Five reasons why businesses are using cloud: An IBM study

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There is no denying that cloud deployments continue to be on the rise. See this Gartner report and IBM infographic to learn about some of the ways that businesses are using cloud today.

The IBM Center for Applied Insights (@IBMCAI) recently conducted a cloud study with Oxford Economics called “Under cloud cover: How leaders are accelerating competitive differentiation” that surveyed over 800 cloud adopters to understand how cloud is being used. The results are surprising and very interesting. The main reasons for cloud adoption, it seems, are more business oriented than IT leaning.

The IBM study categorized respondents into the following adoption groups:

  • Pacesetters (18 percent): The trendsetters who are already on the cloud deployment path with achieved results
  • Challengers (51 percent): The followers who are on the path to cloud
  • Chasers (31 percent): The cautious adopters of cloud for competitive advantage

No matter which category a business fits into, it’s clear that a growing number are adopting cloud.The top reasons for cloud adoption, as shown in the infographic above by IBM CAI, are:

  1. Better business visibility
  2. Cross organizational collaboration
  3. Messaging, productivity and storage
  4. Service innovation
  5. Proven results

Once businesses adopt cloud computing, they are seeing improved organizational efficiency through developing strategic reinvention, deriving business insights and promoting collaboration.

Strategic reinvention occurs with rapid the innovation of products and services, and cloud enables that rapid and agile innovation by lowering the barriers and constraints and by providing broader options of reengineering newer business models, workflows and processes. Using cloud, businesses can change their services and products based on the market trends without overhauling their IT infrastructure. They can connect with newer social networks to reach their customers and offer better benefits to attract and retain them.

Business insights and better visibility into one’s business are critical to evaluating their rate of success and knowing their competitive position. Business intelligence is a product of mining and analyzing enterprise data, and a cloud computing environment enables this by providing adequate computing capacity, connecting and unifying the enterprise data sources and broadening the analytical capabilities with rapid-fire results. These results help you make faster decisions and succeed in an environment where market trends and customer demands are changing quickly.

Collaboration is a top agenda item for many corporations to connect people with each other and with corporate information and systems to promote productivity. Collaboration helps them find and connect with subject matter experts in their organizational ecosystem much faster, and it helps them to develop new services and provide better services. Cloud provides practical incentives for a faster and better development and deployment of a collaborative infrastructure with more aggressive results than a traditional system could. For example, a recent upward trend in collaboration between the development and operations teams has been very successful because of the cloud cost benefits and the advent of DevOps.

The IBM cloud study offers a wider variety of survey information than I can fit into this one blog post. I encourage you to access the IBM cloud study and corresponding infographic, as well as the IBM study infographic on Huffington Post about how businesses are using the cloud.

Connect with me on Twitter @sperepa and let me know your thoughts on cloud adoption trends. What are your observations? Are you seeing what we are seeing? Please let me know.

Watson Delivery Solution Architect

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