With the cloud now mainstream, we’re at the forefront of the next precipice of cloud computing, says Ashwin Viswanath of Informatica.
“Cloud analytics has now come to the forefront as well,” says Ashwin, who shared his insights during a recent webinar.
In its beginning days, cloud was seen as a cost-cutting tool. Now the top reason organizations embrace the cloud is business agility, according to a 2014 Forrester survey. Other factors like speed to deployment and lower costs now rank lower.
So how does cloud improve business agility? I think we first need to define what business agility is. Wikipedia defines business agility as “the ability of an organization to rapidly adapt to market and environmental changes in productive and cost-effective ways.” In that framework, cloud applications are fast in several ways.
First, they are fast to change the physical environment in an economical way. With just a few clicks, you can scale up the environment, add new compute or new data, or put data in new data store type where it would be better handled. This eliminates the expense and time of doing the same in a physical environment.
Second, they are fast to bring in new data. In a cloud environment, you are open do what you want to do without affecting other applications. So you can simply add new data or data types as needed. This allows companies to find those new insights in new data in hours instead of months.
Last but not least is the time to results. Since you can move quickly in the cloud, you can determine value much faster. So you can succeed—or fail—fast. Either way, the investment in the project is much lower, which allows you to take greater risks.
When a company’s cloud solutions benefit its customers, the cloud evolves from a mere operational tool into a transformational agent. And when that happens, business agility results in a competitive advantage, says Ashwin.