Does the cloud still make sense when the economy is good?

Bad economic times gave the cloud its initial enterprise push for cost savings, but good times should mean the cloud now becomes strategic

The economy is doing well. Even the Fed is looking to figure out ways to slow things down, so the economic boom does not become overheated and then collapse.

How will the good economy affect the adoption of cloud computing? Most people answer quickly that it’s good for cloud. But that’s not always the case. Some technologies are more valuable the worse the economic climate.

Cloud computing rose in the tough economic times of a decade ago. Enterprises were seeking ways to cut costs, and cloud computing was a major weapon in doing that. Indeed, my cloud computing consulting dance card was full while the banks where failing, because I was the “save money” guy.

Fast-forward to 2018, and the enterprise focus is still on the cloud as a transformative technology for enterprises. But are there new objectives or metrics? Does saving money really move the needle now? If not, what does?

The reality is that cloud computing was missold as a cost savings play back in 2008 when many enterprises were in the soup lines. But the cloud was really never about cost savings, but all about IT providing more strategic value to the business.

While I could easily knock 20 to 25 percent out of IT operations using the cloud, the cost and risk of transforming to cloud computing often meant the net was a wash—or even higher costs.

The true benefit of cloud computing is the ability for enterprises to keep up with the pace of change in their industries—the ability to expand IT resources or change IT resources, at the “speed of need.”

Thus, the good economy means that enterprises will be looking for strategic investments. These could be new products or services, but for many it will be making IT an advantage for the business as something that creates value—not just seek operational cost savings.

In other words, a good economy should be good for cloud.

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