Race to the Cloud


So, the Cloud is real and here to stay. It is great that solutions are ready to go and available on demand. In addition, these solutions are really easy to set up. They don’t scale down necessarily, but still, I buy it; you can add and remove the resources based on your requirements. Let’s not talk about PAAS or IAAS for a second. Let’s focus on SAAS. What is the driving force pushing companies like MSFT to invest so much in SAAS? 80% of their resources are working on Cloud-related applications, so they have decided in which direction they are heading. Consulting companies are always following suit, and my company is no different.

Read more: What is an iPaaS: A Complete Guide for 2024

The Mobile Phenomenon and User Preferences

However, a completely different phenomenon is driving the consumer space. Everyone has a mobile device, and Native apps are considered much Cooler than web apps. Like everyone else, I want an app that serves my needs and runs best on my device. I want something that solves my problem. Yes, if that application solves other problems as well, I understand that, but it has to solve my problem in a cool way to be part of my application pool on my device. One tends to think there is no difference between cloud and mobile space applications as they are both built from the perspective that many users have the same requirements. So isn’t it the same thing? Does this not imply that Cloud would encourage us to build applications for a large audience with similar needs, and the same thing happened with the applications in App Stores? Unfortunately, not in the corporate sector.

The Corporate Cloud Strategy

In industry, the solutions that are being built on the cloud are generic. This race to Cloud means developing solutions to specific problems. If they don’t solve a certain problem, then features pertinent to that business area are added, and the same product is sold at a different spin. SalesForce, Oracle, and Microsoft add features to their CRM to ensure they don’t lose out on a business opportunity in a particular industry vertical. I am sure it holds for other applications in the corporate sector.

Huge investment in Cloud infrastructure by Corporate giants drives the marketing and sales initiative for the Cloud version of the solution. As a result, clients race to the cloud. CIOs want to win this race. They want to be the flag bearer for such an innovative initiative. However, there is no innovation associated with Cloud. There is no “My Problem” being solved on the Cloud. Applications on the cloud solve a stated problem as they exist on the Cloud and Consultants map, and existing cloud solutions to their business problems are available to the best of their abilities. That is the best that one can get out of the Cloud. There is no “My Solution” anymore. There is a race between vendors. If SalesForce has 100 features, Microsoft wants 101 to convince its clients that its version is better.  Isn’t it drastically different from what is happening in App Stores? App Stores are innovation centers. They are beyond the feature set and focus on usability and user experience.

Read more: On-Premises vs. Cloud CRM: Which Is Right for Your Business?

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Bridging the Gap Between Consumer and Corporate IT

This is not happening in the Corporate sector, and we are moving away from how it is going. The gap between consumer space and corporate space is widening. Talk to a business user or a marketer who deals with technical resources, and they will tell you that their IT rocks, but corporate IT sucks.

I was excited about Cloud because I considered it an App Store. I want to consider the cloud a toolbox that users and corporate users can leverage to solve their problems. Unfortunately, corporate users are owned by corporations and can never be independent. If this race to the Cloud continues, we will all have companies with data on the Cloud accessed through browsers. What purpose does it serve?

Read more: Leveraging the Power of Cloud: Advantages of Cloud-based SharePoint

The Real Value of Cloud: Beyond IT Savings

Does it make the lives of my employees better? Does it make them more productive? No, it certainly does not. Instead of solving business user problems, we are focusing on IT. Yes, IT, because Cloud is all about not having to support your applications, not having to sign M&S contracts, not having Change Requests as all of a sudden the World has converged, and if I have a problem, someone else must have had the same problem. So, the cloud is IT saving, not IT innovation. Cloud investment must force the solution providers to innovate. C-level executives cannot just invest in the Cloud because MSFT, Oracle, or SalesForce told them so. They have to ask questions that would help the market evolve.

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As the gap between consumer and corporate space widens, an opportunity to bridge it is presented. Consulting companies should focus not only on solving business problems but also on user experience and usability. Innovative Business solutions with easy-to-use interfaces that solve a business problem should drive the business, not the shelved solution on the Cloud. We want to build applications for corporations to solve their problems that would make the life of corporate users as easy as mine sitting at home and planning my vacations in the Bahamas using amazing Apps on iPad. Till then please don’t try to win this race to Cloud, as it would take you nowhere.

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