The cloud computing industry is worth billions of dollars and according to market estimates it will be worth $121 billion in 2015. The massive growth of this industry makes one thing very clear – this industry is playing a disruptive role in how businesses function and their growth trajectory. Businesses that are proactively leveraging the benefits of cloud computing are seeing their revenue graph heading northwards, while their competitors (who aren’t adopting the cloud) are playing catch up.
There is absolutely no doubt we have entered an era of cloud computing, wherein businesses are using this technology to streamline processes, as well as, explore new avenues for growth.
But not everybody is exploiting the use of the cloud as they should.
The one problem this industry suffers from is there is still an air of mystery that surrounds its benefits. Many businesses link the use of cloud computing purely to ‘money savings’ and while this is not off the mark, the use of the cloud offers many more benefits than just significant cost savings.
The ideal way of looking at the Cloud is a technology that makes taking growth oriented decisions affordable. There are occasions when a business knows it needs to speed up its existing processes or add to its services portfolio if it wants to grow; the problem here is the prohibitive costs associated with making such improvements through the infusion of new platforms, software or infrastructure.
This is where cloud services with their affordable business model, come in to save the day. So ‘savings’ shouldn’t be regarded as the most important benefit of migrating applications/processes/IT assets to the cloud or using cloud based solutions; the ‘affordability factor’ is something that seamlessly complements other benefits of the cloud.
This brings us to the question – What are the real benefits of the cloud that actually push business growth in the right direction?
Take a look:
Do you know the cost of lost productivity suffered by US businesses every year? The answer is between $450 billion to $550 billion. This is a massive amount and these are figures from just one country. Imagine the global cost of lost employee productivity! While the reason for this can range from lack of engagement to illness and from lack of delegation to employee dissatisfaction, businesses should make every effort to increase productivity.
One of the ways this can be achieved is by implementing the use of technology which helps improve collaboration, speeds up data access, streamlines business processes and offers actionable insights for faster decision making.
Cloud computing helps you do all this and more.
The cloud gives businesses access to progressive IT solutions through a subscription based model, which means the initial investment to use these solutions is low. Businesses can use sophisticated solutions, that they otherwise might not have used (price factor) to work faster, with greater accuracy and therefore improve not only business productivity but also the quality of their output.
As programs and applications can now be accessed online, without the need for purchasing them, businesses can tide over all gaps in the business process by using the right solutions via the cloud. What’s more, cloud solutions can be accessed from any location through internet connectivity; this means employees can work from remote locations and even on the go.
All the benefits taken together go a long way in helping businesses boost efficiency and the value of their output.
Key Driver of Innovation
Some of the barriers to innovation include risk avoidance, inability to break through secure hierarchal silos, funding issues, failure to adopt the latest technology for business benefit and not moving beyond accepted traditional thought.
Cloud computing is heaven sent for businesses that are finding it difficult to overcome these barriers. Innovation only occurs when businesses are able to destroy the infrastructural shackles that are holding them back; many businesses are locked into their ageing single dimensional legacy software and moving away from such software involves high capital expenses that they are unwilling to make. The result is businesses are trapped in the present while their competition is moving towards a brighter future.
What businesses need is a way of transforming their structure by moving on to next generation systems of engagement and ensuring their business responds faster to the needs of its customers.
Enter the cloud.
The scalability, accessibility, flexibility and affordability associated with the cloud, is persuading businesses to leverage cloud based services to streamline business processes in a way such that they trigger innovation. To put it simply, cloud is a disruptive technology that is being used in a variety of disruptive ways. Cloud based services such as IaaS, PaaS and SaaS are acting as catalysts for innovation by making available state of the art technology to businesses and whose use can be scaled up or down as per their needs.
The cloud ensures that a business’s ability to come up with new profitable solutions is not constrained in any way or form. If your business is capable, the use of cloud computing will definitely help trigger the kind of innovation your business needs to grow.
Adopting the cloud means giving your business more ability to maneuver the challenges it will face in its growth journey. The cloud is evolving and in a constant state of flux. Your job will be to pick and use those cloud developments that will deliver the maximum ROI for your business. The idea is to use cloud and everything that it brings to the table as a trigger for growth. Make it a mission critical part of your growth strategy and align it with your business objectives. Cloud computing cannot be used in a vacuum; it needs to be naturally coopted into your business’s functioning.