We live in a world of unprecedented interconnectedness, manifested by a complex global network of extended supply chains. While this web of trade has driven value for decades, a growing number of unexpected events have converged to expose significant structural weaknesses. A ship trapped in the Suez Canal, a virus mutation in South Africa and a semiconductor shortage in Taiwan, for example, are no longer isolated crises. Their effects are amplified by global trade disputes, environmental disasters and civil unrest so that they significantly impact the operational effectiveness of companies across the globe.
In this complex and fast-moving environment, there is a clear operational imperative for organizations to reimagine business resilience, uncover new opportunities and reframe their future. The question is, how can companies achieve this, and more specifically what role will cloud computing play in making this a reality?
Monitoring risks as they develop in real time
A substantial part of the answer is for organizations to look beyond cost optimization as the key measure of business performance and, instead, prioritize speed and resilience —looking at it through the lenses of transparency and agility. When businesses first model and then monitor data in real time, and watch events as they develop, proactively mitigating risks, they can pre-empt adverse outcomes, orchestrating predetermined outcomes to gain significant competitive advantages over their peers.
Cloud computing is foundational for companies that are ambitious about moving and transforming at speed, meeting elevated customer expectations, and future-proofing their business. First, however, CIOs, CFOs, COOs and their teams must broaden their horizons beyond cost paradigms and refocus on speed to value — using cloud’s ability to act as a vast data warehouse, deliver savings and stronger returns, with greatly improved systems agility and resilience.
The pandemic has given us a glimpse of cloud’s potential, with hundreds of millions of employees collaborating globally every day, using software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. Microsoft users alone spend 30 billion minutes daily using the company’s cloud applications. The rapid take-up and ubiquity of video streaming services such as Teams and Zoom demonstrates the transformative potential of SaaS solutions.