If for some reason you’d go around asking cloud users their foremost reason to migrate operations to the cloud, most of them will instantly state the cost saving as their primary reason to migrate to the cloud. Alternatively, we can also say that the increased cloud adoption rates also spells reduced IT staff requirement.
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But the truth couldn’t be farther from these notions! Granted that cloud computing and cloud services like hosted QuickBooks, and numerous others have seen rapid growth and increase in adoption in the past couple of years and have now an integral part of the global IT ecosystem. A survey conducted on the Six Degrees Group (6DG) by Freeform Dynamics found that 96% of their stakeholders had some form of cloud connectivity and dependency, while one-fifth of the respondents described their use of the cloud and cloud-based services to be “extensive” and 52% report cloud usage as “significant”, and less than one-fourth (24%) say that their use and dependability on the cloud was “modest”.
The survey also states that 56% of the respondents also describes a steady growth in cloud and cloud-based services adoption, where 18% of them described the adoption as “rapid”. With all that being said, it is easy to say that these metrics are nothing short of impressive. Although it does not in any way relate to the industry wide move from on-premise IT infrastructure that is apparently rumored to be underway.
But apart from all the business jargon that comes to mind when talking about cloud computing and cloud-hosted services, the reason behind the decision to move to the cloud is simply not just because of its cost saving benefits. Below are a few pointers to explain that cloud is not just about cost savings but so much more.
Not just about cost savings
Believe it or not! The cloud is not just about cost savings, although it may be the primary driving force behind the ever increasing adoption rates. Going by the survey results, it is reported that only 15% of the respondents mentioned cost saving as their one and the only reason to move to the cloud. A staggering 31% of the participants described cost savings along with other cloud benefits to be their driving force for cloud migration, while a quarter of the participants mentioned the added business value as their primary reason for moving over to the cloud.
This focus on business value addition seems contradictory against the rumor of reduced IT staff requirement. According to the same survey, the rising cloud adoption rates have actually driven IT personnel recruitment up as well. Only a mere 6% showcased a dip in IT staff and that too collectively in the last three years. On the other hand, more than 70% of the respondents announced a moderate to significant rise in IT staff recruitment in the same time period.
More Time to Focus on Core Business
This increase in IT recruitment is likely to continue well into the coming years, albeit at a slow pace. This trend is associated with the profile change of IT professionals as more and more companies jump aboard the cloud bandwagon. In the future, companies are sure to hire more cloud IT specialists. In the survey, more than half of the respondents (56%) reported having a majority of cloud IT specialists in their employment, while 13% were extensive cloud users and 17% were significant cloud adopters.
This does, however, point out that the need for general IT professionals rapidly decreasing with the rise of cloud adoption rates. But IT professionals have now started to transform their generalist profiles into specialist profiles which include skills like architecture, design, security, information management and line-of-business applications. This enables businesses to stop wasting resources and manpower on routine IT tasks and utilize those precious moments on more IT specialist tasks, which in the future have tremendous potential to improve business efficiency and productivity.
More Specialized Services
Businesses nowadays are becoming more and more reliant on the cloud and cloud hosted services, which in turn drives up client expectations for cloud service providers. Service providers are now aware of this trend are aggregating their services into relevant bundles and packages, which offers more bang for bucks and is easy to implement and integrate with existing operations. This enables service providers to avoid compatibility issues at the source which further helps in-house IT professionals to engage in more productive and maintenance/support oriented tasks. In the very near future, we very well may see service providers coming up with bundles and packages that include voice as well as data services dynamically.
The Change of IT Profiles
IT professionals can never become obsolete, but their profiles and the tasks they undertake is changing at a very rapid pace. Cloud is still reliant on multiple IT technologies and IT experts will always be needed to maintain and manage the IT infrastructure. However, they do have to learn new skills and practices of the cloud computing world to stay relevant and productive in the coming years. And with cloud-based services becoming more and more popular each day, significant changes in IT work and skill profiles are all but inevitable.
So there you have it, cloud computing and its numerous applications in the corporate world may be driven by its cost effective advantages, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. It offers its users, not just low-cost services, but a modern and efficient way of doing things that intend to deliver maximum productivity and the best possible utilization of business resources.