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Too often businesses face technology-based constraints that prevent the rapid scale up of operations to meet new market opportunities. Executives can find themselves frustrated with systems that are not flexible enough to cope with fast-changing customer and channel demands, let alone the wishes of their own product development teams and line-of-business leaders.

In addition, while the most successful and disruptive new organisations boast of being “data driven”, many business leaders are still operating in the dark. Their infrastructure cannot handle, manage or analyse the large volumes of disparate, unstructured data the organisation generates, let alone provide the basis for real-time, data-driven, decision making.

Cloud adoption seems to be the answer to many of these issues – and getting started in cloud is straightforward – all you need is to get to a self-service portal and spin up as many virtual machines as you can afford.

Cloud computing is now largely mainstream, as one of the core building blocks of most organisations’ digital transformation. It is top of mind for CIOs, business technology leaders and CEOs.

However, putting enterprise workflows into the Cloud is difficult. Processes optimised for highly engineered, enterprise-grade, on premises hardware can’t be moved to cloud at the flick of a switch. CIOs need help.

Venu Lambu, the SVP and Global Head of Markets for Infrastructure Services at business and technology services firm Cognizant says, “Cloud is a new form of Computing for various infrastructure, application and platform elements – the Value Chain of Cloud needs to be tightly integrated from Resilience Design, Provisioning & RUN platforms and finally the Transact Platform where in, the Cloud concepts make it easier to consume, charge and govern.

Leading companies are focussing on the entire value chain of cloud in an integrated fashion to power their Digital Business

Part of the process is getting applications into the cloud, but before this even occurs, organisations need an unerring focus on application, business process and datacentre optimisation and rationalisation.

Cognizant accomplished this successfully for a US-headquartered media company with subsidiaries in Canada and the UK. Using its Cloud Steps Transformation Framework, Cognizant conducted a migration feasibility analysis for 500 global applications hosted across 1300 servers.

Through standardisation and automation, it was able to significantly reduce the client’s datacentre footprint, moving more than 25 percent of applications to Amazon Web Services cloud and cut some costs by 50 percent. More importantly this helped create an agile infrastructure that allowed the organisation to rapidly respond to changing business needs.

Similarly, working with Cognizant, a major US health information exchange was able to use the transition to cloud to create a platform for innovation. It cut costs and enhanced privacy and security. However, the most enduring benefit is a scalable infrastructure that can support standards-based workflow innovations and standardised analytics frameworks and tools to make sense of growing health data sets. Crucially it is able to do this while meeting both health and payment industry compliance requirements.

The benefits of cloud are clear - on-demand access to computing and analytics power, the ability to easily connect and collaborate with partners, networks and customers and an agile platform to rapidly develop and experiment with new products and services.

However, every organisation’s journey to the cloud will be different. That is why CIOs and business technology leaders have to develop a strategy for how cloud can enable their digital transformation and assess what, if anything of their current IT estate and operations they want, or are required to manage themselves. This is not about outsourcing infrastructure and operations to the lowest possible bidder to run existing applications and workflows unaltered. It is about finding partners who can help build a platform for businesses to win in the digital business revolution.

in association with Cognizant