opinion

Why cloud services are key to successful companies

Andy Jiang, Sunday July 20, 2014

The rise of cloud services is one of the most transformative developments in how information technology services are created, delivered, and accessed, and ultimately allows companies to achieve faster time to market with minimal overhead at lower operational risk.

The growth and commercialization of the Internet, the standardization of the web (HTTP, URLs, browsers), and the pervasive system availability and connectivity were responsible for establishing the foundation for cloud services. The cloud provides numerous strategic and tactical benefits, including IT decapitalization, accessibility, business agility, scalability, and cost effectiveness.

This post will discuss further why any company that desires to stay competitive in today’s dynamic market should embrace cloud services.

Faster Time to Market

One major benefit for adopting cloud services is the faster time to market and increased business agility. The high availability of the web and self-service nature of some cloud platforms allows for businesses to easily get started.

Companies like our friends at CircleCI, a cloud continuous integration service, allow engineering teams to try continuous delivery immediately, without the cost and time delays required by on-premise solutions. This is especially true when a platform allows for self-service use, as that encourages innovation and does not require multiple approvals, which can be time consuming.

“When a platform is self-service, even the improbable ideas can get tried, because there’s no expert gatekeeper ready to say ‘that will never work!’ And guess what—many of those improbable ideas do work, Allowing customers and prospects to immediately access value.“ - Jeff Bezos

The accelerated pace of innovation allows companies using cloud services to adapt faster to constantly changing market conditions.

Minimal Management

One key difference in using a cloud service is that specialized skills are not required for setup and maintenance. Previously, if a company needed a call center and/or to route phone calls, it would need to manage on-premise call routing hardware, which would require a highly specialized engineer just to install, maintain, and update throughout its lifetime.

Conversely, cloud communication companies such as Twilio abstract all of that heavy lifting away from you, allowing you to focus on making your customers happy. It is crucial that company resources are not wasted on reinventing the wheel. Additionally, it is a competitive advantage for businesses to be able to trust cloud services, as it is their core competency to be the best at their sole function.

Lower Capital Risk

It has become standard for cloud services companies to offer pay-as-you-go or tiered pricing plans. This new payment model is in contrast to the fixed capital expense of having a dedicated in-house solution. Moving from up-front capital purchases to a pricing plan based on on-demand usage is attractive to companies focused on minimizing fixed costs and can allow them to take more risks.

From a cost perspective, moving to the cloud is an obvious choice, as businesses have less capital commitments and have increased business agility with greater operational risk appetite.

Conclusion

In an environment where companies are being asked to do more with less and adapt to the rapidly changing market conditions, cloud services can provide a far more rapid time to value at a lower risk. The “Cloud” has demonstrated immediate and immense value for businesses since its advent, which led to its rapid growth and adoption, and has now influenced and shaped the way businesses purchase IT solutions.

Filed under: ops