By Srinath Srinivasan
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation for several organisations. At the core of the transformation is moving applications to cloud. It helps enterprises to adopt exponential technologies. Bengaluru-based Infosys, via cloud apps, helps enterprises to streamline their operations and rein in costs by shifting IT costs from capex to opex models. Scalable cloud systems with improved data analytics can give enterprises the ability to forecast and make insight driven decisions on capital investments as well.
“Covid-19 did not bring in any new trend, it only accelerated the earlier trends,” says Dinesh Rao, executive vice-president and global head, Enterprise Application Services, Infosys. “Consumerisation of the user experience, adoption of open-source technology, massive rise in cloud adoption including multicloud and hybrid cloud and modernisation of legacy systems are some significant trends in the context of the pandemic,” he adds.
According to Rao, cloud apps were designed to meet the demands of the trends above even before they got accelerated due to the pandemic. “As per our research, 54% of enterprises are building cloud apps as a foundation on which organisation’s digital transformation can be enabled,” he says. With cloud apps, it becomes important to manage them efficiently in order to achieve business goals. “The key to success is to define the business objectives that drive the move to the cloud and having a well thought-out roadmap for the journey, keeping in mind current issues and opportunities against a future desired state,” he adds.
Rao says there are two ways to go about this transformation. Enterprises looking to respond quickly to market changes, or those who want minimal disruption to existing systems and processes can adopt the Line of Business (LOB) approach to quickly ‘turn on’ a new service. Others looking for new end-to-end customer journeys or improved business outcomes can adopt the Enterprise cloud approach by utilising cloud services such as IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS to build an integrated enterprise-level cloud ecosystem to deliver synergies across applications and enterprise-wide efficiencies in the long run.
Organisations can also choose a hybrid mode that include both the LoB and the Enterprise Cloud approach to optimise their cloud investments. This balances flexibility and speed with their need for a more standardised approach. Following the pandemic, it has become important for organisations to create operational efficiencies in their supply chains. Rao believes that cloud apps can help the cause while providing cost effectiveness, responsiveness and resilience. “This calls for the use of powerful forecasting models that use AI and machine learning to mitigate risk, disclose actionable insights, and make informed decisions. And all of these are being cloud-enabled,” he states.
The compatibility and interoperability of cloud apps and its ability to leverage data to aid decision-making help it address Supply Chain Management (SCM) challenges. “Cloud apps are typically designed in a tiered structure making it easy to integrate with existing systems,” says Rao. The applications also support extreme automation in factories, warehouses, and logistics. SaaS model further increases cost effectiveness in SCM.
Powering the cloud applications is Infosys’ proprietary Cobalt community. It consists of business and technology innovators, and 14,000 cloud assets. These assets consist of business assets, engineering assets, learning assets, and knowledge assets. Rao says,“Our industry specific business assets help accelerate digital transformation with industry best practice processes, Engineering assets with emerging technology solutions like IoT, Blockchain, AI/ML solve industry specific problems.”
Infosys also runs Cobalt Labs at Infosys global digital centres where businesses can co-create new solutions and accelerate speed to market. “Infosys Cobalt Labs works with the Infosys partner ecosystem to pre-configure partnerships to prototype industry solutions as well,” says Rao. With a cloud first offering like Cobalt, comes the challenge of cyber security.