With its ease-of-use and on-demand appeal, cloud computing wins raves reviews from many IT organizations. Taking on the cloud typically lessens the burden for budget- and resource-constrained IT shops, but to some, it remains unclear if cloud computing strictly helps IT operations professionals keep the lights on, so to speak, or if the cloud contributes to innovative endeavors that truly drive the business.
A recent poll question posted by CA Technologies asked just that: “How does cloud computing drive innovation?” The responses from some 788 site visitors showed that the majority (nearly 80%) do attribute cloud computing with contributing to innovation somehow. Twenty-one percent said that it does not contribute.
The ways in which cloud contributes vary for respondents, but each shows companies using cloud to not only refocus key staff on business critical projects, but also enable new services that could add to the business’ bottom line. For instance, 40% credited cloud computing with helping to deploy and scale services faster. The key here is time-to-market. Companies concerned with keeping up with the competition require new services faster. Cloud computing can enable that accelerated time to market that could make the difference.
Perhaps more on the innovation front, 22% of the respondents indicated that cloud computing enables services never before possible. Depending on the type of cloud environment – public or private, or a hybrid of both – IT organizations can tap into the cloud to gain access to resources that fuel new services. And 16% of those responding to the poll said cloud computing frees up staff and budget for projects. This last point may seem unrelated to innovation, but when the majority of the in-house talent is focused on maintaining smooth operations, the innovative projects can often take a back seat.
“So many [customers] are telling me they need to deliver business-focused initiatives. It’s time to get away from maintaining and operating technologies and hiding inside the data center and start talking about how you can deliver revenue growth, new products and services,” said Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, in a recent video interview. “Cloud computing can help the CIO move from being the Chief Information Officer to really being the Chief Innovation Office and deliver all these business-focused services.”
Mann, speaking from CeBIT Australia 2012 following a presentation there, echoed the results of the poll. While the need for IT to “keep the lights on” remains, the cloud can help lessen some of the burden and enable IT to target their focus on innovation.
“What you need to do is transform how you manage your existing technology and free up the capacity to innovate and that is where cloud computing can certainly help,” Mann said. “Picking the right applications to move to the right cloud at the right time frees up not just money but also people and process and time to be able to devote those resources to new innovation.”
To participate in the ongoing CA Technologies poll, please visit ca.com here. See the full interview with Andi Mann from CeBIT Australia 2012 here.
How has cloud computing helped your innovate in your IT organization? What technologies drive innovation for your business? Please leave a comment here, let me know via Twitter @DDubie or e-mail me directly at Denise.Dubie@ca.com.