As tech leaders, you're modern day General Pattons, gearing your troops up for battle to ward off the competitors and emerge as victors. But the rules of engagement have changed.

Today, combat is waged based upon opportunity, and victory means solving a problem--no matter how simple or complex.

Gone are the highly specialized outfits that conducted months and months of exercises ahead of D-Day. Today, your special forces understand the importance of moving quickly, and have the agility to change direction at a moment's notice.

But how do you ensure that the enterprise is prepared for a sudden shift in strategy, seemingly endless streams of data, and demand for analytical reinforcement? Sure, many of you have heard of the cloud. Your organization is likely using cloud services now. But are your engineers using it to its full potential? Here are three ways you can capitalize on the cloud, right now.

1. Power with the cloud

Whether you have a big company or a small one, the cloud quickens the process. When testing and development is done in the cloud, it's a much quicker turn-around. Everything is faster, easier and can be done earlier, allowing your company to shift gears instantly should a change need to be implemented. Scaling is also vastly improved as a result of the cloud. At any size, scaling your business rapidly is now a possibility, whereas outside of the cloud, it traditionally took months and months to scale up.

2. Mistakes cost less

Instead of a mistake outside of the cloud wasting weeks or months, you likely only lose a day or two if you make a mistake on the cloud, because those mistakes are easier to correct. For all of us who have lost valuable time and money as a result of an error, the cloud is the answer to your prayers.

3. Only available at a cloud near you

If you want to pair your tech with your talent, you have to put talent on the cloud. AI and Watson are examples of technologies only available as cloud platform services. These platforms are closing the gap between machines and humans by continuously creating, training and deploying valuable insights at a high volume.

It's not possible to overstate the role the cloud will play in our organizations in the coming years and decades as the enterprise finds new ways to leverage its services. We're operating in an environment that demands instant results with companies moving at the speed of light. Ten years ago, open-source, self-service and cloud didn't exist. Today, not capitalizing on these services is to your detriment.