Data has become critical enterprise asset in in today’s modern digital enterprise. “Data Literacy” allows businesses to understand their customers need better and develop and deliver the personalized goods and services those customers demand (and deserve) faster and more economical. A leading IT advisory predicts that by 2022, 90% of corporate strategies will explicitly mention information as a critical enterprise asset and analytics as an essential competency Data feed the advanced technologies – artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and advanced analytics – that help intelligently automate business processes and are foundational to digital transformation efforts. Data links stakeholders in digital ecosystems, helps businesses improve their operations, and turns into top-and-bottom line revenue and savings.
Given that, it’s no surprise that companies are collecting more data than ever before, and it’s even less surprising that in 2018 for the first time businesses spent more on cloud-based infrastructure than they did on traditional on-premise IT infrastructures.
What is the reason for this shift? To leverage all that data, to feed those advanced technologies so that they can learn and become smarter, requires vast storage resources and enormous compute power. Being able to tap into the almost unlimited compute power offered by the cloud allows enterprises to transform their businesses and reinvent the customer experiences they offer for the digital age.
Convergence of data, cloud and analytics technologies has set the stage for data driven digital revolution. In our view, digital transformation – and the interactive, personalized, dynamic customer experience it produces – is not possible without adopting “cloud first” approach. Also it is important that customers do not formulate their cloud strategy in silo rather they should evolve their cloud strategy which complements their data driven digital transformation journey.
Toyota Creates a Mobile Ecosystem Enabled by the Cloud
Toyota is a case in point. This year, Zack Hicks was named Toyota’s first Chief Digital Officer, leading its new Digital Transformation & Mobility unit. Creating a connected car ecosystem, centered around the data generated and collected from vehicles, has enabled Toyota to reimagine the customer experience. For example, Hicks imagines a person getting into her car in the morning and the car telling the driver she’s forgotten her phone and asking if she wants to go get it. Or, if the car is connected to the person’s calendar, the car can tell the person she’s going to be late to her eight o’clock meeting and – if the driver opts in – set up a Skype call so she can join.
And the ecosystem goes beyond any specific, personal car. Toyota has an ecosystem partner in Hawaii that allows a traveler to land, download an app, and reserve a car in a lot, through their phone, for any period of time the traveler requires. The phone becomes a digital key to operate the car. And, once the car learns a passenger’s regular routes, and knows that he likes Mexican food, it can suggest restaurants along the route he might like, as well as how many passengers are in the car (by knowing how many seat belts are buckled) and make reservations at that restaurant for the whole party.
Hick Says “We used to have to buy technology from large legacy companies, and it would take years to implement, and, therefore, extract value from them. Now, with cloud computing… you can work faster and more iteratively”
All this is possible, says Hicks, thanks to cloud computing.
Clearly, Toyota’s connected car initiative requires both enormous volumes of data and a tremendous amount of compute power. And that’s why the company – like many others – has gone all in on cloud.
As business transform from traditional state to digital, “data literacy “will become essential competency for enterprises. The success of data driven digital transformation calls upon enterprises to look beyond traditional infrastructure approach. Cloud technologies with its vast agile compute resource coupled with MFDM (Machine First Delivery Model) without any geographical and time barrier offers required tools and solution to enterprises embarking upon data driven digital transformation.
Satischandra Doreswamy, Vice President and Global Head of Cloud Infrastructure at TCS, is co-author of “Cloud Computing: The Essential Platform for a Machine-First Digital Transformation” in the TCS Perspectives management journal.