Clouds and Tech Industry Impact Study Guide
Clouds and Tech Industry Impact Study Guide

Clouds and Tech Industry Impact Study Guide

Source: University of Minnesota Libraries

Student Price: FREE

An information systems study guide from the University of Minnesota.

Clouds and Tech Industry Impact - Study Guide

Cloud computing’s impact across industries is proving to be broad and significant. Clouds can lower barriers to entry in an industry, making it easier for start-ups to launch and smaller firms to leverage the backing of powerful technology. Clouds may also lower the amount of capital a firm needs to launch a business, shifting power away from venture firms in those industries that had previously needed more VC money. Clouds can shift resources out of capital spending and into profitability and innovation.

Hardware and software sales may drop as cloud use increases, while service revenues will increase.

Cloud computing can accelerate innovation and therefore changes the desired skills mix and job outlook for IS workers. Tech skills in data center operations, support, and maintenance may shrink as a smaller number of vendors consolidate these functions.

Demand continues to spike for business-savvy technologists. Tech managers will need even stronger business skills and will focus an increasing percentage of their time on strategic efforts. These latter jobs are tougher to outsource, since they involve an intimate knowledge of the firm, its industry, and its operations.

The market for expensive, high margin, sever hardware is threatened by companies moving applications to the cloud instead of investing in hardware. Server farms require plenty of cheap land, low cost power, ultrafast fiber-optic connections, and benefit from mild climates. Sun, Microsoft, IBM, and HP have all developed rapid-deployment server farm modules that are pre configured and packed inside shipping containers.

Discussion Questions


​Describe the change in IBM’s revenue stream resulting from the shift to the cloud.


Why is IBM particularly well positioned to take advantage of the shift to services?


Describe the shift in skill sets required for IT workers that is likely to result from the widespread adoption of cloud computing.


Why do certain entry barriers decrease as a result of cloud computing? What is the effect of lower entry barriers on new entrants, entrepreneurship, and venture capital? On existing competitors?


What factors make the Columbia River region of the Pacific Northwest an ideal location for server farms?


What is the estimated number of computers operated by Google?


Why did Microsoft’s shift to cloud computing create an unexpected shock among stock analysts who cover the firm? What does this tell you about the importance of technology understanding among finance and investment professionals?


Why do cloud computing vendors build regional server farms instead of one mega site?


Why would a firm build a container-based data center?

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