Companies considering cloud computing are increasingly realizing the enormous value potential of the cloud – up to $3 trillion globally by 2025
Cloud computing is undoubtedly on the rise, with global end-user spending on public cloud services alone projected to reach over $590 billion this year – up 20.7% year-on-year. Despite the waves of economic uncertainty experienced in recent years, the use of cloud computing is seen as an opportunity to promote resilience, innovation, growth and scalability.
As such, large enterprises aim to migrate 60% of their digital infrastructure to the cloud by 2025, including both private and public hosting setups.
What are the benefits of the cloud?
Using cloud computing provides a host of benefits, including facilitating long-term and secure remote work, reducing total cost of ownership and building the organizational agility required to support sustainable growth. But until recently, the cloud conversation often avoided one of its most important benefits: serving as an enabler of advanced technology.
Intelligent automation is one of the technologies that are ideal for using cloud computing and scaling in the cloud environment. It combines artificial intelligence, robotic process automation (RPA), business process management, etc., to reengineer processes and drive business results. The pandemic induced accelerated digital transformations around the world, with RPA experiencing massive year-on-year growth. Increasingly, companies shifted from focusing solely on RPA to combining other advanced technologies to enable intelligent automation to meet the growing pressure for more digital transformation.
The pandemic induced accelerated digital transformations around the world
While most organizations have begun their automation journeys, many are yet to maximize their automation capabilities. This inspires a drive for combinatorial solutions – innovations across multiple trends – to meet growing digitization needs and demands.
By using cloud computing, organizations can more easily scale their automation across the enterprise, create the capacity to incorporate more advanced automation, and add intelligence to their digital workforce more quickly and securely.
How can the cloud drive digital transformation?
Using a cloud-intelligent automation platform gives organizations a set of advanced automation technologies at their fingertips, without having to invest in building their own infrastructure and deploying and integrating automation software. Companies can lower total cost of ownership by leveraging a vendor’s solution as a service instead of building and maintaining it themselves.
In addition to tax savings, organizations save the extensive time required to manage and operate an intelligent automation platform, freeing up management and IT teams to focus on other strategic areas, such as innovation, while the vendor manages the intelligent cloud automation platform.
Organizations don’t have to worry about integrating advanced technologies into their platform or staying up-to-date with the latest technologies because their cloud platform offers these ready-to-use technologies. The cloud deployment ensures that companies have access to the latest updates, advancements and features, which is useful in a space that continues to see rapid development and change.
Using cloud computing enables flexible and agile implementation and commercial models
Businesses can adapt their intelligent automation strategy to meet their unique needs. If a company needs more digital workers who specialize in robotic process automation (RPA) than business process management (BPM), a cloud-based intelligent automation platform can meet those needs.
It can also be modified to meet changing needs. For example, in the airline industry, seasonal adjustments are necessary. Christmas and summer are peak seasons, so more digital workers are needed to support human workers, but they don’t need to maintain this supply of digital workers year-round. With a cloud-enabled intelligent automation platform, airlines can adjust the number of digital workers they employ on a seasonal basis.
A cloud-based platform can also accommodate unexpected changes in needs. For example, when the Covid-19 pandemic started, there was an influx in demand as passengers around the world suddenly had to cancel their flights. With a cloud-enabled intelligent automation platform, organizations can quickly scale up their digital workforce to support their human workers with the increase in requests.
This flexible approach is much more cost-effective than buying digital workers on-site and not using them all at full capacity or leaving some idle on the shelf throughout the year.
Goes beyond RPA to use the full suite of intelligent automation technologies
While most organizations have recognized the need for advanced technology and using cloud computing, RPA tends to be the most common.
But to take full advantage of digital transformation, complementary advanced technologies, which include AI and machine learning, must be used together. This approach enables organizations to automate more end-to-end processes, facilitating automation at scale and leading to better business results.
A cloud-enabled intelligent automation platform connects all these technologies, enabling businesses to achieve transformative change faster. Companies benefit from their suppliers’ economies of scale, skills and experience, saving them from investing their own resources to develop such capabilities. For organizations with an established Center of Excellence (CoE), a cloud-based intelligent automation platform allows focus on automation without waiting for IT teams to build and develop the necessary infrastructure for each advanced technology.
By using a provider’s cloud-based services, CoEs no longer have to deal with implementation bottlenecks due to infrastructural challenges. This drastically reduces time to value, empowering organizations to drive their overall transformation plans and make their businesses increasingly competitive.
How do businesses get the cloud right?
Companies should start by looking at the big picture and ensure that their cloud adoption goals are aligned with the company’s overall and digital transformation goals. This type of vision requires the sponsorship of senior executives to defend these goals and visions throughout the organization.
Ultimately, nothing will slow down a digital transformation initiative more than an unsupportive work culture. You also need people looking at cloud adoption across the organization and ensuring the transformation is coordinated, aligned and effective. Similarly, senior team members must look beyond tasks to end-to-end processes and how cloud-enabled technology can automate these processes to support workers and customers.
Nothing will slow down a digital transformation initiative more than an unsupportive work culture
Done right, the cloud is a key enabler of true digital transformation, providing all the tools needed for rapid and transformative digitization. The infrastructure offers the adaptability required for companies to design automation plans that will have the greatest impact on their business. Using cloud computing with flexible deployment options has also opened up this transformer to historically hesitant sectors, such as healthcare and financial services. With solutions today, organizations can adopt a private or hybrid cloud model to meet investor and regulatory requirements.
Automation at scale better supports workers to tackle complex tasks, allows processes to operate more efficiently, frees up time for valuable resources, fosters innovation and improves return on investment.
In 2023 and beyond, the cloud will play a central role in empowering organizations with intelligent automation at scale.
This piece was written and contributed by Adam Lawrence, VP Cloud Solutions, SS&C Blue Prism.
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