While many businesses have found cloud computing adoption can lead to cost savings and improved IT efficiency, Forrester Research's James Staten recently asserted that many companies are overlooking one aspect of the cloud that may be most beneficial: revenue generation.
There has been much said and written about the cloud's ability to help businesses enhance their IT performance without having to break the bank. Indeed, a study conducted earlier this year by BDO USA found agility, scalability and cost flexibility to be the benefits of the cloud most often cited by U.S. technology companies.
And while Staten doesn't dispute these claims, in his recent report, the Three Stages of Cloud Economics, he did state that companies can maximize their use of the cloud by aligning it with their business strategies.
According to Staten, there are three levels of cloud economics. The first involves using the cloud for its elastic and transient applications, such as scalable storage or SaaS. The second involves leveraging the technology for application optimization and performance monitoring.
Staten cited Netflix as an example of a company using the cloud the third stage. A video rental business, Netflix has managed to surpass the competition by offering instant movie and television show viewing through its cloud computing service – an aspect of the company's strategy that has quickly become one of its most inventive and applauded.
While several companies may not see cloud incorporation as a readily apparent business strategy, Staten noted that this stage is the one that can offer the greatest cost advantage.
"We all believe that cloud computing can save us money but aren't sure how to maximize these savings," Staten wrote. "The key is in understanding how the applications you place in the cloud align with the economics of the various cloud platforms. In fact, through understanding cloud economics, you can turn savings into revenues and drive your company to new stages of profitability."