A Summary of Digitisation and Cloud Adoption

The age of digitisation is a driving force spinning a web throughout business planning and strategy. Digitisation is transforming business norms, creating new and dominant players faster than any other time in history.

Digitisation is such a powerful force because it is creating new ways of engagement between business, customers and stakeholders. This has resulted in more and more businesses pivoting their focus on cloud adoption and its attendant benefits.

The explosion of SaaS, cloud storage, IoT, and DevOps allows you to:

  • improve your business’ productivity
  • reduce operating costs
  • introduce ever more flexible ways of the workforce
  • greater customer engagement.

This article focuses on the trends that are being driven by digitisation and how they can impact your business.

SaaS Explosion

Digitisation has resulted in exponential growth in Software as a Service (SaaS). You may have already taken advantage of the flexibility and performance guarantees provided by SaaS services. It also gives you the ability to develop and deploy new services without a huge amount of expertise or infrastructure.
SaaS applications can help to reduce your IT workload, increase employee productivity and cut your business costs.

By the end of 2018, it is predicted that SaaS applications will account for 60% of all cloudbased workloads. 

Some great SaaS applications available to businesses include Office365, HubSpot and Google Works.
It is important to ensure that your SaaS applications are secure and compliant.

Cloud Storage Growth

As cloud application adoption grows, the requirement for cloud storage is growing rapidly to keep apace. Cloud storage poses a number of benefits to your organisation by allowing you to easily access files from anywhere online, save backups of important files and reduce your operating costs.

In 2017 the total data stored in Data Centres was 370 Exabytes (EB). However, by late 2018, this storage will grow to 1.1 Zettabytes (ZB)– a tripling of capacity over a 12 month period.

There are many types of cloud storage providers available to suit your organisations IT infrastructure. It is important to consider how secure the platform is and if it is compliant with the regulations in your industry.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Continuous growth in real-time analytics and cloud computing is expected to push the Internet of things to the fore. IoT can boost your business’ productivity giving you access to valuable data and greater vision of customer behaviour.
It is expected that machine to machine learning will play a significant role in developing IoT. Due to this, you should expect to see complex systems aimed at simplifying interactions. This will enable you to interact intelligently with a large number of host devices in a network.
Businesses are using IoT devices such as smart door locking systems, connected cameras, smart lighting, thermostats and even sensors to measure room usage.
Watch an IoT attack video.

DevOps and Web APIs

A key component of cloud services is Application Programming Interface (API’s). API’s are used by software applications to enable customisation of SaaS applications. As a result, the use of API’s and the work of development operations teams gives you the ability to quickly deploy and tune applications to meet your exact needs.
This is a rapidly growing trend that is making SaaS adoption and integration between systems even more attractive because DevOps facilitates faster innovation.

The most popular web API’s. 
Popular web based API's

Some recent examples of businesses benefiting from cloud adoption include:

  • Netflix – moved from its own DC to a cloud-only model and within 12 months scaled its workload and compute instance by a thousandfold, this would have been impossible to do with a traditional model based on premise or DC only model.
  • Bank of America – are migrating 80% of its computing workload to the cloud within a 3 year timeframe

Consider: security risks will continue to grow

Security will continue to be a major risk for all businesses and will need consistent and elevated levels of defence to mitigate the threats. The security threats to your business are continually increasing in sophistication.
The scale of the threats is also growing as businesses adopt more diverse ways to access services such as remote access, direct internet access at branch offices, smartphone access and cloud adoption (access from anywhere).
With the adoption of more stringent compliance regulations such as GDPR, it is now essential for your business to adopt additional security controls such as security information and event monitoring (SIEM) and advanced malware detection and prevention systems.

Next Steps

The trends driving cloud adoption are compelling to the extent we are no longer at the stage of pioneering or early adoption. Cloud adoption has become mainstream as witnessed by the stellar success of a number of leading digitisation pioneers such as Air BnB, Uber, Spotify or Amazon.
However, is vital as you hurtle towards the exciting era of digitisation, cloud adoption and virtual workforces is the need for a robust and secure cloud strategy that is geared to maximise the benefits of cloud adoption while mitigating the inevitable and growing risks. Our next article in this series will focus on cloud strategy and governance for your business.

In the meantime read about 5 Cloud Security Basics for your business.

If you want to dive into this topic check out Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016–2021 White Paper.