tech UK's Cloud Campaign Week 2019 has got me thinking about the perception of cloud, and whether it's now viewed as a challenge or an opportunity by businesses and public sector organisations.
For me, it's interesting how the perception of cloud has changed so much in just 2-3 years. As recently as 2015/16 I remember it still being looked at with scepticism by our customers and prospects (in my previous company) - but now the question seems to have shifted to "why not cloud?" as opposed to "why cloud?".
Yet I agree with my colleague @ElsbethMcSorley that while the destination may be in sight, getting to the cloud (public or private) requires doing your homework and due diligence to make sure your IT portfolio has been modernized and is cloud ready. Depending on your organisational complexity, business priorities and regulatory requirements, that's not an easy task.
Whatever the journey there looks like, the evidence is increasingly suggesting that organisations that see cloud as a challenge instead of an opportunity are gradually being left behind. As @gabrielgomane discusses in his article (Cloud, Mobile and Social: A Strategic Challenge for Enterprise Architecture), Borders, previously one of the largest bookstore chains in the US, went out of business because it failed to make an effective transition into online to compete with Amazon. We've also seen several other examples such as Blockbuster's failure to compete with Netflix, and also in several UK retailers such as ToysRUs.
This digital disruption does not happen in just a few industries, but everywhere, and not only in the consumer industry. For example, many b2b software companies are moving from a perpetual licensing model to a subscription model by developing applications in the cloud. This transition allows them to develop new services and to deploy their applications more easily for customers.
These new technologies represent a real opportunity for companies, and lines of business now want to take advantage of them to generate new revenue streams. Today, to be successful, companies should understand customer journeys and identify key digital moments in the buying cycle. It is essential to engage with customers across the entire purchase process through these new services, otherwise, as proven, customers will simply move to your competitors.
While the cloud may have claimed ToysRUs, Borders and many other companies, the opportunites can far outweigh the challenges as the likes of Amazon, Netflix and many others have proven.
You can follow Cloud Week by using the #FutureOfCloud hashtag on Twitter.