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Can you take advantage of the innovation economy? Part two

Deloitte on Cloud Blog

Enabling technology such as cloud computing, AI, DevOps, and other technologies that reduce friction is key. Today these enabling technologies are considered table stakes for businesses.

December 11, 2018

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Many companies encourage new ideas by using rewards to employees, and even sharing in the profits that these new ideas generate. Even if ideas become products or services that don’t find a market, it’s not considered a failure. The ability to find out what doesn’t work points toward what does.

Enabling technology such as cloud computing, AI, DevOps, and other technologies that reduce friction is key. Today these enabling technologies are considered table stakes for businesses. However, they need to find a role in the ability to get value to the end users. Examples might include a user who leverages a back-end AI-driven chatbot to interface better with the systems within their automobile, or a data scientist who’s looking for repetitive patterns in data to determine the viability of an emerging market. Regardless of the example, it’s the technology that makes the difference within the user experience.

Keep in mind that none of these technologies is new, but they’re greatly improved and cheaper to leverage. Cloud computing introduced most of the cost reduction with its ability to leverage millions of dollars in compute and storage infrastructure for one tenth the cost. Cloud computing can also remove some of the technology barriers by creating a DevOps culture and organization that makes short work of building systems for end users that leverage whatever technology they need.

When it comes to technology that promotes innovation and enhances the user and customer experience, the greatest challenge traditional companies face is culture, not money or the availability of technology. In other words, it’s the people who limit the use of technology to enhance the use of systems that drive revenue, and thus rise above any new or existing market disrupters.

If it’s all about driving value down to the end users, what can traditional companies do to take advantage of the innovation economy? In a word, change.

Organizations are going through this upheaval due to the availability of technology that is both cheap and effective. The cloud computing movement over the last 10 years means there are no longer major system barriers to smaller and more innovative businesses. They can quickly get systems in place, experiment, and find new ways to do old things. The opportunities for innovation that we just discussed in this paper are exactly what will drive many of the larger established businesses out of the market. Competitors with an innovation culture can and will push them out.

Most traditional businesses have a slight presence in the cloud, and many will take years to migrate systems to public cloud computing providers. However, even if they could move much faster, they still have a traditional culture to contend with that is unwilling or unprepared to leverage new approaches and technologies. That’s even more good news for those looking to disrupt their primary market.

So, the only way to be able to avoid the upcoming loss of market share is to have the courage to change. Change the culture, change the use of technology, and change the technology. Look at trends like cloud computing as a force multiplier for the business, and not just another technology distraction to deal with. Your company’s future depends upon its ability to change.

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