- “We really need a ‘cloud’ for our company too!...By the way, what exactly is a cloud?"
That's a fairly popular sentiment among managers these days. There is something out there, mentioned in every press article, every interview and all company brochures. Something all the other companies obviously have, so shouldn’t you have it as well?
The answer is you should. Let me briefly tell you why.
First of all, let's “de-buzz” the expression itself. The cloud is already all around us and part of our daily life: it's what we experience as end-users when we use a handheld APP to book a flight (from the cloud). Cloud is a sound and logical step when it comes to a globally shared, networked, mobile and user-centric economy. And new technologies will only continue to enable and boost this evolution.
But if we want to translate our APP experience into business, it will definitely require a so-called “service-oriented IT”.
Let me explain with three examples:
- Cloud Services
"The IT environment no longer sets the stage. The benefits for business do"
Commodified services available in the cloud are accessible everywhere, in a standardised way and paid for only when used. They deliver a well-defined and predictable output, supporting a single dedicated process or task. And there's no need to invent, run or maintain them yourself.
On the other hand, business-critical applications still have to be developed and tailored to exact business needs, with security, data management and the like. But now these customised services can and should be provided from the cloud as well, delivering the same user experience and ease of use as the commodified services.
- Business Centricity
The IT environment no longer sets the stage. The benefits for business do. A dedicated workflow or a task can be the starting point. And, regardless of whether its a traditional or innovative approach, the new service from the cloud can be quickly introduced, scaled to follow the ups (and downs) of the business, and easily adapted to changing environments because it's both standardized and tailored!
- IT Performance
Of course everything mentioned so far has a serious positive impact on cost and performance. The Cloud “breathes”: services are offered and available, paid for per use. The networks are key, as they physically enable and connect users and services. It's more like a service brokerage, which results in far lower investment and expenses than the traditional IT setup. The savings can easily be 20% or more, plus all the benefits in speed and business focus.
So what does all that mean?
In my opinion, we've already been in “cloud world” for a long time. We use it every day, and we like its ease and low cost. It has shaped our expectations of how IT should feel these days, as seen from the user side.
So again: the answer is yes! Join the Cloud, optimise your customer and employee satisfaction, be innovative and, by doing all that, increase your profits.