Survey: 16% companies use cloud for sweeping innovation
By Asia Cloud Forum editors 09-Mar-2012
's new survey findings suggest the number of cloud-adopting enterprises will more than double by 2015. This is because businesses are increasingly capitalizing the rapid availability of data and the growing popularity of social media
to revamp their existing business models.
IBM said businesses that embrace the transformative power of cloud will have a significant advantage in the race to introduce new products and services and capture new markets and revenue streams.
"Companies are starting to understand cloud isn't just about gaining efficiencies and cost savings; it's about driving the kind of fundamental innovation that provides lasting marketplace advantage," said Saul Berman, IBM global strategy consulting leader and co-author of the study.
Changing motivations for cloud adoption
The study found that business leaders will increasingly tap cloud to develop new business models to exploit the capabilities resulting from big data and social media. While 16% of the respondents indicate they are already using cloud capabilities for sweeping innovation, such as entering new lines of business or reshaping an existing industry, by 2015, 35% intend to use it to transform their business models.
While slightly over 50% of the respondents indicated "improving organizational efficiency" as a top business challenge today, only 31% expect it will be a top challenge in three years. Instead the study indicates that their focus is shifting to growth and competitive initiatives in the future. The objectives cited for adopting cloud are in line with these business goals, indicating that business needs will soon rival IT motivations for cloud adoption:
- 62% of survey respondents said increased collaboration with external partners is a key objective for adopting cloud;
- 57% cited competitive cost advantages through vertical integration as a major motivation; and
- 56% pointed to opening new delivery channels and markets as an important objective.
Analytics for handmade goods
Examples cited in the report show how businesses are using cloud computing to drive new revenue streams and enhance business models. One of the new business models is Etsy
, an online marketplace for handmade goods that has taken advantage of cloud's cost flexibility to gain access to more powerful analytics online.
The company is able to cost-effectively analyze data from the approximately one billion monthly views of its Website and use the information to create product recommendations, providing it with access to tools and computing power that might typically only be affordable for larger retailers.
E-health info network
The study also cites HealthHiway
, an online health information network that enables the exchange of health information and transactions among healthcare providers, employers, payers, practitioners, third-party administrators and patients in India.
By connecting more than 1,100 hospitals and 10,000 doctors, cloud computing's capabilities are facilitating better collaboration and information sharing -- helping the network to pursue a more collaborative business model and deliver improved care at a low cost.
Cloud for front office operations
The study's authors point to cloud's capabilities to mask complexity and enable user-defined experiences, as well as its overall scalability and cost flexibility as key reasons companies are planning to move it into front office operations in the near future.
"Cloud has the power to open doors to more efficient, responsive and innovative ways of doing business, and we believe the companies that will come out on top will be the ones that find ways to leverage it as a key point of differentiation in driving business value," Berman said. "Whether they choose to tap cloud to optimize, innovate or even disrupt their business models, they need to start working on it now."
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