Companies that integrate a cloud strategy with their strategic business imperatives can improve connections across a network of suppliers, time zones and cultures, according to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

To prepare for “a purposeful transition” to the cloud, the publication recommends that top executives should follow these important steps:

•    Begin with business imperatives, and then identify the technical components of cloud computing your organization already has in place.

•    Anticipate a reassessment of talent needs; for example, IT will require architects with the ability to leverage the new cloud capabilities.

•    Anticipate changes across the organization; for example, R&D will need to align more tightly with IT, and finance will need to anticipate the impact on profitability, budgeting and depreciation when shifting product purchases to service delivery of IT.

•    Be prepared to address internal challenges, such as data security and governance in the cloud model, and shifting service models to the business.

•    Consider the impact that rapid and inexpensive provisioning of technology will have on product development.

“Cloud computing is a viable method to cut and contain IT costs, but there are much larger opportunities at stake — it holds the potential to effectively change the way companies do business,” said PwC technology consulting principal Phil Garland. “We have found that the primary business benefits of moving to the cloud include increased business agility, a higher level of innovation and a wider focus on customer engagement in the enterprise.”

PwC noted that the costs and time often required to test a new product or service, or try a new way of engaging customers, are so prohibitive that they can discourage companies from even trying them. Cloud computing offers an inexpensive, flexible way to deploy the infrastructure needed to test ideas.

This article first ran on Accounting Today's web site.


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