Believe it: The cloud gives you a business edge

Early adopters are also seeing that even if they came for the savings, they stay for the business advantages

An IBM survey shows that the cloud's strategic importance to decision-makers, such as CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, HR directors, and procurement executives, is poised to double from 34 percent to 72 percent, vaulting over their IT counterparts at 58 percent.

The survey found that one out of five organizations is ahead of the curve on cloud adoption. Moreover, they are achieving a competitive advantage by using cloud-based platforms, and not just cutting costs and driving efficiency through cloud computing.

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Of course, consider the source: IBM is not a neutral cloud computing party; it sells many cloud-based offerings, including technology and a public cloud server.

Still, the results of this survey are not surprising, considering that business leadership is driving much of the growth around cloud computing, demanding that IT both consider and implement this technology. They see the potential for this technology to be strategic, much like the growth of the Web many years ago that changed the face of many businesses. Remember, it was business units, not IT, that drove Web adoption and related functions like e-commerce.

I often preach that you move to cloud computing for the cost efficiencies but stay for the business advantages, such as time to market and agility. The study also points out the ability to use cloud-based big data to make more informed business decisions. This study shows that many businesses are seeing those advantages now, mostly after the initial cloud deployments.

The game-changing aspects of cloud computing allow businesses to move faster than their competitors. In just a few years, we'll have heard story after story about larger, cumbersome enterprises that learned how to sell more cars, produce more product, offer more timely financial products -- you name it -- based on the use of this technology.

This article, "Believe it: The cloud gives you a business edge," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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