Leveraging Cloud Computing to Slingshot out of the Economic Downturn

The Benefits of Cloud Computing

We spend a great deal of time and energy discussing the benefits that can be derived from cloud computing solutions with our customers. There are, as a general rule, two questions that almost always come up:

  • How can cloud computing save us time?
  • How can cloud computing save us money?

One question that very few customers ask, and I think end up missing an opportunity with is “How can this generate more revenue for us?”. At the end of the day, that’s really what your company is trying to accomplish (along with a higher EBIDTA). Companies have spent a great deal of time reducing costs and “trimming fat” to meet the new economic realities (less demand). Overall, that’s a good thing --- but you can’t bleed a company to success. That’s why it is also important to focus on how to handle the economic upturn when it comes.

When NASA launches probes or satellites designed to leave the Earth’s orbit, they are always set on a course that “slingshots” (accelerates) them around the orbit of moons or planets. This is known as Gravity Assist. I believe cloud computing can be used in much the same way. At some point, the economy will turn – buyers will return, and it is likely to happen very rapidly. Companies that position themselves to take advantage of early gains will be in much better position than those that are still in “cost containment” mode. The economic world has changed, and it does not treat those who vacillate kindly. When it happens (who knows, maybe it has already begun?) your company simply cannot afford to miss revenue opportunities because of scaling issues in computer systems. Once upon a time, technology was just another tool used by a business’s labor force. Today, it still serves that function, but has also in many cases supplanted the labor force by providing superior service at fractional costs. Your technology needs to be ready to handle your future success, and it needs to be agile. The upturn is difficult even for the most seasoned prognosticators to predict. So how does a business deal with the timing issue? Enter the cloud.

Cloud Computing Trends

Cloud computing has been around for quite a while, but has experienced hyper-accelerated adoption in 2010. I believe you’ll see that trend continue. One of the great benefits about cloud computing is that you can invest incrementally in the infrastructure you will require down the road. Leveraging public and private clouds, your business can put the systems in place that you’ll require to grow. You can adapt to the systems now. For example, you may implement and start training your sales force how to use a new enterprise CRM system, or deploy an enhanced Internet Portal for your customers. With Cloud computing, you only pay for the capacity you need now. When it is time to expand, there are no capital expenditures – you simply raise your monthly fee with cloud computing providers to match your increased revenue demands. The cloud can be the slingshot to help accelerate your move into growth mode.

What are your thoughts on the benefits of cloud computing and new trends taking place? Let me know.

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