New cloud solutions are indeed emerging to be applied by businesses and used by individuals. The scope of applications will be expanded from serving core business processes to an order of magnitude wider domain, including especially many small applications which could not provide a basis for profitable software business during the packaged software era.
The availability of a scalable cloud infrastructure will provide not only platforms but also application components for developers, often with a fraction of the cost and very little upfront investments. Moreover, enterprise networking facilities, including trust management, are needed. The small threshold for setting up and delivering secure cloud-enabled services will encourage small businesses and thus increase the total volume of available services, also as building blocks for other systems and solutions. This enables new kind innovations and out-of-the box thinking also in many existing businesses. A possibly disruptive consequence related to this is the potentially pivotal role of some small players entering into focal positions in ecosystems that used to be dominated by bigger players.
Agility in service creation and software development will lead to shorter cycles from ideas to actual profits. However, to make full use of the key cloud enablers, lean approaches need to be adopted and new technologies, methods and tools taken into use. Furthermore, to be able to enter value creating ecosystems companies need consider what to offer to other participants, be it a new technology, application, or some other valuable outcome.
Operational excellence continues thus to be important, when aiming at value creation and capture in cloud-enabled networks and faster returns of investments, especially when the forming of such networks is just underway. In practice this means visibility throughout cloud service development and close relationships between the focal company and its suppliers, customers and other stakeholders. Effective business processes and models are needed to facilitate cloud transformation and implementation not only in small companies, but also in well-established and bigger enterprises. How to make this happen needs to be investigated, understood, and supported.