There has been so much noise recently regarding the cloud that it’s sometimes hard to decipher what is important and what is extraneous. The one thing that is clear is that the cloud is here to stay and is only becoming a bigger piece of every organization’s overall IT strategy – likely moving from approximately 15% of overall IT spend today to nearly 25% by 2020. One interesting trend that was recently noted by Microsoft in its report titled, “Driving Digital Transformation of Your Business Microsoft Azure” is the confluence of three different factors that are impacting how an organization deals with digital transformation today. Those three key components are:
- The huge influx of data that all companies are grappling with – as more data becomes “digitized” it is easier than ever to record every transaction within a company – but what do you do with all of that data?
- Mobile computing – no longer are workers tied to desktops. In nearly every field and industry there is the potential and ability to allow for mobile computing – changing the way employees interact with customers and conduct their day to day business
- Cloud computing – as discussed upfront this is the crux of how organizations can transform, and having a solid understanding of what your cloud strategy will be for the next 5-10 years should not be underestimated
Microsoft refers to these three factors as the digital feedback loop. (See Figure 1)
In other words, using the data and the capabilities of mobile and cloud computing to better address each and every touch point of a customer, product or service that your organization may offer. In today’s omni-connected world companies are no longer able to keep information inside the proverbial four walls – information must be transparent or negative feedback will spread faster than you can set up a virtual machine.
No matter the industry, the product or the service, every area can now be digitized to some degree in order to better service the customer. Tools such as Microsoft’s Azure help to make this a reality across a variety of industries including construction, health care, and retail. There is no limit to the possibilities and you probably have even incorporated such technologies in your own home – with smart lighting, on-demand grocery shopping or other cloud-based services.
Microsoft is uniquely positioned to help companies through their digital transformation journey due to Azure and the capabilities it provides, including:
- Global and secure presence
- Cross between both the consumer and business world
- Bridging the gap between on-premises and the cloud
- Open source compatible