Cloud computing is less about technology and more about delivering services aligned with business outcomes, which was addressed in a recent blog. A CIO has many challenges, and one of the most pressing is the budget. Unfortunately, many CIOs see cloud computing through the lens of savings and not innovation. Here are the final five cloud impacts business leaders should consider:
1) Redefine time to value (TtV). While return on investment (ROI) is a benchmark to prioritize projects, we’re working and living in an environment of rapid change. Previously, “traditional” IT culture required up-front capital for on-premise tools and building obsessive requirements for standards and policies for procurement; software took weeks or months to install. Today, users, customers and businesses live in a world requiring greater innovation and on-demand access in minutes. Therefore, a speed “premium” needs to be used to capture the value and the dynamism of cloud investments.
2) Acceleration of career growth and direction. In the minute it takes to read this topic, 100 hours of new video is uploaded to YouTube.com. While it’s not all educational, hundreds of vendors have used cloud capacity to bring virtual education to the masses while reducing costs and eliminating travel. Consumerization of IT and mobility means employees learning becomes a constant; learning while at home, at lunch or at the airport. The digital content is easily consumed, easy to track and maximizes productivity with less time out of office.
3) Putting the client first, then doing it better. Humans become distracted, delayed, or mired in projects not entirely benefiting clients. A 2008 study found that 62 percent of IT projects failed to meet their schedules. Cloud for delivery of IT services can enhance chances of implementation success as well improve the client experience and empower the workforce with information to make better decisions for clients. Cloud finally affords the ability to go beyond legacy software, usability constraints and quality/availability of service, and finally shift investments from licensing or maintenance into something innovative.
4) New plateau of value creation for customers and shareholders. Value creation is the ultimate measure by which a business is judged. Finding new ways to add value to the enterprise comes through trial and error. Unfortunately, IT was one of the most cost-prohibitive means of experimentation for small and midsize business; that is finally changing. Risk modeling, DNA sequencing, fraud detection required mainframes, or massive quantities of CPU and storage, putting innovation out of reach. The economics of shared computing have eliminated large portions of up-front IT cost, and therefore much of the risk. Cheap and abundant computing offers the ideal conditions to easily build up and tear down experiments and reach a new plateau of value creation.
5) Declaring business without the walls. A Cornell University study of nine large companies found that 50 percent of the employees work remotely. Cloud computing can make a business without walls a reality by making it easier to implement changes in tools, improve collaboration, and ensure those “outside” the office are maintain productivity. Firms can save $20,000 a year for each full-time employee who works remotely but savings are quickly lost if employees have diminished collaboration and productivity. Virtual desktops, zero-clients and software as a service (SaaS) keep employees connected to the latest applications without need to be “tethered” to offices.
To learn more of what your CIO doesn’t say about cloud innovation, go here to download the white paper.Tags: Business,Cloud,Leadership,Management