With all of the new technological advances that have affected business in recent years, the one that has had the biggest impact is probably cloud computing. The cloud has changed the way technology is viewed by companies, as it provides a simple, effective way to implement changes, engage with clients and spark innovations. Because the cloud is cost-effective and easy to deploy, it is now possible to experiment with technology, develop new products more quickly and distribute more widely and to a scale once out of reach for all but the biggest organizations.

A recent survey conducted by Oxford Economics surveyed 350 tech and business executives to find out what drove them toward adopting the cloud for their companies. Researchers found that 36 percent of respondents implemented a cloud platform because they found the technology to be critical to the innovation strategy of the enterprise.

“Cloud computing today is fundamentally altering business processes and changing the way organizations interact with clients, partners and employees,” read the report. “This transformation brings incredible opportunities, including the ability to build a real-time enterprise where interaction and innovation flourish.”

Collaboration flourishes in the cloud
One of the biggest benefits of the cloud is the ease with which it allows people to communicate and share. In fact, the survey found that 63 percent of executives believe use of the cloud is increasing collaboration among the business units of their companies. A recent development in the use of the cloud is the ability to connect records systems with engagement platforms to provide companies with the most creative and productive use of all of the data they collect. If each department can see the information that is being collected by everyone else, new ways to use that data can and will be found much quicker and be used more creatively than if data sets were kept separated by business unit.

In an article for Forbes, contributor Robert LeBlanc noted that this concept of information sharing is being put to use by El Corte Ingles, Europe’s largest department store. The retailer utilized the cloud to rapidly expand their online presence and currently employs the technology to monitor client preferences and buying habits to offer promotions and accurate pricing in real time.

For companies interested in implementing a similar initiative in their organizations, hybrid cloud environments are a reliable solution. Services can be automated in a hybrid platform and allow enterprises to see how they are being used and control them to better protect the security and privacy of the business.