Featured article by Tom Ricardo
We are entering uncertain economic times, emphasized by increased digital transformations. Many IT departments are making infrastructure shifts to modernize operations and optimize performance. Moving to the cloud is a sure fire way to enhance customer experiences and improve operating efficiencies. In today’s fast-growing, forward-facing, tech-savvy world, cloud migrations are becoming more of a necessity rather than a passing luxury. However, that move comes at a cost, especially when it’s rushed, lacks a supportive strategy, and is inefficient due to knowledge and expertise gaps. According to one publication, upon gathering relevant insights, nearly three-quarters of respondents admitted that “technical debt is hampering modern enterprise,” and more than one-third “blamed the problem on rushed cloud migrations during the pandemic.” Another article addresses the growing cost control problem, stating that managing cloud spend is now the top cloud challenge or concern for the first time in over a decade, surpassing previous top worries over cybersecurity and expertise. Not optimizing workloads before committing to migrations and underestimating future cloud expansions, expenditures, and usage were found to be among the most common pitfalls. Therefore, scaling expertise with the help of Oxford and AWS cloud services and consultants, might be a prime solution to enhancing cloud functionalities while reducing legitimate cost concerns and overall technical debt.
Why is Digital Transformation No Longer a Matter of Choice?
Years after the COVID-19 pandemic started, we’re still hearing about its overall impact on the world and technology. As the virus loomed and the world subsequently shut down, companies scrambled to accommodate remote workplaces, online sales and services, changing consumer behaviors, and supply chain disruptions. Statista reported data from one global survey, showing that 97% of respondents believe that COVID-19 played a pivotal role in speeding up digital transformation processes within their organizations. Sixty-eight percent said that the acceleration was significant or that digital transformation efforts sped up “a great deal.” As explained by Forbes: “…while underlying structural trends, such as a rise in remote working, supply chain disruptions, and shifting consumer preferences have been underway for some time, the Covid-19 pandemic turbocharged those behaviors and proclivities. Essentially, 2020 became 2025 on the digital acceleration timeline. The good news: much of the foundational work that is critical for successful digital transformation efforts has already started taking root.” The surviving businesses had to adapt quickly to circumstances outside their control. Those who could pivot quickly and leverage digital technologies were better positioned to thrive during the height of the threat and after the resolution of the initial crisis. Thus, there are several reasons why digital transformation is no longer optional. The world is becoming increasingly digital and interconnected. Technology is advancing rapidly, and businesses that fail to keep up with these changes risk becoming irrelevant or obsolete. Driven mainly by evolving customer expectations, the bar is set high. Consumers expect a seamless digital experience when interacting with businesses across all industries. They want to easily find information, make purchases, and communicate via digital channels. Companies that fail to provide these experiences risk losing customers to their more technologically sound competitors. Speaking of competition, digital technology has opened up new opportunities for businesses to innovate and create new products and services. Companies that fail to embrace these opportunities will likely fall behind more agile and future-focused competitors. Other must-haves attainable via digital transformation include cost savings and data-driven insights. By streamlining operations, businesses can reduce costs and improve efficiency, giving them a significant advantage over competitors still relying on outdated systems and processes. Lastly, when companies can collect and analyze vast amounts of data, they receive valuable insights into customer behavior, market trends, and other key metrics that keep them one step ahead. Without it, businesses lack innovation and risk making decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate information that can prove detrimental in both the short and long term.
How Can Cloud Computing Benefit a Company with Heavy Technical Debt?
We’ve established that you can’t avoid a digital shift, but as we mentioned previously, tech progression has a hefty price tag. However, cloud computing can help a company with heavy technical debt by providing a more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective IT infrastructure, supporting business growth and innovation. Cloud computing can help businesses easily scale their resources, depending on their needs. This means that companies can quickly adapt to changes in demand without investing in expensive hardware or software upgrades. Additionally, the maintenance associated with cloud computing is generally less costly since it eliminates the need for companies to retain their own servers and other IT infrastructure. Finally, cloud computing curtails the need for other sizeable investments that can come with advancing technology by improving security, providing valuable access to new technologies, and increasing agility. Instead, cloud providers harbor the overhead for many of these expenses or inconveniences, including various security measures, technology offerings, and the enablement of quick deployments of new applications and services. In doing so, you are granted peace of mind that:
- Your customers’ data is protected, helping to mitigate security risks associated with technical debt.
- You already have a foot in the door to acquire the latest technologies without continually investing in costly upgrades.
- You can stay ahead of the competition and on top of changes in the market or other variables that might otherwise cause significant disruptions, delays, and hits to your budget.
Getting Started with the Right Tools: Value Added With AWS
Now is the time to take advantage of valuable tools offered by platforms like Amazon Web Services™ (AWS) to carry out desired high-level technical initiatives successfully. Pairing AWS cloud consultants with AWS services can give businesses the resources and expertise they need to survive and thrive during economically or financially uncertain times. By providing cost savings, increased efficiency, strategic planning, flexibility, and access to expertise, cloud consultants can help businesses weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.
Cloud consultants can help businesses reduce costs by providing specialized skills and expertise on a project basis. This can be more cost-effective than hiring full-time employees with similar skills, especially during a recession when businesses must be more mindful of their expenses.
Increased Efficiency with Automation
Cloud consultants can help businesses streamline their operations, automate processes, and adopt new technologies to help them operate more efficiently. AWS provides automation tools that systemize manual processes and tasks, such as software deployments, backups, and security patches. Automating operations can reduce the need for people to perform these tasks manually, leading to lower staffing costs.
Cloud consultants can help businesses recession-proof by developing strategic plans based on insights into market trends, identifying new opportunities, and recommending ways to adapt to changing business conditions.
Hiring AWS consultants allows businesses to scale up or down their workforce and infrastructure as needed to meet changing demands. This can eliminate the need for staff to manage and maintain hardware and software that’s not needed, reducing overall overhead or operating costs.
Access to Expertise
Cloud consultants offer specialized skills and knowledge to businesses that may not have the same level of in-house proficiency. With access to high-level and niche expertise, businesses can take advantage of new technologies or occupational models they may not have considered otherwise.
Where Does Oxford Come In: What Do We Offer and How Can We Help?
You might be in the middle of your cloud journey, just starting a digital transformation to Industry 4.0, or streamlining your technical debt by moving into CI/CD model. No matter what stage you’re at in your tech progression, projects can stall with the weight of uncertain economic outcomes. Sometimes, it’s hard to justify large project initiatives with a solid ROI when it requires a large engagement or potential job requirements during a hiring freeze. That’s where Oxford comes in. Tools provided by AWS can be paired with high-level consultants having the knowledge and expertise to fully achieve all digital transformation objectives. Partnering with Oxford for high-value consulting services through seasoned Oxford AWS subject matter experts, using proven methodologies like Well-Architected Framework, can help maximize staff productivity as these expert consultants take ownership of all technical directives. We provide the quality of structure and process businesses deserve and the level of insight and control needed to excel. Our consulting services cover project delivery, risk and quality management, and program collaboration. By matching the talent our clients need with the deep consulting network we continuously build and refine through our core recruiting services, we can keep technical costs flexible by creating talent scalability to adjust to volatile economic conditions. Oxford understands that tight times might need different value-add approaches. It’s bad for business to wait for the budget to recover with no upgrades in the interim. Time is wasted, and debt compiles when workplaces can’t move to a more efficient way of doing business. However, we aren’t just a body shop. Oxford stands by its tried-and-true tagline of The Right Talent. Right Now. We pride ourselves on delivering the right people for the right roles, going as small or as large as needed to hit the sweet spot for company objectives. When business has to keep moving, Oxford, paired with AWS, can provide the agility required to match operational needs in real-time, ultimately reducing technical debt and leading to superior results and continued success.