This archived Tech Pro Research report, originally published in August 2016, is available for free to registered TechRepublic members. For all the latest research reports, 100+ ready-made policies, IT job descriptions, and more, check out TechRepublic Premium.
This report was part of a ZDNet special feature, Cloud Computing: Moving to IaaS.
From the report:
Companies continue to invest in cloud solutions to accomplish generic IT tasks, such as archiving excess data to cloud-based storage and moving application development and testing activities to cloud-based processing. In both cases, the intent is to eliminate new purchases of hardware and software in data centers, saving expense.
However, as organizations become more sophisticated in their use of the cloud, they are recognizing that cloud- based services can solve critical business problems that their internal systems have been unable to fully address. These business challenges t into two major cloud solution categories: industry-specific cloud services that address the particular work ow needs of an industry sector—such as an accounts payable and receivables function for the oil and gas industry or a supply chain management and logistics system for the food and beverage industry—and business function-specific solutions that are common to any industry, like sales management or enterprise resource planning (ERP).
Initially, companies found business function-specific cloud services easiest to deploy. These systems have fewer integration points with existing corporate systems, which simplifies the on-boarding process of a new solution. Among the most popular business function cloud solutions are sales management tools and office ware, like document management and word processing programs.
In the area of industry vertical-specific applications, many organizations are being driven by their HR and ERP software vendors to move to the cloud for versions of historically in-house systems that are tailored to the specific workflows and needs of their industry verticals. In still other cases, companies within specific industry verticals select niche cloud services that can meet specific needs in their industries.
Regardless of how a company chooses to more fully utilize the cloud, cloud-based services that answer the calls of specific businesses and business functions are gaining traction. The task for vendors serving these industry-specific and business function-specific markets is educating companies on how these solutions can transform their businesses. Solutions providers must also convince corporate decision makers that the solutions are safe, secure, reliable, and easy to integrate into their present systems and operations.