It is not surprising that Cloud computing has captured the attention of IT departments. Promising higher resource utilization and decreased demands on data center power, cooling, and footprint, Cloud computing is attractive to those seeking cost reduction and containment.
Facing greater market and competitive pressures, IT departments are also looking to Cloud computing to improve time-to-market for new and enhanced applications. Given the Cloud computing maturity level, Gartner recommends that organizations “…focus on opportunistic solutions — quick-hit, tactical opportunities where time to market and developer productivity outweigh long-term technical viability…” __Gartner, Press Release, 2009-FEB-02, ( http://www.gartner.com/it/page.jsp?id=871113 )
However, IT-driven time-to-market initiatives are mostly tactical and often miss strategic business time-to-market opportunities. Such strategic opportunities extend well outside the IT department boundaries. Organizations can utilize the Cloud Computing paradigm to accelerate time-to-market for new products and services. When coupled with Business Intelligence capabilities, the Cloud allows companies to learn from and respond to customer needs, wants, inquiries, and complaints. Amazon has modeled the way, “Even more interesting are the experiments using cloud computing to accelerate learning from customers, speeding up both time-to-market and customer feedback. For instance, Amazon uses its own cloud-based Relational Database Service to much more quickly and cheaply manipulate the tremendous amount of data it generates from simulations of its 98 million active customers.” __Forbes, ‘Learning From The Cloud’, 2010-OCT-20, ( http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/20/microsoft-amazon-varian-technology-cloud.html )
Organizations can further enhance the time-to-market value proposition by coupling the Business Intelligence capabilities with enterprise sense-&-respond and social media capabilities. The organization achieves integrated market-awareness, marketing and sales, product and service development and delivery, and customer service with near-real-time responsiveness. “A dramatically higher level of experimentation and learning--and therefore talent development--is the real potential of cloud computing. Those who understand and harness these forces can develop a significant advantage relative to those who continue to view the cloud as just another form of low-cost IT outsourcing.” __Forbes, ‘Learning From The Cloud’, 2010-OCT-20, ( http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/20/microsoft-amazon-varian-technology-cloud.html )
__ Joseph Starwood (www.linkedin.com/in/JosephStarwood )