The technological innovations that have been implemented in recent years are opening the gates to an authentic digital revolution. In this publication, we’ll look at how cloud solutions have come to businesses to stay. We will see what are the main improvements they offer over traditional systems and how companies can benefit from these innovations to speed up, streamline and make their processes more reliable. 

Main characteristics of cloud solutions 

It is a technology that has been developed over the past decade and has been gaining more and more followers. However, cloud solutions, whatever flavour you choose IaaS, PaaS or SaaS, are engineering to be easy to install, easy to use, easy to scale, and easy to maintain. 

Improved connectivity and increased network access speeds are making way for cloud solutions thanks to several advantages:

  • Scalability: cloud solutions are scalable, a single solution can be installed as efficiently as hundreds. When the system load is high, solutions automatically scale to meet demand.
  • Price: pricing is on a pay-per-use model. The pay-per-use frees us from large investments in both software and hardware because the price of programs and applications is lowered with the possibility of it being shared by a multitude of users.  
  • Mobility: cloud solutions are easy to implement in any device, as they need only a fast and reliable Internet connection. Connectivity has the added effect of helping employees manage their work-life balance with far greater efficiency.
  • Productivity: the cloud solution allows designing in customer convenient ways automating and applying changes on the fly to allow being on the latest version of software instantly and simultaneously.
  • Security: in the past, a large investment in human and technical equipment was required to ensure the security of the systems. With cloud solutions, lower infrastructure and equipment costs are needed and greater robustness is achieved at a lower price.

According to Daniel Cano, Cloud Native Engineering and Transformation Manager at LafargeHolcim IT EMEA it is important to support the possibility to integrate with on-premises systems via standard connectors and interfaces. “The platform should have a wide variety of managed services to allow deploy solutions without a high learning curve or having in mind concepts like resilience or DR which are covered by the cloud platform by default.  Additionally, open frameworks and APIs facilitate deliver applications portable to other platforms (whether on-premises or cloud-based).

Key Challenges to be considered when implementing cloud solutions

Cloud computing has numerous advantages in all aspects over traditional systems. However, its implementation may have some drawbacks to consider.

Issues such as availability, connectivity, security and quality of service are some of the potential risks that must be addressed.

According to Daniel Cano, Cloud Native Engineering and Transformation Manager at LafargeHolcim IT EMEA, “one of the most relevant is the inherited ecosystem. There are few suppliers that, as part of their market strategy, offer services that have important implementation differences. These differences between vendor platforms can create difficulties in migrating from one cloud platform to another, which could amount to additional costs and configuration complexities. The transformation of legacy applications to native cloud solutions also entails a cost and a risk that must be evaluated, due to the extent of the transformation in people and processes, compared to the concept of elevation and change (server migration), which follows is a way of maintaining the status quo. Also, monitoring gaps or commitments made during migration is another point of attention, as it could expose company data to additional security and privacy vulnerabilities. ”

In conclusion, understanding these challenges and how to deal with them is important to stay safe with the strategy and data of your company.

Using the cloud as a platform for digital transformation

The use of cloud technologies and the progressive migration of our applications to the cloud is part of our digital agenda for LH EMEA Region as we are convinced that this will make us achieve greater efficiency, reliability and flexibility.

We currently have several solutions developed with cloud technology, such as the Customer Portal. This portal provides our customers with 24-hour access to their account information (invoices and delivery notes) and allows us to easily interact with us.  According to Ellen Smits, Portal solutions Manager at LafargeHolcim IT EMEA, “thanks to this technology, information is available to our clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week transparently, regardless of back-end solutions that we are using. Also, cloud development allows us to adapt quickly to the needs of each market and each client, gaining flexibility and agility. “