data, network, database

Cloud computing is a disruptive force.  Having worked with many of western Canada’s CIOs and senior executives over the past number of years, rarely have I had a discussion that didn’t include the topic of cloud computing.  This style of computing is improving the way in which technology is procured, delivered, and consumed.  Companies that embrace cloud will benefit from continuous innovation and gain a competitive advantage over those that delay their strategy for too long or ignore completely.

Executive discussions are changing to include the cloud. They are questioning if they continue with on-premise solutions or if they make a move to the cloud and SaaS offerings.  Executives also want to know how they leverage cloud-based applications to transform their business over the coming years.  The fundamental business value of a cloud-based service is that it is easier to use, faster to deploy, flexible to adapt to your specific business environment and has lower upfront costs than traditional software.

From an industry perspective, cloud computing adoption is gaining traction across industries such as energy and utilities, government, retail, banking and insurance.  Healthcare and education also have great potential.  Since cloud computing is a broad topic, take the time to understand the role of cloud within the context of your own industry.

Forward-thinking organizations in both the private and public sectors are actively evaluating cloud-based application services because of the changing economic business environment.  Cloud computing should be at the top of the list for initiatives focused on decreasing costs, while at the same time, increasing employee productivity and organization agility.  Reframe your company’s mindset and discussions from “if we move to cloud computing” to “how do we move to cloud computing” and address a variety of scenarios.

So how do you get started on bringing cloud computing to your organization? Begin with these three questions to help outline the transition and starting point.

1. What services can we potentially move to the cloud today?

2. How can we leverage cloud computing to provide better services to our customers and constituents?

3. Where can cloud technologies play a role at increasing employee productivity?

Yes, there are risks that need to be considered – but we risk more by doing nothing.  Start having the discussions today on how your organization will leverage cloud computing to meet the demands of a constantly changing business environment.

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