The ‘cloud-first’ strategy doesn’t work everywhere and for everyone, but where it does, it works wonders. Recent studies have found that cloud-centric strategies (SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS) are paying off big time for those with vision. So much so that organizations are now using the cloud as a strategic platform for expanding sales channels and growing customer demand.
Ten years ago you could count the available cloud applications on the fingers of one hand. Today, they are everywhere. CIOs and CTOs in 2015 are as much geeks as they are businessmen – because cloud investing has become a lucrative business in and of itself.
Enterprises lavishing billions on cloud services
According to Technology Business Research Inc., the global Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market is on track to go from $49B in 2015 to $67B in 2018, while the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market will be worth $34B in 2018, up from $23B in 2015 (a CAGR of 10.27%). Wikibon Research is looking at a broader time frame for the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market. It expects it to go from $1.7B in 2014 to $68.3B by 2026.
Forrester, Goldman Sachs, and others are projecting similar spending in cloud services for the next five-to-ten years. According to Forbes Tech, the companies that are most likely to rely on cloud solutions to boost customer demand strategies are those who already have some experience with cloud computing. Of the hundreds of companies polled by the research groups, over 50% fall in the savvy category.
Global spending on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is projected to exceed $16.5B in 2015, representing an increase of 32.8% from last year. Research done by Gartner indicates that enterprise application software will grow to be a $149.9B market this year, and in 2019 that figure will be $201 billion – cloud adoption is driving new spending in software as well.
Why the big rush?
You might ask yourself, for a technology that is only getting better, cheaper, and doesn’t get exhausted as time passes, why are enterprises everywhere rushing to move their operations to the cloud? The answer is simple: to give themselves a competitive edge. In a world that scoops up innovation faster than it can fully bake, the only way to stay relevant is to stay on top of emerging technologies. But there’s another reason as well: the sheer benefits.
The cloud gives you economy of scale, reduces your infrastructure spending, lets you globalize your workforce and streamline processes, improves accessibility and monitoring, doesn’t require much personnel and / or training, minimizes software licensing, and improves overall flexibility.
In fact, the list of benefits is almost endless. Some have embraced cloud services for such aspects as disaster recovery (passing over responsibility to the cloud provider), automatic software updates, pay-as-you-go (no more large upfront investments for communication solutions or collaboration apps), remote working, document control, even environmental friendliness can be chalked up as a perk.
Yet more studies have shown that employees would rather give up some of their salary to leverage the remote working benefits of cloud computing, including the advantages of Unified Communication & Collaboration (UC&C) solutions. In a poll by Adobe Systems, as many as 42% if those interviewed said they would give up 6% of their salary to be able to work remotely when the situation calls for it. Employers in technologically advanced countries are well aware of this, hence their lofty cloud-centric investments.
So, the next time you hear that enterprises everywhere are increasing their cloud spending like there’s no tomorrow, now you know why.