Enabling moves into new marketsBy Jeanne G. Harris and Allan E. Alter | Posted 2011-03-21 Email Print
As cloud computing becomes a key part of IT ecosystems, its strategic importance to the businesses it supports will grow.
Enabling moves into new markets or customer segments
Finally, some organizations have found that the cloud makes it easier for them to set up shop in a new location or reach new customer segments. MOTECH Automotive, a chain of automotive service centers in the Philippines, has cut months off the time needed to open new branches in its home country by using cloud services.
GE Healthcare, which had previously focused on selling to enterprises, has introduced a cloud-based service that small physician groups can use to maintain patient medical records and manage their practices digitally. And Xiwang, a Chinese food processing company that sells sugar and other grain products to food manufacturers, is using a cloud-based CRM system to support its first efforts to enter the consumer market.
Cloud computing can also help companies acquire and integrate other firms more quickly. Brady Corp., a manufacturer that has acquired 30 companies in recent years, is turning to cloud services to assimilate its acquisitions more quickly.
All of this is just a start. In the next few years, growth-oriented businesspeople everywhere will be looking for cloud applications that can generate incremental revenue.
For retail chains, it might be mobile promotions; for automobile makers, it might be in-car information and entertainment. The specific applications will depend on the industry, the products being sold and the expertise available within the company.
None of these innovative ways of adding revenue, however, will be possible without the involvement of corporate technologists. Smart IT managers and executives should jump at the opportunity.
Jeanne G. Harris is a senior executive research fellow at the Accenture Institute for High Performance, and co-author of “Analytics at Work: Smarter Decisions, Better Results.” Allan E. Alter is a research fellow there, and the former editorial research director of Ziff Davis Enterprise.