How The Cloud Can Unleash Innovation Within Your Company

By Phil Rainsberger

If you've ever tried to cut a steak with a spoon, you know that certain tools were simply not meant for certain jobs. That's exactly what many businesses are discovering today as they attempt to use their traditional IT systems to deliver modern business practices, customer-engagement initiatives, and digital strategies.  Those traditional IT systems are simply incapable of handling modern day business practices as they were never designed to meet these modern requirements. 

Cloud computing is designed specifically to help businesses—large and small—acquire and deliver those modern, digital-business capabilities that have become essential in today's customer-driven and always-on world. The core benefit of cloud computing is that it allows businesses to devote less time, money and people to running an "IT factory" so that big chunks of that time, money and manpower can be redirected toward customer-facing growth initiatives. 

After all: your company uses electricity, but you don't run your own power-generation plant, do you? By helping you get out of the "IT factory" business, cloud computing can help you focus more on customers and growth in the following ways:

•You can begin to reduce your data-center sprawl, or possibly even get out of the data-center business overall.

•You can have easy access to important new software features and capabilities without having to shut down your systems and execute risky business-stifling application upgrades.

•You can begin to deploy world-class cybersecurity at a time when the bad guys are getting worse, and the risks to businesses are skyrocketing.

•You can tap into all the latest and greatest hardware for compute and storage tasks without ever having to research, evaluate, shop for, negotiate, buy, test, install, monitor, upgrade, and repair computer hardware whose shelf life is shrinking as new and better systems are rolled out in months instead of years.

•You can give your sales teams modern mobile applications that allow them to have real-time insights and answers for customers during meetings and sales calls, and that enable your salespeople to deliver more-valuable information and perspectives to your customers at the point of decision-making.

•You can redeploy some of your best IT people away from tinkering with the big IT dinosaurs in the basement and toward new customer-engagement projects that give you and your teams new levels of competitive advantage.

•You can deliver to your employees new levels of self-service HR tools that help them work with team leaders to (a) understand more fully the company's strategy and how that employee's work feeds into that strategy; (b) map out career paths that are rewarding to the individual and valuable to the company; and (c) create more-frequent and more-valuable feedback loops so employees feel more connected to the company, understand their responsibilities more clearly, and can execute their jobs more successfully.

•You can deploy—without having to babysit them!—modern SaaS applications to help you buy things more economically, track and optimize supply chains more effectively, anticipate demand more accurately, and engage with customers more intimately.

•And as the battle for exceptional talent becomes more important for companies in every industry, you can impress job candidates with modern workplace tools and an overall tech-savvy environment that's built for success in the digital economy.

All of these business enhancements have been battle-tested in the cloud, and recent reports indicate that the pace of cloud adoption among businesses is soaring—so you can feel comfortable that you're getting high-class and fully secure IT services that have proven their reliability and resilience in millions of businesses across the world.

For these reasons, and many more, the cloud is the solution to save you time and money and set you apart and appeal to potential clients and candidates alike.