All of my friends and colleagues know or at least have heard about the term Cloud Computing. Although I have discussed deeply in many other articles and past tweets about the definition of this nowadays “modern” concept, why is the need for Cloud Computing so emerging in these recent years, remains a question without answer for many people.

In this post I try to identify the roles of potential digital transformers who could start to consider the introduction of Cloud Computing within the main or traditional business (analysts, managers, knowledge keepers, innovators inside an enterprise).

Apparently, I am talking about people, in the first place, not about technology itself. 

Although Cloud is widely recognized as a technology game changer, its potential for driving business innovation remains virtually unexploited.

Indeed, Cloud has the power to fundamentally shift (although, step-by-step approach is required) competitive landscapes by providing a new platform for creating and delivering business value. To take advantage of Cloud’s potential to transform internal operations, customer relationships and industry value chains, organizations need to determine how best to employ cloud-enabled business models that promote sustainable competitive advantage.

Now, the problem is: who are these people to be attracted by the Cloud organizational model and why this should happen soon?

Cloud has already changed both business and everyday life, from consumers who perhaps unknowingly use it to access their favorite music (just think about Spotify) to companies that purposely harness its powerful resources. While much activity and rumors relating to Cloud involves its technological capabilities (security and privacy in primary), the benefits of Cloud adoption actually extend into the business realm.

When utilized effectively, Cloud capabilities offer numerous opportunities to drive business innovation.

My research surveys in 2015 suggested that while Cloud Computing was widely recognized as an important technology, relatively few organizations actively had embraced it to drive business innovation.

However, analyzing the different surveys, this fact will change dramatically in the next few years, with more and more organizations looking to Cloud to drive new business and transform industries.

What is important is the identification of some professional patterns as business enablers powered by Cloud. Organizations are exploiting these business enablers to drive innovation that extends well beyond Information Technology.

This reveals that some organizations are harnessing Cloud to transform both product and service development and recast customer relationships.

Therefore, the categorization of three business archetypes (from modern Psychology “archetype” represents same patterns of behavior in same areas), represent the extent to which organizations use Cloud to impact their industry value chains and customer value propositions:

  • Optimizers use Cloud to incrementally enhance their customer value propositions while improving their organization’s efficiency.
  • Innovators significantly improve customer value through cloud adoption, resulting in new revenue streams or even changing their role within an existing industry ecosystem.
  • Disruptors rely on Cloud to create radically different value propositions, as well as generate new customer needs and segments, and even new industry value chains.

Whether companies choose to become optimizer, innovators or disruptors depends on a variety of factors, including how much risk they are willing to assume and their current competitive landscape.

The suggestion is that business leaders carefully assess their organizations to determine which archetype most closely match, as well as which one they aspire to in the future and how they can leverage Cloud to create new business models that promote long-term growth and profit.