Cloud 101: silver linings playbook

We are in the digital age where customer demands are higher, remote relationships are conducted in real-time, choice is infinite, delivery is on demand and technology underpins everything we do.

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One way to help empower our people in this new technological environment is to use the power of Cloud.

"We all use Cloud services when we use the internet - many people use it to store their photos, watch videos over YouTube, and get the answers they’re looking for in Search” – Jaimee Salmon

But what is the “Cloud”? Here’s Jaimee Salmon to help us learn and understand its benefits by providing a 101-style explanation.

The Cloud

The term "Cloud computing" refers to the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence—over the Internet (“the Cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale.

You typically pay only for Cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your data infrastructure more efficiently, develop new technology quickly and adapt your usage as your business needs change.

We all use Cloud services when we use the internet - many people use it to store their photos, watch videos over YouTube or get the answers they’re looking for in search.

From small businesses to larger enterprises like ANZ. Organisations can use the Cloud to run their entire business technology needs. Or they can use hybrid models, mixing Cloud services and physical data centre services, building applications and services at pace and at lower costs.

Why use the Cloud?

Cloud technology is great because it offers a range of advantages for scalability, reliability, security and cutting-edge tooling that enables innovation. But what does this really mean?

Scalability means that if you suddenly have a lot more customers trying to use your services, you can rapidly increase your computing resources to meet customer demand, avoiding blockages and crashes. Scalability ensures an organisation’s adaptability to respond during increasing demand from customers.

Reliability means keeping your services ‘up’ more often, avoiding disruptions which upset customers and cost businesses. Think of key banking services like payments, mobile apps and websites. When these fail it has a detrimental impact on the bank and its customers. Using Cloud technology means you can use highly reliable infrastructure, reducing the risk of service disruptions.

Security is the practice of protecting data, applications and infrastructure in the Cloud. Companies invest heavily in policies, controls and processes to keep their organisational and customer data protected, with increasing pressure to combat cybercrime and fraud.

Using cloud security tools and automated policies can make these processes significantly easier, cheaper and more comprehensive. Many organisations also use advanced data analysis and machine learning technology to proactively scan for vulnerability and fraudulent activity; identifying and mitigating potential risks and issues before they happen.

The Cloud also fosters innovation by allowing new capabilities and tools to be created – features unthinkable to the organisations of the past. For example, powerful machine learning models used to only be available to the largest companies and would take days or weeks to run. Now, these same tools are a click away for anyone and lightning fast.

Using these tools gives companies an edge in creating new customer experiences, quickly. ANZ is innovating in this fashion across multiple areas from ANZ Plus to Risk Reporting to the Data platform and more.

Global companies like Uber, Paypal and Twitter have all used Cloud technology to create experiences for their people and customers and rapidly scale them. Many organisations also use Cloud technology to improve and automate processes designed for a paper-based world, often delivering improvements across the non-technology parts of their organisations.

How is ANZ using Cloud?

While Cloud is still new to many, parts of ANZ have been using it for some time and it is important to recognise how far we have come. Many business units are already building on those foundations, changing the way they work, learning new skills and delivering great business value as a result.

Success and value from Cloud will look different for every business. Some will leverage their migration to Cloud to help ANZ meet regulatory commitments. Some will implement Cloud-based software to transform and simplify business processes. Others will generate new revenue and digital-first customer experiences through Cloud-native capabilities.

Whatever that benefit may look like, ultimately it’s about getting started. And it should always be about building what matters for ANZ staff, customers and communities.

Jaimee Salmon is a Cloud Transformation Specialist with Google and Sally Lau is a Cloud Capability Lead with ANZ.

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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