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Innovation and Risk in the Clouds - I

The relationship between innovation and risk is closely intertwined

Early Bird at Cloud Expo

Do you have reservations about cloud computing?  You are not alone.  Cloud computing is no panacea.  You may wonder then why I’m a cloud computing advocate.  Well, simply put, it has the best business model potential I have seen in the marketplace since the advent of the Internet.

While it is true that the underlying technologies have existed for some time, they have now matured to a degree that SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS economic business models are viable.

Still many have doubts.  So I will share my perspective in a 3 part article on Innovation, Risk, and Organizations.

In parts 2 and 3, we will discuss risk and organizational challenges of innovation in the cloud.

The relationship between innovation and risk is closely intertwined.  In innovation there is opportunity, and opportunity rarely presents itself without threats or risk.

In order to fully leverage cloud computing, organizations will have to restructure not only how they manage their applications and IT governance, but their business processes, people, resources, risk, communications, and ultimately, their organizational culture.

Andy Grove, former Chairman and CEO of the Intel Corporation, declares that a corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.

Cloud computing is more than just another outsourcing option, it presents an opportunity to transform your organization into an innovation powerhouse.

The question is, will your organization make the transition?

It is true, an organization has to have the people, resources, culture, processes, and strategic focus necessary to be innovative and continually transform, but what is the alternative?  Stagnation? Obsolescence? Being left behind? Isn’t it better to establish and sustain an innovative business advantage than to be in continual pursuit of the mythical silver bullet?

If you agree, then we can begin with a strategy and plan to build a sustainable culture of innovation; but what kind of innovation?  There are many options – product, process, business model, customer focused, disruptive, open, value, and management to name a few.

What kind of innovation provides for the best alignment with your business strategy? There are many strategic planning analysis methods one can choose to evaluate our respective markets – SWOT, PESTLE, SIX FORCES, STEER – use the one most appropriate for your business and determine the strategy for your market; then evaluate your current corporate culture and determine what cultural changes are appropriate to adopt your innovation approach with your organization.

Once a solid business strategy is in place, and we have a deep understanding of the corporate culture, we can begin to explore the areas of innovation that best bridge strategy and culture, with the marketplace; and in so doing, we can recognize how to leverage the cloud computing paradigm to better reach our markets, and help transform our respective organizations.

Perhaps you seek an innovative culture with greater customer focus, better business planning, agile decision making, or simply an organization that senses the environment, then learns and adapts.

Think through your strategy, culture, and potential innovation alignment, and then consider how cloud computing can help you make the transition to a more innovative and competitive force in the marketplace.

In parts 2 and 3, we will discuss risk and organizational challenges of innovation in the cloud.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ray DePena

Ray DePena worked at IBM for over 12 years in various senior global roles in managed hosting sales, services sales, global marketing programs (business innovation), marketing management, partner management, and global business development.
His background includes software development, computer networking, systems engineering, and IT project management. He holds an MBA in Information Systems, Marketing, and International Business from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a BBA in Computer Systems from the City University of New York at Baruch College.

Named one of the World's 30 Most Influential Cloud Computing Bloggers in 2009, Top 50 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2010, and Top 100 Bloggers on Cloud Computing in 2011, he is the Founder and Editor of Journal,Competitive Business Innovation Journal,and Journal.

He currently serves as an Industry Advisor for the Higher Education Sector on a National Science Foundation Initiative on Computational Thinking. Born and raised in New York City, Mr. DePena now lives in northern California. He can be followed on:

Twitter: @RayDePena   |   LinkedIn   |   Facebook   |   Google+

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