Everyday examples of cloud computing abound; watching a movie or playing a game online, getting real-time driving directions from a mobile phone, collaborating with people—wherever they are—in the same virtual work space and more. Additionally, a new generation of startup companies are getting to market faster because they can rent computing capacity instead of owning and managing it themselves.

Cloud computing is a way of leveraging the internet to consume software or other IT services on demand. It allows entrepreneurs and businesses to take advantage of the latest technologies and innovations without spending a fortune on expensive computer parts, software and IT specialists. By reducing IT infrastructure requirements and associated costs, a business can focus their attention on testing new ideas, delivering a better customer experience and adapting to shifting market dynamics ahead of their competition. For many young companies today, owning IT infrastructure and managing a data center is a hindrance to competing effectively.

Power and speed

Cloud computing is an evolution of the internet. This time around we aren’t just selling pet food online. Cloud computing allows any company to increase the scale and power of their IT and the speed at which it can be deployed across organizational and geographic boundaries.

"At the heart of our current technology boom is a fundamental re-imagining of how we do business online, how we engage with consumers and the amount of data being generated as a result."

Simply put, you can do things more quickly, creatively and in most cases cheaper—while delivering product and services that are highly attuned to a consumer's needs. Moreover, these advantages are afforded to individuals, tech startups and established global companies alike. Cloud levels the playing field.

At the heart of our current technology boom is a fundamental re-imagining of how we do business online, how we engage with consumers and the amount of data being generated as a result. In an increasingly interconnected world, the number of interactions among people, devices and systems is growing rapidly. Cloud computing provides a more dynamic infrastructure to meet these demands. The ability for a company to rapidly and cost-effectively process massive amounts of data and use that insight to respond to its environment is a key competitive advantage of cloud computing.

Tomorrow’s speed

How important is cloud computing? I would argue that it's a sea change—a deep and permanent shift in how computing power is generated and consumed. In a world of ever increasing connectedness, where scale and rapidly adapting to change are the new normal, cloud isn’t a question, it’s an answer.  Businesses of all size and scope will need to leverage cloud technology as part of their business strategy moving forward-otherwise they will perish. The full potential of cloud is just beginning to be fully explored, but there is no disputing that the cloud is transforming how we live, work and interact.