No longer is innovation merely about product and customer outcomes. It is about delivering those outcomes in an agile and cost effective manner.
Cloud has become a critical element here as IT professionals attempt to harness its benefits to deliver innovation within their complex organisations. Adopting an enterprise-wide perspective, IT professionals have moved away from the notion that Cloud is simply about reducing costs. Instead they view it as a strategic business enabler; a source of 'value add' rather than a pure ‘cost out’ measure.
"No longer is Cloud solely about cost savings; it is an enabler of innovation."
Partner, IT Advisory
Amazon Web Services exemplifies this shift in attitude, although admittedly its executives did not set out to innovate around Cloud to begin with. Their journey began in the late 1990s, when Amazon experienced rapid growth in a short space of time. Within a few years revenue jumped from tens of million to hundreds of millions. This put considerable pressure on the entire organisation and prompted the company’s executives to develop a new approach to processes, people and culture.
They initially considered Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to deliver more agile operations. However this failed to meet Amazon’s needs as it did not move quickly enough. Amazon Web Services was the end result. It alone promised to support rapid innovation to continue the organisation’s stellar growth trajectory.
Innovation is often about delivering improvements to work place practices. It can span the entire business model or pertain to individual tasks. Cloud has a very real role to play here, empowering teams and individuals to get things done in a way that delivers tangible benefits to the organisation. Ideally, it allows for less time to be spent on non-productive activities, more on delivering business value.
There is no doubt the Cloud universe is swiftly evolving. For organisations, in a perpetual state of catch up, it is a matter of understanding how Cloud can enable innovation and how they should go about realising the benefits to hand.