Five Questions for CEOs that Cut to the Chase about the Cloud

Recently, I came across a brilliant blog article written by a guy who consults with companies on a strategic level about how the cloud can transform their businesses…help them grow. He proposed that CEOs and other top executives interested in the Cloud ask themselves five questions to determine what the technology can do for their businesses.

Everybody today is mostly talking about the Cloud with questions of security, reliability and performance in mind. And while the author points out that those are important questions – things that every enterprise needs to be completely satisfied with to migrate to the cloud, he says rather that those conversations need to happen in the context of what a business can do with the cloud.

Here are the five questions for CEOs to ponder:

1. How are cloud services affecting my industry? This is a good question from a competitive point of view. Because if you haven’t considered how new technology like the cloud can reshape your position in your industry, it’s very likely that your competitors already have or soon will.

2. How can cloud services transform my company’s long-term strategy? Take a look at each area of your company’s three-year strategy and ask this question. Can cloud services help you grow your business, and can they continue to support that growth over the long haul? Perhaps more importantly, (and this is one question that IT pros can definitely relate to), ask yourself: What will I be able to focus on if I don’t have to worry about building or buying tools to support growth from scratch?

From my perspective, cloud-based monitoring, for example, from Monitis, is the perfect example of how cloud technology can free a business from concern about security, bandwidth (such as server capacity) and end-user experience (especially on websites) in order to, instead, focus on growing the business.

3. Can the Cloud help me expand into new businesses? Are there any market segments that have just been too expensive for you to profitably serve?  Does the instant availability of inexpensive cloud services change that scenario and open up new possibilities?

4. Can the cloud help me enhance my relationship with customers? Look at the gaps in how you interact with customers, and ask whether easy-to-integrate cloud platforms can help you bridge them, for instance with a cloud-based CRM system, and present a unified persona to your customers.

5. Can the cloud help me beat the competition with getting products to market? Pick It’s pretty likely that there have been projects you wanted to launch and get to your customer base quickly but couldn’t – because the tools you were working with didn’t give you enough time.  Can instantly available building blocks and targeted services from the public cloud make that project possible now?

What a great article, and some profoundly good, strategic questions about the Cloud that go beyond what our industry seems to be focusing on now. Good stuff!