Accelerating Cloud Value Realization – Salesforce & AWS
‘CIO agenda for the next 12 months’, a McKinsey Digital article last November, mentions six make or break priorities for the CIOs in the context of post-pandemic refresh & resurgence strategies of businesses. One of them is the necessity of transforming IT organizations & IT leaders from that of a tech enabler to that of a business driver. Another critical priority is not just putting cloud at the center of tech strategy but also bringing about a cultural shift in the approach of IT & Business leadership towards cloud strategy, i.e., to be able to view and conceive cloud as a business-transformative lever and not just as operational efficiency lever. Another critical priority for the CIOs office is to have a holistic stakeholder experience augmentation not just limiting to customers and partners but their own IT Stakeholders. Thus, augmenting developer experience is one of the front runners, as it directly impacts an enterprises’ innovation & differentiation aspects in the dynamic marketplace.
The discussion is incomplete without having a peek into the trends and projections dominating the cloud workload migration conversations. Industry survey results abound; it is estimated that an average business is vying the target of having cloud spend to the tune of 80% of their IT hosting budgets. The disruption caused by the pandemic has led to an average spike of about 20% in the budgets allocated for cloud migration. In comparison, close to 55% of businesses have enlarged the ambit of planned workloads that needed to be migrated to cloud. While this is a heartening trend, it reveals that about 75% of businesses in this journey are having an overrun of planned cloud migration spend to an average tune of about 14 – 20 % additional spend. Additionally, about 40 % of businesses are seeing delayed migrations, and as a result, expected value realization is being offset by 2 to 3 quarters and more.
The secret sauce for your business
Analyzing the businesses that were able to wade through the issues mentioned above would go a long way in enabling businesses to formulate their secret sauce for success. While I have earlier touched upon the leadership & cultural levers such as the transformation of IT leaders to be business drivers as opposed to being pure-play tech enablers, their orientation to be able to conceive cloud as a business transformative lever and not just as operational efficiency lever – there are other strategic IT, Engineering & IT services’ decisions that might end up pushing the needle to thread.
One such key enabler is a well-thought strategy for the cloud workload migration across horizontal (customer & Partner Relationship management, digital experience & commerce, customer service, marketing engagement, customer analytics amongst others) and vertical business functions (core functions in BFSI, Health Care, Public Sector, Manufacturing & CPG) vis-à-vis the cloud platform of choice in the context of speed, innovation & IP specific differentiation needed therein, engineering effort involved, Lock-in & cloud portability considerations. Additionally, account for the transformative journeys therein, in the context of SI ecosystem & implementation capabilities, tech talent pool in the market, and easing the Developer experience for accelerated returns.
In their quest for Time to Value and Customer Centricity across all of their offerings, businesses have been leveraging the Salesforce Customer 360 platform in all or parts of their customer journey spanning Awareness, Engagement, Acquisition, Cross & Up-Sell, Service & Support stages. The Salesforce Customer 360 platform offers a well-defined business capability model across the aforementioned functions. It also complements targeted SaaS offerings in the form of Sales, Service, Marketing, Commerce, Experience, Field Services, Revenue Operations. These offerings gain breadth and business value pervasiveness by complementing SaaS offerings on Analytics, Intelligence, Integration, and Collaboration. In contrast, the specialized industry-focused offerings called Industry Clouds offer the requisite depth in catering to domain-specific business functions and applications across Health, Financial Services, CPG, Manufacturing, Govt & Public Sector.
On the other end of the cloud value chain, businesses have been leveraging hyperscalers like AWS for moving their on-premise workloads onto cloud both across horizontal and vertical business functions as well as for Operational Efficiency levers across IaaS & PaaS use cases.
In the context of the above-listed considerations and the fact that enterprises have pivoted their IT strategy to the MACH conundrum [Microservices, API-First, Cloud Native & Headless], it is more pertinent than ever to analyze the ever-deepening partnership between the world’s #1 Customer 360 Platform Salesforce, and the world’s most broadly adopted Cloud Platform AWS. Also, synergy out of a given relationship is a direct consequence of the shared values amongst the partners. With Salesforce and AWS having customer success, Trust & Innovation as their fundamental guard railing principles in their offerings, it is complementary to the incumbent ask upon enterprises’ in their industry domains and business solutions they are seeking.
Salesforce & AWS partnership dates back, and it’s not an exaggeration to call out that they are joined at the hip in the sense that Salesforce uses AWS and its data centers to deliver their SaaS offerings across the world. This is not limited to their core platform offerings across sales, service, experience clouds but extends to Salesforce’s AI SaaS offerings, Certain Marketing cloud, and related products, Industry & Government Cloud SaaS Offerings. This partnership has evolved over the years and is ripe for businesses to consider strategic, transformative vehicles.
The winning themes
Few win themes emerge in this healthy partnership for the businesses. Few amongst which are
Accelerated time to value in building applications and services by leveraging the Unified Dx across platforms with low-code, pro-code capabilities, simplified platform services across authentication, identity, streamlined integrations, click to launch based access to AWS data from salesforce, bi-directional process automation based on events and triggers across both platform ecosystems.
Augment customer experiences with smart and intelligent applications leveraging the AWS services for audio, voice, Image & Video, Artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Industry and micro-vertical differentiator solutions can be built on Salesforce Industry cloud offerings by natively leveraging AWS technologies such as Amazon Comprehend [NLP], Amazon Textract [Text, OCR based], Amazon Chime SDK [Realtime Communications]
Achieve customer-centricity at scale by transforming customer service and contact center functions with performant, scalable, omnichannel & Intelligent cloud-based contact center leveraging Salesforce Service cloud and Amazon Connect.
Enhance data velocity, security, compliance, and ease data flows across both platforms by leveraging Salesforce Private Connect and Amazon AppFlow for bi-directional private connections [without exposure to public internet] between Salesforce and AWS.
Modernize and deliver public sector and government use cases, applications, and solutions in a secure, compliant way by leveraging salesforce Government cloud plus built on AWS GovCloud.
Build end-to-end analytics spectrum capabilities [diagnostic, descriptive, predictive & Prescriptive] enabling self-service & in-process actionable analytics to drive business value by leveraging native connections between Salesforce Tableau and AWS data sources Redshift, RDS, Athena, Amazon EMR as well as Amazon Sagemaker.
Accelerate cloud adoption by seamlessly connecting data and workflows from any system (on AWS, On-Premise, Other SaaS Offerings) with the help of Out of the box and managed connectors between Salesforce Mulesoft iPaaS and AWS services such as S3, EC2, DynamoDB, and others.
To conclude, “Salesforce & AWS partnership has evolved over the years and is ripe for businesses to launch and expand them as strategic, transformative vehicles.”