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Think like a start-up, act like an enterprise

Start-ups and enterprises sit at the very opposite extremes in many respects: company culture, management style, financials, etc., yet they both aim to drive innovation, achieve competitive advantage and maximise return on investment.    

When it comes to technology, I am confident when I say that without a shadow of doubt technology is an essential part of any business operation. Having said that, start-ups have a quite distinct approach to technology compared to enterprises; start-ups with limited budgets and high ambitions would seek scalable solutions that can adapt to rapid business growth and provide a variable pricing structure. On the other hand, enterprises would have the ability to forecast their revenue, define budgets and align it with their business technology strategy.

With cloud computing's pay-as-you-go and software-defined everything models, start-ups and SMBs now have a very low barrier to take an enterprise assignment. And with tools and ecosystems provided by the likes of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365, smaller businesses can innovate and adapt very fast.

To take full advantage of benefits provided by the cloud, businesses would have to choose the right technology stack. For example, should they go with IaaS, PaaS or SaaS solutions? Should they choose virtual machines (VMs) or containers to deploy the applications? Most of these questions have multiple answers; in fact, according to Aberdeen Group’s Computer Intelligence Dataset, when it comes to cloud computing solutions there are more than 1.6 billion permutations to choose from in the cloud.

Looking for example at Microsoft Azure, Azure provides a range of essential cloud services such as computing, data and storage, networking etc. as well as some cutting-edge advanced services such as Internet of Things (IoT) and the Cortana artificial intelligence (AI) suite.

The picture below is The Azure Periodic Table, and just like the chemical elements periodic table, Azure elements allow developers to create various solutions that are tailored to businesses’ needs. 

“Every company is a software company. You have to start thinking and operating like a digital company. It’s no longer just about procuring one solution and deploying one. It’s not about one simple software solution. It’s really you yourself thinking of your own future as a digital company.” – Satya Nadella CEO, Microsoft

With more organisations, being large or small, advancing in their digital transformation journeys towards bringing together people, data and processes to create added value for their customers and maintaining a competitive advantage in a digital-first world, solutions like Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Azure become key enablers of the transformation. To see these technologies in action, sign up to our October Futuretech event near you.

One the biggest challenges businesses face in their digital transformation journey is what to do with their legacy software, which is often written in-house or with custom tweaks assembled over years of operations.

Many companies take the ‘dodge the hard issue’ approach until such time where the infrastructure or a core application have to be upgraded. Nevertheless, when organisations start looking at replacing or retaining legacy apps, cloud solutions provide more flexibility in terms of providing a replacement SaaS solution, or providing tools to dismantle the legacy monolith and move toward a microservices architecture (monolith is a coding architecture where the application is self-contained and codes are combined into a single program; microservices is modular architecture where the application is a collection of loosely coupled services). 

As I know many would be interested to see these technologies really impact businesses, the following video is for a recent case study published by Microsoft on how Microsoft cloud solutions helped the City of Wolverhampton Council transform and modernise its operations:

 

If you are interested in knowing more about digital transformation and transformational apps, then don’t miss our Futuretech events that are being held at various locations in October. Find out more about Futuretech and sign up now

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