Our thoughts

Bringing the Cloud to Earth

Author Dr Gina Sum

Cloud computing is a sea change in the way companies use technology and it’s as inevitable and significant as the shift from LPs to iPod in the music world.

Of course, there are sceptics who question the reliability and security of the cloud.  The cloud promises to equal or better on-premise computing. As many pioneering companies (e.g., Amazon) show, cloud computing offers sizable benefits, such as improved productivity, easier collaboration, the ability to mine data for insights and higher technology capacity without corresponding increase in capital expenditure.

Generating competitive advantage from cloud investments

Today, there are three basic categories of cloud computing: infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service and software-as-a service. While Cloud Computing is gaining traction in the enterprise market, many companies still struggle to understand their strategic implications. When should companies consider cloud-based solutions and for which applications? How can executives generate competitive advantage from their cloud investments? Companies that complement cloud services with standardised infrastructure, data management and business processes are better positioned. They can isolate individual processes suitable to cloud services and employ cloud suppliers’ best practices more easily. A consolidated and standardised technical platform provides a good foundation for fast deployment and competitively priced cloud services.

So what do you think? Are fears of data running amok for real or overblown? And what will the consequences be for those of us who are trying to move to the cloud?