The cloud is increasingly providing a means for businesses to better meet their own customers’ needs whilst creating growth within their own business. It is widely accepted now as being within the mainstream of IT. In a survey by IBM, here are the top six reasons executives gave for their investment in the cloud…
1. Cost Flexibility
This was one of the key reasons for adopting cloud services. Over 30% of the executives involved in the survey said that the cloud’s ability to reduce the fixed-cost / CAPEX element of their IT spend and to migrate to a rented, OPEX model, as a key benefit. Coupled with the ‘you only pay for what you use when you need it’ flexibility, they stated that the cloud provides better control of budgets and the ability to deliver computer power when and where it is required at a known cost.
2. Business Scalability
The ability to scale IT has long been accepted as a key benefit of the cloud. However, cloud computing provides much more than this, it allows the easy scaling of core business operations as well. In order to drive cost of delivery down, one often requires economies of scale, something many businesses cannot achieve on their own. However, the cloud allows even the smallest of businesses to benefit from such economies as the service provider is able to aggregate infrastructure costs across multiple customers, allowing the end-user to expand their infrastructure on-demand without the need to commit to large-scale capital investment. In the survey, around a third of respondents viewed business (as opposed to just IT) scalability as a top benefit of the cloud.
3. Adapting to Market Changes
Again, around a third of survey respondents cited market adaptability as a key cloud benefit, stating that the improved business agility afforded by cloud computing had made a significant, positive difference to their business. Cloud enables business to react speedily to market changes, adjusting processes, products and services much more quickly than the traditional IT model allows.
4. Ease of Use & Management
By masking the complexity of traditional IT systems management, the cloud enables businesses to focus on core activities whilst letting the cloud solutions partner worry about non-core activities such as running data networks, servers and telephone systems infrastructure. And by hiding application complexities from the end-user, productivity is increased across the business.
5. Application Adaptability
Some cloud applications, such as Siri, Apple’s natural language application, already adapt themselves automatically to user requirement, learning user preferences and patterns such that user requests are automatically put into an established context. As apps start to share such user preferences, so the cloud will make for a richer, more personal and even more profitable experience. Around 50% of those surveyed saw ‘context’ and ‘adaptability’ as significant reasons to introduce cloud services to their business.
6. Inter-business Connectivity & Activity
Collaboration with trading partners, both customers and suppliers, leads to productivity improvements, innovation and motivation. The cloud allows disparate groups of individuals and groups to work together in ways never before available, sharing resources, processes and data.
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