A Look Ahead: The Cloud Rises


Wayne Whitcomb, CTO, Demandware
Today’s guest blog post is courtesy of Wayne Whitcomb, CTO, Demandware

The cloud has gone mainstream. According to the conducted by , in conjunction with and a number of additional collaborating organizations, 49 percent of respondents stated they use the cloud for new business and revenue streams. And 45 percent stated they want to—or already do—run their company in the cloud.

And why not? The cloud is proving itself in mission critical applications that support engagement between consumers and their retail brands (as just one example).

The cloud also gives enterprises control over their solutions. By leveraging a cloud platform – also referred to as platform-as-a-service, or PaaS – enterprises can customize solutions to meet their most complex needs, ensuring the company can deliver on both business goals and customer expectations. The results illustrate this, as well, with data pointing to the increase in usage and adoption of PaaS as one of the driving factors that has helped unlock the efficiencies of developing custom applications in the cloud.

As a result, enterprise tech teams are increasingly becoming advocates for the cloud. They’re recognizing that cloud-based solutions enable them to better serve the needs of their business, and in some cases, realize a faster time-to-value. In fact, Demandware client american golf has stated that, as a result of our cloud-based commerce platform, the company has been able to quickly take advantage of new features as soon as they’re developed. This lets them focus more of their time on pursuing strategic business goals.

The reality is that today, the cloud offers so many new opportunities beyond its intended purpose that it gives enterprises the freedom to explore innovative business solutions because they’re spending less time worrying about “keeping the lights on.” And all of the opportunities the cloud transformation presents stem from the fact that, to truly reap the benefits of a cloud-based platform, the organization as a whole must run in the cloud.

Modern communication between applications is required, and this highlights a cool side effect of cloud transformation: ease of information exchange. In the past, business applications required a very specific integration behind the corporate firewall, precisely designed to ensure ‘Application A’ could talk to ‘Application B.’ As soon as ‘Application C’ entered the mix, a new integration point was required to allow the applications to share information.

Applications developed and implemented via the cloud, however, can easily integrate with each other. They are built on newer and open technologies that facilitate the exchange of information, giving enterprises the opportunity to pursue new ideas and opportunities.

So what does the future of the cloud really look like?

We can expect this cloud transformation to continue to gain adoption as the preferred solution for mission critical applications, both on the front-end (i.e. customer-facing activities) as well as the back-end. We’ll also see new means of application integration emerge to create more engaging customer experiences; where the cloud provider can invest in the delivery of common capabilities, technology partners can create augmenting solutions, enabling the enterprise to drive toward greater differentiation and engagement with customers.