IT departments face an unprecedented opportunity to respond to business needs - and cloud computing lies at its heart. For the first time, companies can use flexible, dynamic infrastructures to take on tasks that traditionally drained IT budgets. The result: an invigorated IT department, that can recast itself as an innovator.
IT departments have traditionally been shackled to tasks that are often invisible to business managers. Managing complex and costly legacy networks and application architectures can entangle staff - and budget - in activities that deliver little perceivable business value.
Cloud computing services can untangle this operational knot, while delivering strategic benefits.
Moving to a serviced cloud environment can reduce the management overhead associated with IT. Most large organizations accrue computing resources over time, often as a result of different procurement strategies, and through acquisition. The result can be an opaque infrastructure, requiring management at different points. Cloud environments can simplify IT infrastructures, making them more transparent and easily manageable.
It can also make the IT department a more important strategic partner to the business. The modern CIO’s job extends further than simply keeping the lights on. They must help guide and assist the business, by applying technology-driven solutions to key organizational problems.
more resources for innovation
The cost reduction potential inherent in cloud computing complements these strategic benefits. If a cloud service provider can help to reduce a company’s IT expenditure, then the money saved can be redirected into innovation exercises that can yield tangible business benefits.
Those cost reductions can be significant. Two thirds of those interviewed in CapGemini’s 2014 Application Landscape report believed that cloud computing was an important part of driving down costs, and the cost savings can be significant. Those who had actually implemented cloud computing predicted a 27% reduction in IT budget in four years.
Cloud computing can save money in several areas, such as the procurement and management of software. Roughly two thirds of IT decision makers believed that moving to a cloud environment would drive down the amount spent on software, both in terms of restrictive licenses, and also in the complex management tasks associated with it.
It can also slash the human costs of managing IT. Half of all IT decision makers consider labor costs when comparing cloud alternatives to traditional IT services.
What can IT departments do with this liberated time and financial resource? Today’s CIO has a duty to explore new technologies that can provide their business with a competitive edge.
A cloud infrastructure will enable them to innovate using advanced concepts such as big data and predictive analytics to identify emerging business risks and opportunities. These are technologies that time and monetary budgets may not have otherwise allowed room for.
Moving to cloud computing will nevertheless be a daunting task for large businesses hoping to enjoy these benefits. Choosing a world-class partner that can support that deployment is a crucial part of the cloud puzzle.
Learn more about liberating your IT with Orange Business Private Cloud Solutions
Rob Norman is the former lead of international marketing of Orange Buisness Services' Private Cloud Solutions.