When cloud first arrived, it was an exciting option to help CTOs and CIOs reduce costs and better support business expansion. Now, cloud technologies have affected every part of a business. Leaders of all business divisions are not just asking how can cloud save me money, but how can it help me achieve my business goals? Cloud does so by supporting innovation, improving the customer experience and increasing productivity.
Everybody is searching for their differentiator. Companies of every size are looking to escape cut-throat, highly competitive markets and move into blue oceans; under-explored niches where competition is less fierce.
On one hand, Cloud technologies are removing competitive advantages. For example, by opening up access to technologies like CRM and people management systems to organisations of every size. On the other hand, the speed of set-up, low capital investment, reliability, security and interconnectivity of Cloud technologies are providing a foundation for innovation. Every company, from SMBs to MNCs, is able to rapidly explore and validate new ideas.
Cloud technologies also offer unlimited scalability and tools for managing large data sets. This means that when a successful innovation is identified, it can be put into production and released to market extremely quickly. This stands in contrast to earlier times, when innovations was blocked by the necessity of spending months (and a lot of money) creating and maintaining infrastructure.
It’s important for companies to create Cloud strategies to understand how they are going to find their blue ocean – the niche that’s going to provide greater revenues and set up their company to benefit from future disruptions. Otherwise, they face being left behind as their competitors implement their own Cloud strategies.
Improved customer experience
High-performing organisations are using Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and a mixture of private and public Cloud providers to quickly build applications and effectively manage the application development life cycle.
This means you can serve customers with applications that are directly tailored to what they need. With a Cloud strategy that gets the most from each provider, and by using PaaS and SaaS to do a lot of the technical heavy lifting, you can ensure that your developers are focused on value creation. For example, improving the UI or the product features. Not only can you rapidly create bespoke products, but you can also use Cloud to scale your offerings to different customers and regions.
However, this cannot be done on a whim. It requires the business to create a Cloud strategy. You need to have made decisions on the Cloud ecosystem and the different resources you’re going to use so you’re set up to be flexible, agile and scalable.
A compelling Cloud strategy shouldn’t just focus on creating new business and winning more customers. Many of the benefits associated with innovation will directly affect your day-to-day operations. A refined Cloud strategy – one that may use multiple Clouds and products – will enable you to create a more productive, more efficient business. That’s because, when deployed properly, Cloud technologies allow you to tie together multiple products, ensure data flows smoothly through the organisation and enables increased automation of many routine tasks.
The global economy is in a productivity crisis. Productivity growth has stagnated. Many commentators believe this is because, while new technologies like Cloud exist, they are not yet prevalent enough to effect productivity.
This means there’s an opportunity for organisations willing to invest in new technologies, especially Cloud, to be disproportionately more productive than the industry average. This leads to a more efficient, more successful company.
More than worth it
Moving to the Cloud can be daunting. More than half of all organisations cite security concerns as a reason to avoid the Cloud. Those concerns are justified. However, that’s because shifts to Cloud are often ad hoc and unplanned.
Organisations who create thoughtful Cloud strategies are finding that innovation, productivity and customer satisfaction are increasing. This more than justifies the effort and expense of planning and strategising.