The number of enterprises turning to cloud computing to revamp existing business models will more than double in the next three years, as business leaders move to capitalize on the rapid availability of data and the growing popularity of social media, according to a new study released Tuesday, March 6, by IBM.
According to IBM, 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.
To better understand the shift in how organizations use cloud today and how they plan to employ it in the future IBM, in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, surveyed more than 500 business and technology executives worldwide. The findings were compiled in a new study, titled “The Power of Cloud: Driving business model innovation.”
“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.
According to the study, as they strive to better meet customers’ needs and drive future growth, business leaders will increasingly tap cloud to develop new business models that can exploit the capabilities resulting from these digital trends.
While 16 percent of the executives surveyed 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 percent intend to use it to transform their business models.
While a little more than half of the respondents indicated “improving organizational efficiency” as a top business challenge today, only 31 percent anticipate 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 by survey respondents for adopting cloud are in line with these business goals, indicating that business needs will soon rival IT motivations for cloud adoption:
62 percent of survey respondents said increased collaboration with external partners is a key objective for adopting cloud;
57 percent cited competitive cost advantages through vertical integration as a major motivation; and
56 percent pointed to opening new delivery channels and markets as an important objective.
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.