Unlock the power of your organisation and manage post-COVID multicloud complexity
Sanjeev Kamboj, Chief Evangelist, Cloud, Data, DX at Fujitsu
As Chief Evangelist for Cloud, Data and DX at Fujitsu, Sanjeev Kamboj is responsible for helping customers transform their businesses to extract the most possible benefit from digital transformation. Here he covers how businesses can effectively leverage a multi-cloud strategy to drive post-COVID recovery with agility and the ability to evolve at pace.
Ask anyone in the technology field to name the phenomenon that most encapsulates IT today and they will most likely name Moore’s Law – where doubling the number of transistors on silicon every two years has enabled the exponential growth in processing capabilities. But harnessing technology today is no longer about the sheer horsepower of processing ability – it’s about effectively leveraging new technologies, and ultimately data, to transform businesses. That’s why business leaders should consider a less well-known law to guide the next steps of their digital transformation journeys – Conway’s Law.
Conway’s Law states that organisations tend to design systems that reflect their internal operating structures. As we head into a world where fundamental technologies are changing extremely fast, these organisations must also rapidly evolve to fully take advantage of them. They must adapt and break barriers to innovation, otherwise the solutions and software they develop will ultimately reflect their own communications boundaries. Changing the shape of the business and its processes to ensure that software development does not have this baked-in impediment is a process called the “Inverse Conway Maneuver”.
In my opinion, this also applies to digital transformation. When you try to maximise the benefits of new technologies, such as leveraging the cloud for application development, your success will be limited if you apply the latest technology to your old organisational structures. To truly exploit transformative technologies, you need to deconstruct and rebuild your operating model to succeed. By transforming into adaptive organisations, businesses will be better able to move from crisis to recovery, from fragile to agile.
If there’s one word that sums up the last couple of years – it’s velocity. Even before COVID-19, a Fujitsu State of Orchestration survey showed that 86% of companies had based their digital strategy with a cloud-first or cloud-only policy. The pandemic has only accelerated this trend as businesses turned to cloud deployments to quickly deliver the capacity, applications and solutions needed to respond to a new way of working – from deploying home working to enabling new digital services. They moved fast to keep their day-to-day businesses running. Our cloud partners moved quickly too to deliver the services that companies needed during these challenging times.
Amazon Web Services alone increased its portfolio by over 30 new individual services to solve unique pandemic challenges – bringing its total number of services to over 200. That means there’s an astonishing amount of choice for businesses – from the t-shirt style size guides for infrastructure as a service machines to a plethora of container options to handle DevOps deployments in the cloud. Microsoft Azure has a similar portfolio of choices, and Oracle and VMware also offer more cloud services than ever and are now coupling their technologies to create additional options that were previously not possible. The great news is that customers have a wealth of choice. However, too many options can be overwhelming and there are now many different ways of solving their business challenges.
It is clear that to deliver the ongoing agility and resilience that businesses need, they need to continue to leverage the benefits of multiple and hybrid cloud models. However, the pandemic drove the need to get services up and running quickly; now is the time for businesses to take stock of what they have and make plans to ensure that their infrastructure can support their future ambitions. Cloud is no longer an insurance policy – it’s a de-facto strategy.
Transformation is a cycle, not an event
A few years ago, as an industry, we talked about digital transformation as a single event or linear process that businesses needed to implement. Then we started talking about the digital transformation journey that organisations embark on to reflect the required ongoing work. But in reality, there isn’t a single destination or endpoint. Digital transformation is a constant cycle where businesses need to frequently re-evaluate and course correct to remain agile.
Every business is unique; however, the phases of transformation remain the same. They present as follows:
During the pandemic, many businesses focused on survival and protecting their services in the face of the unprecedented uncertainty of unfolding events. In this first stage of transformation, businesses focus on self-preservation and protecting their critical assets with secure infrastructure environments and providing a solid base for future growth.
The next phase is optimising cost and agility through cloud transformation and integration – this involves potentially balancing multiclouds and hybrid IT infrastructures to streamline all business functions.
Then comes increasing effectiveness by establishing a modern application development and delivery system that builds services faster. For example, by deriving more value from data by effectively integrating it or by making it more accessible. These services can transform the experiences of both internal and external customers through digital product development. A user-centric focus tends to yield better productivity. In contrast, a customer focus can help a business adapt to changing expectations, deliver new value or services or reach new customer types.
The next stage involves driving business insights and automation through integrated SaaS and data services. For example, this might include unifying and streamlining the number of database licences a customer holds – and ultimately reducing cost and complexity. The fifth stage involves pivoting to new sustainable value, through human-centric innovation and co-creation, for example, by entering new markets or delivering new value chains.
Businesses can start at any phase, and once completed can move to another, returning to their starting phase as often as necessary – and can go round the cycle many times. As transformation is a moving target, as there’s always the next industry problem to solve – and this cycle of constant improvement constantly revisits what is possible. This is where the Inverse Conway Maneuver comes in. It is one thing to implement technologies to reach business goals. But to be truly successful, businesses also need to constantly reimagine their operations to fully maximise the potential of each stage of transformation. You simply can’t effectively address shifting customer and market dynamics with old ways of thinking or doing things.
Amazon’s approach to avoiding getting stuck in a narrow way of solving problems is to treat every day like day one of a start-up – that is obsessing about what is needed today and tomorrow to stay relevant, rather than relying on things that have worked in the past.
Fujitsu deploys its Shinkansen methodology to help customers adopt and leverage the benefits of a day one mentality and acquire the agility needed to constantly reinvent how they do things. Just like its Japanese bullet train namesake, Shinkansen is fast, relegating the traditional six-month projects, launched only when ‘perfect’, firmly to the past. Instead, building on our Japanese heritage, we break each project into manageable ‘bite-sized chunks’ and work with customers on fast, iterative release cycles. These enable us to build new services and new environments as the methodology is designed to continuously adapt to changing demands. This lean and agile approach also translates to how we work with our customers – building and reformulating micro-teams perfectly suited to each specific task.
This approach also helps customers seamlessly adapt to the multitude of new services and features that are being launched. When we undertook the State of Orchestration study two years ago – we found that more than two-thirds of organisations experience changes in their cloud environment every few days or less. Now, thanks to Shinkansen, our customers can reap the benefits of these updates as fast as possible.
How to achieve agility and evolve at pace
Even before the pandemic struck, we had been advocating cloud environments to manage disruption. And the fact that cloud deployments have been the foundation of most businesses’ ability to adapt to the disruption of the past year supports our conviction. Ultimately, business success today relies on an ability to be adaptive and continuously transform at speed to meet constantly shifting market and consumer demands. Multicloud solutions have allowed businesses to weather the pandemic, but now, understanding the options and keeping up with the pace of technology change can feel overwhelming. For many, information overload makes it difficult to plan a clear pathway forward. Future success won’t just be dependent on technology deployment. It also requires businesses to be ready to constantly reassess the shape of their operations to achieve their goals.
To survive and thrive in times of rapid disruption, being able to evolve at pace is essential. Fujitsu’s expertise releases the power of the organisation by unravelling the complexity of business systems so that it can adapt to opportunities and challenges in a volatile world. Regardless of the maturity of your post-COVID plans, Fujitsu’s multicloud transformation assessment can help.
So, to unlock the power of your business in the post-COVID world, regardless of whether you are at early stages of your transformation plans or at a more advanced stage expanding into new markets, contact us to tame your multicloud complexity and transform your organisation.
Sanjeev Kamboj, Chief Evangelist for, Cloud, Data & DX at Fujitsu
Sanjeev Kamboj focuses on understanding a customer’s business drivers and using technical excellence to identify, design and deliver web-scale architectures, strategies and specific multicloud solutions that address these business drivers and add value to a customer’s business. He has a deep technical knowledge and proven track record in leading sales teams and cloud enterprise architects in delivering complex solutions, working with key Fujitsu partners such as AWS, Microsoft, Oracle, VMware and Google.