Some of the most important parts of our lives don't exist in our pockets, our homes, or our neighborhoods. Our life savings, our dating profiles, the most cherished pictures of our loved ones—they all live in the cloud.
Thirty years ago this was unthinkable, but today we take it for granted. In fact, when digging through our desk drawers we come across old photographs that strike an emotional chord, and our first instinct is to digitize them with the super computers in our pockets and give these precious artifacts immortality in the cloud. Now, many parts of our businesses are increasingly moving to the cloud as well accessible from anywhere, with the actual physical location where the data is stored almost immaterial.
Why have many companies chosen to trust the cloud? Outside of some notable exceptions (so notable that even a minor outage triggers news alerts), it's because the cloud "just works"-and the differences between those who have adopted cloud technologies and those who haven't are becoming starker by the day. Companies that have taken full advantage of the cloud and other technologies are thriving. Those who haven't are often struggling to stay ahead of their peers.
We're getting to the point where most business leaders don't particularly care how technology is delivered as long as it gives them better business results-faster, with more flexibility, and ideally at a lower cost than whatever they were using before. As the introduction to McKinsey's ITaaS Cloud survey puts it, "The cloud debate is over-businesses are now moving a material portion of IT workloads to cloud environments. The impact will be considerable, for consumers and vendors of technology alike."