The future is rarely set in stone. Every business is bound to face change, whether that is internally driven (such as intentional business growth) or external (as we’ve seen with the pandemic). While we can’t always predict what the future will hold, businesses can certainly make preparations — a concept called ‘future-proofing’.
In our recent SmartCompany webinar with AWS, host David Adams delves into the challenges of the future and how businesses can prepare for ongoing success. Joining Adams is Brett Gullan, head of technology, SiSU Health; David Gibb, head of cloud economics, Amazon Web Services; Joel Kleber, CMO/CDO, Jim’s Group; and Juhi Kapur, head of migration and modernisation, Amazon Web Services.
Case study: Jim’s Group
With low-cost competitors springing up everywhere, Joel Kleber says that Jim’s has had to think carefully about how it stays ahead. “In our market, we’ve had big players like Airtasker and Hipages come in,” Kleber says. “We’ve always got to be looking at, how can we do things better? How can we provide better customer service? How can we deliver more value to our franchisees?”
To answer the latter question, Jim’s introduced a key piece of new technology: an app called Jim’s Jobs. “If you’re familiar with Tradify or ServiceM8, Jim does his own one,” Kleber says. Avoiding third-party applications, Jim’s Jobs is designed to replace old processes, with a focus on a broad, holistic range of solutions to make the future simpler for franchisees. This includes everything from job scheduling to customer feedback, all of which is captured in the app. By using the AWS cloud platform, Jim’s Jobs has found success. “AWS has definitely helped win some more favourability for the franchisees, because our app and internal IT infrastructure is a lot more reliable for them now,” Kleber says.
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Case study: SiSU Health
Digital health company SiSU Health provides free health checks for the public, using a kiosk and digital platform that you might see at pharmacies and supermarkets. Though less than a decade old, SiSU Health has experienced significant growth. “We have just recently passed our four millionth health check,” says Gullan. “That means that we’re responsible for something in the order of 120 million different points of biometric data on our customers.” The weight of this data is such that SiSU Health must strongly prioritise its protection and preservation.
In terms of security and its business operations more generally, Gullan says that future-proofing for SiSU Health is ensuring that its platform can successfully scale as the business grows. “What happens if we’re talking about being 10 times as large or a 100 times as large — what does that cost and scale factor look like as you increase the size of your business?” asks Gullan. “That’s certainly where cloud really does bring those advantages, if you do it right.”
Modernising and migrating for a future-proof business
For Juhi Kapur, there are many reasons businesses turn to cloud infrastructure like AWS, including escalating IT costs, data security, and growth. One of the most frequent is the ability for these platforms to provide customers with a service that works for them. “Services have to go to where people want to consume services,” says Kapur. “Customers want to be able to use services at the point where they are, be it mobile, be it in a different location. They want the same access to the same type of data that you may have when you go in store, for example, they don’t want to compromise on the quality of what they’re going to see.
Regardless of the specific reasons, Kapur says that businesses looking at migrating to the cloud should do their research. “Learn a little bit more about the technology that can offer you so much potential in becoming agile and being able to grow and scale,” Kapur says. “We (AWS) have some very good pathways where we talk about the assessment, planning phases. We talk about how to set yourself up for success and build that muscle for change.”
For businesses looking to adopt or migrate to new technology, there is often a roadblock with cost. For David Gibb, there are three key levers to look at when considering the cost of cloud migration, and making a business case.
- Right sizing: Growth isn’t always a straight line. Businesses often need a technology solution with some room to flex. “We often find customers with on-premise environments are significantly over-provisioned for future growth or occasional bursts in demand,” Gibb says.” Because cloud is elastic you can scale it in and out. Paying for what you use makes it really effective.”
- Best pricing models: Gibb says that, when future-proofing with the cloud, it pays to think carefully about pricing structure. “Servers that are always being used are best being reserved instances or savings plans,” Gibb says. “Servers that are just used during business hours are best being on demand and paid by the hour.”
- Storage: “Customers often have all their storage on premises and usually only about 50-60% of that storage is being used,” Gibb says. Determining your storage needs in terms of time frame and total capacity means the ability to control costs more closely.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform, offering over 175 fully featured services from data centres globally. Millions of customers — including the fastest-growing startups, largest enterprises, and leading government agencies — are using AWS to lower costs, become more agile, and innovate faster. Whether you're looking for compute power, database storage or content delivery, AWS has the services to help you build sophisticated applications with increased flexibility, scalability and reliability.