March 16, 2015

Journey to the Cloud

Daniel Downing

Head of Microsoft and Productivity Platforms, Tieto

Cloud is nothing new. Its concepts have been discussed for nearly a decade. It began with a few early adopters. But it's really only been in the last year that we have seen a huge step in its evolution. In my opinion, this is because Cloud needed its related technologies to mature.

Cloud has many benefits which have led to the change. The benefits of Cloud include flexibility, agility (scaling up and down based on business needs), productivity, and cost-efficiency. The money that would otherwise be spent on various IT projects can now be invested elsewhere. Cloud technology offers the scalability and flexibility that you need for an agile business model. It also supports new methods of managing people to collaborate – no matter where they are located.

Besides the business benefits, the market is now demanding Cloud: 
Market research firms are predicting explosive growth for the cloud market. By 2017, Bain predicts Cloud will take up 10% of all the money spent on IT. A few years ago, a Bain & Company report noted that by 2020 revenue from cloud products and services would mushroom from $20 billion to $150 billion.

Customers expect the latest technologies and quick delivery of new services not in months but in hours. I can see two drivers here:

  1. The Millennial workforce is defining a "new normal": being used to immediate responses and feedback,
  2. The older generation reacting to Millennial demand from customers and not accepting the previous status quo. Before, we would have accepted 90 days for a server installation. Now, we expect it to be done in minutes. Cloud changes this.

Witnessing the change in everyday work

I've been witnessing the transformation across our complete organisation. I've seen big changes for our people and their skillsets because of the digitalisation.

These changes require a new way of way of thinking in managing people. The old model of managing people must change. People have to be more empowered and have clearer priorities in order to adjust to the changes they experience on a day to day basis. Through Cloud, this new way of working can be achieved.

In fact, it´s not enough to manage now - you need to lead. We are in a constant change cycle, so we need leaders who can create visions which can lead their company to success. Those visions and their execution require greater collaboration. After all, now, with so many sources of information and technology complexities and ecosystems, one person cannot get the right answer by himself. We need hyper-collaboration, which means identifying the right people and talking to them at the right time. Cloud offers great digital tools to support the new culture.

We also need new working habits to support that collaboration. For example, at Tieto we use tools like Google and Office365 to create presentations during our workshops. It takes some work to prepare for that and get people to change their previous ways of working. However, by the end, you have a ready-to-go PowerPoint that everyone has contributed to.

The journey should always start with a vision. In the next blog post I will talk about how to create the Cloud Vision, why you need it and what is Tieto's vision. This blog post will be published later on this week.

I'm taking part in Microsoft's annual Hosting Summit for their partners. This year they will be broadcasting the keynote live on March 17th 2015 as part of a panel discussion in the keynote by Mike Neil, General Manager, Windows Server and System Center Program Management, Microsoft Corporation. Let's continue this conversation there and on the comment section!

The writer is Daniel Downing, Head of Microsoft and Productivity Platforms, Tieto. You can read more about Tieto Cloud services here.


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