How To Remain Innovative In The Cloud Industry

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How To Remain Innovative In The Cloud Industry

The Cloud market is rapidly growing, and many companies are looking to leverage the potential of the available technology. It can enable organizations, no matter the size to deliver a service that, in the past could take days, weeks, months or even years to complete.   

Using this approach, it is possible to free valuable resources. These resources, such as time, money and people, are being used to produce other beneficial results, such as innovation.

Innovation within organizations can deliver many benefits, such as creating more effective processes, products and ideas.  It is the ‘niche’ the organization has and if used intelligently, can deliver strong tangible outcomes.  You can concentrate on what your customer wants and not what “you think” they want. 

The state of Cloud Innovation now and what’s the future  

Innovation and cloud technology go hand-in-hand in the digital world and needs to be embraced by any ambitious organization. 

Innovation could come from looking at processes of how your organization interacts with its customers. Could an interaction such as this be enhanced by technology such as artificial intelligence or machine learning? Having the time to investigate this is a valuable commodity. 

There are other factors that need to aid innovation with the main pillar being data (the company’s own or its sector).  Data is the foundation of what the organization is and what it wants to achieve and can be sought from internal processes e.g. how quickly a service is delivered; or with their customers e.g. customer satisfaction scores. Once verified it can then, and only then, be appropriately harnessed and used productively.   

Technology, Collaboration, Innovation 

The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed the way organizations, individuals and society view the way we live, both professionally and in our personal lives. 

Technology has been embraced in order for us to collaborate in our remote lifestyle.  It has changed the way meetings are run and services delivered. Ultimately, this digital way of working can help companies be more effective and efficient in the way they do business. 

But technology can only do this if our working culture embraces this change.  Despite the many possibilities offered by technology, one thing it can never replace is the most valuable commodity a business has – its employees. Change management, being open to ideas and collaboration have never been more important.  Not seeing your colleagues face-to-face can be seen as a barrier but it has become the norm.  Therefore, the better an organization can manage collaboration, and nurture the innovation seed, the more successful it will be. 

So if we collaborate to innovate, how can companies foster better collaboration? 

Below are some things that are recommended to have in place:

  • Executive Support – you need the backing from the top (financial, business acumen, emotional) and they “have your back, whether you win or fail”.  You will possibly fail more times than you succeed – this needs to be culturally accepted. 
  • Agile Mindset – Be iterative, be dynamic, take risks. Aim for your MVP, get it out there and then work on it as required. 
  • Environment – Whether its an Innovation Lab or simply an area within a team, there needs to be a place (physical/digital/both) where thought processes, problem solving, entrepreneurship can safely go ahead. 
  • Technology – Use technology to aid the process but do not be afraid to use a “pen and paper” if it does the job. 
  • Budget – You need the money to experiment, and failures are not seen as a “loss”. 
  • People – The secret and most important ingredient.  Machines cannot (yet!) replace the greatest computer on the planet – the human brain.  This is the greatest asset for breeding innovation and needs to be freed. 

Innovation is important as it is the place where ideas, new processes, improvements are nurtured. Technology can be used to aid this but should be used appropriately and purposefully. Ultimately, cloud technology can only benefit innovation as long as people collaborate and the innovation process is fundamentally about humans, being free to develop ideas and take risks.


The massive uncertainty around COVID-19 has fixed some companies—and managers—in place, making them unable to react quickly to the changes affecting their business. But for others, it’s been a catalyst for change and an opportunity to gain new insights about their customers’ needs and to demonstrate their agility to adapt and grow.

One leader who has adopted the latter approach is Keith Choy, the head of the Asia–Pacific unit of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Consumer Healthcare group. Choy is encouraging his team of 6,000 people to consider the pandemic a call to action, a chance to double down on existing digitalization initiatives and strengthen end-to-end supply chains to even better respond to emerging consumption trends across the 23 Asia–Pacific markets the company serves. All while speeding up the cadence of the company.

In October, Choy spoke with McKinsey’s Kenneth Bonheure and David Schwartz to describe how GSK is responding to COVID-19, how the company is guided by its values, and what global companies can do to succeed in Asia during COVID-19 and beyond.

The Quarterly: Describe the business environment right now. What are you seeing? What are you focusing on?

In October, Choy spoke with McKinsey’s Kenneth Bonheure and David Schwartz to describe how GSK is responding to COVID-19, how the company is guided by its values, and what global companies can do to succeed in Asia during COVID-19 and beyond.

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