As cloud becomes an increasingly prevalent enterprise technology, companies are responding to the real world advantages it offers to create new business models, enhance client relationships and incorporate employee and partner expertise into operational processes. During the recent IP Expo 2014, Starbucks Coffee’s EMEA IT director Robert Teagle discussed how the company is experiencing advantages and maintaining a competitive advantage through the use of cloud services, ComputerWeekly reported.

Starbucks has been employing a variety of cloud services for some time now, like utilizing cloud-based email solutions and tying client relationship management tools to data from their loyalty card program. This is because the cloud provides an effective way to deploy changes in business processes and find new ways to connect with clients, creating a more agile enterprise.

Organizations are also utilizing the cloud to create flexible assembly models, allowing them to integrate previous investments with current innovations and quickly transform their business models whenever necessary. In the case of Starbucks, the coffee chain’s point-of-sale systems’ data warehouse is integrated with a cloud infrastructure which has allowed the company to seamlessly migrate its existing warehouse into an expanded platform that offers insight through big data tools.

Many large organizations are finding advantages through use of hybrid cloud environments, which offer the ability to host automated services in a protected environment that is still easily accessible. This ensures the security and privacy of the information stored within the cloud while still providing flexibility and ease of use.

Cloud platforms drive enterprise innovation
During the expo, Teagle noted how one of the major benefits of the cloud is its ability to drive innovation.

“IT innovation has to be aligned with business goals and when we are trying to manage innovations, cloud IT certainly helps,” Teagle said.

He added that IT is able to respond more quickly to business needs through the flexibility and agility provided by the cloud.

Another major benefit of utilizing an enterprise cloud platform is that it allows companies to develop and experiment with new systems and processes in a safe environment. Starbucks has certainly taken advantage of this. Teagle said in his talk that enterprises can more effectively manage their innovations through experimentation and testing frequently before deployment.

“Being innovative really helps and all IT teams looking to drive their businesses forward bust start innovating,” Teagle said. “And cloud certainly helps in facilitating innovations.”