Since the unprecedented changes of Covid-19, from global disruption to the rise of remote work, digital transformation companies have accelerated. Despite the two decades of monumental technological change that preceded it, the pandemic was a catalyst like no other. In fact, IBM asserts that the events of this period were the “ultimate driver” for digital transformation. Specifically “In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare every organization’s digital transformation efforts and progress (or lack thereof)”. So what technology facilitates this transformation? And furthermore, how do these transformational technologies fit in with businesses beyond merely patching workflow, operational, and service problems? The answer is wide-reaching software products cloud computing services that deliver change over the internet.
As a mammoth global technological vertical worth nearly USD$500 billion, the accelerating growth is tied to extensive enterprise uptake. Therefore as businesses of all sizes prepare to invest or sustain cloud computing company for digital transformation, comprehensive understanding matters.
For this A3logics guide to understanding cloud computing services and unlocking digital transformation, this article discusses in depth:
- The leading causes of digital transformation and industries experiencing digital transformation
- How cloud computing services catalyze digital transformation for all businesses
- Key areas that cloud computing services digitally transform for every business
- Why cloud computing services support digital transformation
- How cloud computing services deliver digital transformation infrastructure
- The leading cloud computing services for digital transformation
With key facts, examples, and strategic recommendations on leading cloud services, this is a practical guide to effective cloud integration. Now let’s discover everything businesses need to know about deploying tech and building value while transforming at scale.
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The leading causes of digital transformation and industries experiencing digital transformation’
To begin, let’s delve into the advent of digital transformation. For businesses in the 21st century, digital transformation is now part of how operations happen. Neither trends nor tasks to be completed, digital transformation is now embedded in the living DNA of every business.
A brief global view of digital transformation
Presently businesses are massively spending on digital transformation. In 2022 alone, Statista spending projections estimated USD$1.6 trillion invested on digital technology in pursuit of digital transformation. Due to the escalation 2020 catalyzed, IBM explains, “Manufacturers learned just how quickly and effectively they could get new products to market.” Additionally, “Retailers scrambled to provide customers new and safer ways to shop,” and, “Employers adopted or expanded technologies that let employees work from home.”
In sum, digital transformation leads to greater agility in response to changing situations, boosting efficiency, and enhancing innovation. Statista findings declare that this transformation then makes businesses more resilient. When we consider a global event like Covid-19, we understand how businesses leveraged technology solutions. All in all, digital transformation helped businesses maintain operations, comply with restrictions, and connect with customers and stakeholders. Simultaneously, global customer norms evolved resulting in a tactical need for digital transformation to keep up with stakeholders and markets.
Even so, planning and strategy is as important if not more important than the technology itself. Accordingly, McKinsey explains, “Digital transformations, on the other hand, are long-term efforts to rewire how an organization continuously improves and changes (and that means really long term; most executives will be on this journey for the rest of their careers).” Hence as technology advances so to does how businesses respond to and integrate these tools to sustain progress. Emphatically McKinsey reports, “That’s because technology is not only becoming further integrated in business but also constantly evolving.”
What are the six leading industries for digital transformation
- Financial services
- Information technology and electronics
- Media and entertainment
- Automotive and assembly
- Aerospace and defense
- Oil and gas
From their reporting for the list above, McKinsey Technology Council reports the following technology trend areas driving progress:
- Applied AI
- Industrialized machine learning
- Generative AI
- Next-generation software development
- Trust architectures and digital identity
- Advanced connectivity
- Immersive-reality technologies
- Cloud and edge computing
- Quantum technologies
- Future of mobility
- Future of bioengineering
- Future of space technologies
- Electrification and renewables
- Climate technologies beyond electrification and renewables
Industry use of cloud solutions
From the list above, McKinsey emphasizes that cloud technologies innovations are steady and use expands across industries. As a maturing technology vertical, it’s possible to think that cloud solutions might be declining in relevance and value.
Nevertheless, cloud solutions demonstrate other traits for propagating resilience. For example, cloud solutions are integrating other technology growth areas like generative AI and applied AI. Equally, McKinsey projects that innovation in this area is steady and stable rather than dropping off. “Given that these technologies have applications in most industries, we have little doubt that mainstream adoption will continue to grow.” Subsequently cloud solutions remain a core technology.
How cloud computing services catalyze digital transformation for all businesses
Chiefly then, data and reporting around the inextricable links between cloud computing services and digital transformation is largely indisputable. Despite this, demystifying the core ways cloud computing solutions enable and fortify digital transformation equips businesses to pursue strategic growth.
Though businesses of all sizes are undertaking digital transformation, it’s a sizeable investment in coordinated technological and organizational changes. Certainly Julian Birkinshaw demystifies this stating, “Your starting point has to be an end-to-end approach.” Additionally the London Business School academic advises that though digital transformation has noisy buzz saying, “Very few companies have got it wrong by taking a measured approach.” Overall then, businesses need to be informed on the principles of digital transformation and cloud computing services.
The relationship between cloud computing services and digital transformation
So, logically, the question to ask is how cloud computing services interlinks with digital transformation. Currently, digital transformation analysis declares that cloud technologies are one of the top three contributors to this. For reference, the other two are AI and big data.
To explain, Statista reports itemize three phases of digital transformation to understand current progress:
- Firstly, they say digital transformation is accelerating largely led through cloud technologies
- Secondly, AI adoption is sharply increasing
- Thirdly, workforces are transforming due to technology introduction, skill requirements, and new roles emerging
Then what happens is that businesses experience advancements in productivity, efficiency, and sustainability. In terms of value, this makes them more agile, responsive, competitive, and relevant.
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How cloud computing services deliver digital transformation infrastructure
Before we thoroughly review the digital transformation areas of impact and benefits, let’s review technical services and delivery facts.
Types of cloud computing services
There are three main types of cloud computing service systems on the market. By and large, Linda Rosencrance writes for TechTarget, “Cloud service pricing models are categorized into pay per use, subscription-based and hybrid, which is a combination of pay-per-use and subscription pricing models.”
SaaS is a full-stack cloud computing service that’s readily accessible and usable. For example, SaaS applications are ready-to-use with management and provision from a cloud service provider.
PaaS brings clients the hardware and software resources for their cloud applications. Accordingly this equips businesses for developing, testing, delivering, and managing their cloud apps. With services hosted in the cloud, including databases, businesses can also opt for provider offers like middleware and development tools.
IaaS is defined by its on-demand infrastructure resources. Basically the resources available — compute, storage, networking, and virtualization — are on-demand. This gives businesses the option of building their own applications for IaaS to run on. Accordingly businesses need to purchase or rent software like operating systems, data, applications, and middleware.
How these cloud computing services are delivered
All of the cloud computing services explained above manage their workloads across locations. For business clients, this discentralizes their own systems. However this doesn’t mean that a SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS provider doesn’t run their services from a centralized location. Therefore businesses need to be aware that an attack could still affect a provider’s servers so self-governed cybersecurity applies.
Nevertheless, the workload distribution delivering cloud computing systems means that benefits for businesses like service economy and latency reduction happen. Equally, businesses can access their data from wherever their own operations are while meeting compliance regulations.
Workload distribution type: Hyperscale remote data centers
These large-scale, literally hyperscale, cloud servers function as a distribution hub (or fulfillment center). Generally they are used by very large cloud service providers like Meta (formerly Facebook) or Dell. As a result these centers handle huge volumes of data for greater automation and efficiency. Altogether, these workload distributions are beneficial for massive service needs, though they’re not necessarily used in smaller enterprise cloud systems.
Workload distribution type: Regional centers
Global networks of regional centers mean cloud services deploy resources across a range of locations. This builds resilience in the cloud network so workload distribution is consistent, sustainably managed, and effectively interconnected. Thus multi-region businesses can opt for cloud services whose data centers have deployment availability that meet their resource needs. Not only are there multiple data centers managing workloads but also if one centre becomes unavailable, another picks up loads.
Workload distribution type: Local nodes
Cloud computing solutions can also operate over local network nodes with individual computers and devices functioning as nodes. These connection points transmit data between nodes to create server networks. Because nodes are more localized, this type of workload distribution might suit onsite cloud computing systems rather than remote teams.
Key areas that cloud computing services digitally transform for every business
When it comes to businesses undertaking digital transformation, cloud computing services are a robust solution for a range of reasons. Accordingly Paul-Noël Guély illustrates in Forbes that this technology improves security and regulation while being more economical. “Companies are pivoting away from owning and operating their own servers and infrastructure “on-premise”, and in third-party data centres, toward private virtualised cloud and public cloud from hyperscaler providers.” Further Guély says, “This change is an essential part of the evolution of the digital economy.” So let’s review the key areas cloud computing services bolster leading to digital transformation.
Areas cloud computing services transform are:
Equipping businesses to revise their heritage infrastructure and advance with new, robust systems is both savvy and digitally transforming. Rather than manage this internally or hire developers to build entire systems from the nails up, cloud services are deployable. Specifically this means businesses can transition to the cloud without needing their own onsite infrastructure plus upgrade their legacy systems. Then they reap the benefits of cloud computing services while advancing on a digital transformation path.
Though not an immediate part of cloud computing services, these products actually create advanced customer service infrastructure. Hence this improves customer service systems, tactics, and care delivery. For example, think of how extensive the Salesforce CRM product suite is. Overall this takes processes and software then overhauls them completely. Without the scale of digital transformation that cloud systems enable here, customer service standards decline rapidly and undeniably.
Enhanced business workflows
This aspect of digital transformation is seismic. In detail, workflow affects everything from data systems and synchronization to order management and team collaboration. Due to how accessible and secure information is through all-in-one cloud systems, businesses can focus on their operations. Then this drives profits, effective team collaboration, and stakeholder outcomes. Especially after 2020, these capabilities unlock unprecedented scope for value proposition development through to revitalizing roles and scaling entire organizations.
Concurrently to other historical moments — Covid-19 and digital transformation — is how cyberattacks are escalating in the 2020s. Coupled with the urgent need for businesses to strengthen their cloud security, there’s concerns around how fortified cloud systems are. On the positive side, it can’t be denied that businesses decentralizing their systems using cloud products diminishes direct attack risks. On the negative side, businesses still need to be highly literate in the cybsecurity provisions of their cloud provider. Simultaneously businesses must maintain their own cybersecurity protocols and digital hygiene to preserve enterprise-level standards and resilience to attacks. Overall, it can’t be ignored that the attack surface becomes larger using cloud services. Nevertheless, cybersecurity becomes at the forefront of how businesses operate when they invest in cloud systems. Consequently businesses can leverage on-ramps to better cybersecurity using cloud products. Even so they must sustain security standards at all times.
Along with cybersecurity and workflows, is the seemingly exponential volume of data managed in cloud computing systems. Unquestionably cloud systems are synonymous with data management and how businesses organize these assets. Basically, cloud systems and digital transformation go hand-in-hand with data management. Whether it’s general databases or supply systems, cloud products take storage to a new level. Particularly Guély says, “They allow businesses to process, store and manage this avalanche of data in a more efficient, secure and scalable way.” Not only does this provide ergonomic infrastructure but also in-built technologies, like generative AI and machine learning solutions, deliver advancements. For example, now cloud systems can analyze data patterns, automate reports, and recommend resource planning — all from database information. Therefore businesses can use these tools to maintain administrative and security tasks while wielding them for strategy and resource planning.
These benefits are both quantitative and qualitative — two transformative capabilities that are wholly priceless for businesses. To list, the quantitative benefits include how these cloud computing platforms improve users onboarding to operational tools. They’re designed to handle multiple users, huge volumes of data, and a complex range of tasks. In essence, this means that businesses have all-in-one solutions that simplifies operations through centralized accessibility. When it comes to qualitative benefits, then this includes facilitating remote teams for flexible work and field operators. These benefits are wide-reaching as it improves working conditions, widens the pool of skilled talent, and nurturing positive culture.
Accordingly, the macro lens benefits of accessibility are countless. What’s more, this helps improve business spending as engaged workers are measurably more productive thus meaningfully builds the business brand.
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Why cloud computing services support digital transformation
So what we can see from the previously listed areas is that cloud systems digitally transform businesses entirely. As IBM defines, “Digital transformation takes a customer-driven, digital-first approach to all aspects of a business, from its business models to customer experiences to processes and operations.” Therefore, we’ll now review six key ways that cloud computing services actually do effect digital transformation.
Six digital transformations businesses experience with cloud computing services
Cloud systems are an advancement on any legacy software businesses are currently using. As they don’t need to host cloud systems locally, they can experience faster, more robust operations without latency. Then this improves user-experience (UX) and user-interface (UI) that can cost businesses in both efficiency and lost customers. Additionally, businesses operating systems with latency problems often have old security infrastructure making them vulnerable to cyberattacks. Despite this digital transformation, businesses should be prepared to invest in quality cloud systems. Otherwise they can experience new latency issues between client requests and the cloud service’s provider responsiveness then request delivery.
Automating business activities is a comprehensive digital transformation that is core to cutting-edge operations in the 21st century. Furthermore, taking the steps to automate tasks aligns with risk management. For example, the types of tasks that are automated are often those that are repetitive yet essential like record management. When businesses automate a task like this, staff members are freed to focus on higher-order tasks. The alternative is not automating and workers — very understandably — becoming distracted by a repetitive task. This improves resource allocation while eliminating security risks that could become serious attack vectors or compliance issue resulting in breaches.
3. Data insights
Similarly to automation, the transformation to data insights is extraordinarily valuable. During automation, businesses can opt to apply this not just to data management but also report analysis and insights. Then this frees critical thinking resources for problem solving, risk management, and strategic planning. Because this digitally transforms both tools and processes, businesses can redesign core value propositions like customer service. For instance, applying data insights technology to customer care results in free resources to directly follow up with valued clients.
Though we’ve already touched on this area of businesses, the actual digital transformation of security infrastructure experiences practical innovation, too. In fact, the in-built cloud system security features are a perfect foundation for businesses to transform their cybersecurity culture. For example, establishing system access so that all employees automatically require multi-factor authentication with strong passwords. Additionally businesses have audit trails in systems that help manage user access and identify errors. All in all this strengthens security standards which is an undeniable necessity in an era of multi-location workers.
Another area of global digital transformation that puts pressure on businesses is compliance. Though there has always been operational legislation — regional, federal, and global — every year compliance laws are diversifying as threats evolve. With the data protections and privacy priorities intersecting with digital transformation and cybersecurity threats, cloud systems integrate business compliance tools. Undeniably data is a high-value individual and collective asset that costs businesses huge amounts whenever breaches or attacks occur. Therefore systems that are better prepared against cyberattacks, level up data management and security, and integrate compliance offer comprehensive transformation. What’s more, cloud systems are increasingly sophisticated so industry compliance using market-specific enterprise products like HR software is possible.
The integration capabilities of cloud computing services offers dynamic digital transformation for both software and hardware innovation. When we nominate integration as a factor of digital transformation this means that businesses can opt for three solution types. Firstly, integration with reciprocal products in a product suite such as how the Salesforce portfolio is designed to be scaled. Then businesses can continually add new features to their cloud services and expand capabilities. Secondly, integration with third-party software tools such as adding payment gateway functionalities or integrating applications, like Microsoft Office 365. And, thirdly, integration with smart hardware like Internet of Things device that can gather extra data and extend UX functionalities. Above all, integration in cloud systems means businesses can properly customize their operations, retain effective tools, and tailor digital transformation.
The leading cloud computing services provider for digital transformation
These major cloud providers are becoming household names in digital transformation and facilitating a new era of business. During this cloud systems uptake including SaaS and cloud tools, normalized use of technologies delivered an upswell for the vertical. Writing for World Economic Forum, Arnav Sahu specifies, “As beneficiaries of this tailwind, public cloud hosting providers like AWS provider, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud have seen phenomenal success.”
The difference between the four main types of deployment for cloud computing services
These clouds enable businesses to custom-build their own cloud infrastructure as per their needs and specifications. Though this places all data in a private cloud that’s technically inaccessible, the IaaS or PaaS is entirely self-managed. Accordingly scaling is down to business resources even when they’re working with the top software development companies. Subsequently if businesses wish to scale their security then this is a significant expense that may not be immediately achievable.
These are large pools of cloud infrastructure that can be accessed across the internet. Public clouds can be SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Businesses that invest in public cloud computing services can scale their systems and computing power is vast. Though the jury is out on if highly sensitive data should be stored on public clouds, these are robust services. Despite this, there is some element of risk around businesses not having end-to-end control over their data.
Certain experts believe that this is, quite literally, what most businesses currently have: some private cloud and some public cloud. When businesses are using multiple vendors like this with multiple different types of cloud systems and storage, benefits are customized. Basically then this can save businesses money though it may lack some scalability of an all-in-one system.
This cloud solution is growing in popularity and mainstream use as it’s a more tactical approach to maximizing technical capabilities. For this purpose, businesses are actually investing in specific public cloud services according to product functionalities and their operational needs. Then this helps manage their workloads while diversifying systems — hence leading public cloud computing services are designed for seamless extension.
Leading public cloud computing services
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
This original cloud computing IaaS product is a wide-reaching platform for cloud compute and data storage. As a heritage Amazon product, this is actually the leading operating income store, for the tech company. This is still the number one public cloud computing service on the market. Presently, AWS has an exceptionally strong foothold with enterprises all over the world.
Microsoft’s SaaS is the number two public cloud computing platform for enterprises and is a strong hybrid offering. A significant portion of their Azure cloud revenue is derived from Office 365 sales. Additionally, since 2020, rapid increases in Microsoft Teams use has led to Azure market growth. Another point of difference is how Azure integrates with Salesforce products.
Google Cloud Platform
The third biggest public cloud computing service remains a formidable force in digital transformation. In fact, Google Cloud Platform services has a range of important partnerships with Salesforce, Informatica, VMware, and SAP. Furthermore their platform can handle multi-cloud workloads and they’re currently on a hiring run to build their offering.
In conclusion, digital transformation is coming for businesses irrespective of their readiness. What’s more, after the events of 2020 to 2022, strategically planning technical deployment for digital transformation will always be valuable. After all, organizations can now be changed overnight by much more than economic factors and being digitally ready means resilience.
For businesses evaluating their cloud computing services position — whether they’ve invested yet or not — it’s worthwhile to gain expert input. As McKinsey attests, “If leaders can’t be clear about what a digital transformation is—and align their organization around a specific program—they can’t expect to be successful.”
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the leading cloud computing services?
Of the public cloud providers, the three leading cloud computing services are:
Additionally there are other prominent cloud computing services such as Dropbox that offer storage along with OneDrive and Google Drive. All in all, these public cloud providers may offer a free service while the most robust products are paid subscription systems.
How do businesses plan a roadmap strategy for investing in cloud computing services?
Businesses will always benefit from a roadmap strategy that helps them plan their software and hardware, cybersecurity, and data management. In order to undertake this process, businesses should consult with an experienced IT and software development company. When businesses meet with roadmap strategy experts like A3logics their developers evaluate cloud computing services needs and existing legacy systems. Following this they can proceed with choosing cloud computing services and coordinating this with their other strategic objectives.
How do cloud computing services equip businesses to start digital transformation?
Due to the robust functionalities and operational offerings of cloud services, businesses immediately experience digital transformation. For example, moving to cloud platforms means businesses have more flexibility for their teams to provide end-to-end client services. Additionally they can gain a more skilled team who can work across locations, achieve task automation, and streamline operations. Then this boosts other transformation such as better data insights, cybersecurity, and third-party system integrations.
Do cloud computing services put businesses at risk of cyberattacks?
Generally speaking, in this era any businesses with digital systems — both online and offline — can experience cyberattacks. For that reason, it’s difficult to definitively say that cloud computing services put businesses at risk of cyberattack.
Nevertheless, businesses can actually improve their cybersecurity with cloud computing services through:
- Robust security infrastructure
- Decentralized servers that are harder to attack
- Encrypted databases on cloud servers
- Limiting authorized user access
- Scalability of infrastructure
- Improving latency that raises the risk of data breaches and poor infrastructure
Though this list is not exhaustive, it shows that cloud computing services equip businesses to improve their cybersecurity. While businesses can only deter attacks and focus on practical cybersecurity protocols, improving digital hygiene and compliance is largely effective.
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