One of the primary drivers of cloud computing is the value of business agility. Business agility is the ability to make quick changes in a business to meet changing business needs. Examples would include adding a new product line, expanding into new markets, or providing customer visibility into product shipments.
Cloud computing provides business agility. The ability to provision and scale a system is built into the architecture of most public clouds. If there is a business need for a new system, it’s just a matter of provisioning the resources required from public cloud providers, such as AWS or Rackspace. This process is much quicker and easier than purchasing, configuring, and hosting your own hardware and software assets.
Moreover, public cloud providers typically offer access to as many compute and storage resources as you may require. These resources can be allocated when needed, and returned back to the pool of resources when the need subsides. You only pay for the number of resources you leverage, and the duration of their use.
The value of business agility really depends upon the type of business. Those in the healthcare and finance verticals obtain a great deal of value from agile platforms, such as cloud-based platforms. Those that have relatively static business processes, such as many in manufacturing, my not realize as much value around the use of cloud computing.
The purpose of understanding business agility is to both determine the value it has for your company or agency, and thus make better business cases around the use of emerging technology, such as cloud computing.