Business Conditions and Cloud Computing: Working the Alternative

CEOs Remain Cautious About Business Conditions

Chief Executive Magazine (January 2014).

The above mentioned article details the Chief Executives monthly gauge of CEOs levels of optimism about both current and future business conditions and provides general insight into their go forward plans for the next 12 months. For the kickoff of 2014, the survey respondents are expressing a flat to negative business forecast.

CEOs, across the board, from companies with less than $10M in revenue to the $100M plus organizations, are expressing levels of uncertainty and concern in the global economy. Included in this overall cautious tone are comments from the vast majority C-Suite Executives, (both liberal and conservative), regarding the negative impact of government actions, think Obamacare and Sequestration, and the lack of confidence that the proper steps are being taken to prop up business.

In line with the above, the Chief Executive Magazine’s survey respondents highlight the trend of headcount reduction, decreased capital spending and the expectations of reduction of revenues and profits. For many of the respondents, the plan of the day is to hoard cash generate profitability through reduction in expenses.

Working the Alternative

Briefly mentioned in the above article is a quote by an unnamed business leader and survey respondent which reads, “CEOs are working hard to diversify into new markets and economies going into 2014, so we should return to more typical sales and profitability.”

This is the voice … the plan … the power of the Alternative!

Now, I don’t know this CEO and I don’t know his business, but I respect, admire and believe in the determination to succeed in spite of some very real world business obstacles that have been highlighted in this article/survey. More than this, I do know this CEO’s approach is not only doable, but is being done! And that cloud computing companies such as mine are playing a key role in making the “Working the Alternative” possible.

By removing typical financial barriers and risk associated with the exploration of New Markets, the collaboration between IT and business functions can work closely as a tight unit driving toward competitive advantage and growth. In other words, the dollars and risk problems that stalled creativity are removed by the Cloud.

With the best opportunity for growth for many businesses within this economy coming from the creation of new products or new markets, innovation as the competitive advantage is becoming a priority. Cloud computing merits a good look as a lower-cost and flexible avenue to spur innovation and competitive edge.

The C-Suite, Competitive Advantage and the Cloud. 

  • CEO: The flexibility of the Cloud provides real agility that allows the business to take advantage of opportunities from wherever and whenever they emerge, while freeing resources to innovate and engage the customer.
  • CFO: Positive financials at both the top and bottom line of the business, the Cloud moves IT spend from capital to operational providing a path for investments to more closely align with actual returns.
  • CIO: Cloud design principles of on-demand resources, elastic and dynamic and usage based cost, removes the “IT Limiter” of quick innovation and capturing competitive advantage

Recalling 2013 and Looking Forward 2014

Recalling 2013 and Looking Forward 2014

It’s no secret that Cloud Computing is transforming businesses for the better across all market segments. 2013 was a record year for Cloud adoption and has certainly moved the development and management of an effective cloud strategy to one of the top priorities for business leaders. The benefits of adopting a cloud strategy are real and are providing opportunities that extend beyond IT into competitive advantage.

For FracRack, we are honored and proud to have helped so many St. Louis based companies throughout 2013 develop, expand, modify and execute a cloud strategy designed exclusively with their needs in mind. Each unique business found powerful economics, security, reliability, flexibility and agility benefits giving their business advantage in their quest for growth.

  • For example, the last 23 clients added to the FracRack Cloud, saved in excess of $4,000,000 in capital expense for their fiscal year 2013. That translates to almost seven years worth of fees for our services in lieu of those capital expense levels.
  • These customers also have enjoyed zero downtime while realizing continual update and expansion of services.

Looking forward, FracRack expects the Cloud to continue gaining momentum as additional applications develop SaaS approaches and/or become “Cloudable.”

Manufacturers and IT Consultants will expand their cloud markets while more and more IT professionals migrate to IT careers within Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). Mergers and acquisitions occurring within the CSP community will testify to the attention … heat … well underway within this area of IT.

FracRack will continue to expand our cloud footprint with additional data centers brought on-line. Expansion of our services in areas of archiving, business continuity and geographic redundancy will provide additional assurances of performance and regulatory compliance.



The Cloud Continues to Impact IT Realities

Many financial analysts are currently writing about the recent slump in the technology sector as key indicator companies such as Microsoft, Google, IBM and Dell, struggle to figure out the change in the way businesses are buying technology. As earnings slip, growth slows or declines, mergers and acquisitions tumble and overall venture capital for technology is down by more than 7%. Technology stocks are dragging down the overall market; many wonder if this just a temporary wrinkle in the blanket … or another new normal.

Rightly so, the acceptance of cloud computing is being listed as one of the top three factors for the current tech market slow down. Simply put, when companies move their data center into the Cloud, much less “stuff” is purchased. As this trend continues certain technology manufacturers will need to adjust and position new products and services that address Cloud Service Providers more closely, including product acquisition methods that align with CSP’s monthly revenue streams.