Cloud hosting has lowered the barrier to entry for IT provisioning, provided improved collaboration tools and platforms, driven innovation, and increased choice.
There is a huge amount of hype surrounding the concept and implementation of cloud technology. Marketers have grasped the potential messaging and branding benefits of the cloud with both hands. As is often the case, cloud boosterism has produced a predictable backlash from traditionalists in the IT world.
No one wants to be thought of as bandwagon jumping or buying into the flimflam of marketers, but there’s a danger that the impulse to ignore the cloud may leave businesses trailing behind their less circumspect competitors.
While it’s true that the cloud and its associated technology are not a panacea to all problems that IT-dependent businesses face a sober-minded assessment of the proven benefits of adopting cloud servers, compute resources, storage, and network infrastructure reveals a consistent advantage for businesses that choose to embrace the cloud.
Lowered Barrier To Entry
It’s possible to argue all day about the relative benefits of the cloud versus traditional data center collocation for various business models. But, it’s undeniable that on-demand IT infrastructure with prorated billing is a huge boon for both startups and established companies developing new products.
It’s no longer necessary for businesses to invest assets they’d rather remain liquid into upfront hardware provisioning. That avoidance of significant CAPEX is the one advantage from which many of the other benefits stem.
Back in the day, IT and its exploitation were location-bound. Today, companies all over the world are leveraging cloud technologies to implement new organizational paradigms. It is possible for a billion-dollar company like Automattic to succeed without a central location at all. Their IT resources are in the cloud, and so are the tools that allow them to develop, to organize, and to manage their finances and client relationships.
Companies can become globalized and decentralized while still maintaining a strong organizational structure. They can recruit from a global talent pool to find the best in their field because location is no longer an issue.
Automattic is an extreme example. Most companies neither need nor want their employees to be spread across 141 cities in 28 countries, but they can take advantage of the collaboration benefits of cloud technology in smaller ways.
A Driver Of Innovation
One of the corollaries of lower capital expenditure is increased willingness to experiment. Experimentation drives innovation. Both new businesses and established companies can take a risk on developing new businesses lines because that risk is much lower than it would once have been.
An open cloud where data can be moved around at will pursuing the best price and service has encouraged the development of a flourishing ecosystem. The trend towards lessened risk of vendor lock-in gives companies the confidence to invest in cloud technologies in the knowledge that they are not stuck with a particular vendor should relationships go south.
These are four of the many potential benefits that cloud technology has brought to businesses of all sizes. It’s not necessary to drink the cloud Kool Aid to see that smart money should be moving in the direction of cloud services and marketplaces.