KPMG: Cloud Computing Changing Business Operations

Accounting firm concludes that cloud computing is changing how business work

kpmg surveyCloud computing is being widely adopted in corporations in order to reduce their costs, but now the technology is changing how corporations operate, according to accounting firm KPMG International.

According to a survey of 900 global firms conducted by KPMG, four out of five businesses are planning to shift some of their computing operations to remote networks or the cloud. One in ten reported that they are already running and storing business critical data and information in the cloud.

Steve Hill, vice chairman of strategic investments at KPMG, led the research for the firm. He said that many companies had found that the cloud is “quickly shifting from a competitive advantage to an operational necessity.”

One of the examples in the KPMG report include that of a grocery business, which reported that it had fewer episodes of running out of stock after it connected its suppliers with a cloud ordering network. Consequently, turnover increased along with the profits.

Cloud computing allows businesses and users to access information through any internet-connected device. This information is stored in a network of virtual servers which may be geographically distant from user locations. Since more and more employees are working remotely, cloud computing has become a necessity to bring the whole corporation together via the internet. Such global trends have increased the profits for cloud computing service providers, and the whole industry may produce $177 billion in revenue by 2015, up from $89.4 billion this year, according to a Gartner forecast.

Researchers at Seattle Children’s Hospital used the cloud for 475 virtual computers in three data centers around the world to compare bacterial proteins. Eugene Kolker, the chief data officer for the hospital, rented cloud services from Microsoft and reported that the firm helped them update a database of more than 10 million proteins within six days – which would’ve taken several months by using the facility’s own computers.

“What’s remarkable about the cloud is you can do this type of work on demand,” said Kolker. “We’ve never had information ability like this before.”

Cloud computing has also proved that it can reduce costs, as KPMG’s survey showed that 3 out of 4 respondents were able to do reduce costs.

Deciding to move a business function to the cloud “is becoming more of a business conversation, not just a technology conversation,” said Hill. “The chief information officer is going to become a chief integration officer.”

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