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BLOG: Cloud Computing and the Road to Disruption

Andrew Milroy | Oct. 22, 2012
Few executives truly believe their industries will be impacted in the same ways as businesses that involve the trading of digital content. This is a huge mistake.

Jetstar aims to be a 100 percent self service airline as soon as possible and pioneered self service check-in. Self service check-in enables the airline to optimise limited space in smaller airports and hence to maximise the use of its aircraft. It is cloud-based technology that enables this. Cloud-based technology can enable the airline to handle increases and decreases in demand seamlessly. It can eliminate queues. It also allows the airline to provision new products and services such as insurance products or gourmet meals much more easily than would be the case with traditional IT implementations.

Progressive organisations across industries are using cloud-based technology to transform the ways they engage with their customers. This is leading to significant innovation.

Disrupting industries

The fourth phase of adoption is characterised by cloud technology disrupting industries. As mentioned earlier, this has already occurred in the media and music industries. How will it disrupt other industries? It is clear that the agility which cloud computing offers can significantly lower barriers to entry across industries. Legacy infrastructures and inflexible processes paralyse organisations and make them unable to innovate and create new opportunities.

Google, Amazon and Apple each show a healthy disrespect for the boundaries between industries. Each one of these companies continues to cause disruption in other industries. Recently, Google entered the credit card market. It can use its brand, scale, customer relationships and agile technology to do this. Some in the financial services industry are aware of this threat and already see Google as a potential competitor. Indeed, the technology used by Google makes it increasingly easy for non financial services firms such as retailers to enter the financial services industry.

The financial services industry is ripe for disruption. Expect to see some financial services firms enter the 'innovation phase' soon. This will act as a precursor to disruption in that industry. Other industries including healthcare, education, utilities and retail will also be disrupted by technology over the next few years.

In summary, most enterprises are at a phase where cloud computing is being added to their existing technologies. This is the beginning of a process that will inevitably lead to significant disruption in most industries. Executives across industries should take note.

Andrew Milroy is vice president, ICT Practice, Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan


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