Enterprises must view cloud as an overarching approach that considers the value of SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and other as-a-service technologies, and helps determine how they can best become a part of IT's current toolbox. Companies will create hybrid capabilities that combine the best of all cloud's elements, mixing on-premise and off-premise IT and integrating cloud with legacy systems and traditional software. The technology is here, so the conversations should now turn to how these tools can be used to differentiate a company's business, helping it get to market faster and respond more flexibly to opportunities and obstacles.

Cloud is no longer an emerging trend, nor is it a single concept. It can and does have a transformational impact across the business. The key question is not "should we use cloud?" but "how can we use cloud?" Leading organizations already sense that they're still only at the beginning of what they can do with cloud — and what it can do for them.

Capitalizing on the technology means redefining an enterprise's approaches to skills, architecture, governance, security, and more, and the time to begin is now. By harnessing cloud skillfully, companies can enter whole new businesses or launch new products in short order. As an integral part of their IT strategies, cloud can make their businesses more responsive, more flexible, more scalable and more competitive. The point should not be cloud itself — the point, instead, is how cloud is embedded in one’s technology landscape and in one’s business, in ways that provide strong differentiation in the marketplace.

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