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There have been significant moments in the history of the enterprise that have revolutionised the game. With technology rapidly progressing since the invention of the wheel, my number one observation is that technology is changing at an unprecedented rate. This so called fourth industrial revolution is bringing change at a speed, scale and force unlike anything we have seen before. This means that the business models of each and every industry will be fundamentally transformed.
When Ford Motor Company first introduced the assembly line in 1913, the means of production were forever changed. Now cars could be produced in a fraction of the time while also reducing the cost of production. The idea and execution of the assembly line allowed Ford Motor Company to become the world’s number 1 car manufacturer. This one idea allowed the company to lead the market and develop a reputation of achieving satisfaction and reliability.
Fast forward from the Ford assembly line, there’s a new way to provide IT, which once more will revolutionise the game for years to come. This new method of delivering IT is the cloud which provides a variety of IT resources, services and solutions. Once more a new method has changed the way business is done, giving enterprises in all fields, a new and competitive edge.
This isn’t to say that the cloud is intended to be the key source of a company’s success, however if utilised correctly, the cloud can help move enterprises in to the new digital age. Moving into the new digital age requires a new “filing cabinet” so to speak. With millions of pieces of sensitive information flowing through a company’s systems, it’s important to not only keep that information organised and available but secure as well.
Instead of juggling multiple systems, which can be both limiting and costly, the cloud allows organisations to keep their data under a single management framework regardless of its location. In many cases, it allows you to separately move your data and applications between public clouds (such as Amazon, Microsoft & Google), third party provider clouds as well as your own private cloud.
The cloud removes distinct legacy infrastructures to create an efficiently secure and flexible space. By allowing corporate information to be managed under a single framework, the information stored can also be more easily analysed to provide enterprise wide insights.
With the digital age in full swing, storing and moving sensitive information is a bigger risk than ever before. We see trust bleeding out all around us. Protecting information from falling into the wrong hands should always be a priority for any organisation. Not only to protect information that could be beneficial to competitors, but also to guarantee consumers peace of mind that their private information won’t be stolen or used against them.
Nonetheless the cloud is still a tool and requires knowledge and skill to be used effectively, but when leveraged in the right way the cloud can transform an organisation. Similar to Ford’s assembly line the cloud has changed the game ushering in a new era in a rapidly changing digital age. Change is never easy, the same goes for the culture of corporate IT. Yet there are important factors to keep in mind when transitioning…
Being innovative requires some element of risk, being the first to deploy new technology can be risky because of the fear of the unknown. However, with that said innovation does also have its rewards. Take Ford for example, after the introduction of the assembly line many of the major competitors began to follow a similar, if not the same, assembly process. Ford lead the car manufacturing business into the future which resulted in them leading the market for many years.
While current business processes are often locked in functional teams it’s important to be open minded towards change. Rather than isolating the IT team from the rest of the business process, encouraging true collaborations between various functions can have positive results. Getting teams to collaborate can be difficult given the hierarchal and often territorial nature of the work place, but it’s important to remember that the success of the organisation is success for everyone involved. This can take and often requires strong leadership.
One thing to keep in mind is that with failure comes the opportunity to learn and grow. The cloud provides the space and ability needed to test out new ideas, which if proven to be successful on a smaller scale can then be scaled throughout the organisation. Keep in mind that if a project is not successful it doesn’t necessarily mean it should be considered a failure. On the contrary, unsuccessful projects provide valuable information that can be vital for future projects.
Organisations should look to this transition as an exciting moment in time and it’s up to them what side of the revolution they want to be remembered by. Change isn’t a loss but the development of a new point of view.
Author – Chris Starsmeare