In the post pandemic world, digital transformation and cloud are now mainstream, with one disruptive, while the other superbly cost effective. Rohit Bhargava, Practice Head – Cloud & Security from Cloud Box Technologies writes about this interplay of technology and skills.
The pandemic has flipped regional enterprise priorities the other way around. Some projects that were on the drawing board have been accelerated, while others trimmed down or shelved. Regional enterprises are accelerating digital transformation projects, with cloud at the epicenter, looking to achieve a host of new capabilities.
These include cost reduction, rapid time to market, creation of new market places, enhanced team collaboration, amongst others. The fast-changing environment of the pandemic is so typical of a competitive digital market place, where scale, speed, simplicity, determine survival and business returns.
All technologies go through a roller coaster of highs and lows. They exhibit peaks of rapid adoption as well as slow-downs, triggered by pragmatic evaluation to get the best business benefits out of investments. Digitally advanced organizations develop the ability to manage these highs and lows of adoption.
CIOs in these organizations learn the approach of digital dexterity, a new set of skills and capabilities that allow them to manage such challenges. These skills are typically a blend of continuous problem solving, complex decision making, and rapid pattern recognition.
Digital dexterity is a new set of attributes and skills that allow CIOs and their teams to operate successfully in a continuously changing digital world. Digital transformation also requires the ability to adjust to challenges both outside and inside the organization.
Moving down the path of digital transformation requires organizations to manage multiple disruptive digital technologies in a cohesive and systematic fashion. This enables disruptive technologies to add up and grow exponentially in scale. The way forward is for CIOs to select, use and integrate disruptive technologies, on a continuous basis.
Leveraging the cloud
Cloud computing helps to reduce the computing cost per user, where large number of users are using the same application workload. In the past, legacy database servers, were much more inefficient in sharing the same application workload with large number of users.
Hence, when the user base was smaller, and the ability to share compute and application resources was limited, the cost per user was much higher. Computing was more expensive in the past with legacy servers and database technologies.
A simple graph of computing cost per user versus the number of users and the type of technology shows that, as the number of users supported with the same application workload increases, the cost per user reduces.
Over the last 30 years we have seen these changes happening through client server architecture, Unix servers, Main Frame servers, Virtual servers, and finally modern day hyper converged servers and finally hyper scalar architecture.
The number of users, now supported on cloud application architectures, using hyper converged and finally hyper scalar architectures built by cloud service providers, can run into millions, tens of millions, and more.
The key here is to have a well-designed, cloud architecture, application workload, scale out across an array of computing resources, to support millions of concurrent users, in real time. By using a cloud platform from cloud service providers, enterprises are outsourcing the requirement of keeping in touch with the latest technologies and best practices.
This reduces the pressure on enterprises to continuously invest in technology capital purchases and to continuously recruit skilled technology resources. Cloud therefore reduces the total cost of technology ownership on the longer term and helps the IT organization demonstrate higher productivity gains.
In reality CIOs and business heads inside an organization may find themselves challenged, with cloud and other technologies, to use the full potential of the digital platforms they are building. The digital platform allows the organization to build new products, target new customer segments, build new marketplaces and extend and integrate into supplier ecosystems.
Digital platforms can transform the complete business model of an organization and is only limited by the imagination and creativity of the CIO and business heads.