Cloud has already changed both business and everyday life – from consumers who perhaps unknowingly use it to access their favorite music, to companies that purposely harness its powerful resources. While much activity and buzz relating to cloud involves its technological capabilities, the benefits of cloud adoption actually extend into the business realm.

When utilized effectively, cloud capabilities offer numerous opportunities to drive business innovation. Recent technology and social connectivity trends have created a perfect storm of opportunity for companies to embrace the power of cloud to optimize, innovate and disrupt business models.

How do organizations use cloud today and how do they plan to employ its power in the future?

To find out, the IBM Institute for Business Value, in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit, surveyed 572 business and technology executives across the world. An analysis of survey results revealed some game-changing business enablers powered by cloud.

Organizations that exploit these business enablers are driving innovation that extends well beyond IT and into the boardroom. Three business archetypes represent the extent to which organizations use cloud to impact company and industry value chains, and customer value propositions:

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