Have you made the big leap to the cloud?
Cloud technology has grown in leaps and bounds over the last 5 years, with global tech giants leading like Microsoft, Adobe and Amazon leading the way. What’s interesting is that while moving on-premise software and solutions to the cloud was more of a “nice-to-have” a fews years back, has now become an essential, and in some cases a key to survival! So what are the advantages that the cloud brings?
1. It is possible
At the most basic level, the reason why such a vast range of services is migrating online is because it is now a practical possibility. Faster Internet speeds – fixed and mobile – enable Internet-delivered applications such as CRM, entertainment streaming or massive multiplayer online gaming.
2. It is cheap
This is probably one of the most important keys. A slightly better but dated reason is that cloud saves its customers money. It provides access to massive computing power at low, predictable cost, spread out over time, allowing customers to enjoy owning zero IT infrastructure; zero application infrastructure; and an army of relatively low-powered client devices. Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, now offer clients world-class server hosting infrastructure via a rent-on-demand cloud driven model.
3. It opens up new channels
From the point of view of cloud providers like Apple, ShowMax and Microsoft, cloud allows you to reinvent your business from a product-centric one to a service centric one. It requires capital investment, but it streamlines delivery and enables agile product launches and business innovation.
According to The Economist (Harnessing cloud technology), Netflix changed its business from a DVD postal service to an Internet movie streaming service with 62 million subscribers in 50 countries. And we all know what Apple did to the music business by putting a bit of computational power in the cloud and selling songs at a buck apiece. After expanding into TV shows, movies and apps, iTunes is the fastest-growing part of Apple’s business.
4. It makes businesses out of nothing at all
What we’re seeing today is the emergence of a “sharing economy”, where customers of cloud-delivered services can also provide the same services offered by large global companies..
An example is holiday accommodation via Airbnb. App users rent accommodation in other users’ homes and in turn offer holiday accommodation to the same global customer base. Instead of an intermediary that invests in capital, the model relies on buyers and sellers sharing in each other’s stock in trade. Airbnb itself doesn’t own any stock, and yet, with the right idea (Uber taxis, job matching etc) this can be a goldmine. This innovative new business model is based on a digital platform, enabled by cloud technology.
5. It opens your eyes with analytics
Cloud technology in many ways is data driven, and opens up users to a wealth of real-time data which enables both businesses and users to make essential decisions. The emergence of cloud technology has now resulted in the rise of many data analytics and visualization tools. Because of data availability, more accurate decisions can be made based on (data-driven) facts instead of “impression” and “gut-feel”
Cloud technology, no doubt, is the way of the future. It is a momentous development in the history of computing. Its true power is the speed and agility afforded by the huge computational power behind it. As The Economist puts it, cloud allows companies to adopt a quick-to-market approach to launching new products and services and business innovations.