Cloud computing strategy can increase businesses' value

representation of a digital cloud
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Blackboard)

Using cloud computing to drive revenue is possibly the greatest opportunity businesses have had, since the cloud proved itself as the most significant technology shift in the history of computing. Initially adopted for its agaility, flexibility and scalability, organizations are now looking to make a strategic shift to truly make the most of what the cloud has to offer. 

About the author

Rahul Pradhan is Senior Director for Product and Engineering in the Cloud division at Couchbase.

According to SG Analytics, 94 percent of enterprises already use some kind of cloud service. In fact, this is only set to grow, with Gartner predicting that from last year, end-user spending on public cloud services will have increased by more than 20 percent, to reach $482 billion by the end of 2022.

To capitalize on this, it is essential that enterprises approach their cloud adoption journey (and associated investment) with a long-term vision in mind. Only then can organizations be assured that their cloud investments will propel them towards their business goals. When done right, the cloud will not merely be a cost savings opportunity, but also a core driver for innovation and increased Return on Investment (ROI).

Generating revenue with the cloud

By enabling digital innovation and providing actionable insights which help to keep costs down, cloud has become an almost guaranteed money-saver. However, issues preventing organizations from maximizing their savings do exist. For instance, vendor lock-in can stop businesses from achieving the best possible price performance ratio. Whilst a lack of control over data or infrastructure means that organizations must invest more heavily to meet their specific architecture requirements. Another major issue is waste – many organizations end up investing too much in cloud packages and only using a small portion of the services.

Even after addressing these issues, organizations which are concentrated solely on cutting costs will eventually reach the point of no return. They’ll simply get to a point it’s nigh-on impossible to make further savings, and returns will diminish.

To ensure both efficiency and profits, businesses should adopt a change of perspective. They should view the cloud as a money-maker, instead of a way to save money. For instance, by ensuring that all plans are informed by operational insights, new services that generate extra revenue and deliver operational efficiencies can be developed.

Whether it’s significant improvements to the end-user experience or increased innovation, it will be businesses that do change their point of view who will see the advantages. For example, by employing a 360 degree view of customers, it will become possible for organizations to improve business models and develop new crossover points for omnichannel services.

Getting the ball rolling

The first step organizations should take is plotting their revenue goals and examining how these can be best facilitated by technology. Then, it’s time to get creative. The flexibility offered by the cloud means that anything is possible, with near-endless opportunities for ongoing innovation and delivery of services. For example, cloud could be used to offer easier access to products via a digital marketplace, allowing end-users to easily select their chosen application. Or, with cloud, product development can be accelerated, reducing the time to market.

By reframing the cloud as an engine of innovation, the world suddenly opens up. This mindset will prove instrumental to business success and can be taken even further by examining how the cloud interacts with emerging applications such as edge computing, unlocking a whole array of new possibilities.

Harnessing the potential

With McKinsey estimating that there will be $1 trillion of cloud earnings up for grabs by 2030, businesses that have embraced this new approach will be in the best place possible to reap the benefits.

For example, telecoms company BT took advantage of the capabilities of the cloud to rapidly cut its time to market for new products, meet performance demands and transform its interactions with customers. This sped up BT’s sales cycle, with more content and services being delivered quicker to a larger number of customers, which in turn, provided a far better customer experience. The cloud also ensured low latency and high throughput so peaks in viewer demand could be supported at all times. Further benefits provided thanks to the cloud include BT’s system being able to handle an increased number of transactions, ensuring a personalized service and cross-device streaming.

The future is in the cloud

Cloud will only continue to grow in popularity and if used in the right way it will drive businesses towards digital and business success. Businesses can unlock new innovations and revenue streams by making cloud a core focus and treating it as a money-making opportunity. It’s with this strategic mindset, that organizations can gain a competitive edge, with greater agility and a cloud positive future.

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Rahul Pradhan is Senior Director for Product and Engineering in the Cloud division at Couchbase.