As The Cloud Grows in Popularity, So Does its Technology Offerings

By Lisa Pope, Senior Vice President, Global Strategy and Sales, Infor CloudSuite

Lisa Pope

Since 2013, analysts have anticipated the growing use of cloud computing to support IT and strategic business work streams. Over the past few months, their predictions have come to fruition as major players such as GE and Alibaba have invested upwards of $1 billion in cloud technology. Organizations are spending more money than ever on the cloud and all signs point to continued growth in the coming years.

As the cloud market continues to mature, a number of trends are emerging that are likely to accelerate cloud adoption. One is the ability to adopt hybrid architectures that offer flexible deployment options for core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and edge applications. For example, let’s say a manufacturer selected a corporate ERP solution in past years running on-premise but suddenly needs to support a new plant in some distant location. With today’s flexible cloud ERP technologies, they can now choose an appropriate cloud ERP solution and support a new location in weeks without risking business integrity.

This hybrid approach also allows companies to select focused edge applications that extend core ERP capabilities while maintaining some legacy systems on-premise. This is also becoming a popular option for organizations looking to test the cloud. Motivated by a growing recognition that the cloud can serve more broadly as a springboard for process transformation, innovation, and increased business agility, business leaders are increasingly anxious not to get left behind. Gartner predicts that nearly half of large organizations will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.

In addition to the emergence of new approaches to cloud adoption, the growing demand for cloud-based capabilities has led to enhancements to existing cloud technology. Cloud vendors are continually searching for ways to facilitate faster ROI and rich industry functionality for their customers. Newer cloud offerings now provide businesses with expanded access to applications within their enterprise cloud environment. This advanced software can support capabilities across functional business process areas including project manufacturing, contracts and billing, governance risks and compliance (GRC), enhanced business analytics dashboards and integrated document management.

These enhancements support companies of all sizes, from one location to multi-national, by allowing users to view real-time data at any time and from any location. Businesses also experience a faster ROI and a reduced total cost of ownership, as cloud delivery is typically managed through a monthly subscription. By implementing these solutions in the cloud as opposed to on-premise, companies are experiencing reduced overhead costs and gaining the agility and speed necessary to respond to ever-changing business conditions.

As TJ McCue, a contributor put it, “Instead of a slow-moving fluffy white cloud image, the cloud computing industry should use a tornado–that might be a better way to visualize how fast cloud computing is growing today.” Aging legacy applications just can’t keep pace with the agility of new solutions and outdated systems continue put a drag on productivity—and profits. With this in mind, 2016 should prove to be a banner year for cloud applications as more and more companies realize the cost savings strategic growth benefits associated with the cloud.

About the Author

Lisa Pope, Senior Vice President, Global Strategy and Sales, Infor CloudSuite

Lisa Pope is responsible for the global strategy and sales of Infor’s Cloud Solutions, as well as overall value positioning of Infor’s UpgradeX program, allowing existing customers a simple path to the cloud. With 25 years of experience in the software industry, specifically in vertical industries including manufacturing, distribution, retail, and healthcare; she brings direct sales, services leadership, and cloud knowledge to the Infor team.

Prior to Infor, Pope served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales Strategy at QAD, where she managed the overall cloud sales strategy and the North America region. She also spent 10 years as Vice President of Strategic Account Applications at Oracle.

Pope holds two bachelor’s degrees in business and communications from the University of California – Santa Barbara.

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