What Harvard said about the Cloud in 2011!


Harvard conducted a study named “How the Cloud Looks from the Top: Achieving Competitive Advantage in the Age of Cloud Computing” in 2011 when the technology was not as developed and widely adopted as it is today. Even then, Harvard referred to 2011 as the age of Cloud Computing.

Most of the findings are relevant even today.

Harvard Business Review Analytic Services conducted the research with over 1,400 professionals who were involved in making technology decisions for their organizations. Respondents were selected from the list of Harvard Business Review magazine and e-mail newsletter subscribers. 16 in-depth inter¬views were conducted by telephone with CIOs, business leaders, and cloud experts. Of those surveyed using this technology, over 60% had been using the technology for less than a year.

The majority — 85% — said their organizations will be using these tools moderately to extensively over the next three years. They cited the its ability to increase business agility, lower cost structures, and the ability for it to be used as a means of growth, innovation, and collaboration as the major drivers for adoption.

The users agree: cloud equals speed.

Respondents rated increased business agility as the most valued benefit, with over 40% scoring it five out of five and an additional 30% plus scoring it four out of five.

Speed translates to competitive advantage when it enables a company to capture or launch new business quickly as well as scale up or down as the need may be.

To deploy on-premise infrastructure requires months & millions of dollars of IT manpower acquisition and creating infrastructure, training & support costs. This application on the other hand can roll out almost instantly comparatively speaking with a much lower TCO.

It also lets organizations test an idea or an approach more easily and at lower cost, according to over 60% of respondents. If the idea is viable, it’s easy to scale up in direct response to the business opportunity— and just as easy to scale down or not use it if it does not work.

The technology has generated a lot of excitement about the ability to provide better visibility across divisions as well as up and down the value chain. It also enables collaborative management at multiple levels by providing critical data for operational, support and administrative purposes, as well as for management decisions in an automated manner.

Data silos in business operations can be leveraged and accessed. It also has the ability to make sense of data not only from inherent operations but also from outside sources like external stakeholders and all those connected to its business.

Over sixty percent of respondents agreed that it makes it easier to quickly share information and collaborate with customers and suppliers quickly. There is the inherent ability in good solutions to look downstream to retail points of sales or even post-sale repair data and all the way back upstream to second- and third-tier suppliers in real time. This would greatly improve the company’s forecasting as well as supply chain and inventory management abilities.

The key concerns associated with this tech as per the study in a decreasing order of importance:
• Data security
• Reliability/business continuity
• Legal/compliance issues
• Lack of interoperability with existing IT systems
• Vendor lock-in
• Lack of control
• Lack of transparency
• Lack of standards
• Lack of skills

The key information gaps that must be addressed for widespread adoption as per the HBR study in a decreasing order of importance are:
• Data security risks and how to mitigate them
• How a cloud solution would interact with internal IT systems
• Fully loaded costs of moving to cloud
• What it will take to switch to a cloud solution
• Evaluations of different cloud providers
• Legal/compliance issues
• Implications of switching from one cloud provider to another

Following are the factors that will accelerate adoption as per the study in a decreasing order of importance:
• Improve understanding internally
• Proof of good security/reliability
• Cost management
• Value proposition
• Proven case studies/partner consensus
• External marketplace drivers
• Financial capability
• Regulatory control

The most highly valued benefits as per the study are:
• Increased business agility
• Flexible capacity
• Faster adoption of new technology
• Lower fixed costs (shift from capital expenditure to operating expense)
• Lower up-front costs to develop/deploy IT systems
• Always on newest versions of software without IT updates/patches




We at Versa Cloud ERP have created a multi award winning, secure, comprehensive Cloud ERP solution that is e-commerce and mobility ready. The Versa Small Business Cloud ERP dba Versa system is accessible anytime, and on any smart mobile device. It provides support for e-Commerce and Multi-Channel Retail includes integration with 3rd party e-commerce platforms as well as POS systems.

In addition, the Versa Small Business Cloud ERP system includes the ability to remotely manage Master Data on multiple e-commerce and POS systems including product description, pricing, images, etc.

It is affordable and targeted towards small businesses and is backed by a promise of dedicated support. It is being used by clients in diverse verticals and could help you redefine the way you operate and grow your business.

Our solution is designed for fast growing small businesses, between $1-$50 M in annual revenue, looking to upgrade business management solutions like entry-level accounting products or mid-tier legacy on-premise ERP systems or even those looking at comprehensive and affordable ERP solutions.

Built from the ground up on the latest cloud and mobile technology, the Versa Cloud ERP system allows businesses to automate and optimize their operations across multiple companies, countries, and currencies with one integrated ERP system.

We will help you in a structured manner to migrate your data seamlessly from Epicor, Infor, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, MYOB, Sage, SAP Business One etc when you make the decision.

To know more, please visit www.versaclouderp.com or contact us directly.

We’d love to hear from you.