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How cloud computing can provide a competitive advantage

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I just had the opportunity to read a new study from IBM that looks at the business outcomes of organizations using cloud and how they are achieving those results. More than 800 cloud decision makers and users were surveyed, and then grouped based on their level of cloud adoption. The results are compelling.

The study found that companies who have deployed cloud broadly are gaining competitive advantage over their rivals that have not in ways that matter. These pacesetters are re-inventing customer relationships, using analytics extensively to derive insights from big data, sharing data seamlessly, and making data-driven and evidence-based decisions. Most importantly, pacesetters are growing revenue and gross profit faster than other organizations.

The study also states  that “for leading organizations cloud provides an escape route from the status quo.” This made me think of  Drivewyze, a Canadian start-up with operations across North America that developed a mobile weigh station bypass solution for trucking companies. A mobile device in the cab of the truck alerts the driver of an upcoming weigh station.

The solution Drivewyze PreClear uses advanced analytics of the driver’s record, the type of freight being carried and links with local law enforcement. The driver then receives a message—either approval to bypass or enter the weigh station.

Sounds like a unique solution; however, Brian Mofford, vice president of technology at Drivewyze participated in a client panel at the IBM Cloud Innovation Forum, and he said that there is another company that also offers weigh station bypass technology. The difference is that by using a fully managed cloud, Drivewyze can deploy their solution across an entire state in six weeks, while their competition, using standard hardware, takes six weeks to deploy a single weigh station. That’s what I call shaking up the status quo.

Almost by definition, shaking things up requires commitment and action to do things differently. There is a need to assess what tasks and activities take away from developing new business models, creating new products and services, and mining for new insights.

It’s also important to look at what is slowing you down. Is it the timeline from idea inception to launch? If you’re using a traditional IT process, you need to gather requirements from stakeholders, build a business case, get approval, procure hardware, software, storage, then develop, test and finally deploy into production. Meanwhile, your pacesetting competition has already been in the market for six months.

A fully managed global cloud takes away the burden of running and maintaining infrastructure and replaces it with fast access to compute capacity to quickly innovate and establish footprints in countries around the world and expand your customer reach.

Don’t let your competitors make you obsolete.

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