As your business races to execute on its cloud strategy and drive adoption, you may think its time to unbuckle the seatbelt as you reach cruising altitude.  Not so fast. Turbulence may be just ahead if you’re not incorporating a strategy that includes transformative innovation as an integral part of your ascension into the cloud.

Competition is heating up as companies big and small roll out cloud services, big data, mobile content, and an unprecedented number of apps and API’s.  Although you may have a jump on the competition today,  such offerings will be considered little more than the ‘price of admission’ for businesses competing in the cloud generation.

Key to success is creativity

Ultimately, the key to success in the cloud is how successfully your business can deliver transformative and innovative cloud solutions through the creative use of your cloud assets.  Consider two essential strategies for competing and thriving in the cloud:

1. Stop thinking outside the box.

Thinking outside the box typically results in a more refined and sometimes, more innovative “box.”  However, we must come to the realization that in the cloud generation, “there is no box.” Transformative cloud solutions should have no hard and fast boundaries with regard to the functionality it delivers to the end user.  Although it’s useful to leverage existing solutions, they should serve as a starting point to inspire and implement a more transformative cloud- based counterpart.

Here’s an example of two solutions in the healthcare space:

Conventional cloud

    • Monitor glucose levels for patient with diabetes
    • Incorporate health tips and notifications to drive lifestyle choices based on illness
    • Monitor for prescription compliance

Transformative cloud

    • Monitor entire family health – with and without clinical illness
    • Manage long term health proactively using family history, trending test results, and inexpensive DNA scanning such as 23andme to identify pre-conditions to support healthier outcomes
    • Incorporate a family-friendly health dashboard incorporating gamification to drive goals, view achievements, and monitor ongoing challenges
    • Offer a partnership API that provides incentives in the form of rebates and discounts to drive behavior in diet, exercise, and sleep
    • Implement geolocation services and personas that enhance the daily user experience with health break reminders, healthy lunch offers, etc. all providing gentle guidance towards a healthier you

Delivering transformative and innovative solutions will differentiate your services from the competition while creating a unique value proposition for your customers.

2.  Create experiences, not apps.

Innovation has always been about the details, and it’s the details that can make or break the user experience.  As your business rises to the challenges in the cloud, it’s important to leverage your full arsenal of services to deliver seamless solutions designed for rich user experiences.

Businesses that dominate in the cloud generation will be those that successfully execute on an “all of the above” strategy that marries big data, intelligent notification, automation, geolocation services, voice, and on-demand content – resulting in an effective aggregation of cloud services that deliver an uncompromising, seamless user experience.

Imagine a user experience where your TV provides a personal greeting in the morning, speaks the weather, and offers a readout of your meetings for the day, then confirms that your American Express and car payments will be made as you head out the door. Your connected car closes the garage door as you drive away. The user experience continues during your commute with intelligent notifications based on contextual awareness and personal preferences. Foodies might choose to receive a notice for new restaurants that open nearby. Others might opt for special offers for an oil change or tune up.

Three great take-aways
  1. Companies competing in the cloud generation will need to differentiate themselves by offering a unique and enriching user experience that delivers uncompromising value on a daily basis.
  2. A successful cloud strategy should leverage your full arsenal of cloud assets to deliver transformative, innovative solutions.  Let creativity and objectivity lead you to forward thinking solution designs.
  3. Redefine the boundaries of what’s possible to compete, thrive, and dominate in the cloud generation.
How will your company compete in the cloud generation? Have you considered all of the possibilities?