CLOUD2IDC predicts that 70% of CIOs will embrace a “cloud first” strategy in 2016.

Talk to anyone about the Cloud today and you will hear a long list of advantages and benefits from flexibility to business agility to reduced operating costs to CAPEX -> OPEX and access to assets vs owning assets and all the resulting business benefits that accrue from these advantages.

“The rate of change in business today really puts you at a disadvantage if you make long-term investments in anything.” – a Customer

It’s all about the last letter of the word Cloud, the “D” = Delivery. And let’s be clear the Cloud is a game changer by enabling IT in so many wonderful, new and cost effective ways. But I think we miss the bigger benefit that the Cloud offers if we focus only on the “D.” of Delivery. Move your thinking to the first letter of the word Cloud, the “C”. C stands for Customers, Collaboration, Collective Intelligence, Creativity, Co-Creation, Change and Culture. These individual and collective human potential assets are all enabled and liberated by the Cloud.

“The only irreplaceable capital an organisation possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that capital depends on how effectively people share their competence with those who can use it.” – Andrew Carnegie, 1835 – 1919

Conclusion: Move your thinking forward to the “C” at the beginning of Cloud, where the maximum benefit and potential for change, creativity and innovation lie. “C” ultimately equals Business Transformation. Provide your customers, your colleagues, your partners and your network with applications, tools and a usage experience that they truly want and they will reward you with high quality, high value work with high levels of commitment, engagement and personal fulfilment. The true promise of the Cloud is not limited to Operational Efficiency, but rather it is an enabler of Business Transformation.

The Cloud = Business Transformation

To Accelerate Customer Adoption of Cloud Services sell Business Transformation benefits first, then business agility and cost savings second.