The Future-Proof Business

Posted by Merlin Beyts | 10-Dec-2019 17:39:06

We’re rapidly moving into the 2020s with the promise of a disruptive and innovative decade. Businesses have to adapt to the upcoming change or face being left chasing the rest of the pack. Nimbus Ninety members gathered over breakfast at The Embassy in Victoria to discuss how to set up their businesses’ infrastructure to cope with the demand that the next ten years is going to put on them.

Since the introduction of the cloud, digital transformation has been one of the key bases on which growth has been predicated. But with some organisations spanning globally, a unilateral adoption of one provider is rarely the best route to take. IBM’s Director of Cloud Software, Danny Wilks, shed some light on the future of cloud adoption. 

He described cloud as the next chapter in digital transformation. “It facilitates innovation through SaaS from more sources,” he said, “and allows one to access new types of data and more ways to analyse it and run workloads on the right models to improve ROI.” Cloud migrations are happening at an increasing rate and those benefits are largely the reasons why. But we’re now moving to a stage where the multicloud is “the new normal”. 

94% of enterprise businesses use a mix of cloud models and 67% are using multiple cloud providers. There were nods of assent among our members at Wilks’ claims that integration of multicloud systems were a great asset to many modern businesses. However a prevailing notion arose that business strategy had to be developed before any migration could take place. 

This “consumer-first” approach is something that our members once again agreed they should be looking to base their overall business strategy on. Once that focus has been decided, business and technology transformations can then occur including the adoption of some tools which can bring substantial ROI such as AI. Even when considering data, the user can be kept in mind. This in turn will help fuel the tactic of putting the consumer at the heart of the business, so that even your AI is thinking about your users. 

It is not just technological innovations that should be employed, though. Leaders have to be prepared to shake off outdated ideas. Consensus emerged throughout the room regarding the adoption of agile methodologies to really kickstart productivity across businesses. As the aforementioned holistic approach to improving  infrastructure demonstrates, technology and business practices must work in tandem to take advantage of the situation at hand. 

While having these plans in place drastically improve results and ROI, another issue is making sure of universal buy-in across the company. This starts with making sure that the budget gets approved. In this instance, language can make a huge difference to whether transformations take place. Referring to them as “migrations” or “transformations” can give the impression of a costly and time-consuming operation whereas words like “modernisation” suggest necessity in spite of cost and time. 

Once the business strategy has been decided (with customer focus, and security and governance in mind), and everyone in the business is pulling in the right direction with the correct technology choices, companies can then look to implement innovations. The phrase “there can’t be AI without IA” was met with murmurs of agreement and yet more nods across the tables.

Amid the croissants, coffee and cold cuts, our members arrived at very similar conclusions: business strategy should come before technology strategy and all strategy should be focused on consumers. Moreover, with regards to technology implementation, one size most certainly does not fit all. For example, while it’s true that businesses that have adopted AI doing 11.5% better than businesses that haven’t, your business might not be suited to it. Making sure that your business is indeed “future-proof” is about aligning your strategy to your customers. If multicloud or AI will help you achieve your business aims then growth and ROI are more than achievable. If not, then continuing with your legacy system might be more innovative than you think.    


This event held was in partnership with IBM, an IT solutions and cloud provider.


Topics: Event reports

Written by Merlin Beyts

Merlin is the Research and Events Producer at Nimbus Ninety.

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