In today’s “digital everything” world with all the confusing jargon around the subject of “cloud”, it is easy to miss the point of why cloud technology is important. In this blog, I hope to remind the reader about some cloud basics. The reference to cloud in this blog is a more broadly defined definition of “cloud computing”. This involves traditional public cloud infrastructure providers and specialized cloud-based tools, which have evolved over the past 10 years.
Executives have not had as robust of a tool as cloud computing to improve and expand their corporations since the development of the smaller corporate jet. Like the use of private jets, cloud computing has the ability to expand the reach of executives and the corporations they lead to a global audience with minimal impact. However, like a corporate aircraft, cloud computing needs to be utilized in a very strategic way to gain maximum impact.
Cloud = Digital Business Transformation Ø
Over the past several years, there has been a significant push to implement “digital business transformation” for all industries across the globe. The idea that businesses will cease to exist should they not become “digitally enabled” is the primary driver for companies. This core premise can cause even the most seasoned executive to lose sleep at night, trying to figure out what this means for their business.
There has been an undercurrent in this transformation space that moving to cloud computing will magically produce digital transformation for the business. To put it plainly, just signing up for cloud services and moving a few applications and data to the cloud will not deliver a “digitally transformed” business. It is true that cloud is often part of an overall transformation plan but it is only part of the plan. Cloud technologies are often a key component to help change the way the business delivers services and products to their customers. To that end, cloud computing can be a key ingredient to help implement a transformation and quickly adapt to changing business requirements in the future.
Cloud = Flexibility ☺
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The very nature of cloud computing provides the business with tremendous flexibility in its core computing needs. This flexibility is illustrated by abilities in the following areas:
- Easily try out need business product and service delivery ideas without high upfront capital cost and delays as well long-term support cost
- Speed up improvements to current business processes with minimal impacts to the customer experience
- Gain better control on computing cost with the ability to ramp up and down as needed to match budgetary or seasonal demand requirements
As one of the executive leaders of your organization, you gain the ability to pivot your business plan in the shortest possible time with the least amount of computing expense.
Cloud = Actionable Information ☺
Cloud computing brings together all the data needed to develop well-informed business action plans that meet expectations more often. The ability to collect large data sets — both private and public — into one location at a fraction of the cost for on-premises is one of the most powerful benefits from moving to cloud computing. The best part of about this unique capability of cloud computing is the ability to drop all the data and have no residual cost for excess capacity, which most businesses have experienced in the past.
With the latest data mining tools and data scientists that know how to leverage those tools, it is possible to gain new insights in amazingly short periods of time. These insights can help avoid lost revenue and lost opportunity cost through more complete analysis of potential new products or services.
Cloud = Communication ☺
Communications for internal and external stakeholders is one of the most important pillars in any corporation. Business face a daily challenge to keep everyone informed about the latest changes with the fast-paced business climate and full industry disruptions of today. Cloud computing brings a whole new set of collaboration features nicely packaged together for smooth interaction across all channels of communications. In addition to the new collaboration tool sets, it also brings the ability to easily try out these tools because they are hosted in the cloud and require only minimal configuration and no hardware or software to buy or install. This ability to quickly establish whole new ways of interacting with all stakeholders has set a new expectation in the minds of all your stakeholders. Finally, these cloud-based tools provide a new level of accountability between stakeholders, which can radically change the behavior of all stakeholders.
All executives should develop some level of knowledge about cloud computing. It does not matter what part of the corporation you manage — cloud computing has the ability to improve the way you do business on a daily basis.