There are many reasons companies should take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing by investing in infrastructure-as-a-service solutions. As cloud adoption increases, organizations are looking more at exactly why they need the cloud. Cost savings and increases in productivity for IT staff are the obvious advantages of a managed cloud infrastructure, but there are other benefits as well, and some of them are enough to convince enterprise IT managers to make the leap into cloud computing.

“Collaboration is now the number one driver for cloud adoption among enterprises, right after agility.

Why migrate to the cloud?
It turns out that collaboration and agility are two of the most important drivers of cloud adoption. In a recent survey of 452 business and IT executives, researchers at Harvard Business Review found that collaboration is now the number one driver for cloud adoption among enterprises, right after agility. According to CIO contributor Thor Olavsrud, the report showed that despite cost-savings being at the top of the list for previous years, 72 percent of respondents said collaboration was a top benefit of working on data in the cloud, and 71 percent said agility was the biggest advantage.

“Business agility has been the number one driver for so long, but this time collaboration was just as high in terms of a benefit coming out of the use of cloud,” Abbie Lundberg, contributing editor at HBR, wrote in the report. “That includes internal collaboration and collaboration with business partners and other stakeholders.”

Other big considerations for companies included security, integration with other systems, compliance, long-term financial stability and the ability to provide cloud management capabilities. However, these other drivers were left in the proverbial dust by collaboration and business agility – and for good reason. After all, enhanced communication between employees and business partners can in turn lead to increased profits and better business intelligence. In other words, these benefits of cloud computing can provide a foundation for other functions like boosted return on investment and cost-cutting measures.

Collaboration between business partners is made easier with the cloud.Collaboration between business partners is made easier with the cloud.

Cloud collaboration: What does it look like?
The IT and business professionals profiled in the report named collaboration one of the top drivers for cloud adoption, but what does that mean? According to TechTarget contributor Margaret Rouse, cloud collaboration allows employees who are working on a project together to communicate and view the project from anywhere at anytime, because it’s hosted off-premises in the cloud. This way of collaboration is often easier to use and more efficient than other forms of business communication because it provides instant access to mission-critical documents.

Voice-over-Internet-protocol systems also foster collaboration within the cloud. Unified communications allows employees to be connected at all times, no matter whether they’re driving or working from home, and this can create an increase in productivity across the board. According to No Jitter, cloud-based phone systems allow employees to connect with customers more quickly and effectively, which in the long term means they provide better customer service and can be more productive.

Agility and collaboration are, as cloud adoption drivers, two of the biggest advantages that cloud computing can bring to an enterprise.