BLOGGER: MONICA ZLOTOGORSKI
Amongst the many discussed issues relating to cloud computing such as security concerns and cost savings, here’s another one: I think cloud computing has the potential to fundamentally change the way we do business on a global scale by further closing the gap between developed and emerging markets.
Simply put, it’s the cheapest, fastest most effective way for emerging markets to catch up.
And while Western European and American companies see cloud computing mostly as a way to reduce costs and increase flexibility, for companies in emerging markets (and in general, small businesses anywhere), the cloud actually opens up a way of accessing a larger number of consumers, while enabling them to fully exploit their core competencies.
So how can cloud computing close the gap for emerging markets?
I agree with Michael Vizard’s point that every time there’s a major change in IT technology, there’s usually a corresponding change in competitive edge ,and in the case of cloud computing, it’ll probably significantly benefit developing countries: “In much the same way people point to the rise of mobile phone technology in Asia as an example of how one part of the world took advantage of emerging technology to leapfrog other countries, the same potential now exists with the rise of cloud computing.”
He explains that US companies have until now relied on IT to maintain their competitive edge over global rivals but the advent of cloud computing means that “IT infrastructure until recently was a significant barrier to the cost of entry, and that might not be so relevant anymore.”
But cloud computing isn’t just about affecting infrastructure. Many companies headquartered in emerging markets are becoming global. As infrastructure also begins to be physically independent, then anything can potentially move to anywhere without a harmful influence on business. Potentially, any small business in any part of the world could access customers in any part of the world, which also increases their options in terms of products, services and price.
This new technology can potentially change the rules of the game on a global basis. So while this happens and before the gap closes, businesses around the globe need to look at the integral transformation that cloud computing will bring to the table in the next few years and produce the necessary adaptations. The “anywhere” slogan may not just be for mobile services, but for many new services offered by small enterprises potentially located anywhere in the world.
Get ready for the new “cloudy future,” because it’s coming, and emerging markets might end up leading the way.
Monica Zlotogorski is Editor of TM Forum’s Inside Latin America and Vice Chair of TM Forum’s Latin America Advisory Board. For the original, extended version of this article, please visit the TM Forum website