The cloud as an engine for IT strategy

Aug 18, 2014

Transform to Cloud
The only way to get your company ready for the future is to base your IT strategy on digitalization and cloud transformation. Successful examples show how it works.
Decision makers looking for the right IT strategy are bound to end up in the cloud. Cloud computing makes it possible to master the full spectrum of business challenges, making it an engine for digitalization and all kinds of IT transformation. Companies can use an cloud IT strategy to make their IT more flexible based on their business focus, increase data security, develop and pursue new business models or simply become more competitive. The four examples below show how companies approach digitalization, what the cloud can contribute and what makes the transformation process a success.

The right IT strategy is based on a reliable, flexible infrastructure

When companies experience rapid growth, they become particularly concerned with failsafe solutions as part of their IT strategy. In many cases, applications need to be available around the clock. That was the case at Consol, South Africa's number one glass packaging manufacturer. The company doubled its production volume within just four years, taking the static IT system to its limits. T-Systems came up with a solution, a private cloud with a redundant structure (twin-core principle). The solution increased system availability to 99.5 percent. At the same time, Consol can access just the right capacity at any given time. The new solution is more secure and more affordable than the old one. By optimizing its IT as part of the new IT strategy, Consol can continue to grow its complex business, e.g., the ongoing development of new product lines.

Fast, secure global interaction

Corporate structures distributed around the globe and highly international market dynamics mean information needs to be shared quickly across country borders. The effectiveness of this process is decisive to success, particularly when it comes to immediately identifying customer needs, meeting those needs and then also shortening time to market. By migrating its communication structure to the private cloud, a major automobile company made it possible for its employees to collaborate effectively. The company decided to install a Dynamic Services for Collaboration platform and transform its mail systems into cloud services, increasing the productivity of its 200,000 employees while simplifying IT management processes. All of the services are provided in compliance with the German Data Privacy Act (the servers are located in Germany) and with the company's own compliance policies. At the same time, costs were cut thanks to outsourcing and a more effective operating structure. A 99.9 percent availability (twin-core data center in Germany) for the employed collaboration services ensures the success of this IT transformation and therefore the whole IT strategy.

Testing new business models and scaling IT services

Companies can easily test and scale new business ideas with the help of agile IT infrastructures from the cloud. Cloud services also simplify cross-industry cooperation, which furthers innovation. New business models often require extensive legacy IT to get off the ground. Here's an excellent example: Airbus and T-Systems worked together with luggage manufacturer RIMOWA and used the cloud to develop the idea of luggage that travels independently – Bag2Go. A separate server in the cloud makes it easier to tap the full potential of Bag2Go. Outsourcing IT processes for pilot projects also simplifies the company's daily IT project management activities.
The start-up Runtastic is another example of a successful digital business model involving IT transformation into cloud services. Users can use the service provider's apps to do things like document their running performance with their mobile device. Because more than 26 million users often use their app at the same time, e.g., during their morning run before work, in the evenings and on weekends, the company needs an agile IT infrastructure that is able to keep up with fast-growing user numbers and peak loads. Using a vCloud data center by T-Systems proved to be the answer. This solution connects the company's IT infrastructure with T-Systems cloud capacities, making the company's IT flexibly scalable. Capacities can be expanded or moved based on demand with just the push of a button. Outsourcing the IT infrastructure redundantly and using T-Systems cloud capacities gives Runtastic decisive economic advantages. The company saves 40 percent on costs thanks to the demand-based usage option. What's more, the IT department is now able to focus on developing more high-quality apps, which they can then simply test and implement via cloud technology.
Whether the focus at your company is on new business, data security, flexibility or cost structures, the right IT strategy with agile IT infrastructures from the cloud will give you the results you are looking for fast.
** Basis: IDC study, "The 5 Phases of Cloud Transformation," based on an article (only in german) in CIO magazine from April 17, 2013, by Matthias Kraus, IDC Research Analyst, Frankfurt