09:48 PM
Connect Directly

Cloud Computing Can Drive Business Innovation

Cloud is an enabler of new business models, but too many companies are just experimenting or improving existing processes and not taking full advantage of the technology, says IBM.

Netflix migrated its movie and video streaming service out of its own data centers and into the Amazon public cloud because it could better cope with "large surges of capacity at peak times," allowing the company to grow its customer base without being constrained by its data center capacity, the study observed.

Xerox introduced Xerox Cloud Print, a service that allows a user to print a document with a nearby printer, wherever they might be. Accomplishing the task would be complicated for users to solve on their own, but Cloud Print can mask the required data management and temporary file storage behind an easy-to-use interface. By masking complexity, "a company can expand its product and service sophistication without also increasing the level of user knowledge necessary to utilize or maintain the product," the study concluded.

Cloud computing also allows businesses to adapt products and services to "context driven variability," or changes in the nature of the service due to the user's location and activity. Apple iPhone's Siri uses artificial intelligence to learn about the user and his or her contacts to understand what a user is saying, then come up with an appropriate response. Things it can do include sending messages, scheduling meetings, placing phone calls, and finding restaurants. It leverages cloud resources and applies them to an individual context, allowing Apple to invent new uses of the smartphone, it concluded.

Businesses that understand cloud platforms that can bring together disparate business stakeholders and get them to collaborate may also expand their business models. HealthHiway is an example of a healthcare ecosystem that brings together providers, patients, payers, practitioners, and third-party administrators to create a new ecosystem that functions more effectively. It connects 1,100 hospitals and 10,000 doctors, who employ information sharing to deliver better service, the study concluded.

As more businesses adopt cloud computing, they will find they have a choice of tweaking existing goods and services to improve the business; developing new operating capabilities that transform the business; or disrupting existing patterns in their own operations and their competitors to create new value chains, changing their industry's economics.

"I'm a strategy guy," said Berman, rejecting the first two options. "With cloud there may be many possibilities to create an entirely new offering" instead of just incrementally improving an existing business, he said.

Most business managers are thinking of cloud computing as simply a variation on traditional IT services. "There's a broader opportunity here for business model innovation," he said.

Please join us on Feb. 15 for the InformationWeek & Dark Reading virtual event Clouds, Outsourcing, And Security Services: Making Providers Part of Your IT Security Strategy. When you attend, you will be able to access live and on-demand webcast presentations as well as virtual booths packed with free resources, and you can also be eligible to win great prizes! (Free registration required.)

2 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
2/15/2012 | 3:49:47 PM
re: Cloud Computing Can Drive Business Innovation
The cloud is going to become an integral part of all business functions. In light of our current economic status, I believe that small businesses should really jump at the chance to leverage the cloud and the technologies that feed into it to decrease their costs and save time. If small business owners leverage technology wisely to save time on task they're already doing, they'll have and the cloud they'll be able to devote more time and energy to business growth and management. Digital filing systems like NeatDesk,, have announced that they're taking their functionalities to the cloud. Apple and Google are already there. There are so many new technology advances at a small business owner's fingertips that it's foolish to not try and find a new system that solves some existing problem.
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
While 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Knock Down Barriers to Effective Risk Management
Risk management today is a hodgepodge of systems, siloed approaches, and poor data collection practices. That isn't how it should be.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.