By Special to The Nation
According to a report by the Thailand Investment Board, the Thailand Ministry of Digital Economy and Society said that economic digitalisation will spur growth in every industrial sector in the country and is estimated to contribute 25 per cent to Thailand’s GDP by 2027.
Every organisation has its reason for embarking on a cloud transformation journey. Some want to consolidate their data assets. Others want to respond faster to the changing needs of their customers while some are seeking a platform that will help them launch new ventures, and explore local, and global market opportunities.
Since 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has helped thousands of organisations of all sizes across Asia Pacific launch their journeys into the cloud. And over that time, one of the things I have discovered, is that while each transformation is unique in its own way, the most successful ones have four distinctive traits in common.
1. visionary leadership
Visionary leaders are constantly reinventing their customer experience because if they don’t, someone else will and they risk being disrupted. These leaders inspire teams by painting a picture of what the future state of their organisation will look like, and the benefits from it. By establishing a clear sense of the organisation’s purpose, and effectively communicating how the organisation’s cloud strategy will fulfil that purpose, the leadership team can align employees throughout the company, to a common goal.
2. Innovators at heart
Time and time again, we see that the most successful cloud transformation leaders are innovators. They take the building blocks offered by cloud providers and assemble them in unique ways, creating new platforms, products, and services that enhance their operations and provide them with launching pads for new business strategies.
These companies would also invest in their own organisational capabilities by hiring and re-training worked needed to move forward. They know that by building and retaining knowledge within their organisations, they are creating an evolving resource that will help them maintain their competitive edge well into the future.
3. Think big, but start small
Cloud transformation leaders know the world is changing, and they are determined to change with it. So they get started. They learn through the process of doing, and adapt accordingly when their increasing knowledge and experience tell them this is necessary. They become highly adaptable, not just in response to changing market conditions, but also to what the new insights tell them.
The only way to truly learn how to execute a successful cloud transformation programme is to start one.
4. Excite and enable everyone
The most successful cloud transformation leaders excite staff about the future state of the company and what the transformation will bring, while also giving them the skills to make the most of the future.
Every department of an organisation will be impacted by cloud transformation, including product development, marketing, finance, and the legal team. Hence, informing and including employees from across the organisation ensure that they can get the most benefits from the changes as they happen, and gives the project a greater chance of success. The benefits they receive are directly connected to how quickly and deeply leaders and teams begin thinking about how to empower their staff with the opportunity and tools they need to innovate for their customers.
Bringing it all together
One of the best examples of these four traits in action is the Central Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Thailand with businesses spanning from retail, shopping malls, real estate to hotels. Central is adopting a cloud-first strategy, choosing to run data lake architecture on AWS, and at the same time rebuilding its mobile applications and e-commerce capabilities. By leveraging the elasticity, agility, and cost benefits of AWS, Central Group aims to offer more innovative services not only to digitally-savvy customers, but also to connect with the legacy systems such as ERP and the business units in different countries, support OMNI channel and the unified commerce platform in order to become more operationally efficient.
Organisations will exhibit these four attributes in different ways, but experience has shown that any successful transformation relies to some extent on all four.
Leadership sets the vision and inspires and steer the organisation towards its goal by themselves. They trust in their purpose and vision and then work to ensure that all of their people understand that vision, make it happen, and maximise its value as it is delivered.
Contributed by Ed Lenta, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Amazon Web Services