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Taking the cloud to new heights


The cloud–melded with disruptive and emerging technologies, such as blockchain, AI, the IoT, big data, and predictive analytics–can revolutionize businesses and industries

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Picture this. You are the CEO of Executive Recruiting, Inc. You founded your business on the bedrock belief that one-on-one interaction is essential to determining the best candidate for a career opportunity. These days, you are feeling particularly bullish about your company’s prospects. Your main competitor, Headhunter LLC, has a new CEO. But, her background isn’t in recruiting–it’s in technology. What were they thinking? It looks like nothing but blue skies ahead for Executive Recruiting, Inc.

Meanwhile, over at Headhunter, there is a cloud in that blue sky. The new CEO has a vision to radically transform not only her company but the entire recruiting industry. She’s adding cloud-enabled cognitive employment experts to work alongside Headhunter’s human recruiters. Like their living “colleagues,” these artificially intelligent recruiters read introduction letters and resumes.

They interview candidates “face to face,” interpreting body language and inferring personality traits – often better than their biased human counterparts. In addition, they scour the internet and build a 360-degree profile of each applicant, almost in the blink of an eye. The results? The cognitive agents identify and vet job applicants significantly faster than human recruiters.

More importantly, the cognitive recruiters generate an unbiased view of which candidates are most likely to be the best fit for each job opening. Client companies working with cognitive recruiters report a higher success rate with their new hires. Not only are the cognitive agents faster and more effective, they are cheaper. This allows Headhunter to undercut the competition’s fees. Finally, client companies not only benefit by acquiring employees who hit the ground running, but they retain those employees longer. As the CEO of Executive Recruiting, Inc.–Headhunter’s chief rival–your blue sky is clouding over.

Clouds on the horizon

Deploying cloud technology to drive business innovation is already a mainstream tactic. In our last report, “Beyond agility: How cloud is driving enterprise innovation,” we revealed that an unprecedented number of companies are using cloud to drive business transformation.

Our analysis found that more than 70 percent of companies are already leveraging cloud to generate new revenue streams by redefining customer relationships, developing cloud-enabled products and services, and expanding into new industries and geographies.

Cloud is propelling innovation

To stay ahead of the competition, visionary organizations recognize that they can exploit cloud as a technology convergence platform for more advanced strategic reinvention. Cloud solutions melded with disruptive and emerging technologies–like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and predictive analytics–can revolutionize businesses and industries. Visionary cloud leaders are already employing “cloud crucibles” to forge winning cloud strategies that create competitive advantage and boost financial success.

Today, leading companies are commanding cloud to new heights. As in our example of Headhunter LLC, leaders are employing cloud to merge new and emerging technologies into state-of-the-art offerings that transform their businesses and their industries.

“One ring to rule them all”

Visionary cloud leaders understand cloud’s power to reinvent business. They conceptualize cloud as a crucible–an environment where technologies can coalesce to formulate winning strategies that change everything. These cloud winners no longer regard cloud simply as a place to collect and manipulate data. They comprehend cloud as a technology convergence platform that their companies employ to fuse new technologies with strategic transformation.

Understanding “cloud as crucible” is crucial to every company’s future. Soon, practically everything will connect to the cloud. By 2020, consumers will have 7 billion personal gadgets, 1.3 billion wearables and 5.7 billion additional touchpoints to the IoT. By 2025, the IoT could encompass 75 billion devices. In addition to networking “things,” the cloud will empower AI to become embedded everywhere. Forty-six percent of high-performing organizations are already piloting, implementing and operating cognitive solutions today.

The result? Cloud integrated with new and emerging technologies will rule the world. By 2020, 90 percent of business models may be driven by cloud, expanding the global cloud market to an impressive USD 250 billion. To stay in the game, every organization needs to learn how to exploit cloud crucibles that deliver competitive advantage.


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Meet the authors

Sanjay Rishi

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, General Manager


Lynn Kesterson-Townes, Global Cloud & Quantum Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value, Global Business Services

Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM