When you hear that the cloud offers “added business value,” it’s not always clear what that means. Here are seven specific ways your business can benefit by becoming cloud-native, beyond improving quality of service or saving costs.
1. Innovation Pace
Cloud providers make up the most significant portion of IT business today. They also hire the best engineers on the market. To stay competitive and relevant, they must innovate first, and faster, to introduce new services. This is good news for your business because it means you can reap all the advantages of that incredible pace.
For example, machine learning technology (MLT) was originally just a piece of infrastructure. To take advantage of it, companies needed to build their own, additional components, such as image recognition, speech-to-text or text-to-speech, or translation APIs. Today, many cloud providers offer these components as a service. Voice assistant speakers are another great example. Without the cloud to support the functionalities, these innovations wouldn’t be possible.
The cloud provides access to valuable services and tools, with out-of-the-box functionality, that enables businesses to deploy software to customers more quickly. Companies like Netflix and Spotify have used cloud technology to create new business strategies. For example, Spotify launched, it was able to beat the market leader, iTunes, by streaming music at “cloud scale” rather than synchronizing files to devices. The cloud provided the time-to-market Spotify needed to beat its competition.
3. Instantly Go Global
The ability to go global, or even run your business in other countries or continents, is valuable in any industry. Without the cloud, even large organizations often don't have that capacity. Before Netflix become digital, they were sending physical rental disks to their customers. But thanks to the cloud, they could send content on demand, anywhere, instantaneously. The availability of cloud technology allowed them to transform from a local bricks-and-mortar video rental into the largest video content delivery provider on the planet.
4. Pay-Per-Use Pricing
In the past, some technical tools and systems were only affordable for large enterprises, and investment was only justified if there were sufficient reason and expansion. With the cloud, all tools are available at any time, for startups, mid-sized organizations, and large enterprise. In most cases, you only pay for what you use, and you can try it, or enable it, only when needed.
DDoS protection is a good example. It mitigates attacks with appliances and services, but it’s quite expensive. The cloud ensures protection of your platform against these attacks by default, because extensive DDoS mitigation services are now accessible within the cloud.
Capital One, a large financial institution, decided to go all-in on the cloud because they believe it’s safer than building their own datacenters. And they have a point. Even the safest car in the world could crash; you still need to know how to drive it. Likewise, even if you hired a team of the smartest engineers available to build your own super-secure datacenter, they’d likely be poached by the major cloud providers. You’d be left with an unmanageable, and soon insecure, system. The cloud offers the best security available.
6. Simplicity and Agility
Too many dependencies on support contracts, license fees, expensive consultants, and personnel create “technology lock-in,” which makes building a resilient platform too complex. The cloud provides a way out of technology lock-in, by providing all of these services, including those that remove system complexity and maintenance. Using these simplified services over building and maintaining your own makes your company more agile.
7. Attract Talent
Qualified, agile teams are important for every company. But today, the specialized knowledge required to build cloud platforms is in high-demand, and so, scarce. To succeed, you need to find talented engineers quickly. Companies that use cloud technology attract the so-called “cloud-natives,” young professionals with a broad knowledge of cloud services and modern programming languages. In other words, if you want the best talent, promote the cloud.
There’s a difference between value versus cost when it comes to the benefits of the cloud for your business. The cloud allows companies to leverage the pace of innovation and achieve a winning time-to-market. It also empowers companies to go global in minutes. Its pay-per-use pricing model democratizes technology, plus it provides security while promoting simplicity and agility. Finally, the cloud adds value by attracting better talent.
With these seven added-business values in mind, the choice to go cloud-native is clear.
This article is part of the Urgent Future report Cloud - It's a Golden Age.