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A conversation with Steve Twist, Australian cloud expert

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During the IBM Pulse 2014 conference in Las Vegas this week, I had a chance to interview Steve Twist, cloud lead for IBM Software Group in Australia. Steve speaks to many Australian businesses about how IBM can help transform their business with cloud technologies. Here’s what he had to say about how the cloud can help drive business growth:

Do your clients ask you if they should have a cloud strategy, and if so, what do you tell them?

IBM Pulse 2014Steve: Yes, and get one. A cloud strategy is imperative to staying competitive. Without cloud, your products and services will not have the reach that your competitors do, and that will affect your business’ market share and revenue.

Our clients often ask what position IBM has on cloud, and how we can help them form theirs. IBM and its Business Partners have a significant offering portfolio of cloud services, and significant expertise in providing integration solutions for other cloud providers. I help our clients understand how these offerings and services can help them grow their business.

Can you give me some examples of how cloud helps customers grow their business?

Steve: There is a range of reasons, however these two reasons stand out:

1. To reduce capital expenditure and operational expenditure on IT infrastructure and application services, lowering their overall business operational costs.

2. To provide better and wider-reaching services for their customers with an improved responsiveness to changes in customer needs and increased global visibility.

Reducing operational expenditure and increasing revenue through better and more accessible services helps that business grow.

How do you see cloud leading to a business’ improved responsiveness to their customers’ needs?

Steve: Cloud is an enabler for business-to-business and business-to-consumer interactions. This means that the business is able to be wider-reaching without the constraints of peer-to-peer networks that we’ve seen in the past. It provides them with the ability to outsource non-core business functions such as supply chain management, enterprise marketing management, infrastructure management and so on to cloud providers that specialize in these areas. This allows their company to focus on their core business and be more nimble for their products and services through their new cloud partner environment.

For example, let’s say that the business wants to understand what the market feedback is on their product—they want to do some social sentiment analysis. That function can rapidly be outsourced to a cloud service provider who can then provide the information and service that they need. That service provider then becomes a business partner, but without the traditional long durations associated with integration that exist without cloud.

Thanks Steve, and enjoy the conference!

Cloud certainly does lead to the next generation of business transformation, enabling organizations to focus on their core business. This allows them to rapidly react to changes in the market and changes in customer behavior and to increase their visibility and reach globally.

For what reasons do you advocate a cloud strategy?


Check out more coverage from IBM Pulse 2014Mike McGuire: A conversation with Steve Twist, Australian cloud expert

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Sarit Sotangkur: Five key takeaways for developers

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Angel Luis Diaz: IBM to sponsor Cloud Foundry Foundation

Michael J. Fork: IBM leads with Codename: BlueMix

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