The cloud industry is thriving. Gartner forecasts the worldwide public cloud market will grow to $206.2 billion in 2019. The booming cloud market has some experts wondering, “What’s drawing businesses to the cloud?” Benefits vary from industry to industry, but the rationale for cloud migration can be boiled down into a few distinct advantages:
Visibility: Cloud-based systems store data from various sectors of your business in a common location, allowing 360-degree visibility. This data is invaluable when it comes to scaling for growth and creating efficiencies.
Security: Businesses are increasingly moving their sensitive data to the cloud. Cloud-based storage offers businesses access to iterative software patches, secure data centers, and contractual network security obligations via the vendor.
Scalability: One of the biggest challenges for ambitious business owners is developing a technology strategy that will enable them to grow. Some cloud providers operate on a “pay-as-you-use” principle, meaning the offering scales as a company does. Companies can turn cloud applications ‘on’ or ‘off’ to adjust to changing business needs.
Growth is the ultimate objective for most businesses owners. The cloud ecosystem offers a compelling business case, but some companies have been reluctant to migrate. Here are some best practices for businesses hoping to scale their growth by using cloud computing.
Select the right vendor
The opportunities in the cloud marketplace are plentiful, but that can sometimes breed indecision. Many businesses struggle with selecting a vendor or are unsure of what questions to ask to identify the right platform for their current and future needs.
If long term growth is your goal, then choosing a vendor with a comprehensive platform that scales with your business should be the focus. Cloud-based enterprise application suites address the needs of your business across departments and provide intelligent insights at every phase of growth. It’s a lot easier to grow with a flexible platform than to hop to a new provider and face the daunting task of migrating a massive amount of information and bearing the costs of retraining end-users.
Invest in IT
Your IT department is the cornerstone of your technology strategy. Automation and managed IT services provided by cloud vendors help reduce the burden on in-house IT staff. This frees up an IT team to focus on infrastructure and high-level growth strategy.
The development of new collaboration tools, as well as the proclivity toward mobile network access, means IT professionals will need to implement forward-thinking plans. This will likely mean IT professionals will need to work with recruiting departments to prioritize the hiring of technical professionals who can maximize cloud infrastructure investments.
Develop operational efficiencies
The efficacy of business processes is indicative of the probability of success an individual business has in today’s competitive market. Project management, Business Agile, and other buzzwords are beginning to emerge. The popularity of these terms points to a growing need to develop standardized organizational processes that mirror the efficiency of a cloud-based system.
This is for good reason. Project failure results in an average of $122 million in waste for every billion dollars invested. For many brands, this is an unacceptable outcome. Software developers and other technical roles have long used and iterated upon project management processes, enabling them to prioritize and execute on critical projects. Businesses that expect to grow will need to replicate these organizational processes.
The cloud represents an opportunity for success for many businesses. Organizations who have the foresight to optimize their infrastructure and make strategic investment decisions will be well positioned to take market share in their respective industries.