November 11, 2013 | Written by: Leonard Lee
Speed to market is ever more a necessity in the electronics industry as leading companies introduce new products and services at a faster clip. As I mentioned in my previous post, “Software: The Golden Opportunity for the Electronics Industry,” software is becoming a more critical part of an electronics company’s offering set and product development. The fast-paced development lifecycles of software and software-based services are pushing the competitive edge of the industry, and accelerating the evolution of content and service ecosystems forming around electronics devices. What can electronics companies do to maintain parity with ever more competitive peers? What can electronics companies do to gain competitive advantage and lead in the marketplace?
Cloud computing provides electronics companies with the capability to quickly go to market with new software-based services that can help differentiate a companies hardware offerings. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, that depends on what you consider “Cloud.”
Let me attempt to uncloud the concept of “Cloud” for the purpose of this discussion. Simply put, “Cloud” is an evolution of network computing paradigms and architectures that have been with us for a very long time. Virtualization has been the key to this evolution that now allows us to right-size IT for purpose in a cost-effective and agile way. So what? For the business stakeholder, it means that you have the ability to get software-based services and products out to market faster. For IT organizations, it means a scalable, cost-effective model for delivering and operating Cloud-based service offerings. For customers who use the services and content delivered via the Cloud, it means new, convenient consumption and commercial models that can be tailored to personal needs and preferences.
There are three key opportunities for electronics companies to leverage and benefit from Cloud.
Get Software-Based Services To Market Faster
Cloud provides a platform for companies to quickly deploy software as a service that can be accessed and consumed by customers through a browser in a (near) platform independent way provided the device, such as a smartphone, is browser enabled. Connected, smart product can access Cloud-based data and application services through embedded software interfaces or applications running on the device to deliver an enhanced user experience with value-adding functionality and content. In short, you can get exciting, new services and content to market fast that can complement the value of your electronic hardware offerings.
Accelerate The Software Development Lifecycle
One of the great benefits of Cloud-based platform and infrastructure services is the ability to bring up environments on demand. The days of waiting for dedicated hardware and physical partition set up are gone. Thanks to virtualization technologies, software development teams can quickly set up the environments they need for development, testing, staging and production making it much easier to execute development activities concurrently. As a result, software-based service development cycle times can be compressed with improved agility to react to changes during the development process without increasing risk.
Optimize Your IT Assets & Capacity
Once you get your software-based service up and running, Cloud platforms enable you to optimize the capacity and utilization of your IT assets and to scale quickly to meet changes in demand. Automated provisioning and the emergence of self-managing Cloud platforms allow IT organizations to deliver software-based services and support customers and users in a more responsive, low-cost way than was possible before.
As the electronics industry continues to become more user experience-centric, device manufacturers will need to consider Cloud as a source of competitive capability and advantage for building content, applications and ecosystem services around electronic devices. Electronics companies can capitalize on opportunities presented by Cloud to optimize their business models, lead the industry as innovators, or disrupt the industry with new, revolutionary business models and offerings. Do you know what opportunities Cloud can create for your business? Find out more about IBM’s point of view presented in the report by our Institute of Business Value (IBV) entitled “The Power of Cloud: Driving Business Model Innovation,” available on IBM.com.
By: Leonard Lee
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