A cloud computing wake-up call

I recently spoke at a Netsuite event titled “a cloud computing wake-up call for professional services”. I had my wake-up call several years ago but the session attracted a wide spectrum of views - the strong believers in Cloud, some...

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I recently spoke at a Netsuite event titled “a cloud computing wake-up call for professional services”. I had my wake-up call several years ago but the session attracted a wide spectrum of views - the strong believers in Cloud, some staunch skeptics and many who still sit on the fence wondering when the tsunami of change is going to hit them.

I for one, believe that the tsunami is already upon us. The change is not all-encompassing where everything moves to the cloud, at least not for enterprise-level organizations. However, adoption is accelerating. At the event, I talked about a preliminary survey by the Accenture Institute for High Performance that illustrates the shift.

Of the 656 survey respondents from around the world, over 39% are using cloud today across the different types of cloud capabilities available. For the rest, over 42% are piloting or exploring cloud.

What’s particularly interesting is that in the software-as-a-service (or cloud applications) category, 22% of the survey respondents are running what they call ‘critical’ applications in the cloud. That’s surely a shift where previously few enterprise companies would trust their ‘critical’ apps to the cloud.

As this change facing clients gathers pace, I argued that professional services companies need to respond and change the way that they serve their clients accordingly. In some cases, this change is profound. I shared a client example illustrating the point. We’re working with a global high-tech company seeking to expand their use of indirect sales and services channels to help extend their high growth.