Don’t Try to Grow Your Business Without Looking to the Cloud First

By moving your business model to the cloud, companies can improve their agility, productivity, and speed of implementation and deployment.

Quick—name four wildly successful companies that are easily accessed through mobile devices.

Did Facebook come to mind? What about Uber? Alibaba? Airbnb?

Even if you didn’t name the aforementioned companies, it’s likely you’re familiar with or have even been a customer to these businesses at some point.

These companies represent the epitomy of what other businesses strive for—success and growth. But what made these businesses so successful, so magnetic? What has differentiated them from other start-ups, other innovative product ideas and offerings?

To put it simply, these four companies have challenged traditional business models and transformed the way people engage in commerce through the use of the cloud.

“All of these businesses have started to eat into traditional business models and reinvent the whole experience at lightning speed at massive scale,” said Julian Phillips, executive vice president of Whitlock, during a session titled “How the Cloud Is Transforming Business,” at the Whitlock Convergence Event 2016. “This [transformation] wouldn’t have happened with traditional IT technology. These business models are dependent on a mobile device connected to a cloud.”

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Phillips pointed out that all four companies don’t own key assets. For example, Facebook doesn’t own its content, Alibaba doesn’t own its inventory, and Airbnb doesn’t own any buildings. These companies have challenged core traditional business models through the cloud, and Phillips says the rest of the business world better take note. 

“These kinds of business models are starting to have a major impact…every aspect of what’s happening in this digital transformation is affecting your business,” warned Phillips.

Phillips said that companies need not only to start thinking about transitioning to the cloud, but also start thinking of the term in plural form, as there are many different “clouds” available. 

“There are different cloud models and infrastructures that will not make you risk entering a public, insecure cloud,” said Phillips.

Whitlock is one company that has moved some of its business to “a” cloud. Its V-Series of virtual solutions for meeting rooms, endpoints, infrastructure, scheduling and streaming, are all in a cloud.

For businesses with traditional business models, transitioning to a cloud or clouds may seem daunting and costly, but Phillips says businesses need to focus less on the cost and more on what the cloud could mean for the future of their business.

“[For Whitlock] cost was a factor, but what was more important is it improved business agility, speed of implementation and deployment, and faster delivery of new features and functions. It’s not about the cost, it’s about the impact it has on our business,” said Phillips.

Phillips added that business agility and business productivity are the two factors businesses should look at most when looking to adopt cloud-based business models.

The cloud is certainly nothing new, but perhaps now more than ever it has become a necessary part of business, and companies are beginning to catch on.

According to Microsoft and IDC, greater cloud spending will exceed $500 billion by 2020.

“The message for us all is if we want to grow and have agility, then we need to look to the cloud,” said Phillips.