‘Cloud’ is certainly a buzzword right now – and for good reason. It offers IT the greatest potential it’s had in a long time to be an innovative contributor to the business it supports. Historically the IT department has been a bottleneck for implementing change and has faced challenges with costs, agility and time-to-market. It simply takes too long to get a business idea into production. If 85% of the time is spent maintaining the status quo, that only leaves a maximum of 15% to go to strategic ideas. So how to break away from this model? Use the cloud to your advantage.
5 ways the cloud can turn your IT department into an innovation hub
1. The cloud offers the ability to create a cohesive environment between technology and business -- more than ever before. Instead of investing in acquisition and maintenance of physical infrastructure, business invests in brilliant programmers, business analysts, or collaborative teams that rely on someone else’s hardware. 2. The cloud offers IT departments agility, scalability, efficiency and cost savings where they didn’t have it before. For example, if they use a public cloud service, they don’t have to acquire or maintain any additional data centre capacity when they grow—they just rent what they need for the duration of a short-term contract. If they grow more, they rent more. If they have to shed capacity, there’s no depreciated asset to get rid of. And they don’t have to be experts in provisioning data centres. By outsourcing to a public service, they pay someone else to look after the deep technical details and they drive the relationship with a service contract. 3. The cloud offers new ways for employees to collaborate at work with social networking, internal blogging that comes from a traditional theme of enterprise portals, and improved content management. Think of Sharepoint, Lync, Skype and Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365. 4. The cloud provides new options for managing data. Because it harnesses the tremendous processing power of data centres with greater capacity and higher reliability than most large organizations can afford, and well beyond the reach of any small organization, it has the ability to mine sources previously not possible to provide data warehousing, and support analytics and refine business intelligence. 5. The cloud provides more efficient options for IT management through commoditization of infrastructure (IaaS), delivering better efficiency and cost savings on application and infrastructure management. For example, Amazon is leveraging their enormous data centre capacity to provide storage service to third parties. Perhaps they did not set out to sell excess capacity, but it makes business sense for them and for their customers. With the cloud, the IT focus becomes one of making the business run better, doing things in new, creative ways. No more squeezing the costs of maintenance and troubleshooting—those problems belong to your service provider. The holy grail of IT has been for years to achieve more effective business communications, more secure processes and flexibility and scalability while reducing the cost of maintaining the infrastructure. Make that cost belong to someone else and invest in people who can help you grow the business instead.