Technology: Building In The Cloud for Competitive Advantage

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A great deal has been written about the digital economy and the massive changes already implemented, with much more to come. Now that the platforms have been set and the effect of these have been digested, what comes next?  An article in The Australian’s The Deal Magazine discusses growth in the IT sector by building in the cloud and the benefits and changes of this new engineering differentiation.

The digital revolution created problems for many SMEs because they were unable to fund the high cost of the transition from the old to the new. Skilled IT support is expensive and the changes in this industry is fleeting. Many committed to funding new systems, then found out they were not able to keep pace with the rapid change. Subsequently money was wasted. Supratim, ” First Amazon changed shopping, now it’s shopping its platform to small businesses. Many SMEs have suffered from the digital revolution as consumers turn to the Internet to buy and sell and book, but they are increasingly using technology to punch above their weight. Previously limited by the high cost of servers and networks, they’re now exploiting cloud computing.”

The cloud has allowed them to gain access to IT and pay as you go! It’s a big change in the way businesses operate in this area and has opened up access to global systems. Consequently, it has become an area of great interest to the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Google and many others. Supratim, ” While Amazon’s impending entry into Australia has been seen by some as a death knell for retailers, the US tech giant’s cloud business, Amazon Web Services is already here and having an impact – a positive one on our small businesses.” This step has given many SMEs the affordability to invest in this system. However, money is not the only thing driving the change as many businesses are using the cloud to create better systems so that their customers can benefit. Supratim, ” The main drivers are agility and innovation and the cloud enables these in a very significant way.” 

Previously customers waited for several weeks before having access to servers where they could check out systems and experiment. Now the facilities can be offered immediately and users pay only for what they use. The technology available is cutting edge, current and changes in step with Industry offerings. Supratim, ” They have access to very robust, full featured technology offering that lets them go from idea to launch in record time.” Graphic design and legal organisations are using these platforms to scale up and get more done managing large amounts of data in real time and at a lower cost.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth is using the cloud to power its eDiscovery platform. Supratim, ” Which improves the way critical information around court cases is provided in a timely fashion. Services such as the one developed by Corrs show thinking outside the box can give small businesses a competitive advantage. But disruptive thinking takes courage, and an understanding that deploying the cloud doesn’t automatically translate into a fatter balance sheet.” This factor becomes very relevant when aligned against customer service which has been a relevant factor for organisations.

Amazon is not the only provider stepping up. Microsoft, Google and others are gaining traction in promoting the cloud, especially to SMEs. Microsoft believes that storing data is the obvious way to secure a place in this business and underpin survival. Supratim, ” With cloud computing, data storage is cheaper than ever, processing can be more focused, and a wide range of tools is available to businesses when they need them. It means faster decision making and clever businesses can double down on what really matters.”

These changes allow us to keep up to date with IT technology and support our customers at the same time. Then, there are the cost savings to consider. All in all an excellent way to steam line our businesses and rest easy in the knowledge we are keeping step with the changes in the most cost effective way.

Hayley James.

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