Originally touted as an updated version of utility computing, cloud computing is boiling down to be more of a business choice than an IT one. Different companies with different strategies at different times may have different perspectives on where and why to use the cloud. In today’s economic climate, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), in particular, are looking for cost-effective ways to manage exploding data growth.
In an edited excerpt, Joe Weinman, author of “Cloudonomics” and SVP of cloud services and strategy at Telx, explains how businesses can strategically employ cloud computing to generate revenue and deliver clear benefits to clients and customers.
In his book, Weinman focuses on the fundamental principles underlying how the cloud works, how it’s used, and how it will evolve in a business context, focusing on some of these key points:
· How core characteristics of the cloud, such as on-demand resources, usage-based charging, and geographic dispersion, translate into business value, revenue growth, cost and risk reduction, and customer experience enhancement;
· How to leverage new cloud business models; and
· How cloud technology and ecosystems are likely to evolve over the next decade.
Below is a short list of the advantages SMBs can gain from cloud:
Add competencies: The cloud may offer a competency that you don’t have, such as tax-preparation algorithms embedded in an online tax service, information on flight schedules or stock-market data.
Build conversations, connections and communities: The cloud helps discover communities, discover members of those communities and maintain connections through directories and ongoing conversations.
Allow collaboration, competition and crowdsourcing. Competition is closely related to collaboration. In collaboration, goals are aligned; in competition, they are opposed. A cloud approach can provide competitive incentives that can match unique problems with the handful of people globally who might be able to solve them.
Improve cash flow. For cash-strapped start-ups, small and midsize businesses, and even larger enterprises that are trying to conserve cash, the cash-flow benefits of the cloud can be substantial.
Expand capacity. Computing, network, memory and storage capacity is available on pay-per-use, on-demand basis.
Improve customer experience. Clouds generally are geographically dispersed, enabling content and applications to be deployed closer to end-users.
Edited by Carlos Olivera