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How Does The Cloud Bring A Competitive Advantage To Businesses?

Everyone agrees that the cloud is a marvel of modern technology; however, as smart as it is, it must still prove itself in companies. A few years ago, it was still possible to denigrate the Cloud and its supporters. After all, the cloud offered nothing new.

As I said before, the problem is not there. It’s not the result that counts, but the way, the speed, and the cost. In 2014, few people completely reject the idea of the Cloud; its utility has been demonstrated more than once. However, it’s worth remembering exactly why the Cloud has been so successful with businesses.

According to a survey of 527 readers of Harvard Business Review, more than two-thirds of respondents said they had adopted cloud computing at a certain level. Regarding the perception of this technology by their organization, 35% of respondents indicated that their company was enthusiastic, 34% moderately enthusiastic and 22% cautious. These results are not surprising – there is a systematic adoption of cloud platforms for all types of services.

The link between cloud and competitive advantage for the company is the key lesson of the report. 30% of respondents said that the Cloud had given them a significant advantage, 33% a certain advantage, and 11% a small advantage.

Nevertheless, the concept of competitive advantage is rather vague, the most interesting being the way the cloud helps companies build on their infrastructure to gain a competitive advantage. Generally, the cloud boosts competitiveness by strengthening the agility of the organization. However, here again, the concept is so vague that it loses almost all its meaning.

First and foremost, the cloud enables organizations to simplify and reduce the complexity of their operations. Most of the key benefits of the Cloud just mentioned have one thing in common: they help to reduce complexity, simplify business processes and IT operations, and increase productivity through more efficient workflows. Cloud enables businesses to work faster, easier and more connected. This is the very definition of agility. That’s why those who denigrated the Cloud a few years ago had to admit they were wrong.

In addition, the complexity has a cost, and not least: its management costs money, it wastes time for employees who could devote to productive tasks, and it prevents companies from reorienting themselves and turning themselves quickly to automation. To benefit from a competitive advantage is to be prepared for the competition: businesses plagued by rigid processes and rigid computer systems must fight as fiercely against their own complexity as against their competitors.

Because of their flexibility, start-ups that have embraced the cloud eagerly are outpacing the established giants every day and questioning their hegemony. Their competitiveness is not due to their youth but to their simplicity. It is difficult for established businesses to replicate this simplicity, but in a technology and data-centric world, the best approach is to start by reviewing your IT infrastructure.


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