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PwC and Microsoft provide imperative support for businesses with the cloud

April 21, 2021

Jenny Koehler
US Deputy Advisory Leader and US Advisory Industrial Products & Services Vertical Leader at PwC
Takuya Hirano
VP Global Systems Integrator and Advisory Partners, Microsoft

"Failure is not an option."

Gene Krantz, NASA Flight Director for Apollo 13

While navigating a client through a large-scale cloud transformation project is not a life-or-death situation like it was for Gene Krantz when he uttered those famous words during the Apollo 13 mission, we believe that the sentiment holds true with how we support our clients. If our clients are not achieving value from the cloud, then we have failed. If they have not changed the experience for workers and employees through the cloud, then we have failed.

Failure is not an option for us.

Leveraging cloud in uncertain times

If the last year has taught us anything, it is that cloud plays the critical role in actualizing digital transformation benefits, from increasing time spent innovating to growing profit margins. In tandem, it enables resilience and responsiveness. This is critical during economic uncertainty and that’s paramount during a pandemic.

Millions around the world are experiencing this impact firsthand as PwC and Microsoft are helping with vaccine management and distribution globally. The lynchpin to vaccine distribution success? Cloud. 

Helping businesses grow

While Microsoft and PwC have worked together for years to help our clients leverage cloud technology, especially Microsoft Azure, today’s environment underscores cloud’s crucial role. By pairing PwC’s industry lens with Microsoft’s cloud capabilities, we have helped businesses across all verticals grow — even over the past year. Together, we create relevant, timely and scalable solutions for organizations, something neither of us could do alone. 

For businesses who want to move faster and create holistic digital transformation, cloud is imperative in today’s hybrid landscape. Here is a deeper look at how organizations are reimagining business with the cloud so they can achieve stronger business results. 

The best way to allocate resources, invest in digital transformation. 

Almost 80% of business leaders said that they will be allocating more resources to digital transformation in 2021. Meanwhile, roughly 60% of CFOs said these investments make their businesses better in the long run.

Together, we have all realized that digital transformation drives revenue, and creates more agile, resilient organizations. Over the last twelve months, clients have changed portfolios and operating models, increased resiliency in operations and cost profiles, developed a greater degree of intimacy with customers who want to interact differently, and more. The technology they rely on to do this is the cloud. It makes remote work possible and ultimately increases speed to market and creates efficiencies.

The Microsoft cloud enables all of this. Clients can utilize Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform, and rely on PwC’s business acumen to achieve digital transformation in a way that drives real impact.

Leveraging cloud as part of return to office strategies

Clients relied heavily on cloud services when they transitioned to remote work. Now the cloud is a Catalyst that’s helping employees return to the office, while also enabling the hybrid office of the future. We have learned we can work remotely, and many employees will continue to do so post-pandemic, and the Cloud will enable both options, and a hybrid model too.

To achieve this new reality, it is crucial to upskill the workforce, so everyone can realize the full benefits of cloud.

Industries that can benefit most from the cloud. 

Every industry can benefit from migrating to the cloud. The trends outlined above — from resiliency to hybrid work — apply to many businesses. Cloud can also bring enhanced cyber, data protection and trust, and increased agility. We have made great strides in changing the face of business and operations for our clients in the health, financial services, consumer markets, and manufacturing sectors.

Manufacturing received a lot of attention recently, as the pandemic disrupted production lines and forced companies to rearrange supply chains. To address this, we created a Smart Factory solution for manufacturers. It utilizes a Microsoft Azure-based platform on the factory floor. We augmented factory standard work with real-time data pipelines, automated workflows, visualizations, and analytical apps and, ultimately, together we translated complex technical information into valuable business insights.

Future-proofing the cloud.

The cloud, like any technology, constantly evolves. Businesses need to make sure it does not become the next legacy technology. Microsoft and PwC have developed a framework to future proof cloud use.

  • First, ensure that there are clear objectives for the cloud program and principles that all teams — IT and business leaders — align on. This means creating a clear and transparent business case upfront, focusing on incremental value delivery to help build momentum.
  • Second, build a strong and secure cloud landing zone. By creating a business integrated architecture for cloud, it enables future cloud adoption.
  • Third, implement a strong governance model. The model should provide flexibility and create guardrails for architecture, visibility, and cost efficiency.
  • Fourth, think beyond the cloud migration. The cloud journey does not end there. Instead, continue to monitor and manage data specific costing, scaling, and sizing.
  • Last, but certainly not least, keep the human element and employee experience front and center, ensuring people are upskilled on new cloud-enabled technology.

By bringing together PwC’s expertise and Microsoft’s technology, we have created effective, revenue-driving change in our clients’ business. Our clients know we approach cloud with a “business-first” mindset.

Cloud has immense potential to improve your business. Together Microsoft and PwC are committed to ensuring you unlock it.

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Rajesh  Balaraman

Rajesh Balaraman

Partner, US Microsoft Alliance and Practice Leader, PwC US