For many organizations, the main motivation for adopting cloud technology is economics. A business can quickly provision computing resources or storage space on the public cloud, through a vendor, rather than investing substantial capital in its own data center. Cloud vendors are able to combine numerous concepts ranging from multi-tenancy, virtualization, and economies of scale to achieve profit; clients, on the other hand, benefit by not having to maintain extensive IT departments and by only having to paying only for resources as necessary.
As a result, many organizations are investing more resources into transitioning to the cloud. From accounting software to HR systems and CRM applications, every department is taking the opportunity to utilize the cloud. In these cases, cloud preference is not driven by economics but by business agility. In today’s world of social media and mobile dominance, companies must be able to adapt to change quickly if they want to succeed.
When a company adopts cloud technology, changes in the IT department surface quickly and can be seen in resource provisioning for engineers, QA testers, programmers, etc. There is no need for developers to wait in line, fill out requisition forms and wait until they are allotted processing time. It eliminates much of the delay between when a programmer asks for resources and the time he receives them. However, this is just a small part of the overall impact that cloud technology can have on business agility.
Many of the benefits delivered by the cloud such as collaboration, automation, data processing and analytics can shorten the time needed for decision making on every level. For example, the marketing department can use financial information that is available in the company cloud to quickly present price estimates for potential customers. It is possible to run short-term marketing campaigns, collect data regarding outcomes, and make quicker decisions on which strategies are most effective. However long these processes might have taken before, the cloud gives companies a time saving advantage.
Any business presented with a new situation goes through four phases before it can react:
Cloud technology can be used to target each phase so that employees can respond as quickly as possible. Automated monitoring systems are able to spot changes earlier. Computing resources can analyze important data for managers and assist them in making the best possible decisions for the company. Finally, the required application or software can be created and deployed, shortening response times from weeks to days or even hours.
It is not necessary that a company should only use cloud technology to achieve business agility. It is always possible for them to invest in a large data center or computing resources in advance so that they can be ready at a moment’s notice. However this ties up valuable capital in unused resources which can reduce profitability. Instead, the cloud enables organizations to be agile (which can be expensive) only when it is needed.