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Craig Sowell - Craig Sowell is the Vice President for IBM SmartCloud and Managed Services Marketing.  In this capacity he overseas the overall IBM Market and Brand Management for IBM's Cloud Computing business.  Previously, he was the Director of Field Enablement for IBM's North America's Unit, focused on driving seller expertise and effectiveness in support of IBM's strategic growth initiatives, including the roll out of IBM's Smarter Planet initiative.  Prior to that Craig was the Director of CIO Marketing Campaign Programs for North America.  Craig's area of specialty lies in designing and executing strategic growth initiatives - favoring undefined spaces that can yield new customer value. 

Cloud Evolution: From Internal Efficiencies to Better Customer Experiences

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It's been fascinating to observe the evolution of cloud computing. Although I've only been focused on it for about three years, in those three years I've seen drastic changes in the way cloud is perceived -- and employed. Already we've moved from more narrow, opportunistic usages to broad platform-level thinking that benefits companies seeking to innovate their business models. In some cases it's entire industries that are impacted.

In fact, a recent IBM study of business and IT leaders found that the number of organizations which will be using cloud for business model innovation will double within the next three years. In addition, even though cloud is often perceived as being an IT concern, respondents perceive cloud's value in its ability to help them with business capabilities such as increased collaboration (62%), new delivery channels/markets (56%), new/enhanced revenue streams (54%), competitive differentiation through specialization (51%), and so on.

When we think of cloud-enabled business model innovation, we tend to identify organizations as either disruptors, innovators, or optimizers. Each organization must determine where it is likely to achieve the greatest impact. A great example of a disruptive -- and therefore potentially very high value -- usage of cloud is the way Philips is leveraging its cloud platform for consumer electronics companies. 

Cloud services can be used to manage millions of connected consumer devices, provision services, collect customer intelligence, and bundle services, software, hardware for an "all-in price." In short, it makes smarter TV services more cost effective for manufacturers and consumers.

Already, Philips has announced that cloud will enable them to drive their Smart TV internet services to millions of viewers in more than 30 countries. The head of Philips Smart TV, Albert Mombarg, has been quoted as saying they expect it to transform the way they offer new services and drive ongoing business innovation.

What I find interesting is that cloud is no longer just seen as a means to drive internal efficiencies. It's actually driving innovations that reach end customers!  And once analytics are brought into the mix, it's easy to envision how cloud will become the means to delivering a more meaningful experience to those end customers.

Discover more. Click to view our IBM-InfographicRightRail - Part 3.jpginfographic on how the cloud is
helping organizations thrive in the era of Big Data.

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