Cloud computing is many things to many people. It has been hailed as a technological advancement. True, but it’s much more than just technology that makes the cloud disruptive. One of the key aspects of the cloud is how services are now created, offered and consumed. The role of IT is shifting from a provider of infrastructure to a provider of IT and business services – whether delivered internally or via public clouds. Like the “internet of things”, we’re now enjoying the “cloud of things.” And those things are readily-consumable services that can be combined and recombined in new ways to create new products and services and shape markets along the way.
The notion of the digital supply chain has moved from concept to reality and companies that haven’t figured out how to connect into it and leverage it are at risk of being left as roadkill on the side of the digital highway. Your suppliers, partners and customers are already taking advantage of this new business enabler. It’s now the price to play.
Now that we’ve moved beyond the hype of the cloud and into the operational aspects it’s time to think about how this new services-centric model can really help us. It’s saving us money in many areas. It’s improving time to market. It’s allowing us to be more agile in parts of our business. All good things. But have you stepped back and looked at how it can be used as a strategic weapon? Consider the following…
- The cloud gives us extended reach. Companies can now tap into broader markets across a wide range of demographics, and they now have multiple channels to reach their consumers. Does your company have a strategy for effectively exploiting those channels and reaching those markets?
- The cloud enables leverage. Are you hauling all the freight on the digital supply chain, or are you leveraging the services of your cloud-connected suppliers and partners? Does your company really need to build all of the elements of its service delivery model?
- The cloud gives us insight. We can now connect to and leverage almost infinite amounts of data about our markets. Companies are drawing battle lines around social graphs, and the companies that successfully mine the data from them will win. The consumer experience is now about me. How much do you know about your customers?
- The cloud gives us near real-time proximity and context awareness. I now have a pretty good idea of where you are and what you are doing. Combined with your profile built from social graphs, I know what you (and your friends) like. The next step is to offer what you want, where and when you want it. Even if you weren’t thinking about it at the moment…
So how is your company approaching the cloud? As just a way to improve operational performance, or as a key enabler in the battle for brand awareness and loyalty? Hopefully a healthy combination of both. In either case, making the right choices for building and consuming cloud services is critical. Ease of integration, adaptability, richness of data, consistency of user experience, resiliency – these are just a few of the things you need to consider. When delivered all together they can make your cloud strategy a formidable weapon in the battle for customers.
Robert brings to his clients a record of results-oriented innovation, industry insight, superior service delivery and operational know-how complemented by a variety of information technology industry experiences. He has a network into high level executives in the information technology sector and has partnered with industry leaders to develop innovative and disruptive capabilities. He has relationships with numerous venture capital firms and has evaluated, developed and helped accelerate the business plans of several of their portfolio companies.
He is currently serving as Vice President, Business Development and Product Strategy for LAYERZngn, a leader in the emerging Software-Defined Networking market.