Last week we reviewed the different firm types Daring/Innovators, Respectful/Early Adopters, Deliberate/Early Majority, Skeptical/Majority, and Traditional. Now let’s decide if cloud computing is right for your firm.
What You Need to Do
In many cases a new technology represents more challenges and risks than rewards. Nevertheless, when cloud computing diffusion approaches your firm type it means you need to decide to reject or adopt it. Most firms have implemented at least some production of cloud computing:
- If your firm type is daring or respectful, you need to adopt cloud computing now or risk losing possible competitive advantage. The majority of daring (innovators; largest firms, budgets and risk/loss tolerance) and respectful (early adopters, firms that often serve as roll-models for their industry) firm types have adopted cloud computing, and the majority are experiencing enough value to expand its usage.
- If your firm type is deliberate then you need to begin adoption (deciding to implement or not). Over two-thirds of deliberate “follow the pack” firm types have adopted cloud computing. If you have not decided yet, you need to decide now based upon:
- RELATIVE ADVANTAGE (how much better is it than current methods)
- COMPATIBILITY (how consistent is it with values/needs of potential adopters)
- COMPLEXITY (how difficult it is to understand and use)
- TRIALABILITY (how easily can you experiment with it on a limited basis) and
- OBSERVABILITY (how visible are the results to other stakeholders.)
- If your firm type is skeptical or traditional, then you may not need to move onto cloud computing at this time, but you should stay informed and aware.
When considering these factors, follow these proven technology adoption steps:
- Awareness: understand what cloud computing is and how and why it works for your firm. Many early adopters are technical, financial, and legal firms.
- Interest: seek opinions of others you trust in your marketplace. See which applications “work” in your industry. The majority considers cloud computing to work best for storage, CRM, email and PaaS for developing and testing web applications.
- Evaluation: decide to accept or reject use of cloud computing by examining the most commonly cited challenges and risks: 1) lack of tools to monitor/troubleshoot, 2) bandwidth costs and 3) security concerns.
- Trial: choose an appropriate application to pilot cloud computing and test it to verify specific challenges/risks and solutions/counter-measures.
- Adoption: if satisfied with your trial, move to full use of cloud computing for the selected applications and then repeat these steps for the next application.
- Adaptation: stay in touch with your peers and market, and over time customize your features to your specific environment.