Gaining Competitive Edge with the Cloud

Gaining Competitive Edge with the Cloud

Our IT Executive Roundtables are invite-only events hosted by peers for peers that bring together a select group of senior IT leaders from across industries for topic-driven, intimate dialog on current trends and topics. The group met remotely to discuss gaining a competitive edge with the cloud, led by the CIO & CTO of a leading employee agency company. This Session was sponsored by Nasuni.

June 15, 2022

The cloud holds limitless growth opportunities for businesses. Whether you want to quickly set up a data lake and start running analytics, build truly scalable products with minimum effort, or simply decrease your infrastructural footprint, cloud is the way to go. Modern cloud platforms catalyze service delivery, increase productivity, automate the mundane, and empower you to gain a competitive edge.  

What competitive advantage are you targeting with cloud?

At the start of the discussion, participants talked about the competitive advantages they wished to achieve through their cloud journeys. One said that cloud helps people innovate, save costs, and build secure infrastructures. A CISO added that since they offload infrastructure management to their cloud partner, it gives them more time to focus on core business matters. A CTO remarked that cloud platforms and services make it much easier to build scalable modern applications. An executive from the staffing industry shared how they use cloud-driven machine learning and data analytics to predict which day laborers are the likeliest to be punctual and diligent.

Keys to successful cloud transformations

An attendee told the audience that it’s important to decompose large problems into smaller ones, i.e. divide and conquer. If you have a long-term goal in front of you, try and figure out short-term solutions that can help pave the way towards it. At the beginning of your cloud journey, try and achieve small wins. Instead of trying to migrate your entire infrastructure to the cloud in one attempt (lift and shift), take a more iterative approach.  

Another participant added that you don’t have to do it alone. A good cloud partner will allow you to offload some of the administrative and maintenance tasks to them. You can also find trusted third parties to help you in areas like cloud security and optimization. The crucial bit is to be honest with yourself and have an open mind. If you know that you can’t solve all your problems internally, there’s no harm in looking for external help.  

The importance of “explainability”

A contributor said that to avoid delays in project approval and implementation, it’s important to be able to explain what you are trying to do, in a language that makes sense to the audience. This will help the audience gain confidence in your ability to pull off the project and will lead to fewer roadblocks along the way. They called this explainability. Answer all the important questions upfront, such as “Why do we need to do this?” “What are we getting out of it” “How are we going to do it” and “If there is a cultural change involved, how are we going to deal with it?” etc. Depending on whom you are talking to, use the right examples, analogies, or metrics to get your point across.

Seeing IT not as a cost center, but as a value driver

Most speakers agreed that modern organizations have started to see IT as a value driver and not just a cost center. Technology is required to deliver many business outcomes and the gap is closing. From the network and telephony services allowing the business to run, to R&D functions driving efficiency, refining products, and delivering better customer experiences; IT has essentially become the lifeblood of today’s organizations.

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