For the past few years, cloud computing has taken smaller organizations and businesses with modest IT needs by storm. IT leadership has been rightly drawn to the cost savings, ease of data storage and management, improved reliability and uptime, and myriad other positive reasons why cloud adoption has been the way to go.
Fast-forward to today, and now we’re seeing what many industry thought leaders are calling the second wave of cloud technology adoption. It’s a new era where larger enterprises and more skeptical, methodical organizations are accepting and seeking out the cloud benefits championed by small to mid-sized business leaders.
The slow acceptance is understandable, as larger businesses, nonprofits, and public-sector entities have almost always resisted the idea of taking enterprise-critical applications and moving them to a cloud environment. That kind of healthy skepticism makes sense when you consider that security issues, adapting or eliminating legacy systems, and contending with connectivity challenges over widespread multi-site organizations offer serious challenges.
The single-location company or charity is, of course, eager and able to try a cloud-based IT strategy; it empowers their IT team (which, in truth, is typically just a few people at most). Take a monolithic multinational organization and convince them to take their IT infrastructure to the cloud, and you’re looking at a serious investment — one that is going to show up in big, bold print on an annual profit-and-loss statement. That kind of set-aside, however, is proving to be worth it. More and more CIOs and IT teams at larger organizations are seeing the advantages of taking mission-critical applications to the cloud.
The big reason, as you probably expected, are their customers. In a recent conversation, Jeff Atkins, senior director of product management for Aptean noted that transitioning to the cloud is not merely important, but rather essential to the survival of larger, more sophisticated organizations:
“The cloud,” Atkins says, “enables businesses running on legacy technology to move to a platform that will support their customers’ business needs. Having an open architecture allows bi-directional communication via a myriad of methods. This has proven to be key to ensuring their portfolio of continued operational capabilities during times of change.”
Atkins’s quote illuminates an insight those first-wave cloud adopters have proclaimed for years: The cloud is the key to dispensing with productivity-killing maintenance, upkeep and risk management for an organization’s IT needs. It facilitates a sharper focus on a company’s core competencies, which is readily extrapolated to better customer service, satisfaction, and profitability. The cloud is an IT investment that doesn’t just make IT easier, it drives new sources of revenue thanks to fresh cross-sell and add-on opportunities that can be even more specific to current and future client demands.
Still need convincing? Consider these cloud adoption trends:
- Demand for cloud will grow 18% this year to $246.8 billion in total worldwide revenue from $209.2 billion (Gartner)
- The global public cloud market is growing at a 22% rate and will top $146 billion in 2017, up from just $87 billion in 2015 (CIO)
- Cloud computing spending has been growing at 4.5 times the rate of IT spending since 2009 and is expected to grow at better than 6 times the rate of IT spending from 2015 through 2020 (Forbes)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is forecasted to grow about 20% to $46.3 billion (Gartner)
- More than 50% of IT spending will be cloud-based by 2018 (Forbes)
- 60–70% of all software, services and technology spending will be cloud-based by 2020 (Forbes)
By the end of the decade, it’s safe to presume that organizations worldwide, of every size, will be allocating an overwhelming majority of IT needs to the cloud. The benefits made evident by early adopters are now being validated by the second wave of larger organizations, which continue to push cloud innovation and reliability.
The time to consider whether or not your organization is ready for the cloud is absolutely at hand. Don’t hesitate to set up a conversation with the NeoSystems team to get a better understanding of how cloud solutions like NetSuite can serve your enterprise needs. Feel free to contact me directly to discuss your cloud strategy and determine a plan of action.