Yes, yes you do, according to a Cisco-sponsored IDC report, “Don’t Get Left Behind: The Business Benefits of Achieving Greater Cloud Adoption.” I agree with them. In fact, I think Cisco is dead right.
Nick Earle, Cisco’s Global Cloud Senior VP, wrote, “Disrupt or be disrupted. That’s the mantra of IT organizations and boardrooms across the globe. At least in the ones that will still be around.
“A recent report projects that digital disruption will displace approximately 40 percent of incumbent companies in each of the 12 industries studied within the next five years. The winners will be those companies that can innovate faster than their competitors. And they’re relying on the cloud (private, public or hybrid) to get it done.”
These days a company has to be ready to spin on a dime to keep up with its competitors. We no longer depend on factories and other high-capital, long-term infrastructures for our businesses. Instead, we rely, not just on fast technology, but on the ability to transform our business plans with technology. Your business may not be a technology business, but your ability to deliver to your customers depends on technology.
The cloud fits this new economy like a glove. But the Cisco study shows that businesses still don’t quite get this.
Oh, they know the cloud is important to their bottom line. 54% expect the cloud — public, private and hybrid — to allow them to allocate IT budget more strategically. 53% believe the cloud will help their company increase revenues
But, only 25% realize that the cloud will do this by directly improving the company’s customer experience and agility in a fast-changing economy.
So sure, the cloud adopters expect the “cloud to make them faster, more innovative and more disruptive,” said Earle. They just seem a little fuzzy about how it works.
It is not, nor has it ever been, about the cloud making IT cheaper. That’s neat and it makes the bean-counters happy. But, the real value is that when a new opportunity comes along, you can quickly shift your computing resources to new revenue possibilities.
For example in the pre-cloud day, if I wanted to set up a new system for something as straightforward as a new line of Dingbats, I’d have a ton of work to do. I’d need to buy servers, set up the servers and then get the new Dingbats logistics management, customer-relationship management (CRM) program, etc., etc. up and running before I could deliver my first Dingbat to a customer. Nevermind all the IT and finance hoops I’d need to jump through to get all of that done.
If my company were arthritic with old-style management practices and endless meetings, it could take months to get Dingbats into production. With the cloud, I can get the basic IT ditch-digging of setting up servers and services done in an afternoon. On that newly dug platform, my agile team can get the software up and running in a week.
In the meantime, my competitors? If they’re not on the cloud, I’ve taken a major step forward to putting them ouf of business.
In today’s economy, victory goes to the fast and agile. Defeat is the reward for slow and steady. And, the key difference between them is how well you use the cloud.