Fast and flexible adaptation to change - this has always been one of the most important arguments for IT resources from the cloud. Just how conclusive it is can now be seen every day for companies. For example, when they have to react to a change in demand. But it becomes particularly apparent in times of crisis, when the resilience of a company or a public institution is put to a special test.
A few figures in advance. 59 percent more revenue growth, 44 percent more profitability and even 117 percent more efficiency are achieved by companies that use cloud infrastructures compared to others that do not. This is the result of a recent study commissioned by IBM. And of course, healthy growing and efficient companies are more resilient when it comes to securing their future.
Watches since 1861
The Junghans company has succeeded in this time and again since 1861. While precise manual labour is still required in the production of high-quality watches, the medium-sized company is now consciously relying on automation based on digital solutions from the cloud in other areas. For organizational processes, in production and in sales, Junghans has been using the ERP system SAP Business ByDesign since the end of 2020. Together with its partner Data One, Deutsche Telekom advised the medium-sized company on the ERP changeover in terms of selection, implementation and operation, and provides the necessary cloud licences. Thanks to standardized processes, Junghans saves almost a third of its paper costs. In addition, processes in procurement and finance run faster and thus more productively than before.
A project like this one at Junghans is, so to speak, the everyday life of good corporate management: planned with foresight, implemented in a coordinated manner. Necessary, but also a bit boring. The IBM study already cited also revealed that 98 percent of the companies surveyed basically want to use multiple cloud infrastructures. And if it still needed an argument: the Corona pandemic shows, highly condensed like a beam of light under a burning glass, how painful adapting to changing situations can be. There is a fire and the usual rules, processes and structures no longer work. Flexibility is called for. When it comes to IT resources, the cloud offers this flexibility - and strengthens the resilience of companies and organizations.
Cloud versus Corona
When the vaccination campaign got off to a slow start and there were problems with appointments, the public administration turned to the cloud. In North Rhine-Westphalia, T-Systems kick-started the vaccination campaign for the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of Westphalia-Lippe. The booking portal counted 7,000 accesses at its peak - per second! This resulted in 5,000 appointment bookings per minute. In the meantime, the demand has long since decreased. As a result, the necessary IT resources could easily be reduced from maximum demand to the volume that is now necessary. This is possible in the cloud. An in-house server park, on the other hand, must always be designed for maximum operation. Even if it is only moderately required most of the year.
Learning from the young
But crises require a completely different reaction capability than a business that fluctuates throughout the year. Companies suddenly had to make as many employees as possible work from home offices as quickly as possible. Disrupted supply chains had to be reforged. Networked production had to be reorganized. All this is understandably too slow with a rigid IT infrastructure.
By the way: a scalable cloud ideally also includes a scalable network connection. For a large customer in the USA, T-Systems had to run the home office operation for a fortnight via cloud servers in Europe. This was because the bandwidth available to the customer in the USA was not sufficient at first.
Complicated adjustments to IT and network - that costs time that hardly any company can afford any more. The young are leading the way. Fast-growing start-ups adorn themselves with the label of being "born in the cloud - cloud native". They rely on IT from the cloud right from the start, for reasons of cost and flexibility. The consulting firm PAC reports that "one of the most common reasons for using cloud technologies "... is to increase business agility." This is also confirmed by Telekom's digitalization index. According to this, companies achieve more than twice as high revenue growth rates through new technological solutions and their effective scaling compared to those that invest in the wrong place or delay innovation decisions for too long.
Satellite data for new business models
One example of innovative business models made possible by the cloud: geo-based services. With the Copernicus program, the European Space Agency (ESA) is fulfilling the European Union's mandate to place a series of Earth observation satellites in orbit that transmit around 20 terabytes of images to Earth every day. Meanwhile, the satellites available to date have generated several petabytes of data, providing users inside and outside the EU with new views from space. Via Mundi Web Services, this data is made accessible in a cloud-based manner.
AI for greater resilience
Such volumes of data can only be processed with the help of the cloud and put to beneficial use with the help of new technologies. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are just two of the keywords here. For predictive maintenance of machinery, sensors collect data directly during ongoing production. Based on this data, an AI learns to recognize deviations from the norm: For example, if a weld seam is no longer 100 per cent clean, this may indicate wear on the welding robot. If detected at an early stage, countermeasures can be taken without having to stop production for longer. This is also a form of greater resilience.