November 30, 2012

On to the Cloud – Next Wave of Enterprises are Entering the Cloud

 

Talk of the cloud has been around for several years now.  Up to know, however, the majority of cloud usage has come from “transformational companies” (11% of companies accounted for 44% of cloud adoption in 2010).  This is beginning to change, however. 

The Wall Street Journal has written that over the next three years, companies who do not use the cloud currently will drive cloud adoption.  These are companies that are price and security conscious.  Many of them are probably large enterprises that do not directly rely on IT innovation to drive business.  The good news for these enterprises is, the cloud could actually help them save money – they could be seeing as much as a 30-40% price advantage by switching to the cloud versus deploying their own services on-site.

The other piece of good news for these enterprises is that they no longer have to approach the cloud blindly.  There are already many enterprises that are embracing the cloud, with lots help from APIs.  Companies such as Cisco, Coca-Cola Enterprises and USA TODAY have all looked at the cloud and APIs to not only expose their data assets to the outside world, but also to increase efficiency and productivity internally.

Take Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) – they are a large beverage bottler and distributor operating in Western Europe.  Over the past few years, they have begun moving assets to the cloud to make their main task of supply-chain management to provide their customers with beverages more efficient.  And they are now using APIs to make apps that will make both their employees and their customers lives easier.  At the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit this week, CCE showcased its progress with a presentation that covered, among other things, an iPad ordering app that it created specifically to ensure that Olympic venues remained fully stocked during the Games.

Cisco has begun putting support information in the cloud via APIs.  This enables Cisco to provide vital information to their customers in the format they want and promotes customer loyalty and “stickiness”. USA TODAY presented at the recent Business of APIs Conference, about how building an API has helped them not only re-build their website to be more flexible and cloud/API based, but also tackle their old Content Management System and update it to function better for their current needs (look for the video of their presentation coming soon here).

These enterprises have already made their way to the cloud and are making it easier for the next wave of big adopters to follow the suit.  The benefits of going into the cloud can be great – make sure your company is ready to take advantage of them.