Scalability is one of the cloud’s most prominent advantages for the enterprise, and there are several correlating elements composing this functionality. These can have a very profound effect on business operations from more aspects than one, and this article will look into the link between cloud scalability and business agility from the enterprise perspective.
The cloud’s ability to scale relies on a very simple concept – the capacity to provide additional instances and storage in a matter of minutes, compared to the days or weeks the same process would take with traditional infrastructure. The cloud’s scalability also facilitates a cost cutting usage-based billing model, which makes this property very appealing to use in two main areas: Engineering resource availability and business response to changing conditions or opportunity, as CIO.com defined it.
Improving the delivery time of computing resources to engineers is a local optimization. It can potentially make internal IT processes much more agile, and it’s this benefit which made scalability an even bigger priority than the cloud among engineering groups. A Shirman Group research study commissioned by cloud vendor Grid Dynamics surveyed CIOs and engineering VPs from various companies, and revealed 63 percent of respondents said scalability improvement was their first priority. Moreover, software companies are the segment which indicated the greatest focus on scalability, which brings us to the second factor behind this cloud advantage’s appeal notably to the enterprise: business response optimization.
Enhanced engineering resource availability is only one element to a scalable system, and it doesn’t necessarily shorten the overall supply chain of a given offering from prototype to roll-out. It also doesn’t translate to a direct edge over the competition, but bringing scalability to the customer does.
Better business response to changing conditions or opportunity has a direct effect on business agility, and facilitates several means of delivering more value to customers. A marketing department for once can have a company cloud partner setup all the instances and storage it needs for a marketing campaign with 24 hours – and remove the infrastructure just as quickly. Software vendors in turn are able to offer better pricing plans for their customers and the list goes own. However, scalability does have its limitations, which include the need to adjust to a cloud provider’s platforms and configurations, as IT management consulting firm Pink Elephant executive VP George Spalding noted.
Business is evolving, and the cloud introduced the ability to freely and effectively manage IT resources for the first time. Scalability has triggered an on-going IT reform in the enterprise space which reaches all the way to down to the individual customer, and brings us yet another ever-optimised and enhanced layer to operational efficiency.