During the past decade, nothing has been more transformative in terms of how companies achieve a competitive advantage than the adoption of cloud computing. Once considered a fringe option, cloud computing now is considered an essential part of doing business in the modern marketplace.
Combined with virtualization, organizations can use the cloud to instantly scale their computing needs to manage spikes and lulls in workloads. As a result, the traditional structure of work has become much more flexible and accommodating to customer needs.
With quick access to information, communication, data collection, and analysis, companies are experiencing changes at incredible speed. It’s important to understand why and how your organization will be impacted by cloud adoption.
Businesses want artificial intelligence
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2016 survey, businesses believe AI is critical for improving efficiency. Today’s AI isn’t at the sci-fi level seen on television shows and movies, yet. Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are two of the more commonly known products that leverage AI.
With AI, companies can accomplish and automate a number of redundant tasks with the type of accuracy that just does not occur under human management. Cloud computing makes a great accompaniment to AI. To illustrate, companies can utilize Amazon’s AI infrastructure by only paying for the computing power they use.
Companies of all sizes now have access to AI. Based on this Transparency Market Research study, the machine learning as a service market will grow to $19.86 billion in 2025. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated: “In the long run, we’re evolving in computing from a ‘mobile-first’ to an ‘AI-first’ world.”
As a result, businesses opportunities can be created from AI in the cloud using services such as:
- Image recognition
- Vision recognition
- Conversation recognition
Operations will be more agile
Previously, only enterprise-level companies had the resources to hire and maintain a comprehensive and full-service IT department complete with a full-time staff and data center. Thanks to the cloud, that trend has been transformed to where businesses of all sizes have access to unlimited computing power and applications based on their needs and budget.
An increasing number of companies have grown more globally connected and agile. At the same time, larger companies have used the cloud to make their IT departments more efficient in terms of computing power, space, and the use of resources. Many companies have benefited from the savings that come with cloud adoption.
In terms of IT equipment, larger companies often faced huge fees for various services and software updates. The cloud reduces those costs as providers can regularly update and maintain their software and hardware, meaning companies don’t have to worry about purchasing hardware any longer.
Flexible hives = Flexible workforce
Through the cloud, companies can create hives of business operations where employees are no longer required to work at a specific location to get work done. The cloud enables companies to become increasingly flexible in terms of their staff levels and ability to hire on a per-project basis.
With cloud-based communication tools and project rooms, teams can be located just about anywhere and still contribute to business objectives on a global and 24/7 basis. Or, as one team goes to bed, another wakes up and starts working — you’ve got a consistent stream of productivity.
The Cloud enables servitization
Today’s consumer prefers to purchase a service instead of owning a product. Consider all the subscription services available today from personalized subscription boxes to streaming entertainment to cloud services. With the cloud infrastructure, companies can connect devices at a much lower cost.
Moreover, the cloud can help to mitigate the costs of ownership and transform it into a customizable and service-based relationship. For example, look at Amazon; you have the overarching retailer but then you have many different subscription services from Amazon Prime to subscriptions to various channels on Amazon Prime such as BritBox, which features all British TV shows.
Servitization enables you to expand your business model with the option to offer value-added services around one product. Then, companies can even cross-sell other services such as advising and consultation.
The cloud offers a lot of possibilities that can transform how your organization functions — from shifting team fractures to providing new ways to reach consumers. Understanding the impact of the cloud and how to leverage its potential will benefit you and your organization.