5 Things to Know about Shifts in Key Business Drivers for Cloud Computing Usage
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About a decade ago when I first heard about the concepts leading to what today is called "cloud computing", I was fascinated. Getting computer resources as you need, with high speed, on a pay-as-you-use model, this was revolutionary! It was quite different from what I was familiar with at that time with waiting for the delivery of actual hardware to the customer and the time-consuming manual configuration and maintenance effort required for each server.
While the idea and service models around cloud computing have changed over time, the motivation to use cloud computing has also changed. Here are five business drivers of why today's businesses want to use cloud computing and the related changes in these drivers:
1. Cost reduction and efficiency gain
The idea to lower costs by utilizing cloud computing was and still is one of the key drivers of why businesses want to adopt cloud computing. For many businesses, the budget for server and networking hardware, licenses, and staff to maintain the environment has reached an upper limit. And for many of these businesses, the only way to to gain more efficiency and flexibility is by reducing costs, especially around the maintenance of their IT infrastructure. The gained flexibility in budget and staff then can be used for other essential areas such as innovation.
2. Using existing investments while extending infrastructure
Many businesses have spent a considerable amount of effort on their traditional IT infrastructure and their desire to continue to use this infrastructure for some time is not surprising. However, at the same time, they have to modernize, and maybe even expand their business. with the given budget limitations discussed above. The emerging hybrid cloud solutions can help combine the best of traditional IT, public, and private cloud. The increased demand for hybrid cloud solutions is a visible business usage shift of cloud computing.
3. Speed of change
An aspect becoming more relevant for cloud computing adoption is the increased pace of change in the market and faster cycles of renewal. Many traditional IT in-house infrastructures can not keep pace with increasing demands for new CPUs, extended storage, and faster networks, at least not if the IT budget is limited. Speed for go-to-market becomes an important aspect with new emerging technologies and changes in customer behavior such as with the increasing demands for broad mobile usage.
Another key business driver becoming more relevant with cloud computing adoption is innovation. For example, the broad usage of mobile technology and the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), challenges many businesses. They are also confronted with the Big Data phenomenon. Customer expectations have changed, they want to consume services more easily and comfortably from their mobile devices. Cloud computing offers the flexibility to quickly adopt the necessary computing resources to analyze and respond to these changing customer demands.
5. Security, compliance, and regulatory requirements
With increasing complexity of an interconnected world and known cyber threats, compliance and regulatory requirements have become more important business drivers for cloud computing adoption. While security concerns were rather a hindering factor for cloud computing adoption and usage by companies previously, there is now a shift to use cloud computing more often because of its standardization and automation aspects. There is an increasing belief that with standardization, automation, and build-in security, a better compliance posture can be achieved from a regulatory compliance standpoint than in a traditional IT infrastructure with many manual processes and diversity of hardware, tools, and technology.
Cloud computing has changed and evolved over the last decade like the business drivers to use cloud computing have also shifted. While the cost aspect with the limitations of IT budgets in many businesses was and still is a major driver to try cloud computing solutions initially, it is the speed, innovation, security, and regulatory compliance aspects which today have become even more important. Which business driver do you think will become increasing important in the near future for the adoption of cloud computing? Please share your thoughts below or find me on LinkedIn to discuss!
Check out the IBM Redbooks publication Clou
Turgut Aslan is an Architect and Development Workstream Leader for security and compliance in IBM Cloud Managed Services (CMS), working at IBM Research and Development in Boeblingen, Germany. Turgut holds a PhD degree in physics from the Erlangen-Nuernberg University, Germany. He has 15 years of experience in security processes, tools, solutions, risk management, regulatory compliance, and audit. Previously Turgut participated in two ITSO social media residencies and extensively writes blogs about cyber security, data privacy, big data, and cloud.