Cloud adoption is rising steadily across all industries, with 87 per cent of Australian organisations expecting to use some form of cloud computing within the next three to five years. However, there are differences in the speed of uptake depending on industry and size of the organisation. For example, medium sized businesses in the 200 to 500 employee bracket are adopting the cloud at a slower rate than the market average, demonstrating an opportunity to re-consider how cloud can be a source of competitive advantage. Here is an infographic we have created around these trends:
Below are 3 typical considerations decision makers could take into account to help their businesses establish a framework to approach cloud adoption and deployment:
1. Identify benefits aligned to business goals
The first step for accelerating cloud adoption is identifying how the cloud will support particular business goals; and identifying the metrics by which to measure its success along the journey.
For mid-market organisations, moving infrastructure requirements to the cloud could potentially reduce costs and better align costs to benefit. For slightly larger organisations, the cloud can act as a powerful enabler of innovations like mobile application platforms for customers or enabling massive scalability in storage platforms for big data analytics.
2. Learn from the competition
IT decision-makers should remember that industry leadership will go to the organisations which can use cloud most effectively, not necessarily those who simply adopt it first. Mid-market businesses should evaluate early successes and failures in both larger and smaller competitors to determine the best model approach for their organisation.
A clear transitional timeline is particularly important for mid-market organisations investing in cloud; so too is an understanding of how that timeline fits with other parts of the business strategy.
3. Consider the opportunity around increased agility
For many medium enterprises, organisation size is constantly changing. There is a need for organisations to be agile and act fast with ease. The cloud’s flexibility and scalability can be used to the advantage of growing mid-market businesses. The rapid uptake of IaaS and SaaS indicates that companies are using the cloud as a platform for broader expansion, and an investment now may provide the foundations for greater growth in the future.
On a recent trip to Silicon Valley, I was fascinated to learn that new technology start-ups are basking in the ability to get their businesses started almost exclusively using cloud service providers, bringing untold levels of flexibility and efficiency. My realisation: this is the new norm for businesses to compete and win.
Tangible changes are happening in all sectors, which is a cause for optimism, even if some may take slightly longer to get on board than others. All sizes of business need to start thinking of cloud as a near-term norm and put the right steps in place to benefit from its potential.
By Rodney Haywood, Optus Business Manager (Cloud Architecture and Development). More from Rodney on Twitter: @rodos
All views expressed are the author's own.