I think we’ve all heard it. The constant drum beating, unending buzzwords and constant hype surrounding cloud computing. In some ways, we are in danger of having the din obscure the full extent of the business makeover the cloud has to offer.

For a long time, there was the misconception that the cloud would solve all IT challenges and it would be cheaper. While this has proven to be more of a myth, there are many benefits, even financial, for why an IT department should look into moving to the cloud.

Documented cloud benefits include greater agility, scalability, cloud bursting, storage on demand, and data backup and recovery.  These could be considered the meat and potatoes benefits of cloud computing. But let’s look at some of the more veiled benefits of the cloud.

Rapid provisioning: In the traditional on-premises IT delivery model, workloads are supported by discrete resources (network, storage, compute, security). For example, if a business wants to roll out a new application they go to IT and ask for resources. This requires the purchase and provision of new hardware to accommodate the workload. In the cloud, the cost model is predictable, and the time to provision is cut to hours instead of days. This can translate into a faster time to market.

Elasticity:  Whether its seasonality or new initiatives, the cloud offers elasticity to IT. This means resources can be scaled up during busy cycles and scaled back down during slow periods.

Mergers and acquisitions: M&A’s are typically closely guarded secrets in an organization. Once they happen, IT needs to deliver resources ASAP. Those resources can be quickly spun up in the cloud and consumed as needed and then scaled back or de-provisioned if need be. Cloud computing allows for a consumption model for IT, pay for only what you need.

New business generation: Cloud computing offers the organization an easier path to pursue new business. For example, testing, simulation and experimentation can be completed much faster without the cost and time needed to build out supporting systems.

New technologies and processes: In most cases, IT budgets are earmarked for routine maintenance. This can detract from leveraging cutting-edge technology and processes. Cloud offerings are based on the collective input of customers often representing best practices. This allows a business to more easily put new technology and processes into practice for better business results.

Capacity to create more customer offerings: Good business is finding that cloud services used by internal users can benefit customers as well. Organizations that are using third-party services can sometimes turn around and incorporate those services into their own offering bundles.

Each of these cloud benefits offer organizations the opportunity to cut costs and boost revenues. In fact, a recent IBM study, Under Cloud Cover: How leaders are accelerating competitive differentiation, reveals how business using cloud computing for competitive advantage can generate substantial more revenue compared to peers. The survey also found that one out of five organizations is ahead of the curve on cloud adoption and achieving competitive advantage – not just cutting costs and driving efficiency – through cloud computing.

Are there incremental benefits that you are gaining from cloud computing? Comment below.