Recent research has found that some companies are struggling to find true value in the cloud. Part of the problem is that many organizations are trying to assign hard numbers to intangible advantages. Forbes contributor Joe McKendrick stated that this is the wrong way to go about it. He felt that businesses are overlooking the innumerable intangible benefits provided by the enterprise cloud.

While tangible benefits such as cost-effectiveness and speedy deployment are being measured right now to determine value, they are but a small portion of the benefits the cloud has to offer, many of them being intangible.

"It's the transformation, enabling it to react to market opportunities, communicate and collaborate internally and externally, design and test new products, and become more agile," wrote McKendrick. "This 'second chapter' to cloud will produce far greater, but far more intangible, benefits."

For companies who are already well-managed and know what to do when implementing new things, the cloud just becomes one piece of a much larger puzzle, helping them execute business operations on a day-to-day basis. These enterprises are able to effectively employ the cloud as part of a business strategy to improve profits and consumer bases.

Cloud features important for storing and analyzing data
Companies are aggressively pushing for better data analytics to help improve businesses decisions. And there are vast amounts of data that can provide insights. Cloud service providers can significantly help enterprises with this thanks to its many capabilities, stated SmartData Collective contributor Gil Allouche.

One way business can leverage the cloud is through storage. Physical data stores can be very expensive. However, because there is no on-site equipment that must purchased and maintained, cloud solutions are affordable and easy to use while also improving the availability and reliability of a company's data stores.

Businesses can also use the cloud to analyze large amounts of disparate data. Cloud providers offer a wide range of services for this, including ready-to-use applications. Some can even provide big data as a service, which allows users to collect and analyze data without having to leverage a complex platform such as Hadoop to do it.

Scalability is also an important feature of the cloud. Providers are able increase or decrease the space when they need to, ensuring that the systems are running optimally at all times. This way, companies can eliminate unnecessary server investments while optimizing their operational performance. Businesses must weigh the benefits provided by all three features to maximize the value they receive from the cloud.

"Before going out and signing up with a service provider, think strategically about what your business needs are," wrote Allouche. "Do your research, so you can get your data out of your hair and spend more time making strategic business decisions."