The rise in prominence of Cloud Computing is an important development which every company needs to take account of, and every manager needs to be aware of its implications. The Cloud itself is enabling business in many ways, but more important is the huge range of opportunities it puts within the reach of even the smallest companies. Many companies lack the skills and leadership to fully exploit this technology.
So do you know enough about it? Let’s take a look at what’s going on, so that you will have an informed opinion at least.
Most large or medium sized companies will have a Digital Transformation Policy in place, or should at least be considering one, and this will become more important as time moves on. We all need to understand the issues, and be able to talk knowledgeably about them.
Advances in emerging innovations are enabled and driven by the ubiquitous nature of this internet technology. It has literally transformed the structure of business, encouraging organisations to reshape all their activities. It offers scalability and flexibility, allowing companies to rapidly expand their activities, launch new products and enter new markets. It has accelerated change because it eradicates the barriers normally associated with rapid growth. New capabilities can be delivered immediately, and equally quickly shed again, if no longer required.
Gone are the days of needing to find capital to fund investment in a new IT structure, and other new processes and functions such as Finance, HR, and supply chain management .There is no longer any need to recruit or partner with people with the appropriate skills and knowledge, design and develop the structure, purchase equipment, install the system, and then begin to expand the business using the new resources. In the past, this all took considerable time and effort and meant that gearing a company for growth was a time consuming exercise, and did not happen quickly.
Cloud technology has enabled businesses to subscribe to applications it can access over the Internet. The application can be custom built or bought “off the shelf “. This allows a “pay as you go” approach to rapid expansion, enabling companies to make leaps in their development that were previously undreamt of.
Organisations that adopt the Cloud report many benefits from improved employee satisfaction, better customer engagement, a more robust IT system. The Cloud is greener than traditional systems, it is pay as you go, there is very little capital investment needed. It enables agility, that much sought after capability for companies in today’s fast moving world.
What is the Cloud?
The term “Cloud” just means “across the internet”. The use of Cloud technology just means storing and accessing data on the internet, rather than on your hard drive. This more traditional storage is now referred to as local storage, and it is fast and easy to access your data stored in that way
Using “Cloud computing,” means you access your data or your programs over the Internet, or have that data synchronized with other information over the Web.
Cloud technology has enabled Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This means that a business subscribes to an application it accesses over the Internet, which can be either custom built or bought “off the shelf “,
Also available is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), where companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Rackspace provide an infrastructure available to be “rented out” by client companies.