These days, one thing that companies are increasingly focusing on is the matter of business agility. In today’s environment, opportunities can arise and pass by in a matter of moments, so companies that aren’t able to respond quickly will miss out on many chances to earn new revenue and boost their standing in the market.
But transforming an old-fashioned, static organisation into an agile, responsive firm can be a challenge, particularly if companies are still persisting with tried and tested IT solutions. While these may have been adequate for effective operations in the past, the rapidly-changing nature of business and the more digitally, connected landscape means new innovations will be required.
Why be agile?
There are many reasons why improving the agility of a business can reap rewards. For instance, a company that is able to spot emerging trends in the market and identify shifts in customer demands will be able to re-evaluate their approach in order to meet these new expectations, while more static competitors are still debating what the implications will be. This can enable them to bring new products or services to market and better engage with customers.
Agile firms are also better able to streamline business processes to remove inefficiencies without disrupting their operations, while they can also scale their resources in order to better meet demand. So, for instance, agile tools can make it much easier for a retailer to ensure its e-commerce platform is able to meet the added pressures of busy holiday periods.
Enter the cloud
However, moving from a traditional, static way of operating to a more fluid business model can be tricky – and this is where cloud computing can play a large role in helping transform a business. These tools are typically much faster to deploy than upgrading on-premises tools, and many of the headaches associated with traditional alternatives – such as the cost and complexity of replacing existing hardware and software applications – is avoided.
Because key applications are delivered on-demand and companies have the vast resources of a cloud provider to call on, it is easy to ramp operations up when needed – something that could be vital for fast-growing firms or those whose business is highly seasonal in nature. And as cloud tools can be accessed from anywhere, employees can respond to any urgent issues wherever they are.
A range of benefits
In fact, businesses around the world are quickly waking up to what cloud tools can offer them when it comes to boosting their agility. Recent research conducted by the Harvard Business Review on behalf of Verizon, for instance, indicates business agility is now the number one reason why firms pursue cloud solutions.
It found a third of companies named this as their primary reason for using the technology. What’s more, respondents agreed that the reduction in complexity seen as a result of moving to the cloud will help them become more agile – with almost three-quarters of respondents saying their operations would be simplified as a result of the move.