Many IT leaders are unsure about cloud computing. Not all firms can afford to be risk takers. Others simply must be first to market. Here we answer the question about who should be investing in cloud computing right now.
As firms adopt cloud computing, it is diffusing into the market. The pattern of adoption and diffusion can help you “zero in” and make an informed decision that’s right for your firm and industry. Our research shows that cloud computing has crossed the chasm and is approaching majority status.
Three quarters of firms with the largest or most specialized operations use cloud computing. Two-thirds of them plan to expand usage. This means they’ve figured out the best applications for cloud and identified the risks, challenges, and solutions for them. For this reason, two out of three deliberate firm types now “follow the pack.” Daring, respectful, and deliberate firm types (see Figure 2) must act now or risk losing competitive advantage. Check Figure 1 to decide for your firm.
What You Need to Know
Firms tend to adopt technology in a predictable sequence as it diffuses into a marketplace. Once you know your firm type, you can see whether you should be exploring or adopting cloud computing now.
|Largest and/or most specialized operations; large budgets. Willing to take risks and experiment. First to take on new technology, often sharing results. Technology focused proponents of revolutionary change, project oriented, visionary, self-sufficient, communicates horizontally.||Daring/Innovators|
|Large and/or specialized operations, often “role models” in industry. Similar to Daring, but prefer to watch the Daring, learn from their mistakes and then adopt.||Respectful/
|Average-sized operations with above average industry status; prefer to “follow the pack”. Not technically focused, prefer evolutionary change, pragmatic and process oriented, risk adverse, prefers proven applications, may require support, communicates vertically||Deliberate/
|Small specialization, small budget, prefer to wait until marketplace demands response. Often needs additional expertise, help, consulting etc.||Skeptical/ Majority|
|Little specialization, smallest organizations, lowest budgets. Cannot seem to find a use.||Traditional|