Snapshot From Cloud World Forum

LSE Professor Will Venters on Cloud’s new narrative

Are businesses looking to the Cloud for the wrong reasons? Possibly. Talking at yesterday’s Cloud World Forum in London, Professor Will Venters of the London School of Economics, showed a survey of business drivers and noted how: “Cost is still a huge driver for the Cloud.” Only 5% were driven by innovation.

During his talk, Cloud Beyond Technology – A roadmap for the managerial and social implications of Cloud for the enterprise, he explained that the narrative for the Cloud needs to change. This is currently seen as little more than a straightforward outsourcing decision. “We invariably overestimate the short term impacts of new technologies, while underestimating the long-term effects,” he adds.

This new narrative is the idea behind ‘Cloud Corporation’ – a series of Cloud based services changing how IT, businesses and employees work together. Venters lists some of the cases where the Cloud has been used to challenge the status quo, such as, where a group of students used Google maps and smartphones to out manoeuvre  London Police while protesting, or Uber and all the disruption it’s causing.

So what does this mean for the enterprise? Summed up, change. More collaboration, more integration and blurring of lines – both in security and work. “It’s not an easy task to build the Cloud into your business, you can’t just “Do” the Cloud.” He explains organisations need to become “ambidextrous,” able to adopt the Cloud in pieces while keeping the lights on and the business running.

It may only take a few minutes to sign up to a Cloud service, but making sure your digital strategy is right takes longer. After all, the bottom line is; The Cloud is transforming everything. It’s not just about cost-cutting or agility. It’s about changing how people work, what businesses can do, and annoying taxi drivers.


Dan Swinhoe is Staff Writer at IDG Connect