disrupts your industry, but also creates a value-focused path to your business future. Organisations that intentionally leverage the cloud to build foundational technology platforms will empower their business to thrive and create sustainable resiliency.