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July 05, 2016
Public Cloud = Freedom
By: Michael Liebow

If all businesses are becoming digital businesses, isn’t getting cloud right an IT imperative? In that case, are we making clear and compelling arguments for moving your organization to the cloud? Are we speaking the language of business to business? Or, are we simply espousing generic cloud messages and overly hyped benefits?

The public cloud represents the biggest IT opportunity in decades—the potential to align business with technology, wrapped in an as-a-service consumption model that enables true innovation and agility.

But most organizations feel locked into a legacy of status quo operations, people and assets. Moving to a new paradigm is extraordinarily difficult, requires significant leadership, and it involves risk. Even so, the true benefits of cloud dictate that it’s time to free yourself of antiquated modes of operation—and get moving.

When considering a Public Cloud First agenda, there are three irrefutable “freedoms” that can underwrite your journey:

  1. Freedom to experiment. The cloud skirts existing competitive internal processes for capital, procurement and talent, allowing any team to demonstrate early success and scale, and yields a significant higher rate of trial, error and repeat.

  2. Freedom to fail. Cloud reduces the cost of (while improving the speed to) failure, freeing up working capital for potentially lucrative and beneficial initiatives. Experiments can succeed step by step or, alternatively, shut down quickly, avoiding the long run to equipment depreciation.

  3. Freedom to be agile. Cloud offers the opportunity for large organizations to streamline processes and form smaller, more nimble teams—shaking out all kinds of friction from innovation and enabling senior management to concentrate on core problems and differentiated value-added efforts.

Adoption of cloud brings speed, agility and scale, ultimately improving the user experience. Cloud also supercharges the ability—and agility—to get to customers faster, helps businesses innovate more rapidly and opens the door to fundamental change that only as-a-service tools offer.

The Innovation Story
Business success—and growth—is all about innovation. But innovation doesn’t need to feed on massive investment or cumbersome processes. Business has latent demand, and IT has fixed costs, so budgets are a certain reality. That’s why public cloud works—pay as you go for only what you need, and innovate faster.

But the reality is, you can’t just lift and shift legacy workloads to the public cloud without some degree of remediation, nor can you embark on new development without the required tooling and skills. Building for the cloud requires expertise to achieve objectives at scale and speed. It also requires a degree of governance, enablement, education and training to de-risk the underlying proposition. Perhaps the biggest hurdle involves a cultural change.

The great business case around the public cloud has yet to be truly heard by business leaders. And we have a responsibility to make that case clear, compelling and convincing.

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