A lot has changed in the world of information technology over the last ten years and these businesses are finding themselves newly connected to the cloud.

“Each day our world creates new technology. New devices, new apps, new services. Which means new ways to do things, new ways to connect, new things to learn,” says Janet Kennedy, President of Microsoft Canada. “It’s important to recognize where we are today compared to 2003. In technological terms, it’s not a decade. It’s a whole era.”  Without smartphones, tablets, and widely adopted social networking platforms, there was no inkling of the always-on, always-connected world of the cloud that business operates in today.

So, what is “The Cloud?”

Cloud computing, at its heart, is the idea of sharing computer processing and data storage resources dynamically among a large group of users. If Alice is running a complicated computer task that requires a lot of processing power and Bob is just watching online cat videos, the cloud lets Alice use Bob’s idle CPU cycles. More than this though, migration to the cloud enables a dramatic perspective shift in the very shape of information technology for businesses, especially for small and medium businesses.

“It’s important to recognize where we are today compared to 2003. In technological terms, it’s not a decade. It’s a whole era.”

“The key thing is that the cloud is an equalizer. It provides Canadian businesses with access to the sort of infrastructure and support that previously only the largest corporations could afford,” says Kennedy. Cloud computing provides Canadian businesses with an infrastructure platform that is as agile as they need it to be. The cloud enables and unleashes that agility — and gives all businesses the chance to access it.” 

An IT budget that solves itself

Consider the common example of a company with a widely varying business need for data services over the course of the year, perhaps a digital sale system with a volume that doubles or triples around the holidays. The infrastructure-as-a-service model that comes with the cloud makes it trivial to scale up and scale down an IT operation to accommodate these peaks. It is exactly this sort of flexibility that allows Canadian businesses to punch above their weight and compete with current market leaders.

The cloud not only makes data mobile and extensible, it essentially fast-tracks the progress and innovation of small companies, eliminating the productivity bottlenecks that, in an earlier era, would have been serious barriers to growth. As existing  businesses upgrade away from Windows Server 2003 and take their first steps into a cloud-powered world, some of them will undoubtedly see their potential transformed overnight.

Many organizations, like Microsoft, are “reinventing ‘productivity’ to create a world where people can truly make the most of their time and lead more fulfilling lives,” says Kennedy. “It’s a goal for which we are uniquely equipped, with people, patience and passion.”