Is Agility the Only Benefit of Cloud?
Before getting into the benefits that businesses can derive from cloud, it is important to look within and evaluate the state of IT that warrants change
It is rather clear that most businesses can do with better optimized IT infrastructure. How much more is the key question?
Cloud can clearly bring in the desired result to these businesses by consolidating and optimizing IT infrastructure, removing unwanted complexities from the system and enable clear and perceivable cost benefits.
To understand this paradigm, businesses have to look within first. They have to evaluate the state of IT infrastructure, and then chart strategies of optimization, consolidation, moving to cloud, etc.
Understanding The Paradigm
Over the years, organizations have built many layers of technology that is one of the first culprits of increased complexity. Solving tactical problems was the solution at many times over these years and technology helped.
What resulted was a technology architecture that is not only extremely complex but also expensive, and exorbitant to keep running and maintain.
That is not all. These complex environments require more people to run and maintain, creating huge dependencies on a set of skills that understand and deal with the complexity within. This further increases costs.
These complex environments also require more resources in terms of optimization tools, maintenance tools, integration and reporting tools to run and maintain – a further add-on to costs, and more complexity.
There is yet another fall to the complexity that is rampant in IT environments – lowering efficiencies.
Today’s dynamically changing market conditions are putting a lot of pressure on businesses to stay highly competitive, increasingly efficient, agile to change as per customer and market demands and highly productive and innovative.
Complex IT environments are inherently les efficient and thus cannot meet the growing demands of the business.
The need of the hour is increased agility in business, which translates into highly efficient and scalable IT infrastructure that is robust and reliable to meet the demands of a growing business in dynamically changing market conditions.
Cloud As A Boon To Complex IT Environments
There are primarily two reasons that businesses adopt cloud – one as an IT optimization strategy, and two as a business strategy to improve business agility.
Agility has become a key business driver for cloud adoption today, according to a 2014 survey by Harvard Business Review (HBR). According to the survey, business agility is a key driver for adoption of cloud.
It is the very definition of business agility where the key problem is. What is business agility? Is it the ability of businesses to adapt rapidly and cost efficiently to changes in business or markets? Or is it the ability of business to increase productivity, efficiency and scale at reduced costs? Or, a combination of all of it or some of it?
Evidently, CIOs define the agility as the state of an organizations IT environment to deliver to business at faster, more efficiently and at optimized costs. And how does cloud help?
Cloud enables organizations to address the critical issues mentioned at the beginning of this article – complexity in the system. Implementing cloud strategies into enterprise architecture enables a key benefit – faster delivery of business services.
Applications that are expensive and time consuming to deploy can be done very quickly on the cloud at a fraction of the cost. From storage to building new applications, cloud provides the benefit of increased agility in delivering services to business as per demand. The reverse is also true. Cloud enables the agility to scale down as per business demands for those services that are no longer required.
Is Agility The Only Benefit?
Coming back to the same survey report – the HBR 2014 survey. According to the survey, IT leaders are looking at meaningful derivations of what cloud computing can bring to table – apart from agility alone.
Cloud helps organizations to enter new markets faster and cost efficiently. The survey finds that organizations that have advanced deployment of cloud are more likely to enter new markets and be part of merger and acquisition.
Cloud deployments help reduce costs substantially. With reduced complexity within the organizations IT environment, there is no longer the need for specialized skills, dependency on personnel who understand the complexity, leading to reduced cost of manpower. There is further cost reduction in eliminating the need for advanced and specialized tools and other resources to manage and maintain complex IT environments. Optimization and consolidation benefits of cloud enable optimized costs.
Other key benefits of cloud adoption and advanced deployments of cloud are:
- Increased employee productivity
- Improved customer responsiveness
- Simplification of IT and business operations
- Optimization of internal resources
- Improved employee collaboration
- Improved ability to share, analyze, and act on data
Success of cloud deployments depends on and begins with the business’s ability to look within and evaluate what their current issues are, how their business strategies can be enabled through IT and how cloud can help in this.
The journey to cloud is best enabled by harnessing the expertise of strategic partners and cloud evolution partners who have years of experience helping businesses benefit from cloud deployments.
Karan represents a new generation of Product Marketing Managers that can cover core product development & management activities as well as product marketing activities. To his customers & colleagues, he is the Go-to-guy for consultations.