Intelligent CIO Africa Issue 43 - Page 40

CIOopinion CIO OPINION • Centralisation. Cloud offers a hub for managing content where versions of documents and audits are maintained for process order and regulatory compliance. Think of how Box or Dropbox, for example, are replacing lossy processes such as sending email attachments or adding document versions to file shares. • Collaboration. Cloud is a perfect fit for meetings of teams or value-chain networks. Any cloud app is inherently collaborative. That will become more and more important as companies build ecosystems of partners to co-curate and ideate for products and services that stand out from commoditised rivals and can command a premium price. • Cost. With future revenues so uncertain for many companies, managing costs is hugely important. Cloud services usually have subscription-based, utility-like model so prices rise and fall depending on usage. This ensures value and means there is little risk of ‘bill shock’. • Security. Firms need to ensure that with so many more remote workers they have the security protections and policies in place to defend against attackers. Although security has traditionally been a concern or an objection to public cloud adoption, cloud services have an advantage in that they tend to be run via highly proficient data centres with more security skills on tap than enterprises can afford. However, firms will still need to educate staff against phishing and similar scams and ensure that tools such as VPNs and encrypted networks are available. • Choice. Some firms will be understandably concerned about potentially being locked into a single dominant provider than can then have too much control over customer options. However, the intense competition and price cutting among the biggest providers mean that companies that build out using a multi-cloud model will retain the openness they cherish. • Testing. Many companies will still need to be able to test new and reworked processes during and after the crisis. Cloud platforms provide the testbeds to enable this, without high cost penalties or risks being incurred. • Hiring. When the economy bounces back, hiring will again become a critical battleground and companies that aren’t heavy cloud users will become less attractive to younger candidates especially. As I outlined at the outset, there’s no such thing as an overnight hit in IT but look out for cloud-related opportunities for both short-term benefits and for future strategic importance. Cloud is already big, but it’s about to get bigger. • “ CLOUD IS ALREADY BIG, BUT IT’S ABOUT TO GET BIGGER. 40 INTELLIGENTCIO