Enterprises have all sorts of justifications for moving to the cloud: avoiding capital expense, adding scalability to applications, even cloud lust on the part of CEOs who want to “get out of the IT business” (um, sorry, administration still required).
But 2016 saw one reason rise to the top: Incredible new features all pre-provisioned and waiting for you in the cloud. Sure, you could stand up a GPU cluster and run your own deep learning algorithms, or jump into IoT by assembling an event-driven platform in your own data center. But … would you?
Not every potential cloud customer wants to leap into machine learning or IoT right away. But the major public clouds offer so much new functionality and the potential is so great, particularly with machine learning, that lack of access to that stuff amounts to a competitive disadvantage.