Enterprises have always been at the forefront of socio-economic progress. They contribute to social well-being and development by creating jobs and creating wealth. When I started my professional journey, the industry was dominated by a handful of family-owned conglomerates and state-owned/ run entities. Entrepreneurship was in its infancy and the privilege of the affluent few. This was not surprising given that the economic policy environment at the time was not conducive for business. Equally challenging however was the entry barrier for new business due to large capital expenses around physical infrastructure involved in starting a new business. Over the past three decades, globalization, duly complemented by the pace and consistency of technological disruptions has clearly changed all of that. Today, we are living in time when technology disruptions are enabling individuals, businesses, societies and nations like to define and reach new frontiers of growth and innovation. Creating jobs, wealth and societal progress is not limited to private business conglomerates and state-owned/run entities. Anyone with a dream and a unique idea can today leverage technology for personal, business and societal advantage.
One of the most popular and impactful technological disruptions in recent years is undoubtedly the cloud revolution which, combined with mobility and the internet of things has redefined the competitive assessment of enterprises – old and new. Look at the numbers. There are close to 2.7 billion internet users and 1.5 billion smartphone users in the world today. By the end of 2013, it is estimated that there will be more internet-enabled mobile devices than people. This unprecedented penetration of technology, combined with the agility and affordability of large computing power through the cloud is changing the way we interact with consumers and changing the way we do business. It is changing consumer mindsets and consumption patterns.
The ability of enterprises to leverage these emerging and disruptive technologies will not only determine their competitiveness but also their ability to survive and thrive. The next wave of Fortune 500 companies is likely to come from remote corners of the world started by individuals with minimal starting capital. Cloud computing is the disruptive technology which can empower the individual with unprecedented computing, communication and storage. It can provide agility and flexibility to businesses. It can allow organizations including governments to provide customized and centralized services to customers, consumers and citizens at lower costs.