Extracted 07SEP2011 from http://www.accenture.com/us-en/outlook/Pages/outlook-online-2011-new-era-inno...
[The cloud is stimulating business innovation but, more broadly and in many instances, it will not ultimately be required for it.]
the flexibility that the cloud makes possible for infrastructures, services and processes means that it is also capable of driving significant innovation. This is a key finding of new research from the London School of Economics and Accenture, based on a survey of 1,035 business and IT executives, as well as in-depth interviews with more than 35 service providers and other stakeholders...
One of the key ways that cloud computing supports operational and technological innovation is by moving an organization more briskly through the experimental or prototyping stages—or, as some of our interviewees put it, by “reducing the friction” of development.
Companies are actually deploying a process or service, and that means business and IT executives need no longer try to communicate across a technology gap. They can speak a common language about what the business seeks to do and how it intends to do it.
For especially forward-looking companies, cloud computing may provide a platform for radical innovation in business design—to the point where executives are actually provisioning and decommissioning parts of the business on an as-needed basis. This is a step beyond software as a service or infrastructure as a service, and amounts to the offering of “business processes as a service”—configured business services and processes provided from the cloud. These would be assessed not just through typical service-level agreements but against key business performance indicators.
Although extremely promising in concept, the idea of adaptive business design heightens the importance of the integrator role. The traditional systems integrator would become, in effect, a business integrator charged with managing complex collaborations across a broader ecosystem of internal resources, partners, vendors and others. As business design or business architecture innovators, integrators would connect and manage business services in configurations that change as business needs and goals change. Such collaborative, innovative relationships hint at a new agile and adaptive organizational form.