In fact, most of us are already using cloud, even if in most cases we do not even realize it. In a way, then, cloud can be compared to a microwave oven: it will do everything for us, and yet we have never even had to stop to think about how it really works.
This already says a lot about the level of consumerization cloud has reached. Yet, we learned that what we have seen so far is nothing but a beginning.
Mr Daniel Downing, Director of Tieto’s Microsoft and Productivity Platforms, knows how cloud can drive innovation and create new business opportunities. After his presentation at the NDBS, we dragged the man to the side for a proper grilling.
We were seeking a chance to talk about cloud in a language that everyone, not just IT geeks and professionals, can understand. Because in spite of all the hype, many are still relatively clueless about how ordinary companies can actually use cloud to their own benefit.
We obviously found the right guy: Tieto already has around 150 cloud customers in the Nordic countries, and cloud services is officially the company’s fastest-growing business area. Moreover, many of those cloud customers are relatively big players.
“Let’s just say that if our systems went down, then pivotal institutions in society such as hospitals or banks might not function properly,” Downing hints.
No pressure, then.
A World of Duality
Us people up here in the Nordics have a tendency to see ourselves as global pioneers, be that in terms of education, medical care, social security, or the adoption of new technologies. Surely the same can be applied to cloud as well? We got there first and are now way ahead of the rest of the world? Right?
To our surprise, recent survey data proves that our thoughts are pure wishful thinking.
Mr Downing refers to IDC‘s CloudView survey, according to which nearly 60% of companies are embracing cloud globally. That means six out of ten companies are using either public or private cloud for more than one or two small applications or workloads. In contrast, the figures in the Nordics do not look quite as impressive.
“Our own market studies have shown that last year only about 10% of Nordic companies qualified as what we would really call ‘cloud mature’,” Mr Downing points out. “Those figures aren’t directly comparable, but I would say that the Nordics are not exactly ahead of the global average.”
Before we let our mood be brought down by what we just heard, Mr Downing goes on to point out that a 60-percent growth has been seen in those Nordic figures this year, implying a rapid shift.
Such speed is easy to explain, too. The benefits of cloud have quickly become obvious to practically everyone, in all industries. Moving into cloud can offer a competitive advantage by lowering the costs of IT operations, which in turn will enable businesses to direct more resources towards innovation. Cloud will thus enable companies to become more flexible, faster in innovation, and better able to develop their business. It’s as simple as that.
As Mr Downing pointed out in his presentation, businesses now live in a world of duality where the IT people seek ultimate, 100% reliability, while the business side brings into the picture a constant demand for innovation, development, and growth.
Instead of setting up their own IT system that will eventually become obsolete and more of a costly hindrance than a help, companies can now achieve the perfect combination of reliability and innovation with – that’s right – cloud.
Mr Daniel Downing spoke at the Nordic Digital Business Summit, held in Helsinki on 22 September.
Trending Position of the Day: CDO
Digitalization is obviously the big trend of the day. As a sign of this, we are now seeing an increasing number of companies in various industries appointing Chief Digital Officers. Tieto is no exception: in fact it was just two weeks ago that the company announced the appointment of Ms Alexandra Drevenlid in the said position.
“By appointing CDOs, companies are clearly attempting to try and concretize what digitalization actually means and what it can help them achieve,” says Mr Downing.
As a model example of embracing digitalization, he refers to General Electric, which expressed its determination to go digital as early as in 2005.
“They said that no matter what they do in the real world, they also want to have a digitalized business running in parallel,” he says. “I think they have already taken some great steps forward. They even want to produce airplane engines that are 80% manufactured through 3D printer. I think that’s pretty amazing!”
Needless to say, ‘cloud’ is now a word practically inseparable from ‘digitalization’. In addition to cutting down costs and making running a business smoother, cloud also enables companies of all kinds to create entirely new business models.
Numerous organizations are changing their world into a digital one in order to create new sources of revenue. One of them, as Mr Downing mentioned in his presentation, is the Spanish football club Real Madrid, which has around 300 million followers on Twitter and Facebook.
“A lot of people talk about social media, but very few are actually able to convert the attraction into something more. Real Madrid has managed to do that: they are generating revenue from social media with the aid of Microsoft cloud and innovative ideas.”
Mass Adoption Heading This Way
As is the case with most innovations, things originally started slowly with cloud as well. In 2015, Tieto finally saw a promising number of early innovators jumping on board in order to take a closer look at cloud and work out what they could do with it.
Now, an increasing number of companies are becoming curious, meaning the degree of average cloud maturity is more than likely to grow – and if we are to believe Mr Downing and Tieto, it is going to grow rapidly.
“Things are definitely speeding up. I’m confident that we are going to see a real mass adoption of cloud in the next twelve to eighteen months. It will become a parallel stream in the business model of a rapidly increasing number of companies, helping them generate more revenue.”
But where do Mr Downing and co. fit in all this development? The leading provider of IT services and software in the Nordics, Tieto is determined to become their customers’ first choice in their quest for business renewal and digital transformation. Armed with a variety of cloud solutions accompanied by security solutions, digitalization strategies, plus a wide-ranging ecosystem of world-class partners, Tieto is ready, willing and able to sit down with the IT and business people of any company and help them work out a plan.
And should Industrial PRIME get on the cloud as well? Most definitely. Although now that we think about it, we have been there for quite some time already…
Text and images by Industrial PRIME
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