Sure the cloud started out as a nifty technology a few short years ago. And as many IT leaders can attest, it has rapidly evolved into an essential element of their technology portfolios. But why does the cloud matter to the C-suite? In the most recent HOSTING podcast, we asked HOSTING Founder Art Zeile that exact question (among many others!). Having spent 25+ years building companies and bringing game-changing technologies to enterprise customers, Art shared his insights regarding the current and future state of the cloud. You can listen to the entire podcast on-demand. In the meantime, we’ve included a few highlights below.
The economic impact of the cloud
As Art recounts, the cloud was initially made possible by the advent of two important technologies:
- Ubiquitous access to broadband which resulted in connectivity to someone else’s data center
- Virtualization that effectively allows organizations to split compute (i.e., computers and servers) resources into smaller, more economically efficient segments
Over the past few years, the cloud has evolved into an accepted tool for business owners and IT users to radically change the economics of how they consume applications and technology resources.
“Things don’t become tectonic changes unless they change the basic economics of how consumers use technology,” says Art. “By outsourcing the management of data and applications to a cloud service provider, organizations can realize 30 – 70% savings versus internally leveraging internal resources and technologies.”
Speed of innovation
While cost was an early differentiator for the cloud, Art notes that speed of innovation is a key reason why so many C-level executives are green-lighting cloud-based solutions. According to a recent state of the market report on the cloud, 88% of enterprises are leveraging the cloud for improving their responsiveness to business needs.
“The essence of the cloud world today is that developers can essentially very quickly code and implement their technologies in a cloud-based format,” Art explains. “Whereas in the past it took months to get a solution to market; today it can take a matter of hours or even minutes.”
Top reasons for moving mission-critical workloads to the cloud
- Improving responsiveness to business needs – 88%
- Improving operations – 65%
- Saving money – 41%
- Keeping pace/responding to competition – 35%
- Addressing lack of internal skills – 29%
- Simplifying regulatory compliance – 18%
- Improving security – 18%
– Verizon State of the Market: Enterprise Cloud 2016
Closing the IT skills gap
Anyone in the U.S. who is charged with hiring top IT talent will tell you – the IT skills gap is real. According to 451 Research, IT security managers in the U.S. and EMEA reported significant obstacles in implementing desired security projects due to lack of staff expertise (34.5%) and inadequate staffing (26.4%).
Art acknowledges that there is an “enormous skills gap.” At the same time, the beauty of the cloud is that IT leaders can leverage it to maximize their limited resources. As Art notes by investing in cloud-based solutions, IT leaders can shift their technology resources from handling “the plumbing behind the scenes” and have them focus on customer facing and customer impacting activities.
By 2020, the cloud will be . . .
Tune into our podcast anytime to hear more insights from Art, including where he thinks the cloud will be in the next five years. And feel free to share your cloud predictions in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!