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We are living in a different future than the one we thought we were going to have. We had big ideas and big ambitions. Then things changed.
Oracle been working with our customers, large and small, to help them make adjustments to their business operations in order to weather the current storm, and help ensure they are more resilient to meet challenges in the future. And one of the most critical conversations I’ve been having with customers is that it isn’t necessarily about looking at the large transformational projects but in fact looking at some of the smaller changes they can make that can actually have the biggest impact.
Making small changes can be as simple as digitising your expense system by moving it to the cloud, or integrating a level of automation into your security system. These are by no means trivial or inconsequential, but they are projects that can be done quickly, and relatively easily. More importantly however, they have a profound impact on the way that your business operates. They add practical benefits to productivity, increased cost effectiveness and greater adaptability.
If we look at the Co-Op as an example, it had moved its health and safety training to a cloud based model. When it had to adapt to its business in light of the challenges COVID-19 has wrought, it was able to update the training to facilitate the changes it needed to make to the way it operated, and roll this out to 40,000 employees to complete in a day.
Here we can see that by moving just one aspect of its business to the cloud, the Co-Op was able to ensure that its employees and customers were kept safe. I don’t think we could ever understate the importance of this, and the monumental impact that this one project has had.
While the current situation has brought making small changes to light, a time of crisis is not the only time we should be thinking about the little things. Take National Grid, it was faced with the growing challenge of predicting the more variable volumes of solar and wind energy. With millions of data points to analyse, it became impossible to rely on the team alone. They experimented with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to run a few machine learning models to do the work for them. This enabled the team to see patterns in the data they never could before. What started off as a small way to help make the UK more renewable ended up with 21,000 machine learning models helping the country hit historic milestones in our use of renewables. When it comes to the impact of the cloud, it doesn’t get much bigger than that.
What we can see here is by making small changes, an organisation can become far more resilient or more effectively at doing the job it already does.
I think, particularly now, is not always about big, sweeping changes. It’s about looking at your business and understanding what you can practically do to meet current challenges, but also help ensure success for the future. In business, as in life, we need to all remember that the little things matter as much as the big.