As I prepare to attend Inspire, Microsoft’s global partner conference, it feels like the right time to start planning for the year ahead, but also to look back. Digital transformation, cloud, artificial intelligence: all of these themes have been ubiquitous in industries around the world, and the staggering growth rates of technology providers reflect this.
The biggest movement in the industry is cloud adoption. After years of departmental migrations or general investments in cloud infrastructure that take a piecemeal approach, we’re finally seeing cloud adoption at an enterprise-wide level, including these notable projects:
- Walgreens and Microsoft joined forces to develop new healthcare delivery models, technology and retail innovations
- UBS joined forces with Microsoft to use its cloud services while complying with strict Swiss privacy laws
- Volkswagen and Microsoft are partnering to jointly develop the Automotive Cloud
These projects have two key elements in common. First, they highlight transformation. Cloud, with its ability to provide support for new business and delivery models, is the key enabler to business transformation. And second, they reveal the importance of co-innovation. The boundaries between clients, technology vendors and service providers are disappearing. Transformation is a collaborative effort and new alliances are being built to meet that need.
It’s important to note that cloud transformation extends well beyond IT. As IT has become foundational, it’s now an imperative. Its real value comes from how new functionalities such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) or new data lake technologies are being leveraged to really transform applications and processes and pave the way for a digital future.
A CIO I recently spoke with framed it perfectly: “Our data center take-out cloud project is the largest IT project I have ever done. It is the first time in the last 20 years – actually since we moved from mainframe, and probably the last time in the next 20 years – that we will have the chance to thoroughly modernize our business applications.”
It’s not enough to simply lift and shift applications to the cloud. They must be infused with AI and other modern technologies that can be delivered through the cloud. Organizations that undergo a cloud transformation without these technologies will find that it never delivers long-term value.
That is why, at KPMG, we take a holistic view that seeks to put business value at the forefront. In turn, this view informs our internal transformation and how our member firms work with alliances and clients.
For example, our alliance with Microsoft focuses on three joint global service offerings:
Cloud Business Transformation
A holistic offering focused on the business side of an enterprise cloud project, keeping the business value at the center with an offering that combines IT, process design, cyber, regulatory and change management with strong project management to drive sustainable value, from strategy through to execution.
Intelligent Business Applications
Horizontal and vertical solutions engineered for profitable growth that leverage the strength of Microsoft Dynamics and its power platform to drive increased collaboration and efficiency. In addition, with our Powered and Connected Enterprise framework, KPMG member firms offer modern cloud-based infrastructures such as Dynamics 365 as stable platforms for continuing evolution and growth to accelerate ROI.
An offering that moves workplaces onto a high performance platform based on Microsoft Office 365 that puts the end user at its core with supportive smart technologies such as deep analytics, AI and a low code app infrastructure. The solution meets organizational needs for a modern, smart and secure workplace that’s easy to manage.
Although the pace of innovation might seem daunting, change is an opportunity to improve, evolve and thrive. KPMG professionals work together with our alliances to provide innovative and scalable solutions – like these – that can help support your organization throughout your transformation journey.