Research Library

Doing Business in the Cloud – Implications for Cost, Agility and Innovation

This report is designed to help business and IT leaders both understand and assess the implications of the cloud computing phenomenon.  While there has been a lot of IT marketplace hype, and it is easy to dismiss cloud computing as just another computer industry buzzword, we believe this would be unwise. The phrase ‘cloud computing’ captures the essence of IT-based innovation today and points the way toward important future economic, business and technology trends.  

Just as previous IT eras (such as mainframes, personal computers and the Internet) have led to important business and economic changes, so will the cloud.  This report will, in largely non-technical language, describe the nature of those changes, and what they mean to business and IT executives alike.  We will show that the cloud is already a powerful platform that is helping world-class organisations operate faster, more flexibly and effectively, and at a substantially lower cost.

Watch a video of Doug Neal discussing the research. 



Single Topic Report

PDF (3.8 MB)

Executive Summary

PDF (660.6 KB)


Douglas Neal
Research Fellow
Doug Neal, based in the United States, is a Research Fellow for Leading Edge Forum. Doug's focus is on the intersection of strategy, business operations and technology.     Doug is the author of multiple reports including A Guide to Co-creating Value with Your Customers, authored with Jim Ginsburgh, Lewis Richards and Professor Venkat Ramaswamy from the University of Michigan, Next Generation Consumerization – Co-creating Value with your Customers, The Consumerization Workbook and Preparing for a Post-PC World.   He co-authored the book The Networked Supply Chain:  Applying Breakthrough BPM Technology to Meet Relentless Customer Demands.  Doug’s point of view on consumer privacy was published in Wilson Quarterly, the journal of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Doug has led a number of study tours over recent years on subjects including Dealing with Disruption, The Future of Do-It-Yourself Technology, Mobility, Cloud Computing, Web 2.0 and Green IT. Doug has developed state-of-the-art management and other end-user systems for clients in financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and high-technology companies.  Prior to joining the Leading Edge Forum, Doug worked at two international management consulting firms and founded an organization specializing in systems for executive management. Doug received a BA from Haverford College, conducted special studies at the Ruhr University, and has an ABD from the University of Michigan.