Today's middle market companies are cutting the technology cord. On-premises software and equipment have given way to cloud computing across an array of business functions. Routine tasks, such as payroll and procurement can be completed through the cloud, reducing or eliminating the need for expensive software investments. Teams that once managed on-site facilities such as data centers can provide new value to their companies by serving in development roles as information migrates to the cloud. The driving force behind this evolution is the flexibility of the cloud platform and the growing recognition that the cloud can offer speed and security while helping companies control capital costs.
There are a
number of considerations that should be kept in mind as cloud becomes the new normal in computing infrastructure.
Decisions that appear sound today may be effected by the continuously evolving computing environment. Most managers hedge, waiting for the next trend or competitive product release to come. However, it is important that decisions are made based on the technology currently at your disposal as long as the decisions are in line with strategic targets.
A rail transport business might require a cloud-based logistics application that may not be an appropriate fit for an air cargo carrier, for instance. In human resources, a cloud payroll system might not integrate well with a particular productivity application at some firms. Therefore, technology managers need to choose solutions carefully based on the needs of their companies, keeping in mind the co-dependencies or larger tech landscape within the company.
A recent survey of IT executives by the Cloud Security Alliance revealed rising confidence in the cloud, with nearly two-thirds of respondents saying the cloud is either as secure, or more secure than on-premises software. The fact is that the cloud market is vast, and in years to come security issues can and will be mitigated increasing cloud adoption.
Cloud and hosting services continue to be the fastest growing sectors of the technology market. A survey of global manufacturers on cloud adoption found that two-thirds were using a public or private cloud because of cost and speed requirements. This supports the view that cloud computing is more affordable than traditional licensed software. Still, CIOs have to consider the long-term cost of cloud subscription fees and carefully examine cloud contracts. When companies manage the relationships with their cloud vendors with care, set realistic targets for savings and integrate the software into their enterprise, they can be most prepared for success.