October 11, 2016

Innovative Analytics & Training (IAT), a privately-held company that specializes in research and analysis, announced a new practice designed to evaluate the impact of cloud technology across a variety of social, economic, political and other contexts, both in the United States and abroad. The practice will assess how adopters use cloud technology, including their adoption experiences, and examine the larger social and economic effects of these decisions. Remarkably, given that the cloud revolution is almost a decade old, there are very few rigorous case studies of how cloud technology actually impacts commercial and government organizations in areas like health care, scientific research, safety and security, and other areas.

“Cloud technology is one of the top issues in the digital agenda globally, and underpins the Internet of Things (IoT),” said IAT’s CEO Kevin O’Connell. “From the local business to national economies, cloud technology is radically restructuring budgets, organizational relationships and workflows, creating efficiencies, and creating entirely new approaches to innovation.” Beyond understanding the fundamental value of cloud technology, there are a wide range of related issues to consider, such as emerging platforms for global access to advanced analytic applications. “A whole host of emerging applications promises to expand cloud’s reach even more in the next decade,” said O’Connell.

This new IAT practice leverages the company’s other practices in anticipatory analysis and cyber strategy and analysis, which mutually support technology assessment efforts for IAT’s clients, including a number of Fortune 500 companies. What kind of penetration will cloud technology create in national economies and global businesses, with what additional benefits? What variations in implementation and practice will emerge? What will be the key drivers of productivity? What challenges will wide-scale cloud adoption present in the areas of governance, workforce development, job creation and education?

Successful cloud users will have to work through barriers to adoption – such as legal, policy and regulatory barriers, among others – and plan for appropriate physical and cyber security controls. How will these barriers be overcome in different political and economic settings in order to optimize benefits?

One of the key challenges for decision-makers is how to measure cloud effects, as cloud technology has partly defied traditional economic analysis. IAT has been working with top scholars and analysts to help understand how to measure both micro- and macro-level effects, as well as how cloud technology affects traditional international measures like GDP, economic growth rates, and internet penetration rates.

Over the coming months, IAT will publish a series of papers by both internal and invited experts on different dimensions of the benefits and challenges associated with cloud technology.