It is clear to see that cloud has lived up to the hype. It is now firmly in a high growth phase and only shows signs of accelerated growth over the next few years. In my view, there are three key reasons as to why more and more businesses are turning to cloud technology: innovation, flexibility and reduced operating costs. These three are not independent of each other, and together they are providing more UK businesses opportunities to innovate and grow.

[easy-tweet tweet=”There are 3 key reasons why businesses turn to #cloud: #innovation, #flexibility and reduced operating costs”]

Traditionally, when companies have prepared their resources for anticipated growth, the approach has been to invest heavily in technology infrastructure to support that growth. The risk here is over-investment and with no guarantee that the growth will materialise as anticipated. Naturally over time this has led businesses to become cautious and as result, innovation has suffered.

The fear of over-investment risk has meant innovation has suffered

Innovation has been, and will continue to be, a key driver of UK productivity growth and economic prosperity. Between 1985 and 2013, Gross Expenditure on Research and Development grew by 52 per cent in real terms with the UK ranking 7th in the world (2014) in terms of overall level of R&D spending. However, its share of innovation spending as a proportion of GDP places it behind several of the leading research nations. In order to support this future innovation, businesses have been looking for solutions that allow them to continue to innovate with the associated risks or costs.

Historically, developing and testing has been viewed as a risky necessity requiring organisations to set aside, in some cases, vast sums of capital through the development of dedicated infrastructure and prototyping. In addition to this, as business applications are becoming ever more complex, making it difficult for organisations to build and maintain in-house testing environments that mimic reality.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Cloud-based #innovation testing has the potential to offer a compelling combination of benefits”]

Cloud-based testing has the potential to offer a compelling combination of lower costs, pay-as-you-go models and the elimination of intensive capital investment. For example, cloud computing allows disk, server and network capacity to be added from anywhere within a data centre in a matter of seconds. For example, cloud technology enables businesses to quickly and easily prototype new products with minimal investment. As well as addressing the growing demand for sophisticated test environments. This is important development as business become more cash strapped but continue to compete with a global market.

cloud benefits include on-demand flexibility, diminished need to hold assets, improved collaboration, greater efficiency and most importantly, reduced time-to-market

Other benefits brought on by the cloud include the on-demand flexibility, diminished need to hold assets, improved collaboration, greater efficiency and most importantly, reduced time-to-market for key products and applications. This flexibility allows for businesses to work together, without the issue of merging clunky IT systems together or without geographical limitations. As we are all too aware, existing legacy infrastructure isn’t flexible enough for this kind of resource allocation. Most resources are dedicated to specific applications or functions, making it difficult and sometimes near on impossible to collaborate.

It is clear that cloud technology has been and will continue to support innovation here in the UK but also to help break down geographical barriers. Quick, simple and cost effective – the cloud will continue to serve and support business growth.

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