CIOs should embrace, not bypass, cloud computing

Cloud computing has greatly influenced the corporate landscape, becoming a popular technology that delivers a broad range of benefits. CIOs may have once been hesitant to embrace the possibilities of cloud environments in the past, but they should use this opportunity to implement such services to achieve a number of advantages over aging equipment that cannot keep pace with ever-changing industry demands.

For example, businesses relying on on-site systems must add more hardware or software to their network architecture when workloads are maxed out. The cloud is much more flexible in this regard, since the environments are hosted at an off-site location and maintained by a third-party vendor. The cloud allows companies to add additional computing power and storage capacity when needed without purchasing more on-site infrastructure. In the end, users only pay for the services they consume.

Cloud service providers also handle a majority or all of the maintenance associated with cloud solutions. This means that clients can focus on more mission-critical tasks such as market expansion and customer service to establish a stronger global brand.

Cloud-based environments are also a boon to employee productivity. Today, workers are using their smartphones and tablets to access email, documents and communicate with coworkers. Since the cloud is available via the Internet, personnel can access corporate content anywhere at any time, regardless of their physical location.

CIOs that want to ensure their businesses are in it for the long haul should not look at the cloud as an enemy, but rather as an enabler to furthering their success. The technology figures to play a major role in the market for years to come.

“All my CIO search clients are asking for cloud experience in their specs,” noted CIO recruiter Jim Bethmann from Caldwell Partners.

Vast majority of CIOs ‘bullish’ on cloud

CIOs that keep the cloud at a distance may find themselves in the vast minority of adopters. A survey of decision-makers conducted by Dimensional Research on behalf of Host Analytics found that 92 percent believe the cloud is effective for supporting their companies. More than two-thirds of respondents said the technology delivers results more affordably compared to other IT systems, IDN reported.

The study also discovered other important trends regarding the use of the cloud, including:

  • 62 percent of CIOs believe SaaS gives corporate stakeholders more ownership in applications
  • 67 percent said the cloud is gaining traction in the IT department
  • 36 percent indicated the cloud is becoming more popular in sales
  • 35 percent said the same regarding customer support

“Attitudes about using the cloud for business benefits are largely positive. Their biggest worry is the need to integrate their data between their different apps. SaaS solutions are just so easy to bring in, companies worry they might be creating silos of data,” Richard Broome, CIO of Host Analytics CIO, told IDN.

The ability to access real-time data is very much a competitive advantage. Broome emphasized this point to the news source, asserting that personnel often tell IT departments that they need certain information immediately.

The cloud’s accessibility is what sets it apart from other IT solutions available.

Cloud market expected to triple

With so many positive feelings among CIOs regarding cloud computing, it is no wonder that the global market for this burgeoning technology is taking off. An IHS Technology report predicted that the global cloud industry is projected to expand from more than $78 billion in 2011 to $235.4 billion by 2017.

The cloud is not just impacting businesses – its influence is much deeper. Jagdish Rebello, senior director and principal analyst for cloud computing and big data at IHS Technology, said the solution is affecting both the consumer and corporate markets.

“The robust growth will come as an increasing number of large and small enterprises move more of their applications to the cloud, while also looking at data analytics to drive new insights into consumer behavior,” Rebello said.

The future competitive nature of businesses is at stake for key decision-makers. Executives often wait patiently to make major changes related to operations. Luckily, CIOs no longer have to wait for an opportunity to replace aging systems – the time to do so is possible now thanks to cloud-based environments.

About Caldwell Partners

Caldwell Partners is a leading international provider of executive search and has been for more than 40 years. As one of the world’s most trusted advisors in executive search, the firm has a sterling reputation built on successful searches for boards, chief and senior executives, and selected functional experts. With offices and partners across North America and in London, the firm takes pride in delivering an unmatched level of service and expertise to its clients.

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