Harnessing the power of Cloud: Optimizers, Innovators, Disruptors

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What if you could redefine your competitive position by enhancing your products or services?  What if you had access to unlimited computing resources to scale your business?  What if you could invent a new customer need and own a new market?

Cloud is the enabler that makes this (and more!) possible.


Five years ago, only a third of senior business leaders in our study “The Power of Cloud”, said they had a solid plan for adopting cloud computing.  Fast forward to 2016.  More than three fourths of the executives we spoke with for our ”Tailoring Hybrid Cloud” study describe their cloud initiatives as already part of a coordinated program or fully integrated as part of an overall strategic transformation.


Over the last 5 years cloud has become mainstream. With 78{07c2b926d154bd5dc241f595a572d3349d41d98f2484798a4a616f4fafe1ebc0} in 2016 saying cloud inititivies are coordinated or fully integrated.


What does this cloud-driven revolution look like?

In “The Power of Cloud”, we developed a “Cloud Enablement Framework” which characterizes the impact of an organization’s cloud-enabled business strategy.  This framework revealed three archetypes that represent how organizations can use cloud to improve their customer value propositions while adapting their company and industry value chains:

  • Optimizers use cloud to incrementally enhance customer experience and improve organizational efficiency.
  • Innovators significantly improve customer experience through cloud adoption resulting in new revenue streams, altering their role within their existing industry ecosystem.
  • Disruptors wield cloud to invent radically new customer experiences, generating new customer needs and segments and architecting new industry value chains.


Cloud Enablement Framework



Optimizers tend to deepen their customer relationships without risking the potential failure inherent in radical new business models. While optimizers can expand the value they offer through improved products and services, enhanced customer experiences and augmented channel delivery options, they tend to realize lower revenue and market share gains than innovators or disruptors.



Innovators work with cloud to significantly extend customer value propositions, resulting in new revenue streams. In doing so, they transform their role within their industry or can enter an adjacent market or industry space.  By extending and transforming, innovators have the opportunity to reconfigure elements of their value chains and value propositions to gain competitive advantage.



Disruptors provide customers with products or services they didn’t even know they wanted. Disruptors invent radically different value propositions, generating new customer needs. They capture unique competitive advantage by creating a new market or disrupting an existing industry.  By taking risk, disruptors can gain a “first-mover” advantage that confers higher rewards.


Whether companies choose to become cloud-enabled optimizers, innovators or disruptors depends on a variety of factors, including how much risk they are willing to assume and their current competitive context. We suggest business leaders carefully assess their organizations to determine which archetype they most closely match today – as well as which one they aspire to in the future.  Only then can they determine how they can leverage cloud to create new business models that promote long-term growth and profit.


Illustrative Cloud Strategies


How to get started?

There are three initiatives you can start today to begin capturing value from cloud-enabled business models:

  1. Establish shared responsibility for cloud adoption across line-of-business executives and IT management to help ensure cloud strategy and governance permeates achieving business objectives.
  2. Look within and beyond your organization’s borders and ecosystem boundaries to envision the optimal value that can be derived from cloud adoption.
  3. Determine whether your organization seeks to be an optimizer, innovator or disruptor and use cloud to reconstruct your business model to realize that potential.


Will your organization become a cloud optimizer, innovator or disruptor?


For more on what it takes to become a cloud optimizer, innovator or disruptor, including more steps to get started, please read “The Power of Cloud: Driving Business Model Innovation”.

For more of our findings on how hybrid cloud can answer an enterprise’s unique needs, please read “Tailoring Hybrid Cloud:  Designing the Right Mix for Innovation, Efficiency and Growth”.

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