Cloud Computing Gives Companies a Competitive Edge

Sue Poremba| Midsizeinsider

Midsize businesses that are unsure about whether to adopt a cloud computing platform would do well to consult a recent study that found that the cloud can give businesses an edge over their competition.

According to the article from CIO Insight, organizations that have already turned to a cloud infrastructure and that are using it to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace are “pacesetters.” These are the companies that are proving to the world how beneficial cloud deployment can be.

As Leana Thorne reported in an Apcrunch article, “Pacesetters have shown a wider usage of cloud systems for 1) strategic reinventions, 2) better decisions, and 3) deeper collaboration.” Pacesetters are not afraid to use the cloud to reinvent and improve their business.

Improved Relationships

Good business is all about customer relationships, and the survey found that instituting cloud computing improves the interaction between client and business. This happens in part because those pacesetters using cloud computing are able to offer services more rapidly. The cloud opens up the ability to provide offerings more easily through mobile devices, providing yet another advantage in technical solutions. By deploying the cloud, businesses are also able to increase their responsiveness to changes in the market. In turn, these companies are better able to offer their clients the latest innovations sooner than their cloud-averse competition. For a midsize business trying to find its niche in the industry, the ability to offer what other companies cannot improves its image. This requires an IT staff that is responsive to consumer needs and behavior in order to design a cloud environment that can anticipate and react to the ways in which customers use the website.

The Cloud Encourages Growth

Cloud computing is all about expanding beyond traditional limits. In-house servers have a finite amount of space, and expansion can be expensive and even impossible due to available physical space. Cloud deployment, on the other hand, is scalable. IT departments can add and subtract storage space as needed and at a lower cost than other storage options require. The pacesetters have already discovered that the cloud allows the agility to grow quickly.

The study also found that pacesetters are able to share data easily, improving collaboration within the business itself and with potential third-party partners. In fact, the majority of pacesetters say they use the cloud to “locate and leverage knowledge of experts anywhere in the ecosystem,” according to CIO Insights; the pacesetters constitute nearly double the number of the group called “chasers,” the companies that are brand new to cloud computing and that have not begun to utilize the technology for competitive business advantage.

Cloud Cannot Stand Alone

The pacesetters in cloud deployment show how cloud computing can provide a competitive edge, but the cloud alone is not enough. Adopting the cloud to do little more than store files and back up data will not improve a midsize business’s competitive advantage. IT departments must take the initiative to understand what parts of the technology can enhance business efforts. By using the cloud, for example, midsize businesses can improve their visibility within social media and on mobile devices.

The cloud has proven itself to be a boon for companies, particularly small to midsize businesses, on many levels. By all predictions, cloud adoption will continue to increase at a rapid pace in the coming years. In the not-too-distant future, the success of a business may depend on how well it uses the cloud to its advantage compared to the competition.

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