Community Blog Empower Your Business Digital Transformation with Tools and Cloud Services

Empower Your Business Digital Transformation with Tools and Cloud Services

Digital transformation is the way of using digital technology to change services or businesses by replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes.

Getting digital transformation under way in business, driven by a clear roadmap that is backed by company leaders and engaged employees can have a huge effect on small and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs) ongoing success. IDC estimates that 40 percent of all technology spending will go toward digital transformations, with enterprises of all sizes spending in excess of $2 trillion by 2019.

SMEs, especially those in key industries such as multimedia, retail, and fintech can greatly benefit from new technology innovations, underpinned by cloud computing. Gathering and analyzing data means that businesses can build a better understanding of their customers, possibly in real time. Meanwhile, basing processes and services in the cloud can create efficiencies, saving time and money to free up valuable resources that can be used to better serve customers and ensure the business' digital evolution continues, so it can stay ahead of competitors.

But digital transformation has the potential to impact the entire range of business processes, from product design and marketing, right through to financial and logistics systems. How should SMEs approach what can be a daunting task? We will look at four key steps that SMEs should take note of when considering a digital transformation strategy:

Analyze and Assess

To ensure the project is successful and the process is as smooth as possible, SMEs should start by developing a full understanding of current and future business requirements, including infrastructure, security and application environments. For example, when considering a cloud solution for your enterprise, you should involve and gather opinions from stakeholders from across the business before making a full cloud migration. Assess your existing IT portfolio to determine what is better suited for a public cloud platform or SaaS alternatives.

Creating Company Buy-In

Digital transformation means business transformation; therefore, projects will involve changes in company culture as well as the systems and processes that people use. While technological change itself can be easily implemented, having employees and management to willingly adopt changes can be complicated. It is vital to clearly articulate both short and long-term IT and business goals to the whole company. Clear and vocal support from the leadership team will help to ensure that the changes are adopted throughout the company.

Plan and Prioritize

Develop a cross-functional project plan that gives the project structure and prioritizes easy wins and fast solutions. This will help galvanize people as they begin to see improvements and efficiencies and will help leaders to build backing to implement further projects in their digital transformation roadmap. It could include cloud-first for any new projects or moving test and development to the public cloud first. Having a clear idea of potential costs and gaining support and investment from the finance team is also important.

Set KPIs: Evaluate and Optimize

Your digital transformation journey is an ongoing one. Once you have successfully migrated your servers and established a flexible IT environment, you have the opportunity to evaluate your success against original KPIs and continuously make improvements. This could involve running predictive analytics or identifying ways to create further efficiencies.

To discover more about how your company can approach digital transformation, you can refer to Four Key Stages of Digital Transformation for SMEs.

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5 Foundation Tools for Digital Transformation Revealed

Discover 5 key Alibaba Cloud products that can help power your business' digital transformation by providing you with cost-effective scalability on the cloud.

The cloud is the foundation on which the world's digital transformation projects start. Alibaba Cloud's latest e-book, The Five Foundation Tools of a Cloud-Based Digital Transformation, explores five key Alibaba Cloud products and services that can power can power your business' digital transformation. Click here to download it now.

While other transformative technologies including machine learning and advanced data analytics can bring benefits to your business, it all starts with the cloud. It allows you to modernize IT infrastructure, create a secure and robust online environment, enable cross-departmental collaboration, and focus on meeting the needs of your customers in the digital world now, and into the future. It's the foundation on which the world's digital transformation projects build success and rise above the competition.

The five foundation tools are:

  1. Elastic Compute Service: offering elastic and secure virtual cloud servers for seamless and cost-effective scalability.
  2. ApsaraDB for RDS: our on-demand database hosting service with automated monitoring, backup and disaster recovery capabilities.
  3. Content Delivery Network: our multimedia content delivery service to reach users across the globe.
  4. Security Solutions: providing comprehensive compliance and protection against a range of security threats.
  5. Cloud Enterprise Network: providing your business with the connectivity it needs on a regional and global basis.

Together, these products and services form the framework for your business' cloud-based digital transformation, supporting your business and helping to shape its transformative change.

This e-book explores how Alibaba Cloud's customers have used these five products and services and helps readers to analyze and choose the most appropriate ones for their requirements. It addresses challenges such as cost-effective scalability, achieving consistent online speeds, building a global network, managing growing online demand, how to balance availability with security and how to deliver a great digital customer experience, such as multimedia and interactive content.

Alibaba Cloud has supported digital transformation across a multitude of industries, including e-commerce, retail, financial services, media, aviation, technology, manufacturing and tourism. Across these industries and more, cloud computing is the catalyst for the new agile corporate environment and Alibaba Cloud provides businesses with flexible, on-demand access to the resources they need to develop best in class digital offerings. Read this e-book to learn more about how these tools can support your business' digital transformation, while reducing the risks of wasted IT resources and security vulnerabilities.

Alibaba Cloud Launches Nine Products to Support Global Digital Transformation across Different Industries

Alibaba Cloud launched a new suite of product offerings for the global market at the Alibaba Cloud Summit – Infinity 2018, meeting the demands of the retail industry.

Singapore, August 15, 2018 – Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, today launched a new suite of product offerings for the global market in the areas of cloud architecture, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and security.

These products will meet the needs of the retail industry in the Asia Pacific region who are looking to digitize their operations under the New Retail concept that marks the seamless integration of online and offline. Alibaba Cloud is poised to strengthen its collaboration with customers and partners across different industries with these new offerings.

Building an ASEAN Partner Alliance to Drive New Opportunities in the Regional Cloud Ecosystem

The launch of ASEAN Partner Alliance Program is another highlight at Alibaba Cloud Summit – Infinity 2018. The alliance aspires to develop a sustainable ecosystem to empower more technology vendors, service providers, system integrators, ISVs and start-ups to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. The program aims to recruit 150 solution partners and to train 600 sales and technology personnel in the next 12 months to fuel the growth of the ecosystem.

Derek Wang, Chief Solution Architect, Alibaba Cloud International said: "Asia Pacific is a unique market, and as a global cloud services provider with an Asian origin, we are committed to leverage our knowledge and experience to build a sustainable regional ecosystem and enrich our offerings to meet the needs of our customers in this digital age. This new suite of offering includes products that are highly efficient, cost effective, and some of them are the first of their kind in the industry."

The new products fall into a number of inter-related categories. In relation to data technology and AI, Alibaba Cloud is launching two key products – Data Lake Analytics is an effective serverless service for customers to turn their cloud storage data into insights in Data Lake scenario; PAI is Alibaba Cloud's proprietary machine learning platform that enables customers with limited AI background easy access to Alibaba Cloud's AI capabilities. IoT Platform, a platform and toolkit will also be introduced to the global market.

Infrastructure and security will continue to be crucial as the fundamental consideration for enterprises undertaking cloud migration. In view of this, Alibaba Cloud will launch Anti-Bot Service, which is a software solution that protects users from online scalpers and crawlers. Hybrid Backup Recovery is a cost-effective, easy-to-use online backup service to protect critical business data while Dedicated Host provides customers with regulatory, stability and business standard requirements to enjoy a dedicated hosting service on a public cloud.

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Simple Application Server

Simple Application Server provides one-click application deployment and supports all-in-one services such as management and O&M monitoring of domain name, website and application.

Elastic Compute Service

Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) offers high performance, elastic & secure virtual cloud servers with various instance types at cost-effective prices for all your cloud hosting needs.

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What is EDAS - Enterprise Distributed Application Service

Enterprise Distributed Application Service (EDAS) is a platform as a service (PaaS) service for application hosting and microservice management, providing full-stack solutions such as application development, deployment, monitoring, and O&M. It supports Dubbo, Spring Cloud, and other microservice runtime environments, helping you easily migrate applications to Alibaba Cloud.

Microservice solution

EDAS supports three mainstream microservice frameworks: High-speed Service Framework (HSF), Apache Dubbo, and Spring Cloud. HSF is an efficient built-in microservice framework that has been tested by Alibaba Double 11 Shopping Festivals. It is incubated with best practices in many Alibaba business scenarios. EDAS supports Apache Dubbo and Spring Cloud. With zero code intrusion, you can migrate Apache Dubbo and Spring Cloud applications to Alibaba Cloud, effectively reducing O&M costs. EDAS supports multiple advanced features such as phased release and throttling, helping you easily build microservice-oriented applications on Alibaba Cloud.

Features - Enterprise Distributed Application Service

As a key product of the Alibaba distributed service architecture, EDAS provides a great variety of features ranging from application lifecycle management to service maintenance management.

Rich distributed services

RPC framework runtime environment

Since 2007, in response to the demand for massive transformation of the Alibaba e-commerce platform to a distributed architecture, Alibaba has developed the distributed service frameworks HSF (High Speed Service Framework) and Dubbo.

Dubbo is a distributed service framework that provides high-performance and transparent RPC remote service calls. Dubbo is the core framework of Alibaba’s SOA service governance solution. Each day, over 2,000 services support over 3 billion access requests.

Built on a high-performance network communication framework, HSF is a distributed service framework for enterprise-level Internet architectures, providing various proven features such as service publishing, registration, calling, routing, authentication, service throttling, service degradation, and distributed tracing.

Spring Cloud running environment

EDAS provides a complete runtime environment for Dubbo and Spring Cloud.

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