“Cloud” has retained its crown as perhaps the most widely used buzzword in the industry. The use of the word may date back to the 1990s, when it is rumored that it was used in a PowerPoint slide to connote technology residing in service provider datacenters making up the mass connection of servers creating the Internet. Cloud computing has come a long way as more and more applications are stored on servers rather than on one’s hard drive.
For small-to-medium-sized businesses, cloud computing may mean applications are stored on the Internet, while larger enterprises may use applications such as Salesforce.com, Amazon or their own private clouds. Smaller organizations may find it more economical to use public clouds while larger businesses with larger storage needs may prefer hybrid or private clouds, which are not precluded from public clouds.
Cloud computing appears to be the foundation for a digital economy, and while CIOs and IT staff are well-versed in the technology, they need to make the case for cloud migration to company leadership to convince them that cloud can be a revenue driver and not solely an expense. That discussion should focus on impact on business functions and employee activity, cost of migration, and the impact of not migrating.
There are many surveys soliciting the opinions of CxOs on cloud deployment and migration. The well-known 2015 Deloitte Global CIO survey found that, depending on their industry, CIOs expect different technologies to have a significant impact on their business within the next two years. For example, 64 percent of the CIOs picked cloud as having the greatest impact. This was particularly notable in retail, technology and telecom, travel, media, and hospitality industries.