Companies that move to the cloud are finding it’s also transforming their businesses and generating bottom line improvements, according to Judson Althoff, executive vice president of worldwide commercial business at Microsoft Corp., and Adrian Cockcroft, vice president of cloud architecture strategies at Amazon Web Services, both speakers at The Wall Street Journal’s annual CIO Network conference.
Cloud-empowered capabilities are creating new business models out of data and allowing companies to transition from building IT, to consuming IT and using technology for its strategic value.
For example, Althoff pointed to Land O’Lakes Inc., which used massive amounts of data on corn crops and agriculture — along with satellite images of farmlands and other resources — to improve productivity on farms from between 100 and 130 bushels of corn per acre to well over 500 bushels per acre.
Businesses may have expected the cloud to streamline their IT efforts, but many of them are getting more than they bargained for. According to a Deloitte study released in September, more than half of executives now approach technology investments for their strategic value, pointing toward cloud, Big Data and analytics capabilities technologies as one of the key drivers of their success.
More than ever, moving to the cloud is now seen by many businesses as mandatory in order to remain competitive.
Research firm Gartner predicts cloud technology will continue to grow in importance to the enterprise, with more businesses using cloud than not using cloud technology by 2020.