Jun 21, 2012

Jun 21, 2012

Accelerating innovation through the Cloud

Some believe that cloud computing’s only value is in reducing IT costs, however the cloud’s flexibility in providing infrastructure, services and processes means that it is also perfectly able to drive innovation.

The problem with IT in its current form is that it is too slow, while the cloud offers us an opportunity to be faster, better and cheaper. A cloud approach allows businesses to deliver IT services and applications at the speed the business demands, essentially delivering IT ‘on tap’ just like a utility.

In today’s high speed business spectrum, we need IT resources at the speed of our highest velocity operation. This is simply unachievable using traditional IT methods, especially owing to the prohibitive costs but also to spatial constraints and time limitations. The cloud allows businesses to be agile and rapidly respond to the needs of the business as new IT resources can be released faster, with considerably less effort
For many businesses, the term ‘innovation’ means understanding product offerings or key processes, then determining what needs to be changed so as to get a better result. The implementation part of innovation usually becomes an IT project, essentially meaning that the really important part still falls into your IT department's lap.

The question to ask oneself here is “How long does it take to obtain and set up new servers set-up, and applications? How much will it cost and most importantly, can we afford to increase spend on IT personnel and equipment to support short-term experiments? Should we host in-house or use a data centre?”

The cloud is a revolution in how we deliver IT. By shifting responsibility of tasks that keep the company operating but don’t actually add value off the IT department, your resources are freed up. When developers and users end up troubleshooting internal systems instead of designing new products, that signals a lost innovation opportunity. When IT infrastructure bottlenecks slow down development access to new resources, you lose your competitive edge.

By moving to the cloud, with the same budget and resources, your IT can be run by experts whose business is concerned with just that, while your best minds can do what you hired them to do, not troubleshoot and carry out maintenance. Furthermore, by using the cloud, your business will benefit from the collective innovation of all the companies that are coming up with new ways to make the cloud more useful and efficient.

Additionally, although some think that moving to the cloud spells the end of innovation in the infrastructure side of things, this is patently untrue. Cloud companies shoulder the cost of upgrades to systems, leaving more of your cash flow free for innovation. Cloud providers regularly find new ways to make cloud infrastructure more efficient, although the process is invisible to the customer. However, the benefits soon become obvious: speed, lower costs, easier access, and elimination of upgrade hassles.

Of course, if IT can be deployed, configured, and adapted faster, it will spearhead innovation, which is why adopting cloud-based IT in one of its various forms is an important factor in accelerating innovation. Adoption of cloud computing frees time and resources while accelerating innovation. The cloud lets businesses scale and innovate using heavy-duty computing power without having to buy or lease it long-term.

Do you want to advance innovation at work? Contact us for a free consultation now.

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