Cloud service providers claim that adopting a cloud for business will boost competitiveness and optimise outcomes by improving agility. This buzzword is taking the world of business by storm, with enterprises of all sizes seeking to become more agile. But what does this actually mean, and how can cloud services help? In this post, we look at six benefits of the cloud that bolster the ability of organisations to be agile.
First, though, let’s unpack the concept of agility. Research company Forrester define it as the ability of a business – transitioning to the digital sphere – to embrace the market, operational and organisational changes as a matter of routine. This translates to adaptability; how quickly and cost-efficiently a business can adjust to changes in the market and environment. From another perspective, agility means three types of freedom: freedom of movement (the ability to work anywhere), freedom of connection (the ability to collaborate) and freedom of access (to programs and information).
That businesses need to bolster their agility is undeniable; the market is changing rapidly and it is important that they are able to keep pace. At the centre of this is the modern customer, who demands instant and efficient delivery. The bottom line for today’s businesses is keeping their customers satisfied – failure to do so can mean failure to thrive. Cloud services are being touted as a possible solution because of their capacity to enable real agility. The global public cloud market is expected to reach $191-billion by 2020, with over 70% of business organisations surveyed by Verizon Enterprise already using the cloud.
Much faster time-to-market
One of the biggest advantages of the cloud is the way it speeds up business launches. By taking away a lot of the “heavy lifting” associated with traditional infrastructure, cloud services allow enterprises to develop, test and launch products faster – and this is a key driver of business growth. Provisioning, de-provisioning and managing IT resources is suddenly that much simpler and quicker; cloud servers can be procured and provisioned in a matter of minutes, meaning the projects you rely on for revenue generation are delivered faster and more efficiently.
Cloud services greatly simplify business processes through automated allocation of IT resources and easier management thereof. The complexity of internal operations is reduced, and your IT systems admin staff can spend less time managing supporting infrastructures – meaning they can focus on more important tasks.
It’s not just about quick-fire deployment or automation. By making product development easier and faster, the cloud enables rapid innovation. Need to adopt new technologies to work on the improvement of an existing product? The cloud can make it happen. Linking infrastructure, service delivery and data results in greater agility and allows for the introduction of viable new business models.
Flexibility and scalability
Two further hot terms in business today, flexibility and scalability are both essential for the sustained success of enterprises – and provided by cloud computing. Businesses can scale their resources up or down as needed to meet sudden changes in demand, such as seasonal bursts in web traffic. The cloud’s pay-per-use feature allows users a strong measure of flexibility, as well as control and cost savings – you pay for what you need.
Increasingly, development teams are operating from varied geographical locations. The cloud facilitates collaboration by allowing DevOps crews to connect remotely, functioning as a kind of central repository of tools and working information. Again, this translates to substantial gains in development and rollout speed. At the same time, the cloud gives management insights into the ways their employees are working, and what can be done to bolster productivity.
Promotes business continuity
While no one likes to think about disasters, businesses do need to have contingency plans in place to ensure their resources are secure in a worst-case scenario. Putting in-house recovery systems in place can be expensive, and doesn’t guarantee a period of productivity-squashing downtime. Cloud services really shine in this regard, making sure data is protected and available at all times – promoting continuity and stability.
If leveraged strategically, cloud services can add a great deal of value to your business. This is where solutions like SkyLight play a key role. SkyLight gives you one simple platform for managing all of the cloud platforms you use. This means that you don’t have to work with multiple different interfaces or switch from one management system to another, preventing admin headaches and saving time – which you can then spend on tasks that are critical to the success of your business.
For more about how Skylight can help your business download our free guide on overcoming Enterprise Cloud Management Challenges.