While the cloud promises real-time data availability, several organizations have realized that the complete picture is not available in near real-time, let alone real-time. It has propelled them to realize that the benefits of shifting to a comprehensive on-cloud strategy may not be the most technically correct answer to their data-related woos.
Instead, they will need a hybrid approach to make it work. It is also imperative for us to realize that it would be difficult for us to track back once we have adopted an all-cloud strategy. So, it is safe to say that the reliance on the hybrid cloud will remain the central theme for the time being, and the shift to the cloud will happen, albeit at a much higher pace than before.
Selecting a model that aligns with your constraints
While embarking on digital transformation, it is easy for you to get lost in a plethora of products and their extravagant marketing tactics. Given the stringent norms around food traceability, food protection, and food safety regulations, it becomes vital for you to choose the right proponent of growth. Getting a cloud solution that doesn’t contribute to your existing hierarchy can be detrimental and increase the risk of running into unwanted hassles and security loopholes.
So, it is imperative for leaders in the F&B space to figure out the right cloud solutions and whether to procure it as a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offering or build one of your own based on IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-Service) or PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service). For this, the top management must clearly understand their needs and constraints.
For example, a significant chunk of large companies uses proprietary data centers to route their cloud traffic. Unfortunately, it leads to an additional 10% to 20% outflow in terms of hosting cost and increases latency, leading to a sub-par user experience. It also requires you to deploy native networking and security tooling for improved security measures. But these are useful in some specific use cases, and only 20% of organizations
are expected to use this for their organization.
Similarly, only 20% of the companies
opt for zero-trust applications that run without a network perimeter. It allows a holistic balance of cost optimization with protection against the most common attack types. But these do not offer the leeway required to develop sophisticated applications, which can act as a bottleneck for some organizations.
So there is a need to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all concept for cloud adoption. Instead, it is vital for you to understand your brand's constraints and find a solution that best caters to their needs.
Adopt a non-binary cloud strategy
One of the biggest gripes or fears of companies shifting from traditional legacy systems to cloud-based digital transformation is that they will lose the granular control on organizational data they previously had. In addition, those in the F&B landscape are also sceptical of paying for the virtual space they did not use or running into several infrastructure management issues.
That is where a non-binary cloud strategy comes in. With its help, you can make the most of what the cloud has on offer and use additional on-premise and edge solutions to enable you to undertake seamless digital transformation. Modern cloud hosting providers offer flexibility regarding the types of clouds and cloud-based services you need and pay for only what you use.
Transform your operating models to capture the benefits cloud has on offer
While the food and beverages industry is en route to a revolution path, bringing your existing operational assets is imperative. You cannot merely dispose of your current systems unless they are redundant and cannot be used in any form. But for them to be usable, you will have to make necessary amendments.
For this, you will have to figure out ways to get rid of technical debt hindering your organization's growth. Modern leaders in the food and beverages space will focus on developer experience. They embark on redesigning the existing processes and inculcating cloud-native practices to augment the overall experience. It requires them to harness modern tools and apply developer journeys to workflows to improve traction and gain sustainable velocity.
Further, there is a need to be agile everywhere. From deciding your cloud kitchen strategy to adopting cloud for your day-to-day operations, you will have to ensure continual integration with a layered approach to ensure changes are applied with agility and have limited dependency on other applications and workloads.
Online ordering and delivery services have grown 3x compared to dine-in since 2014. The pandemic also led to the rise in delivery and cloud kitchen concepts, which were new but required seamless integration. Having a sustainable cloud strategy would bode well for brands looking to integrate new verticals and optimize the existing processes in their value chain.
While you transform your legacy models, it is also vital for you to build a culture based on agility and adaptability. Organizations must train every IT-related workforce member to optimize their cloud usage and deliver superior results. In the old days, companies often outsource development activities about their IT systems. Still, with the cloud being pervasive, they need to ensure that the workforce is well-trained to manage the system with ease.
Remember that digital cloud transformation is the journey and not the result alone
The pandemic has reshaped the F&B industry. From cloud kitchens to QSRs, we have seen the growth of verticals very few anticipated before. Given that these solutions are data-heavy and will only grow in stature, it is vital to understand that your data requirements will increase several times in the coming months. While it is inadvertent that you will run into a plethora of bottlenecks while embarking on digital transformation based on the cloud and its capabilities, you need to be proactive and calculated in your approach and execution.
For this, you will have to plan for scaling your resources granularly. It means that instead of going all-in at once and implementing cloud throughout the organization at once, you can create a tailor-made process that is more conducive to change and allows your workforce enough leeway to adjust to the changes in their day-to-day operations.
To achieve optimum results, you will have to move beyond four traditional ‘v’s – variety, volume, velocity, and veracity, and focus on creating and imparting value with everything you do. The modern organization will not survive by capturing data in its simplest form but will require more than that, and those who learn fast will stand to gain the most.