In a challenging business environment, it’s tempting to focus solely on how technology innovation can help companies reduce expenses and work more efficiently. I think it’s also time for additional focus, to consider how new technology can foster growth, innovation and a new energy in the business landscape.
At Qwest, we believe that cloud computing offers as many opportunities to shake things up as the birth of the commercial Internet did 15 years ago.
In the mid-nineties, the emergence of the Internet launched a whole new level of innovation and was one of the elements that helped bring the United States out of a deep recession. Not only did scores of new companies spring up but existing companies discovered new lines of business and other ways to reinvent themselves and stay relevant. Ideas, information, resources and capital could move from anywhere to anywhere. Yes, the dot-com bubble eventually burst but compare your life today (at home, at work or commuting between the two) to 1995 and you have to agree that just as advertised, the Internet changed the world.
Companies that asked, “How can we use this technology to do something different?” became the big gainers.
- Cisco began as a router manufacturer in the earliest days of client-server but revolutionized their company as the Internet changed the definition of “network.”
- With online college courses, universities not only created a new way to learn but opened their offerings to wider audiences. Location was no longer a barrier to higher education.
- A ubiquitous coffee company saw its business model shift – and its growth accelerate – when it installed wireless Internet access in its stores, turning cafes into virtual offices.
- Qwest itself began as a spinoff from the Southern Pacific Railroad, laying miles of fiber-optic cable along its rights of way. A true Industrial Age business – the railroad – used its most basic asset – real estate – to create something entirely new.
We believe that cloud will provide a transformative platform for innovation in the years to come.
Do you think cloud will be transformative or do you think it’s over-hyped?