The Cloud Continuum
Organizations are reinventing their futures amid exceptional situations. Nowadays, change has become the new ordinary. That is why so many firms are reinventing themselves and moving systems and apps to the Cloud. And they’re doing it while their industries and businesses are changing. It’s analogous to a ship repairing its engine and retraining its crew while attempting to maintain speed and direction amid a severe storm. But all this hard work pays.
According to Accenture’s global survey of about 4,000 global businesses and IT leaders, nearly 65% of respondents saw up to 10% in cost savings, on average, from moving to the Cloud. But it is not the only one positive outcome. A tiny fraction of the surveyed firms — roughly 12–15 percent, depending on region — are experiencing significant benefits from their sustained cloud involvement. They profit even amid global upheavals because they see the Cloud as a springboard for innovation and new business ways.
When companies leverage the Cloud’s capabilities, they will uncover new possibilities and alternatives for fulfilling the business’s ever-changing demands. Organizations that work in the Cloud Continuum set up a technological base that will assist them today and in the future.
These businesses are called Continuum Competitors because they employ the Cloud as a future operating model rather than a single, static destination.
Businesses are changing how they connect with customers, partners, and workers; how they create and sell their goods and services; how they construct and operate their IT systems; and how they see data and compute.
This strategy, crucially, helps them to outperform their counterparts on a variety of fronts. For example, Continuum competitors reduce costs by 1.2x-2.7x more than migration players and 2x-3x more likely to innovate and re-engineer knowledge activities. They are also three times more likely to use the Cloud to achieve at least two environmental goals, such as leveraging green energy sources, designing for lower power usage, and better using servers for a smaller energy footprint.
Creating your desired future
Continuum Competitors take use of their superior position in two ways. First, they select the appropriate Cloud and cloud-based services. Second, they put sophisticated procedures in place to make the most of such technology. This enables companies to completely rethink and reinvent their business through continuous innovation, supported by various cloud capabilities that work smoothly throughout the Continuum.
The decisions you make, as well as the speed and accuracy with which you execute them, will determine whether you lead or follow in the next three to five years.
Overcoming The Barriers to Cloud Adoption
There are several reasons why migrating might be difficult and time-consuming.
Navigating complicated legacy systems, changing business and operational models, evolving architectures, applications, and data, reskilling your staff, and complying with laws is difficult enough.
Then there’s cyber-threat. Although cyber-security management is improving to the point where cloud providers are far better at delivering robust security than what is possible on-premises, many companies continue to be concerned about lost or hacked data. As a result, they are much more cautious when transferring employee and customer data to the Cloud.
Viewing Cloud as a Continuum
Continuum Competitors make decisions from across the Cloud Continuum to build a unified technology and capabilities foundation that supports the business’s ever-changing demands. They recognize that the Cloud is a set of capabilities that extend from public to edge — and Everything in between.
This Cloud Continuum encompasses several forms of ownership and location (from public to private to hybrid to co-location to multi-cloud and edge), all of which are dynamically enabled by next-generation connectivity such as 5G and software-defined networks.
This subset of companies uses the Cloud Continuum to visualize a path from on-premises to cloud migration to expanding and innovating with the Cloud. In addition, they may apply the Continuum concept throughout their whole technology stack, from infrastructure to network to apps and beyond.
Current view to Cloud Continuum
Historically, the term “cloud” referred to public clouds and shared data centers. However, most businesses now employ a mix of public, private, and edge clouds based on their needs — with minimal interaction. As a result, innovation, data, and best practices realized in one section of the company do not benefit others, limiting value.
The Cloud Continuum encompasses a range of capabilities and services from public to edge and Everything in between, all seamlessly integrated by cloud-first networks and backed up by sophisticated Cloud Continuum standards. In addition, the Cloud Continuum’s assortment of technologies varies by ownership and location, ranging from near to the organization to off-premises.
Cloud-first, 5G, and software-defined networks integrate the Continuum, enabling cloud access from practically everywhere and eliminating silos between private, public, hybrid, edge, and multi-clouds.
For organizations leveraging the Continuum by using Cloud and cloud-based technologies in more significant ways, the benefits include bottom-line savings such as cost reduction, increased speed to market, and top-line growth in sales via cross-selling and/or up-sell.
Shifting Cloud Continuum (18–36 months view)
Key Technologies in Cloud Continuum
Seven Practices for Cloud Continuum
1. Establish Continuous Goals: The Cloud enables companies to collect incremental feedback, continually adjusting their aims to obtain the best possible results. A waterfall approach to IT estate management entails making significant changes rarely. Alignment, on the other hand, is continual, not episodic, in ongoing objectives.
2. Cloud as Catalyst for Innovation: The Cloud has proved to be a readymade strategy for organizations seeking to get insights from real-time data, improve decision-making, and capitalize on new possibilities — all to disrupt and distinguish through accelerated innovation. The Cloud is the new-age innovation accelerator, essential for system resilience, infrastructure modernization, increased agility, and future-ready business advantage.
3. Cloud-first Apps: You can elevate your customer experience to the next level with the right cloud-based apps. Currently, Cloud is used primarily when creating new apps, but the core remains heritage. However, according to consistent practice, Cloud is the developers’ default.
4. Skill & Talent Transformation: When cloud-based technology can help you accomplish your job more efficiently and effectively, work looks different. Tactical cloud utilization in digital transformation addresses gaps. Continuously compress change as a continuum practice.
5. Experimentation with Purpose: Organizations must be willing to experiment with the numerous services and alternatives provided by the Cloud. However, according to modern cloud standards, it is essential to improve experiences continuously.
6. Manage your Tech Debt and Scale Awareness: Scale Awareness is one of the techniques that most immediately refers to the extreme nature of cloud technology advancements. Organizations must understand computing, performance, and latency limits and how the Cloud Continuum might address these challenges.
7. Ecosystem Network effect: The number of ecosystem members and their engagement improves the network effects in an ecosystem. Several value drivers can influence the quantity and quality of participants.
Six elements to realizing total value from Cloud Continuum
The Cloud Continuum’s essential characteristics are speed and change. Agile techniques that can capitalize on continuous enhancements and the development of cloud capabilities are critical. With that in mind, these are the six Continuum success factors:
1. Knowing where you want to go
To realize your enterprise’s full potential in the Cloud, you must establish a Continuum strategy that addresses:
a. Bold Ambition and Vision express the basic principles and established future goals of resilient & sustainable business and a strategy for Technical Debt reduction.
b. Competitive Ecosystem — Identify gaps in supply chain and competitive landscape (including competitive weaknesses and vulnerabilities)
c. Skills and Capabilities Continuum — Baseline for current skills & expertise baseline and skills, experience, and knowledge would be required in the future. With every company becoming a Technology Company, it would be a Talent War, so define your journey pathway for the journey from where you are currently to where you want to be in the future.
The strategy you adopt may also help you in realizing your business potential. Because the Continuum comprises several technologies, establishing clear priorities aids in the creation of support beams that keep all elements of a business going in the same intended direction.
2. Establishing cloud practices to augment your technologies
Migrating and then sitting back is not a sustainable cloud approach. Suppose you don’t go above and beyond. In that case, you won’t experience the same jump in development, profitability, and innovation that your rivals do. The goal is to combine technology adoption with habits that instill discipline and allow you to modify your non-technology areas at the same rate as computational advances.
Continuum Competitors use a minimum of four out of five best practices. They use between 25% and 80% more technology while producing many superior results. By incorporating mobility into the creation of new processes, you will be repaid by those processes allowing for even more flexibility in the future. It’s an entirely self-funded transformation.
3. Accelerating innovation to deliver extraordinary experiences
Continuum Competitors concentrate their efforts on one area: experience. Experience-obsessed company reimagination is a game-changer. They make their investments available and accessible to both workers and consumers.
They utilize the Cloud to make these things more exciting and data-driven by eliminating tedious chores and manual maintenance labor or making technology more accessible.
4. Committing to the strategy
Leaders must learn how to combine their own Continuum goals with strategic ones to keep the firm on track. In addition, leadership must specifically set company objectives, acceptable degrees of risk-taking and foster a culture of adaptability and development.
This seems simple enough, but in fact, there might be complexity related to budgeting mindset, how business interacts with IT, dangers and benefits, how success is evaluated, and the project-versus-product perspective.
As a result, the call to action must come from the top — with as much clarity and emphasis as possible. First, however, businesses must understand the challenge’s “all-hands-on-deck” character. Second, everyone in the company must be aware of the Cloud’s capabilities and best practices. Finally, more opportunities emerge when more people with diverse viewpoints and skillsets are welcomed to the table.
5. Leverage Futuristic Cloud Managed Services
As an organization on board this journey of Cloud Continuum, the traditional approach of Infrastructure Outsourcing (IO), Application outsourcing (AO), or procuring Cloud Managed Services (CMS) as a vehicle to cover Cloud Skills shortage would not work.
6. Cybersecurity and Compliance Design for Cloud
To maximize the value from Cloud, organizations need to adapt to the shared responsibility of cloud security — means that you are only responsible for managing data, classifying assets, controlling access, and cloud configurations — all. In contrast, the Cloud Service Provider (CSP) manages the hardware and operations ancillary to their data centers.
Choosing the best cybersecurity framework among many options necessitates a thorough grasp of your organization’s regions of authority and business requirements — three main framework categories.
a. Regulations by Industry and Location
b. Frameworks Focused on Enterprise Architect for Security (cutting across People, Process, Technology)
c. Frameworks for the Cloud Security that are Well-Architected
By 2025, IT executives will witness two significant changes in cloud computing:
Cloud computing will become pervasive and omnipresent. Any apps or infrastructure that are not cloud-based will be considered legacy. Gartner anticipates that more than 85% of respondents will say that their business will adopt a cloud-first strategy.
Cloud computing will be more than just a technological approach for delivering applications; it will serve as the foundation for corporate innovation and the new resilient & sustainable supply chain. Therefore, enterprises need to use Cloud Continuum as an Innovation Catalyst.
To achieve comparable results, you must first grasp the Cloud Continuum’s potential and what it can accomplish for your business. Furthermore, your business’s leadership must embrace and instill a cloud-first culture throughout the organization.