Most global enterprises have embraced – or at least considered – moving to cloud computing, and the momentum continues to grow. According to data from Gartner, worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to reach $591.8 billion in 2023, up from $490.3 billion in 2022.
But for those who are slow to adopt the cloud, its benefits can seem unclear, especially given the significant effort required to move decades of data from on-prem servers. Regardless of the size of your organization, moving to the cloud is imperative if you want to be an innovator in the next decade.
The most successful cloud migrations happen when business leaders keep the problem they are trying to solve at the forefront. This ensures that cloud investments translate to business outcomes that will continue to push the business forward.
Here are three ways to leverage the cloud to benefit your business in 2023.
1. Choose the right cloud strategy
Before you can leverage the capabilities of the cloud, you must decide which hyperscaler or combination of hyperscalers (and/or private clouds) will best serve your business’s needs. Consider security, compliance, scalability, and ease of use – which of these to prioritize depends on the business problems you are trying to solve.
Look for options with a broad range of services, a strong track record of reliability, and features from storage and computing to machine learning and analytics. As a CIO, you want to make your team's transition as easy as possible. A hybrid cloud solution will allow your organization to connect its on-premises infrastructure with the cloud. This will enable a smoother transition that is largely undetectable by end customers.
[Also read 5 ways to optimize your journey to the cloud. ]
Evaluate the pros and cons of each provider and consider a multi-cloud strategy that allows you to use multiple public cloud vendors alongside private clouds. This approach will enable you to optimize for cost, use case, and flexibility, and to avoid vendor lock-in.
2. Increase speed to innovation
Once your business has settled on a hyperscaler, an immediate cloud-related advantage is its ability to expedite internal and external business processes.
Take retail, for example. Prior to the cloud, launching a new point-of-sale system took months of manual development and labor, along with trial and error. It was impossible to make changes without taking the system offline, resulting in potential revenue loss. Plus, these solutions were expensive to build and deploy.
Cloud platforms allow organizations to quickly spin up new infrastructure, services, and applications without significant downtime or capital investment. This means your organization can test new ideas and business models quickly and easily without worrying about the high costs associated with traditional IT infrastructure and platform revisions.
Further, major cloud providers often offer built-in tools and services that accelerate innovation. Cloud-based machine learning tools can help your organization quickly develop and deploy new intelligent applications, like a 24-7 customer service chatbot, while cloud-based development environments can streamline the application development process.
3. Improve the customer experience
During any given day, prospective and existing customers have several digital touchpoints with a brand. Each touchpoint is an opportunity to collect data that informs future purchasing decisions – but it’s worthless without a plan to execute.
With the cloud, all this customer data is stored intuitively and is easily accessible by teams across the business. This streamlined data enables your employees to serve customers more quickly and accurately because the right data is at their fingertips.
The possibilities of cloud computing continue to expand as everyday technology users – from elementary students to seasoned executives – lean on AI and other emerging technologies to augment their expertise. Cloud is a necessity for business growth over the long term, so it’s critical to approach your deployment with a clear idea of the goals you want to achieve.
[ Build application environments for reliability, productivity, and change. Download the eBook, Cloud-native meets hybrid cloud: A strategy guide. ]