By now, you’ve no doubt heard of cloud computing. It’s the not-so-new kid on the block, looking to transform the way that businesses do business. It’s touted as being able to reduce costs, scale with your enterprise and store all of your data. But the way that cloud computing is advertised to businesses belies some of the benefits.
Many CIOs and other managers have noticed something interesting when using cloud computing. It has some rather unexpected benefits, not spelled out in the glossy adverts. These new benefits are the unintended consequences, if you like, of the new platform. Nobody saw them coming, but they arrived anyway. It’s all been a rather pleasant surprise.
Here are some examples of the type of unexpected benefits businesses have enjoyed:
More Tech Savvy Executives And Managers.
It’s no secret that the most tech savvy companies are usually the ones that succeed in the global marketplace. But in order to be tech savvy, businesses need real leadership from their senior people. The problem is that right now, most top tech managers are bogged down in the day-to-day running of their equipment. According to research, 80 percent of their time spent on maintenance of company systems. This means that they’re wasting enormous amounts of time and effort, just keeping their IT running.
But when businesses move to the cloud, things change. IT managers don’t spend as much time on maintenance. And that means that they get to spend significantly more of their energy pursuing strategic objectives. Once IT executives are freed up, they can look at the latest technology, and implement it in their organizations. With more time on their hands, there’s more scope to find the right resources for the business.
Ability To Adopt Practices Of Other Businesses.
One of the fears around cloud computing is that it makes every company generic. With constant pressure on prices, all companies end up with the same solutions. And this race to the bottom means that large enterprises don’t have any advantage over smaller companies. But that’s not quite how application integration works. Cloud services are more than just a blanket solution for business. They are an ecosystem. And just like every other technical area of business, that ecosystem has it’s own learning curve.
The good news for small businesses is that there’s a lot of information out there already on best practice. Others have developed interfaces and formulas that just work and are proven to drive results. Businesses that can tap into this knowledge are well placed to succeed in the market.
In the past when two companies wanted to merge, it often took months or years to migrate systems. Consolidating data was difficult, and sometimes never happened. In fact, before the cloud, this is what happened to the government. It tried to merge departments but was unable to unify its records and bring data together. The only way to do it was to manually enter instructions into the systems. And this was time-consuming and generally ineffective. CIOs have noticed, however, that with cloud computing, mergers are much faster. End-users can get access to the systems they need rapidly.
The Ability To Get Into New Businesses.
As any entrepreneur knows, the biggest constraints on business are time and money. Often new ideas are entertained but never realized because of these limitations. But here’s where the cloud comes in. The cloud reduces both the time and the money needed to implement and test new ideas. And so businesses are more able to experiment and innovate. The reason the cloud is so favorable is because of its on-demand services. Businesses can hook themselves up to new systems in hours or minutes. Then they can check them out, pay only for what they use, and work out if new systems are right for them. The cloud makes it easier and less costly for businesses to fail. And that means that they can take more risks on their way to finding solutions that work.
Building New Cloud-Based Businesses.
Companies are always looking for ways to increase value for their customers. And that means that they’d like to be able to offer more digital services to their customers. The problem is that digital services are usually hidden behind the company firewall. But not so with the cloud. Cloud platforms can be shared with external end-users, like customers. And businesses can bundle extra services with their products that they couldn’t before. For instance, UPS and FedEx now both provide their customers with tracking and logistics apps.