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Microsoft UK’s COO on the cloud’s next evolution

Nicola Hodson

Dr Nicola Hodson knows that customer expectations are driving digital transformations. but it's cloud technology that can most ably help marketers understand those expectations.

Between 2013 and 2018, spending on cloud computing infrastructure and platforms will grow at a 30% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to Goldman Sachs.

The same report suggests that cloud computing’s percentage growth rate, is predicted to be six times higher than enterprise IT as a whole.

It’s an impressive discrepancy, and due to its important role in digital transformations within businesses, detailing the cloud marketing evolution that promotes cost-effective, flexible and mobile solutions and technologies.

Dr Nicola Hodson, Microsoft UK’s General Manager for Marketing and Operations, echoes Goldman Sachs’ findings and considers two trends that support the growing use of cloud within the marketing function.

Firstly, industries are becoming more customer-centric and businesses are having to adapt to consumer expectations that evolve at an increasing pace.

“Lots of spending and searching is done on mobile, and decision makers are looking at content on a range of devices long before they decide on making a purchase; expectation continues to be a trend [for the evolution of cloud].”

That’s because companies need the flexibility of managing services across a range of devices, in order to provide a consistent experience for customers no matter the platform they use.

Underlying those services are data and analytics, Hodson’s second evolutionary trend.

“Analytics becomes important with cloud too. As the data becomes more available, the ways in which you can slice it and the insight you get out of it becomes increasingly important.”

The cloud marketing evolution also means that IT leaders can put forth powerful analytical solutions that enable marketers to have access to deeper insights into their campaigns, close to real time.

Marketers understand that the customer is king, with data and analytics becoming integral, and the cloud marketing evolution has developed in a way to suit both, as reports like Goldman Sachs emphasize.