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Cloud Computing: A New Kind of Influencer

Photo: Courtesy of Christin Hume

Business leaders focus on strategic business positioning, defining innovation and supporting business operations through sound decisions and strategic risk identification and mitigation. To assess the future of cloud technology, evaluate its effect on the bottom line and impact on ROI based initiatives.

Retaining human touch

The advent of cloud technology does not replace the need for people to make choices based on instinct and common sense, but it radically affects our ability to migrate to the most robust cost effective global analysis available to organizations.

The ability to inexpensively synthesize large data sets has enabled robust global decision support capabilities and analytics that influence across a number of varying markets, regions and customers types. According to EMC’s Executive, Dave Goulden, “Enterprises moving to hybrid cloud can reduce their IT operating expenses by 24 percent,” and cloud technology is working to improve on these costs.

Enhanced strategy

While cloud is often associated with IT, its influence is far reaching within organizations both profit and non-profit. Frameworks and methodologies based on cloud technology will enable effective strategic decision making across a number of areas.

Expert Louis Columbus mentions Rackspace’s survey wherein 62 percent of respondents claimed “22 percent improvement in company profits was due to cloud technology.” It is not surprising then that the movement is on to measure the significant contribution that it will make to company programs and organizations are recognizing the value. Columbus goes on to say that IDG’s 2015 Enterprise Cloud Computing Study declares “enterprises surveyed are predicting they will invest an average of $2.87M in cloud computing technologies in 2016.”

A clearer vision

Many experts in analytics, research, strategy and competitive intelligence areas agree that the cloud technology is a paradigm shift, augmenting the ability to vastly expand global insights and produce market projections like never before changing the analysis, strategy and performance measurements are conducted.

Here are four evident ways cloud technology integration is changing decision support influence and affecting an organization’s ability to compete.

1. Predictive analytics

  • Via self-service portals housing
  • Rapid identification of direct and indirect market drivers and influencers across global conditions and drivers
  • Planning and performance management metrics and real time sales analytics, based on win-loss and customer engagement analysis
  • Operational “red flag” alerts i.e. sourcing shortages, logistics critical path issues across regions

2. Strategic planning

  • M&A opportunity identification
  • White space and adjacency mapping
  • Streamlining portfolio
  • Assumption based outlooks that are weighted driver based forecasts

3. Innovation and ideation customer insights

  • Sophisticated current and potential customer landscaping
  • Systems networks that identify target customer regions
  • Ideation labs that collect customer preferences and customer experience data used to design new products
  • Extensive technology assessments (patent, product gap, innovation activity assessments)

4. Security

  • DNA mapping (law enforcement, health care and terrorism)
  • Crisis management and risk assessments used to build scenarios, create secure environments and support social impact programs, i.e.
    • Prediction of catastrophic events, i.e. war, pandemics, disease markers
    • Indicators for climate change or extinction that will effect strategic direction

The future of cloud resides in its application to decision frameworks that positively affect our bottom line, our employees’ careers, and our social impact all of which drive competitive advantage. 

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