Cloud Commercialization – A portfolio approach to Cloud innovations

With a mission of helping address Canada’s Innovation Gap, one of our primary activities for the Canadian Cloud Best Practices Council is “Cloud Commercialization”.

In short key end user groups, like public sector CIO’s, are helping us identify their ‘use cases’ for different scenarios where they might adopt Cloud computing. This provides the gold dust for the entrepreneurial process, the ‘design blueprints’ for new products and services, which can be used directly to help do exactly that – Launch new products and services.

A recent lightbulb moment for me was that the public sector is a gold mine of support for this process when you consider their procurement RFPs, like all those published at MERX, as “innovation specifications” – Ie as ‘PRDs‘ for a solution in general, not just a response to that one purchase.

You don’t have to wait for these, you can just proactively identify areas where Cloud could be leveraged for new IT products, but it does highlight just how much raw asset there is given they are so detailed.

This is critical because it’s been correctly identified that Canada doesn’t lack engineering innovation, in fact there’s a ton of it when you look in the right places, what it lacks is a robust commercialization ecosystem, for example there’s a weak Venture Capital funding, indeed a risk aversity culture in general, and also fairly weak links between universities and startup organizations, etc etc.

The trend of Cloud Computing is such a potent one to build more of this around, because i) it’s getting mind boggling big very, very quickly – To the extent it will support $250m VC deals!, and ii) the technology itself is inherently a product development engine, that’s it’s key feature.

Recently I’ve been conducting Cloud adoption interviews – Who are the leaders and what/why are they adopting Cloud.

In short the #1 business benefit: Speed to market, as part of agility improvement in general. Cloud enables them to make and deliver (digital) products faster. What used to take 3 months in IT, eg provisioning an infrastructure, can now be done in hours and minutes.

Smart companies are building that improvement directly into their innovation and competitiveness processes.

Canada Cloud Roadmap

So the main function the Canada Cloud Roadmap plays is as a portfolio structure for this overall program of activities. Ie. It creates the categories for how we manage the product design process, such as:

  • Secure Email
  • Identity as a Service
  • Cloud BCP

These are derived from the RFPs, like this detailed breakdown, and so we also have the exact specifications for how to build and deliver against those specifications. There’s nothing more tediously detailed than a Government RFP, but that’s ironically why they’re so valuable, their the best written PRDs ever! :-)

So if you’re an entrepreneur, a technology inventor, then you can engage with us to help develop these ideas further and how to build them. I’ll be organizing this portfoio as a list of ‘R&D Innovation Groups’ which y’all are welcome to join, and you can access these specifications to build your venture around.

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