From cloud competent to competitive advantage: how businesses can unlock cloud’s true potential
Article by Infosys Australia & New Zealand vice president, regional head – delivery & operations, Ashok Mysore.
Many enterprises are fast-tracking cloud adoption as it offers the computing power required to harness AI - which allows businesses to improve performance through increased intelligence, data-driven processes, and personalised end-user experiences.
With the number of Internet of Things connected devices set to exceed 30 billion globally by 2025 and the volume of data generated each year to reach quintillions of megabytes, replacing and modernising on-premise legacy IT infrastructure is critical to business performance. This will provide the foundation for businesses to dynamically access, analyse and draw insights from vast datasets.
How can businesses future proof to unlock the true power of data?
The answer lies in leveraging cloud computing and AI.
Infosys’ Cloud Radar 2021 investigated how enterprises have adopted cloud and used it to boost business performance. It showed that as cloud grows more pervasive within an organisation, it can provide a platform to deliver new capabilities such as cloud-based AI.
Infosys analysis shows that companies that have shifted their business functions deeply into the cloud - including customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, procurement, and human resources systems – report a greater ability to extract value from data and AI.
Overall, approximately 28% of Infosys Cloud Radar respondents described their ability to unlock value from data and AI in the cloud as very mature. But that proportion jumps to 57% for enterprises with more than 80% of business functions in the cloud. This trend illustrates that an agile cloud platform helps an organisation leverage real-time insights from data with confidence and competence.
What do top cloud performers look like?
Cloud Radar 2021 identified financial services, telecom, high tech and manufacturing companies as the most cloud-capable.
Top-performing financial services respondents demonstrated exceptional ability in using cloud and AI to enhance online customer experience, while high-performing telecom companies were using cloud and AI to forecast demand. The most cloud-competent high tech and manufacturing businesses reported employing cloud and AI to improve quality control and product development.
In terms of the benefits, companies report using cloud to build platforms that help to better harness existing data, which AI models can then unlock new value from. AI enables faster data processing, resulting in improved actionable insights that lead to more meaningful customer engagements, which in turn provide richer data that can be used to further train AI models.
How cloud improves profitability
Cloud has long helped companies save time and money. But now that cloud has grown more powerful and pervasive, businesses can unlock new capabilities that directly impact the bottom line. These capabilities include launching new products more quickly, as well as improved customer service and productivity.
Our Cloud Radar research puts the value of effective cloud usage at $414 billion in annual profits globally. For Australia and New Zealand specifically, effective cloud use could boost annual profits by $18 billion.
However, the research found that this bottom-line boost only kicks in once businesses have at least 60% of their IT infrastructure in the cloud.
Only 18% of companies in Australia and New Zealand report having at least 60% of their IT infrastructure in the cloud, behind the 20% in the US, but ahead of the 13% in Europe, placing enterprises in the region around the middle of the pack. Two in five companies in Australia and New Zealand are hoping to hit the 60% marker by 2022.
In the short term that still leaves three in five companies in the region missing out on the competitive advantages offered by cloud maturity. These benefits include complete data visibility, which enables streamlining of all business processes whether you’re working in IT, product development or HR. In this context, cloud maturity delivers a double benefit to the bottom line by not only driving operational efficiency but also unlocking new avenues for growth across the whole organisation.