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Consulting, Innovation, Strategy, Vision, Education, & Ideation

Cloudy Innovation

I recently read an interesting Blog post from Michael Schrage at MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business on what he terms as “cloudy innovation”.

Interestingly, he describes a unique phenomenon in regards to rapid innovation using the cloud and Web 2.0 solutions. I find this interesting for two reasons. One, it aligns with where I see a lot of rapid, effective and affordable innovation being done with companies of all sizes and it is what I have directly experienced in large organizations where IT is to slow, to expensive and to process driven to get out of its own way.

As Michael states in how business are using the cloud for rapid innovation ” The Cloud has become as much a medium for innovation play as business productivity. Nothing prevents an organization from hardening playful exploration into profitable business process in the Cloud. On the other hand, the firm gets the confidence it desires and the business case it needs precisely because the Cloud is arguably the cheapest and most accessible innovation playground on earth.”

Further Michael states “digital economics have moved us from “gray market” innovation to “cloudy innovation.” Innovation that would once have been formally funded by the firm and subject to rigorous milestones can now be “loosy-goosy,” whipped-up and market-tested. It’s inherently hybrid. Traditional IT used to call this “shadow apps” and “bootlegged” computation. While the spirit may be the same, the substance is different. Shadow apps and bootlegged IT sprang up not as innovation playgrounds but as desperately embraced alternatives turned to in frustration because IT was seen as too slow, too expensive or too unsupportive. “Cloudy innovation” swirls into existence because it makes exploring novelty and clever ideas remarkably fast for remarkably little. It is now cheaper, easier and safer to play in the Cloud than to not play in the Cloud.”

If there is one constant in the needs of most business today it is “cheaper, easier, and safer”. Add to that, speed to market, sustainable competitive advantage, and easy access, you have a winner in the clouds.

Check out Micheal’s Blog post. Very interesting, and as always.. spot on. You can read the full article here.



Written by David Frederick

July 8, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Posted in Innovation

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