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The Uber era: use cloud to avoid disruption

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Staying relevant in a disruptive environment is top of mind for businesses today. To succeed, businesses must start evaluating innovative new cloud approaches, says Andre le Roux, Africa region MD for Interactive Intelligence.
The advent of the ‘Uber era’ has traditional businesses running scared. While business disruption isn’t new, the world is now seeing a perfect storm of accelerated technology innovation and rapidly changing consumer expectations that’s bringing unprecedented disruption and threatening established players across all markets.
Very often one finds that the fear of the unknown or a reliance on ‘the way it has always been done’ are factors preventing organisations from challenging the status quo. This outdated thinking is dangerous in business today, where virtually overnight, organisations find themselves competing against newly formed, extremely agile competitors with the means to provide the same goods and services much faster and cheaper.
Just imagine the confusion and havoc this will create in any organisation confronted with this scenario. The Uber business model is probably one of the best examples in modern day business. Organisations ignore these new players at their peril. Those who find themselves challenged by disruptors, yet take the view ‘We’ll just sit back and see how this change plays out,’ are risking their market share and their very survival.
In this new environment, disruptors are capitalising on the changing expectations of consumers who want a personalized experience, and insist on immediate, always-on service using any communications channel.
To compete effectively and meet these new market demands, companies must have a true desire to reinvent themselves. The good news is that modern cloud 2.0 technologies are making this possible.
The right cloud technology provides maximum flexibility, scalability, reliability and security. Equally important, it’s fast to deploy and can continuously deliver the latest, most innovative new features. Combined with a month-to-month, pay what you use subscription model, these solutions offer a high value, low risk option.
It’s important to note that cloud solutions vary dramatically. Under the hood, many are still based on monolithic software applications. Smart businesses need to do their due diligence to understand the underlying architecture of these solutions or they will not realize the benefits. Nor will they be positioned to truly withstand business disruption.
As businesses explore new cloud solutions, the following are a few vital questions to answer to ensure they are positioning themselves as disruptors:
* What do we do that could be enabled by information?
* How do we eliminate reliance on capital in favor of information and scalable technologies?
* How do we arm our employees to get twice the productivity?
* How do we make the incremental cost of growth as close to zero as possible?
* What is our massive transformational purpose?
Many established businesses have been hesitant about a mass move to the cloud, but it’s increasingly clear that this infrastructure is the secret behind the agility and innovation of digital disruptors. Businesses can no longer afford to focus on ‘what is the cost of doing this?’ and should instead be asking ‘What is the cost of not doing this?’