Cloud Computing as Innovation: Cases and Practices

  • Leslie P. Willcocks
  • Mary Lacity
Part of the Technology, Work and Globalization book series (TWG)


Cloud computing represents a potential crossing point. But we also point out that our research over four years has found time and again that it takes a huge amount of effort to make Cloud work to scale for large organizations, for the long term. It is all too easy to overestimate the likely short-term impacts of cloud computing but also underestimate the long-term effects. Our previous research (Willcocks et al. 2014) suggests five major trends:
  1. 1.

    Cloud computing is becoming the harbinger of the service dimension in the external IT and business services industry.

  2. 2.

    A continuing evolution from offering IT products to providing business services.

  3. 3.

    In-house IT leaders becoming high-performing and business-savvy IT-sourcing architects.

  4. 4.

    A reconfiguration of the supply industry that will take much longer than five years to feel its full impact.

  5. 5.

    Innovations in business models. Except for those “born in the cloud,” it could take at least a decade beyond 2020–2025, to work through transformations for the vast majority of organizations.



  1. Bhimani, A., and Willcocks, L.P. (2014). “Digitization, Big Data and the Transformation of Accounting Information”. Accounting and Business Research, 44 (4): 469–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Schlagwein, D., Thorogood, A., and Willcocks, L.P. (2014). “How Commonwealth Bank of Australia Gained Benefits Using a Standards Based, Multi-Provider Cloud Model”. MISQ Executive, 13 (4): 209–222.Google Scholar
  3. Willcocks, L.P., and Lacity, L. (2016). Service Automation Robots and the Future of Work. SB Publishing, Stratford.Google Scholar
  4. Willcocks, L.P., Venters, W., and Whitley, E. (2013). “Cloud Sourcing and Innovation—Slow Train Coming? A Composite Research Study”. Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, 6 (2): 181–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Willcocks, L.P., Venters, W., and Whitley, E. (2014). Moving to the Cloud Corporation. Palgrave, London.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie P. Willcocks
    • 1
  • Mary Lacity
    • 2
  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK
  2. 2.University of MissouriSt. LouisUSA

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