We all do it, we’ve all been doing it for years but perhaps now, in 2015, it’s time for us to make the transition and stop talking about “the cloud.” As an industry we still regard cloud computing as an emerging trend, we talk to our customers about a “new” way of doing things—but the reality is, with the presence and predicted growth of “the cloud” we can no longer pretend that this is the future—it is our present.
As a technology service provider, we work closely with our customers every day to identify solutions to best fit the needs of their organization to enable growth and success. For many years, this one buzzword has dominated the IT industry but as an industry we need to acknowledge cloud for its tangible business outcomes and the success it enables through innovation—rather than for its “game-changing potential.”
Of course we’re not at a point where everyone is 100% in the cloud. Like with any technology, that could take decades, however spending on cloud computing infrastructure and platforms is expected to grow at a 30% CAGR from 2013 through 2018. Recently we’ve heard how 42% of IT decision makers are planning to increase spending on cloud computing in 2015. For some organizations this “spend” may still seem unmanageable or intimidating, however we are yet to find a business who is not looking to invest in employee productivity or scalable operations.
So how do we shift the conversation and the headlines?
By 2018, more than 60% of enterprises will have at least half of their infrastructure on cloud-based platforms (PDF), but it’s no longer about the infrastructure but about what that infrastructure enables.
Collaboration services are one of the more tangible applications which highlight this point. With the ongoing blurring of lines between personal and professional communication, as consumers or business professionals we are all familiar with a plethora of communication and collaboration tools to keep connected, save time, work on the go and share information. We recently published research into the human side of IT, but more importantly identified and celebrated a superior category of top performing organizations—which we’ve termed “Superusers”—who are working most closely with employees to exceed and adapt to their expectations of the modern workplace.
Although our respondents believe that the IT department is more likely to be leading the adoption of collaboration tools (70%) business departments are not far behind. To us, this demonstrates the need to simplify the conversation. We are no longer living in a world where our IT leaders are islands, making decisions about how the business operates and technology is more than simply servers and data centers–it’s about innovation and productivity.
Regardless of whether you sit in marketing, finance, HR, or sales, you want to be able to do your job easily and effectively and you don’t generally have a preference about what infrastructure supports that. Phrases such as “on premise” or “public network” are of no importance, we’re now talking about “accessibility” and “reliability and integration.”
The trick is to start talking to partners and technology providers who speak the same language—this simplicity can be found by working with those that can accommodate for not just some of your IT needs, but all of them. As individuals within today’s workforce, we hold the power to unlock the potential of collaboration, flexibility, scalability, and security in the way we work. Organizations that tap into this are more likely to sit ahead of the curve, working closely with their end users to implement the best solutions for their bespoke challenges. In turn they will see a more efficient and productive work environment as well as higher levels of end user satisfaction.
Of course, if you are still living without the cloud in your business, this article probably isn’t for you. For the rest of us, it’s time to live in the present and recognize the core role the cloud plays in IT platforms across the globe as a common feature of all IT uses, instead of its potential. Most importantly, businesses must recognize they can’t simply design an IT platform built for success. In this new era of computing, this comes from a combination of innovation and a collaborative team effort.
Benchmark your need for hybrid cloud against your industry and peers here.
This article was written by Telstra and not by the Quartz editorial staff.