The Inevitability of the Cloud

Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud

Back in the days when I marketed on-prem solutions, I used to pen a lot of position papers designed to create FUD around upstart “ASP” competitors. Why would you entrust your most valuable assets to someone else? What if the system goes down? What if your data get corrupted? Or hacked? All legit concerns but that was so 2001.

Since then, companies like Aria have alleviated a lot of those concerns and have implemented layers of security to provide maximum data protection while ensuring availability with a fully redundant, enterprise grade infrastructure that utilizes our proprietary Live Release™ technology, which enables clients to work on a separate code base during system deployment.

The vintage Virginia Slims ad rings true for the Cloud, “You’ve come a long way, baby.” So much so that one unnamed research firm basically stated, “Move to the Cloud or die.”  It was quite a note from any research firm, which typically take positions that are just to the left side of middle of the road  — as their business model relies on picking money-making categories and then soliciting vendors and their potential customers to engage with them for consulting services. While they provide valuable advice to both sides of the buy-sell equation they are also running a business, which means public statements are designed to preview insight while not offending the players in the category.

Hence, I perked up when I previewed a research report that contained an unabashed declarative. My immediate thought was that conventional wisdom has gravitated beyond “the Cloud is here to stay” to “It’s here to dominate”. On-prem users and providers take notice.

The reason is the culmination of the well-known efficiency, speed and agility arguments, and goes beyond sustaining competitive advantage. In a time when go-to-market speeds are increasing by 40%, no company can survive in a world where their development speed dramatically outpaces their system’s ability to monetize.

To put some numbers behind the stat above, if company X maintains a standard 24-month development cycle and company Y moves to the Cloud and enjoys the expected 40% acceleration that means they can launch products every 14 ½ months. Over the course of 10 years X Co. will launch 5 products but Y Co. will launch over 8 products. With more shots on goal, Y Co. will not only be better able to meet customer expectations they’ll enjoy greater revenues along the way. And that’s only one product line; multiply that advantage over multiple product lines, in multiple geos and it’s easy to see which company is building the bigger fortress.

That’s why traditional brands like Pitney Bowes and Merrill Corporation are investing the time, money and resources to modernize their systems with Cloud technologies. With them in place they can rapidly deploy a solution, adapt as business needs change, and do it all quite efficiently. All of this not only means competitive advantage; it helps insure long-term survival.