The driving force of digitalisation

Ingo Vorreiter, Principal Propositions Manager for Cloud and Data Center at Computacenter, explores the impact of digitalisation and how cloud is the driving force behind keeping organisations of all sizes one step ahead of the competition.

Digitalisation can often seem like an abstract term, but it describes things that are anything but abstract. In fact, it is arguably the biggest challenge facing society and business. There is even an EU Digital Commissioner whose main objectives are the fight against ‘fake news’ and the removal of technical and commercial barriers to cross-border broadband communications. For many large companies this issue has become so important that, besides their CIO, they have introduced a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to prepare for digital transformation.

It’s now clear how much digitalisation is changing business. It’s not about a single new technology, but rather ‘higher-faster-further’ – and staying ahead of the competition. Using cloud technologies is not the same as digitalisation, but rather one of its most important enablers. In short, the cloud is the driving force – the ‘Digital Power’ – of digitalisation.

The cloud is changing the rules of competition. The most valuable listed companies in the world today are no longer oil or automobile producers, but rather Apple; Google; Amazon; Microsoft; and Facebook. However, it’s even more exciting that small and medium-sized companies are quickly able to compete with large, established companies – without spending vast sums on global presence, data centers on every continent, or large teams. Today, the ‘giants’ have to rethink their strategy since the size of a company is no longer a measure of its efficiency. Without a sophisticated digitalisation strategy, size can even be an obstacle.

The cloud alone, however, is not enough. To truly become faster and cheaper than the competition, processes also have to change. Introducing DevOps, which connects software development and operations, only works if the existing silos are done away with. Relocating applications to the cloud without taking advantage of its particular features offers little. In fact, this approach jeopardises availability. The cloud has to be used wisely while also taking account of legal requirements, internal company compliance rules, works council agreements and data protection regulations such as Data & Security.

One thing is clear: there is no one simple solution that fits every customer. Not every company can approach this issue in the same way. That’s why Computacenter offers everything from inventory to strategy development; implementation to operation; without favoring any private cloud product vendors and without the sales pitch of a single public cloud provider.