Cloud computing, Business Models, Digital Transformation, Workarounds, Constraints
This Irish proverb states a truth that rings no truer than in the current digital technological landscape
characterized by rapid fluctuation and turbulence. It is a landscape where a multitude of new and
incumbent IT organizations are attempting to embrace and leverage emerging technological advancements.
One such nascent technological development is cloud computing. Cloud computing enables IT service
providers (ITSPs) to virtualize their computational resources and concurrently provision them, via a service
orchestration process, typically in the form of software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS),
infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and more recently, anything as a service (XaaS). However, evidence
suggests that incumbent organizations’ attempts to leverage the business model payoffs of cloud
technologies are proving difficult. For larger organizations to derive cloud-related business model payoffs,
they often must challenge assumptions that cloud computing always and easily provides benefits —
and cultivate their own pathways to cloud success.
This Executive Update describes nine specific workarounds that two global, multinational ITSPs used in
their endeavors to reap the payoffs of cloud-based business models. We present these
workarounds as key lessons learned from an in-depth study of these two organizations.