Published in LinkedIn Pulse on April 29, 2020
Director – Strategy and People Practice at RiceHR
Cruising from Red Ocean to Blue Ocean – A constant endeavour
The world is changing, by the hour and by the minute. Almost all changes in the world so far, have happened due to the continuous improvement in technology. Technology disrupts existing businesses and creates opportunities for new businesses. With newer technologies, companies can jump from ‘Red Orcen’ to ‘Blue Ocean’ and swim their way comfortably.
The technological continuum – the non-stop ‘sense’
First it was Baby Boomers, then Gen X, Gen Y and now Gen Z. What next ? It could be Gen C – The ‘Cloud’ Generation. A generation which is born amidst Cloud Technology.This Generation will use Cloud Technology in all walks of its life, whether at workplace or otherwise. It might sound strange though, this is going to be the order of the day. Believe it or not, Cloud is coming here to stay. A technology that will permeate all walks of life, especially the business world..
In the 80s most companies were transacting manually, in the 90s through some local standalone softwares, in 2000s through ERPs. and now had started transacting through Cloud. Though Cloud Computing is being used since the early 2000s, it has become the most talked about terminology only in the recent past. Already few ERP companies couldn’t withstand the ‘Cloud’ Storm and had transformed themselves to a on-Demand SAAS Model. But yet, Cloud computing is a buzzword for many companies.
Covid – An invisible driver of Technological Transformation
Then came the Covid, like aliens attacking the cognate world, where humans who aren’t ready for combat, had no clue about how to overpower them, hid themselves inside their deep den. Once penetrated stealthily inside a human system, it had the power not only to change the inner system of its prey but also to change the inner system of other human beings who accidentally touch its prey or get impacted by the droplets. This is somewhat similar to the film ‘Matrix’ which was released in 1999.. People who came into contact with the ones who had gotten the alien inside them, were given copyrights to alter the physiological condition of others, albeit without their own knowledge.
Humans overpowered by Covid started to redefine their lifestyles inside their secured den. While common people did these, so were the service business world which had to innovate themselves to keep their businesses going, during this groggy period. From closing down temporarily amid virus woes, to adopting the WFH Model they did everything to ensure that their businesses does not get affected. Few of the companies are scrambling now as what to do next. However, for how long will this condition continue ?
Cloud Technology – Towards an ‘un-gated’ workplace
The problem thrown at service organisations is not a trifle. They need to quickly look for a permanent solution and re-imagine the way they conduct their businesses. The issues of the standalone software have come to fore and much more glaring today. While Covid turned the world inside out, service companies which were thinking about adopting the age-old (!!!) ERPs will now start thinking to switch to secured cloud based solutions for transacting their business functions. It sets us off for a different world altogether. Many companies would be stepping into a new terrain.
Cloud, like its counterpart – the Standalone Software, can deliver an Integrated ERP model or can integrate with any external / third party softwares / legacy systems. So it is not handicapped without an integration function which is a key component of contemporary organisations to run its businesses seamlessly.
Upgradation of technology is possible in changing with the times. Moreover, updation of critical activities can happen automatically in the background for the benefit of clients. For example, Cloud can make the taxation function of any country ‘Auto Compliant’. This is the unique feature which can differentiate it from Standalone Softwares wherein companies may have to wait for the updates or pay extra for getting those modifications inside the system. One can either make changes with manual interventions or set an auto mode based on the capability of the cloud provider in question.
Cloud has the capability to provide data storage better than its counterparts. It is the data storage which is a major requirement for multi-location organisations and decade old-organisations which employ large workforce. The business data as well as employee data (past and present) needs to be maintained. Organisations adopting to Cloud Technology dont require to look for a ginormous space for a traditional data storage server within the premises. With Cloud storage due to its hyperscale ability (the ability of an IT Service architecture to scale appropriately as increased demand is added to the system) companies can fill it, shut it, forget it, and reproduce it digitally as individual files, or tableau or analytical reports on demand anytime, anywhere.
With Cloud, employees can work from home. The productivity and efficiency of the person working from home is unlimited as he/she does the same work at the usual office hours with lesser expense of time, energy and personal cost which otherwise would not be possible at their traditional brick and mortar offices.Imagine, the impact the productivity and efficiency created for the whole organizational members.
Cloud is most device friendly. Through Apps, one can access software or data using any device – Desktop, Netbook, Laptop, Tablet, Phablet, and Smartphones. Though this holds true for Standalone softwares, cloud requires less space in the user devices and company servers. It has much easier access to Employee Self Service, and Manager Self Service functionalities that can be used on-the-go, on-the-fly or WFH. The advantage of ERPs using Cloud Computing is that the end users need not be a geek to learn it for their day to day functions. It will be simple, easy to use and not much training will be required provided the right vendor is chosen.
Cloud can deliver cost effective results when compared to a standalone software. From licensing cost, renewal cost, and other infra costs in toto related to the software, traditional ERPs will be nowhere near when compared to a humble cloud software. Finally, Cloud Technology has one major benefit. Guess what ? It will save you getting infected through handshake and just say ‘Namasthe’ through Video Conferencing…. in a lighter note.
Hence it is ‘Advantage Cloud’ and service organisations will be working seamlessly across without needing to have someone to operate from a workplace.
Cloud and its cousins – The Synergy Partners
Cloud computing is going to be the most used technology, through which service companies will be conducting their businesses in future. Cloud is going to be the New Normal. The challenge is only in choosing an uber-geek cloud software which offers safe & secure cloud space with encrypted data and ensuring that there is no data breach.
The Aftermath of Covid – 19 – The world @ Cloud 9
What will happen when the world breaks-free from the shackles of Covid – 19 conundrum ? From changing the protocol of meeting at Conference Rooms to Hologram enabled meetings… service organisations will be in for a paradigm shift. A restored, revived, and renewed business world will be unfolding a far-resonant action of its Tech Strategy. This will be a Moonshot moment for service businesses. Currently, the whole world has been talking about Digital-adoption. Going forward, it will talk about Cloud-adoption. This is primarily due to the fact that they will be looking to avoid a similar Covid-type backlash in future. Organisations will divert their budgets towards Cloud based technologies.
The influence of Covid is transitive in nature when it comes to technological transmogrification, by altering the IT outlook of service organisations. While changes in technology itself is unstoppable, what the oddities of Covid taught us is to transform ourselves to an untapped technology – the potential of the indomitable Cloud Technology.
With this, Everything as a Service (EaaS / XaaS) industry – Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Function as a Service (FaaS), Business Process as a Service (BPaaS), Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) , using a Private, Public and Hybrid cloud is going to see a tremendous surge.
According to Market Research Future.com published in August 2019, Cloud Computing market size is expected to be valued at 340.5 Billion by 2024 (CAGR – 19.4%). It predicts this industry will have a higher growth rate in North America with potential contenders viz., Amazon, Microsoft and Oracle etc.
We need to note that this research was done prior to Covid. Hence we can expect new research on the cloud market growth.
Cloud/Cyber Security will gain much more prominence than ever and hence Service Organisations will make a beeline to the Cloud Management and Security companies. The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable for users. Digital Attack Map.com a collaboration between Google Ideas and Arbor Networks provides a real time monitoring of the Source and Destination countries of Digital Attacks globally. This gives a glimpse of the Cyber attacks.
According to the Internet Observatory of Akamai, an Internet Security company headquartered at Cambridge, Massachusetts, US, there are 66.66 Million Global page-views every minute, and 47.06 Million Global Cyber Attacks every hour which includes SQL injection, cross site scripting, remote file inclusion, PHP injection, and command injection.
With companies going to shift their direction towards Cloud Based Solutions, DDoS will multiply like Corona, but for the better.
Digital Security companies will guarantee security to service organisations adopting Cloud Tech.
When the world recuperates from Covid, some Corporates might work on ‘asset-lite’, ‘people-lite’ or ‘Co-working space’ brick and mortar office models. Dont be surprised if many Service Organisations by the time would have already shifted their Corporate offices to a full fledged Cloud based Virtual Office.
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