What is cloud computing? A guide for business leaders

Sure, everyone in IT knows at least the basic concepts of cloud computing and what the primary risks and benefits are. But that’s not always the case with people in the rest of the organization — and they’re often the ones making decisions about the cloud. Here’s a guide tech pros can pass on to others in the organization who ask: What is cloud computing? 

As more IT services are being hosted by providers in the cloud, the IT department is becoming less necessary for carrying out the actual implementation of those tools. For example, if the marketing department is interested in using a new application, it’s pretty easy for the marketing chief to find a suitable cloud-based application, sign up for it and have employees start using the service.

Increasingly, that’s what’s happening at most companies, as more technology spending is coming from outside IT, according to a recent IDC report.

In fact, the majority (61%) of investments in technology are being made by departments other than IT, according to the survey of 1,200 business executives. The top source of that spending is the marketing department.

Given that trend, it’s becoming more important that non-IT leaders are well-informed about cloud computing, including the benefits for companies and especially the dangers that businesses need to watch out for.

Decision makers need more info

But despite the cloud’s hype in the IT world, a lot of business people still could use some education, according to a recent infographic published by Central Technology. Among senior decision makers surveyed, there are still 25% with only a vague idea of what cloud computing is or no knowledge at all.

And even among the remaining 75%, there’s still a lot of confusion. More than half (56%) of business leaders say they don’t have enough information about cloud computing to make informed decisions.

So for business leaders still in the dark, what is cloud computing? While some providers may not have provided all the facts for customers and potential clients, IT departments can help clear things up by holding information sessions or reaching out to people in key positions that could use more knowledge.

For information to pass along, be sure to see our comprehensive guide to Cloud Computing 101.

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