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2018: The Year of Getting Your Head in the Cloud

By: David Ohrn

The enterprise, regardless of industry or size, is undergoing a transformation like no other. We are seeing the number of connected devices and need for real-time transmission between devices sky rocket. Employees need access to information anywhere and at any time. Companies are looking to adopt technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to make smarter decisions. And data proliferation is occurring to the point where companies must re-strategize how to manage data better.

This transformation brings new opportunities and considerations as businesses move forward on their transition to the cloud, and see the financial impact the cloud can make. In fact, IDC estimates that worldwide whole cloud revenues will reach $564 billion in 2021, more than double those of 2016.  The reason for this drastic migration is fueled by a number of factors – digital transformation, the need to innovate and cost optimization.

Digital Transformation

What came first – did cloud set the stage for the digital era or did digital force cloud adoption? It’s hard to say for sure; however, we know 2018 will continue to accelerate the rate of cloud adoption and there is no sign of that slowing down.

The digital transformation enabled by the cloud will continue to grow as companies find new ways to connect smart “things” and gather insights based on those connections. The shift to digital offers the potential for businesses to interact with customers in ways never thought possible. However, to maximize these connected experiences, you need a platform utilizing Edge and Cloud to provide a seamless experience. For example, imagine walking into a retailer and the associate already knows your buying preferences and clothing size and instantly becomes a personal stylist. Then, after shopping, the checkout process is expedited by completing the transaction via a mobile app, providing an experience which would not be possible without these advances.  

Innovation

Cloud is truly a petri dish for innovation. It provides businesses with the ability to rapidly deploy new technologies and meet customer demand. The days of having an idea and waiting 9-12 months for development and deployment are gone. Now cloud service providers are fueling business innovation and differentiating themselves with unique software and applications that can be customized to meet a specific business need. This is giving business customers immediate access to the latest and greatest technologies, like artificial intelligent for example, and allows them to innovate on top of their own platforms.

It’s becoming clearer that the agility the cloud provides is critical to stay competitive in today’s business environment and we can only expect that it will continue to accelerate innovation across many industries more quickly than we have ever seen before.

Optimization

Enterprises are also looking to the cloud for cost optimization and business agility. According to IDC, 41.5% of companies cite improved staff productivity as a reason to move to the cloud. For example, as an organization grows, it provides the flexibility to quickly deploy new services and tools, which businesses can scale up and down based on their unique needs.

With the traditional workplace transitioning to a combination of remote and onsite employees, cloud-based productivity tools and services are enabling workforce collaboration and reducing costs. Employees can now collaborate on the go accessing important data more securely from anywhere in the world.



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