Are decision makers thinking too short-term for cloud benefits?

Career ChoicesWhile cloud adoption maybe hitting the mainstream, the majority of projects are focused primarily around increasing productivity of employees through automation as opposed to the greater benefits of cloud computing.

Speaking at Cloud World Expo, Rashik Parmar, IBM’s Lead Cloud Advisor, highlighted that the benefits of cloud maybe currently underplayed by some organizations, as projects are initially too focused on productivity advantages. While automation could build an effective business case for cloud implementation, benefits such as performance and business predictability are often overlooked until projects are more mature.

“With performance we talk about speed. It’s the timing in which it takes to change, drive innovation in the market place and accelerate the way you deliver value to you customers,” said Parmar. “Predictability is one we often don’t think about. With the cloud you start to be able to understand the kind of outcomes you can achieve well before you put them out there. It’s that ability to be able to predict those outcomes and be confident that this particular journey is going to deliver value that gives people the inspiration and the ability to invest in cloud projects.”

Parmar highlighted that cloud is more than simply a tool for automation of software, but also the access to data, which has been healthily increased by the wider adoption of IoT technologies. Advances in cognitive computing are now enabling businesses to drive decision making through automation, taking time consuming tasks away from employees to ensure they can concentrate on core tasks.

“What we’re now starting to get into is a stage of machine learning, a stage of cognitive computing which allows us to see some of the broader patterns and automate further,” said Parmar. “Tasks which were being handed to humans are being replaced by automation. Radiography is a good example. A radiographer looks at an x-ray and decides whether there is a crack or a hairline fracture, and these are quite hard to automate without human skills. With the new cognitive capabilities and picture recognition analytics, we can use machine learning to pick out these anomalies and automate these tasks.”

While the initial benefits of cloud will always be automation and therefore and increase in productivity, as organizations mature through their cloud journey’s the long-term potential of cloud becomes more apparent.

IBM’s position would appear to be on the advanced side of cloud computing, seemingly wanted to accelerate customers through the adoption process and through to the performance and predictability benefits sooner rather than later. Though this does leave the question of how many organizations would be in a position digitally to capitalize on such concepts currently. Can organizations be fast-tracked to the advanced stages of cloud computing or does there have to be an internal learning curve? Could this be a case of IBM trying to encourage customers to walk before they can crawl?