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Cloud in the enterprise: Laying a foundation for innovation

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Cloud computing has been high on the digital transformation agenda for some time, but the need for cloud – and the urgency to act – has never been greater.

Many enterprises felt this urgency at the onset of COVID-19. The pandemic made remote working essential, disrupted supply chains, and reshaped commerce strategies overnight – and cloud was the solution. However, cloud is not just for COVID. It's vital for long-term transformation.

Ensuring your enterprise doesn't fall behind means recognizing this opportunity to innovate. "A year from now, we'll see a huge gap between the companies that have built a cloud foundation – and used it to innovate operations across the front, middle, and back office – versus those who haven't," says Vikrant Karnik, global cloud services lead at Genpact. Building a cloud culture by connecting people, process, technology, and data will be vital to achieving agility, flexibility, and scalability.

A foundation for innovation

Cloud is the foundation upon which true digital transformation is built. Exceptional and innovative customer and employee experiences – backed by artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and automation – cannot be realized at speed and scale without it. Building a strong cloud foundation now will pay off long into the future.

"On-premise is a finite resource that can quickly turn into a sinking ship if it's overloaded."

Effective remote working, agile supply chain management, seamless digital commerce, and increased regulatory compliance are just some of the benefits that cloud offers. And scalability is the major differentiator. "On-premise is a finite resource that can quickly turn into a sinking ship if it's overloaded – cloud simply brings in more ships," explains Karnik. Of course, you don't want to realize you have scalability issues when you're ready to scale.

Case study

Boosting employee productivity with cloud

A global bank was using on-premise computing to calculate its risk balance at the end of every day to report to regulators. This took so much time and resources that it was becoming cost-prohibitive. However, by harnessing the power of cloud, reporting is now 4x faster, decisions are driven by real-time data, and employees can act on insight at unprecedented speed.

Across every industry, cloud doesn't just present an opportunity for enterprises to be bigger – it presents an opportunity for them to be better, too. Cloud underpins better experiences for customers, employees, partners, and stakeholders who increasingly expect seamless digital interactions.

Building on business outcomes

Connecting cloud to the transformation of core business functions is where the greatest impact can be realized. A basic 'lift and shift' approach for cloud is popular, but can't deliver on its true potential. A cloud-smart approach – beginning with a deep understanding of the business issues being solved and the expertise to apply technology appropriately – will result in better business outcomes.

A cloud-smart approach calls for a change in the way cloud is considered, something that's already happening in the enterprise. "Before COVID-19, everybody was talking about cloud as a system of engagement. All about the easy wins, such as digital workloads," says Karnik. “Now, they are harnessing the power of cloud to reimagine those systems and use data and cloud to filter out the noise and create systems of insight."

With a deep understanding of your business processes and operations, it becomes easier to identify how cloud can support better ways of working. Then you can introduce and apply AI, automation, and analytics to transform experiences for maximum impact.

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Case study

Managing data at scale for actionable insights

A leading consumer goods company leverages cloud to predict consumer behavior patterns and preempt demand. Using cloud-based data and analytics, it can manage large volumes of historical, real-time, and third-party data. As a result, this industry leader has uncovered actionable demographic and behavioral insights that can inform its marketing, sales, supply chain, and demand forecasting strategy.

To plot a smooth journey to cloud, enterprises should collaborate with partners that have industry and process expertise to avoid a cloud-for-cloud's-sake scenario. This is a crucial step toward establishing an organizational culture that understands the value of cloud.

Creating a cloud culture

To create a culture of cloud-based innovation, enterprises need partners, leaders, and talent who can advocate for it. There is often an attitude that cloud is a concern solely for the IT department, but this is simply not true. Cloud connects people, process, technology, and data, which translates into a digital transformation that benefits everyone.

"There are some cloud businesses without data, but there are no data businesses without cloud."

When a cloud culture is created, adoption grows, and the benefits of digital transformation grow too. Positioned as everyone's imperative, it becomes a tool for business change. "At first cloud can seem daunting but, with encouragement to get started, people quickly realize that it offers an infinitely better experience," says Karnik.

Case study

Serving insurance customers at speed

A global insurance company was dealing with reams of paper forms, making it extremely labor-intensive to manage and extract information at scale. With cloud-based automation and AI, this process became exponentially faster and more efficient. Simple claims are now expedited, and claims requiring human intervention are now flagged immediately, resulting in enhanced employee productivity, better customer service, and business growth.

Looking to the future, the ability to act on insight will set apart leading enterprises. As Amaresh Tripathy, global analytics business leader at Genpact, puts it: "There are some cloud businesses without data, but there are no data businesses without cloud." The journey begins with migrating data and analytics to the cloud. Only cloud can achieve the required agility, flexibility, and scalability for truly data-driven insights.

The democratization of data

Going a step further, cloud offers a new level of accessibility and puts data in the hands of the users – a true democratization of data. "Achieving augmented intelligence at scale – a blend of human judgment and machine intelligence – is only possible with the infinite storage and computing power of cloud," says Karnik. And that is where the magic happens.

Case study

Transforming manufacturing and protecting people

Through the power of cloud-based AI and analytics, employees at a leading aircraft manufacturer can monitor and maintain engines remotely and in real-time. The result? Fewer flight delays and cancellations, and safer passengers and crew. The cost benefits of cloud cannot be ignored either – the airline has saved more than $2 billion with this approach.

Employees are empowered by cloud-based solutions. When they can make data-driven decisions that support exceptional customer experiences, the future is brighter for everyone.

Embarking on the cloud journey

Every enterprise is on a cloud journey. Some are ahead of the curve when it comes to harnessing cloud to accelerate digital transformation. For leaders in this space, success comes from:

  • Going beyond a 'lift and shift' mentality to a cloud-smart approach
  • Enhancing the value of cloud by realizing that not only is it a means for growth, but it also underpins better experiences
  • Finding partners who understand your business operations and use outcomes-based strategies to get the most out of cloud capabilities
  • Creating a cloud culture by connecting people, process, technology, and data to create advocates for cloud transformation
  • A focus on becoming a cloud-based, data-driven enterprise

Though some enterprises are just beginning to explore the cloud opportunity, others are leading remarkably innovative cloud-based digital transformations. As Karnik says, "Once these innovators reach the peak of their velocity, it will be impossible for others to catch up." The time to act is now.

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