Business Agility with the Cloud

Business Agility with the Cloud

The cloud creates business agility for companies. Agility means having the ability to move easily and quickly to capitalize on changing business environments. Companies that cannot move fast to respond to competitive or market opportunities are at a huge disadvantage. For example, it can take an average of 10-18 weeks for IT to provision a new server within the enterprise. If you are the VP of Marketing, 10-18 weeks is a lifetime and creates a significant opportunity cost. What if you could provision the same server with the cloud in minutes? That is agility.

Moving easily and quickly also means having the ability to try new things or do the same things in a different way. Recently, the director of infrastructure at a large company in the Seattle area told me that the cloud enabled them to “fail faster.” That is, to try a lot of internal experiments without the fear or consequences of failure. The net effect was that it created a culture of innovation within the organization where everyone started thinking about new ideas and ways to better serve customers. Creating new business models, product offerings, etc., that is agility.

So, what does business agility provided by the cloud mean for IT? First, IT can focus more on value-added activities that help differentiate the business versus datacenters, hardware and software. This eliminates or reduces what Amazon Web Services (AWS)  calls “undifferentiated heavy lifting.” That is, racking and stacking, etc. Second, IT can empower the business to respond easily and quickly to opportunities with the breadth and depth of cloud/web services available. For example, leveraging world-wide infrastructure to go global in minutes. That is the power of agility.

All contents copyright © 2013, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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