Realising the real business value of cloud transformation
Are you struggling to establish the real business value of cloud transformation for your organisation?
ITWeb Events spoke to Nicolas Blank, Group CEO, NBConsult, local enterprise solutions-oriented principal solutions architect, who is well-positioned to present insight and opinion on cloud transformation and upgrading on what the real business value would be to your organisation.
ITWeb Events: Tell us more about NB Consult, what solution do you bring to the market and what challenge you are reacting to?
Blank: NBConsult either migrates customers to the cloud or builds clouds for customers to use. We used to build clouds for service providers, but we've found that customers are often willing to invest in private cloud instances. Reciprocally, we have been migrating customers into the Microsoft cloud for more than five years, across industry verticals and technology domains. This depth of knowledge about the Microsoft cloud, coupled with our understanding of our customers' business requirements, gives us a unique perspective and helps us to drive value from these cloud-based systems rather than just enabling these services. The challenge we face is helping customers benefit in a measurable manner, be it economic, SLA improvement, lower operational risk etc.
ITWeb Events: What industry would you say is your main target and why is this your focus?
Blank: We have consulted across verticals, but have had particular success with financial services and customers with stringent compliance requirements. We haven't chosen this focus, it's chosen us due to our ability to innovate and problem-solve on our customers' behalf. Adhering to compliance requirements often complicates infrastructure and cloud dependencies, which non-compliance customers don't have to deal with. Similarly, compliant customers, like banks and power utilities, face challenges when adopting cloud-based services that their non-complaint counterparts don't. Simplifying cloud adoption and providing true value for customers, complaint or not, is our focus.
ITWeb Events: Can you tell us about some of the clients you work with and their experiences of your solution?
Blank: We work with customers all over the world who have moved, or are moving, to cloud. This includes everything from a sub-set of services, to entire data centres. As long as economic and service-level expectations are matched really carefully, customers are quite satisfied with cloud-based services. In South Africa, we helped two large retailers become the first to move to cloud. We've also assisted many large system integrators with their customers' cloud journeys.
ITWeb Events: What is the focus of the Webinar and why do you feel it was necessary and the topic is of interest/value?
Blank: Cloud adoption often has a social or peer pressure element to it. Companies feel that they should be adopting cloud services because their original equipment manufacturer prefers providing cloud-based services rather than on-premises services or because everyone in their vertical seems to be doing so. The Webinar aims to articulate the value of "the cloud", while outlining how to align companies' requirements to cloud-based services. Cloud offers a modern approach to tackling traditional problems that are difficult or impossible to solve due to the limitations of on-premises technologies. Helping people find that particular alignment of problem and cloud solution is the aim of the Webinar.
ITWeb Events: What challenges are your clients currently experiencing, why does this need addressing and how can they improve/is there a one-stop solution/etc?
Blank: Clients need to innovate to stay relevant in their particular markets, or at the very minimum, need to refresh their technologies in order to meet the requirements set out by business. Not every cloud service meets every customer's needs. Different cloud vendors also have different cultures and execution methodologies, which prevent them from being a one-stop shop. We enable our customers by helping them to match cloud-based services with their unique requirements. These requirements are commonly articulated with little to no experience about cloud-based services and how these offerings can add value.
ITWeb Events: According to your opinion, what does the future of cloud transformation look like in the next three to five years?
Blank: In a word, "hybrid". However, not the preferred hybrid model of today. Hybrid implies not only a mixture of cloud and on-premises ecologies, but also the ability to on-board and off-board services, data and methodologies in a manner that should be transparent to the company consuming those services. While we can achieve the beginnings of these models today, very few of them are transparent or convenient to the end-customers consuming the services. In three to five years, I expect hybrid to be seamless and economical, much more so than it is today.