The Cloud. Yep, we’ve been talking about it since 2011. But take a step back and see how fast things have really occurred: to those who have spent a career in IT administration, it still can sound almost unreal. A serverless environment within the enterprise! No in-house server farms! No internal deployments! No installed software or costly implementations and migrations!
The speed is stunning: by 2025—or earlier–most large commercial businesses will be serverless within the enterprise, with all of their computing power and storage managed in the Cloud.
And so, cloud is–or should be–at the top of every CIO’s to-do list. They must draft a blueprint for how migrating to the Cloud aligns to the needs of the operating business.
Different? Transformative? Daunting? All these things. It’s a paradigm shift, and that can be scary. But having worked with CIOs over the last six-to-nine months, I’m seeing a new impetus to embracing the idea of the Cloud-centric organization, based on increasing recognition of its benefits.
Many organizations are working to design Cloud-strategies that build on, modernize, and leverage legacy systems. This allows their technology infrastructure to run the most advanced physical/digital value chains securely, at scale, and at the lowest unit cost.
And that means competitive advantage: the real objective.
Cloud Makes Rain: Cost-Savings
Lowering costs is a principal goal in any technology initiative. It’s the CIO’s job to keep an eye on the big picture while keeping infrastructure running smoothly and cost-effectively. Provisioning, and maintaining servers in-house requires significant IT expense. Power. Security. Bandwidth and storage space. All this means headcount, and costs run into the millions. At large corporations, it’s multiple millions, every year.
On the other hand, the cost of cloud computing has fallen dramatically. A company can now lease servers with immense capacity on demand for very low cost, and eliminate the hassle of managing end-to-end infrastructure. Complex systems of interdependent components that work together can now be managed as a service.
Cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft offer Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service models (SaaS) in their cloud-computing stack. With the right architecture, these deliver dramatic cost-savings. System integrators are providing talent, platforms, and tested solutions to the cloud-powered industry “as a service,” empowering IT leaders to rapidly bring on capabilities at a much lower cost.
Speed Wins the Race
CIOs are under intense pressure to maintain a technology infrastructure that can keep up with the speed of business. Lowering costs and eliminating non-strategic infrastructure tasks can bring great value. By adopting the Cloud, you can expect even more.
Cloud computing enables infrastructure flexibility and agility. It speeds deployment of new technology. It allows organizations to adapt on demand, responding quickly to the rapid and radical digital technology transformations dictated by today’s customers. It allows them to boost efficiency by implementing scalable services for mobile, web, and the Internet of Things (IoT) applications without managing an infrastructure. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Moving your IT infrastructure in the Cloud lets you work smarter—anywhere—while supporting your organization’s evolving needs. With infrastructure administration becoming a process of managing code, with just a few clicks you can provision a server, add storage, enable software as a service, move to another technology platform, or allow commoditized services to be managed externally.
Cloud Isn’t the “What” As Much As The “How”
For decades, the mission of IT departments has been to “align with the business” and “deliver business value.” And while nothing in that mission is changing, how you execute that mission has changed. Market-leading processes are now replicable. Information use is the differentiator, and a competitive advantage.
Cloud computing allows companies to keep pace with technology disruption, even as they increasingly rely on information use (e.g., using advanced analytics to inform and deliver curated customer experiences) is privileged over process. The business and technology value chains are more interlocked, putting IT in the driver’s seat of digital transformation.
Bet on the Cloud? No Longer an Option.
Cost-savings. Speed. Aligning IT to the business. Agile, always-on, and cost-effective. Cloud computing is the operational linchpin, aligned with and contributing directly to business outcomes.
Flexibly and cost-effectively implementing the newest technologies is no longer probable, but inevitable. A server-free future represents a dramatically better way of doing things, because the cost and complexity has dramatically lessened.
Cloud is the new data center. Cloud-enabled data centers, digital applications, and business platforms will play an increasingly critical role for successful organizations. The Cloud is the golden lining.
So, what’s preventing your enterprise to go “ALL IN”? Drop me a note on LinkedIn.