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Speeding up time to market with Cloud Technology

Lately, our clients in Australia have been asking questions that reflect the changing core focus of IT leaders changes, post-COVID.

They want to know how to better serve their customers, simplify their lives with technology, and gain an edge in an increasingly customer-centric landscape.

Most companies recognise the importance of delivering digital-first experiences to consumers. However, getting these solutions to market quickly often demands more flexibility than on-premises systems offer.

This issue is particularly concerning, given that a recent study found that 90% of technology leaders fear losing market share if they don't keep up with digital innovation.

Cloud transformation enables businesses to adapt to evolving market demands and keep costs low while staying ahead of the competition. This is achieved through agile methodologies, streamlined software development, and the rapid delivery of new features and products.

By embracing the cloud, you can accelerate your development process, reduce development time, and enhance product quality. It allows you to swiftly respond to market demands, meet the needs of your target audience, and maintain a strong brand reputation.

Moreover, the cloud facilitates timely delivery of your initial ideas as minimum viable products, ensuring you can gather user feedback and manage projects effectively with your development team.

Why is time to market important?

Time to market is crucial because it determines how quickly a company can introduce its product or service to the market. Being the first to market provides several advantages, such as building brand recognition and customer loyalty before competitors. A slow time to market can result in playing catch-up, lower profitability, and missed opportunities.

By accelerating time to market, a company can achieve the following benefits:

  1. Increased Revenues: Getting the product or service to market sooner allows the company to start generating revenues earlier, boosting overall revenue potential.
  2. Lower Costs: Faster time to market often reduces production costs, leading to increased product profitability.
  3. Expanded Market Share: Being the first to offer a solution gives a company a higher chance of gaining a larger share of the market, as customers may not have other options yet.

Time to market varies across industries due to factors like product complexity, safety concerns, and regulatory requirements. For example:

  • In the software industry, time to market can range from several months to a few years, depending on product complexity.
  • Cell phones typically take one to three years to reach the market.
  • Vehicle manufacturing often has a time to market of three to five years.
  • Energy products and services may take seven to 20 years to develop, depending on the type.
  • Pharmaceuticals have a longer development timeline, ranging from nine to 20 years, although exceptions exist under certain circumstances, such as the rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Aerospace and Defense products can have a wide range of development times, from three to 22 years, due to safety and regulatory considerations.

Why companies prioritise reaching the market faster

Companies want to shorten their time to market (TTM) for several reasons. Firstly, it allows them to quickly identify and capitalise on market opportunities and changes, which is essential for long-term growth.

By accelerating time to market, companies can align their product development process with customer needs, resulting in more customer-centric and innovative products.

Shortening TTM helps companies meet revenue goals by generating income sooner through the faster launch of their minimum viable products (MVPs). It also enables efficient project management and cycle time reduction, reducing costs and increasing profitability.

A faster TTM helps companies navigate the considerable variation in TTM across industries and adapt to regulatory requirements more effectively.

Shortening time to market (TTM) enables companies to innovate, meet customer demands, and react to market changes swiftly. This approach is crucial for achieving revenue goals and ensuring the success of the company's product development process.

What are the types of time to market

Time to Market (TTM) can take on different forms, each with its unique focus and speed. These various types of TTM play a crucial role in helping businesses achieve a competitive advantage and meet their development strategy goals.

  1. Speed-Focused TTM
    • Focus: The primary emphasis here is on getting to the market ahead of competitors. This is particularly vital in fast-paced industries like technology, where obsolescence is a constant concern.
    • Speed: Speed-focused TTM prioritises being the first to market above all else. It aims to launch the product or service quickly to gain a competitive edge.
  2. Agility-Centric TTM:
    • Focus: Agility-centred TTM concentrates on the ability to adapt, change, or enhance product features rapidly without delaying the product launch.
    • Speed: The goal is to maintain a swift development process while incorporating customer feedback and making improvements, all within the designated development time.
  3. Predictability-Oriented TTM:
    • Focus: Predictability-oriented TTM places importance on delivering products at a consistent and predictable pace. This is especially critical in industries with seasonality factors, where timely delivery is paramount.
    • Speed: The key is ensuring that products are ready and available when customers expect them, such as holiday-related products.

Each type of TTM serves a distinct purpose in the development strategy of a business. Speed-focused TTM helps secure a competitive advantage by being the first to market, while agility-centric TTM allows for rapid product refinement based on customer feedback without causing delays. Predictability-oriented TTM ensures timely delivery, crucial for industries with seasonal demands.

Businesses can choose the type of TTM that aligns best with their market share goals, development time constraints, and project management preferences.

Understanding these different TTM approaches allows companies to strategically navigate their product development journey and effectively meet customer needs while staying ahead of the competition.

10 ways a cloud GTM strategy speeds your time-to-market

So how exactly does a cloud GTM strategy help to accelerate your time-to-market? While this list isn’t comprehensive, the following are 10 key advantages to consider:

1. Faster resource provisioning makes it easier to launch new products

Compared with on-prem architectures, cloud environments can be spun up much more quickly, at the click of a button. This time-savings over waiting for hardware to be brought in and configured makes it possible for teams to get to work and bring their work to market more quickly.

2. SaaS speeds up access to GTM functionality, compared to custom development

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools integrate easily into cloud environments. As a result, product teams can gain access to important functionality needed to bring new solutions to market without custom application development (or traditional, expensive software licensing arrangements that require ongoing updates and renewals).

3. Cloud providers’ delivery of new technologies facilitates faster GTM

One of the major benefits of adopting cloud computing is that cloud solutions are responsible for maintaining their own infrastructures. Not only does this minimise ongoing support requirements for IT teams, it ensures they’ll have access to the latest technologies—given competition amongst Australia’s major cloud providers, it’s in their best interests to stay up-to-date.

Consequently, teams working within cloud environments are more likely to have access to the ‘latest and greatest’ technology, giving them a strategic advantage over others and facilitating a faster go-to-market.

4. Cloud-based applications are easier to configure and change, allowing for faster updates and new releases

While it is technically possible to utilise continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) practices within on-prem environments, doing so is much simpler in the cloud. Thanks to the cloud’s instant access to computing power, teams can run CI/CD tasks simultaneously in order to deploy new releases and updates to the market more quickly.

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5. Transitioning from CAPEX to OPEX spending streamlines funding for new developments

Moving from on-prem architecture to the cloud offers a number of financial benefits, including the ability to offload some or all of your infrastructure costs to cloud providers and to limit spending to the resources you actually use (versus those you think you might need).

Furthermore, transitioning from upfront CAPEX investments to the pay-as-you-go billing model of the cloud smooths out IT spending, making it easier to fund and go to market quickly with customer-facing technologies and improvements.

6. The elasticity of cloud architectures minimises delays due to resource allocation

The dynamic nature of the cloud makes responding to changing resource demands seamless.

Whereas on-prem architecture requires the purchase of extra capacity to respond to potential usage spikes, cloud architectures can instantly reallocate resources to accommodate fluctuations and release them as the demand wanes. This elasticity makes getting to market faster possible and reduces upfront costs.

7. Cloud computing limits customer downtime when going to market

Similarly, because organisations leveraging cloud computing are able to respond dynamically to changing requirements, the risk of incidents impacting customers’ experience is reduced.

For instance, if a cloud architecture is able to automatically allocate more storage to a database, both outages and down-time can be reduced. Not only does this improve customer satisfaction and retention, it minimises GTM delays that take staff away from production work.

8. Easier process automation frees up staff for revenue-generating GTM activities

It’s not uncommon for IT teams to spend most of their time on the support activities required to keep the lights on, rather than those that actually advance the company’s competitive advantage.

Because cloud computing enables easier process automation—both on the IT team and across entire organisations—team members’ time can be redirected to more strategic initiatives, such as getting new products, features, or updates to market before competitors.

9. Improved collaboration removes roadblocks on GTM campaigns

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven the power of cloud computing to support collaboration across distributed teams. Whether teams remain remote or not, the ability to work seamlessly from multiple locations makes shared work on new innovations and entering new markets easier.

10. Stronger data security, governance, and data solutions streamline GTM compliance requirements

Finally, it’s important to note that the data security, governance, and data solutions enabled by the cloud generally outpace an on-premise solution.

Many organisations have long expressed hesitancy over cloud security. However, today’s cloud providers are held to strict security standards and are better resourced to implement best-in-class security measures than individual businesses.

For companies that must meet compliance and regulatory requirements before going to market, being able to quickly and easily tick off these boxes speeds up development and deployment—while also producing stronger, more resilient product offerings.

To learn more about how cloud computing can help you go to market more quickly, take a look at our hybrid cloud guide or reach out to one of the cloud experts at Canon Business Services ANZ.

Frequently asked questions

How does cloud computing enable faster time to market for businesses?

Cloud computing provides on-demand resources and scalability, allowing businesses to quickly set up, test, and deploy applications. With cloud-based infrastructure and services, companies can reduce hardware provisioning time and focus on software development, ultimately expediting their time to market.

What are the key advantages of leveraging cloud technology to improve time to market?

Cloud technology offers benefits such as rapid provisioning, cost-effectiveness, and global accessibility. It enables companies to respond swiftly to market demands, optimise resources, and innovate faster, all of which contribute to shorter time to market and a competitive edge.

Can you explain how cloud infrastructure accelerates the development and deployment of software products?

Cloud infrastructure provides a flexible and scalable environment for software development and deployment.

Developers can access resources instantly, collaborate seamlessly, and automate tasks, reducing development time and streamlining the deployment process, ultimately improving time to market.

What role does cloud computing play in reducing development time and enhancing product quality?

Cloud services offer tools for continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), automated testing, and monitoring. These capabilities help developers streamline workflows, detect and address issues early, and ensure product quality while shortening development timeframes.

How does the cloud facilitate agility and innovation, contributing to shorter time to market cycles for companies?

The cloud fosters agility by enabling rapid prototyping, easy experimentation, and quick adaptation to changing market conditions.
With cloud-native technologies and agile methodologies, companies can innovate more efficiently, respond to customer feedback promptly, and bring innovative products and features to market faster.

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