It’s not the large that eats the small — it’s the fast that eats the slow. This is true in the animal kingdom and it’s true in business. Over the last two decades, as technology has become an enabler of change and driven the development of new business models, countless large enterprises have found the ground pulled from under them. It’s not just that the new competitors have out-competed them — the more agile businesses have used technology to adapt to changing market conditions. They have created new ways of doing business.

This hasn’t been purely driven by technology. But Cloud technologies have allowed businesses to create new ways of doing business. Businesses that have succeeded in usurping established players in their markets have created new business models that are powered by Cloud technologies. But that doesn’t mean established businesses are going to be left behind.

Companies such as Contino see the businesses that take advantage of the opportunities that the Cloud offers reap the harvest of better automation, achieve a faster time to value for new projects, and get closer to their customers so they can deliver new and better products and services.

They have outlined these trends in a new whitepaper called Introduction to Enterprise Cloud Operating Models

Moving to the Cloud is about much more than simply shutting down your data centre, selling off your old servers, and running everything remotely. That approach — sometimes called ‘lift and shift’ — is not a recipe for success.

Successful business transformation that takes full advantage of what the Cloud offers comes from an integrated approach, where cross-functional teams provision their own infrastructure, implement high degrees of automation, use codified rules for security and controls, and take advantage of Cloud-native architecture.

The Cloud-enabled world

If you consider the traditional workflow when a business unit required a new application, it typically started with a request made to the IT department. The IT team would document a detailed set of requirements based on the assumption that they could tell the future and anticipate tomorrow’s needs as well as what they needed and wanted today. That would then be scoped into either a new off-the-shelf application or fresh software development that would be installed to a new physical or virtual server that could take weeks or months to provision.

Today’s Cloud solutions completely change that model. Provisioning new servers takes minutes. There’s no need to buy hardware that has to cope with capacity you may need in two years’ time. You purchase the capacity you need today and dynamically expand and contract it as needed.

The software procurement or development process is completely different. Instead of off-the-shelf software with complex licensing systems, you can purchase Software as a Service (SaaS) where you simply pay for the software you need as you use it. If new applications need to be developed, the components are readily available as microservices that can be integrated. For example, instead of purchasing a large database system, you simply access a database service that is paid for as you use it.

That process also allows software to be developed more iteratively. That means the most important benefits from the new application can be delivered quickly, with others added as they are ready. 

Those large capital investments in hardware and software disappear, replaced with operational charges based on usage. 

DevOps is now and the future

This close relationship between the development processes, where software teams and business operatives work together with the operational IT team that ensures the technology all works, is called DevOps. It requires a culture change that breaks the wall between the IT team and the business.

DevOps works by rethinking your business’s relationship with technology, and the way your teams work together. When you modernise your approach to infrastructure and adopt Cloud-native applications with the right operating model, you see results. You can deliver new services faster. Your business can react to new competitive and environmental pressure with greater agility.

We’ve seen this through the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that had their operating models built with a Cloud-native approach to technology were able to adapt to limited access to physical assets and digital interactions with customers faster than businesses managing their own infrastructure and old-school applications.  

Becoming a Cloud-native business will enable your business to adapt to change and harness new opportunities faster than ever before. Almost every industry has seen new competitors with a Cloud-first approach meet customers where they are and deliver new features and services quickly. By being faster, they are winning new business. 

Cloud is an enabler

According to Craig Howe, Managing Director APAC at Contino, “Cloud does not drive business transformation, Cloud is an enabler, it plays a role. Cloud provides a foundation for the agile business environment, it provides a platform for agility and scale, driving huge increases in application development, providing on-demand and pay-as-you-go services that fundamentally help change business models to be more competitive.”

Craig Howe, Managing Director APAC at Contino

“To do this you need to understand how your business can operate effectively with Cloud, we provide consulting on the right operating model, covering the business fundamentals: economics, people, change, risk, regulatory. We also partner with organisations like AWS, who have the depth of cloud expertise that can make a big difference for our customers.

Howe said that to bring the change required, Contino focuses on upskilling and training. “This is part of how Contino does business, with our distinctive dual delivery and upskilling approach.”

“We’re seeing our customers focus on long term digital projects, maintaining that competitive edge. Using the cloud to deliver measurable digital transformation by improving customer experience, creating new offerings and streamlining critical processes.”

More than ever, businesses must become digitally enabled to not only survive disruption but thrive, said Howe. “DevOps breaks down silos between teams, enabling alignment of people, process and technology.”

A DevOps approach maintains a rigorous and professional approach to digital technologies and ways of working, as well as providing the tools to move at a significant pace, he said.

“At Contino, our focus is on delivering measurable business outcomes to our customers, and the value-added services brought in by the squad model have enabled us to go one step further. Our unique approach to squads combines the power of cross-functional teams composed of delivery, engineering, marketing, talent, people, and finance. Through the squad model, we deliver innovative engineering solutions and also help our customers tell their stories, improve their culture and find the right people to make their journey a success.

“Thanks to this distinctive operating model, as a business we are agile, cohesive, responsive, and resilient. Our teams also develop strong working relationships, share knowledge and are tightly aligned to our goals. From a company culture and business growth standpoint, this is a gamechanger.”

For more information download Introduction to Enterprise Cloud Operating Models today.

This article was written by Anthony Caruana and published by Which-50’s Digital Intelligence Unit (DIU) on behalf of Contino. DIU Members such as Contino pay to share their expertise and insights with Which-50’s audience of senior executives.

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