Investigating the business opportunities and impact of cloud technology a case study on maritime industry

University essay from Lunds universitet/Produktionsekonomi

Abstract: Background: New technologies and innovations have the power to swiftly disrupt complete industries across the globe. This puts pressure on companies to understand how new technologies could change future product offerings and impact the business model. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to provide an example of how new technology will generate new business models. This study is done as a case study within the maritime software market. To fulfill the purpose, the following questions will be answered What is expected from maritime software in five years? How can cloud technology enable improvements satisfying the requirements for future maritime software? How should a business model for future maritime software be designed? Method: This study was conducted as a case study at ABB CRC in Västerås, using an abductive approach. Mainly qualitative data has been collected through secondary sources and interviews with employees working at different BUs at ABB. Theoretical The study’s frame of reference includes theory regarding maritime software, Framework: cloud computing and big data. The analysis model consists of three theoretical frameworks. A framework named TAIDA was used to develop scenarios. To help develop the future business model the theory of the business model canvas by Osterwalder was used. In addition to this, inspiration has been taken from blue ocean strategy thinking. Results: For the maritime software studied in this study, three key areas were identified that future maritime software must provide and deliver to its customers in order to meet future expectations Improving operational efficiency Enabling centralized control and monitoring Providing more data to use for strategic and operational analytics Cloud technology could likely be a part of this future; however, internet connectivity could be a limiting factor that needs to be taken into account. Therefore two futuristic scenarios, showing how cloud technology could be introduced, have been created. A suggested business model for the future maritime software is presented Product: The core value proposition is to improve the strategic and operational decision making for both single ships as well as for entire fleets. Benefits include reduced costs for the customer, increased safety, and improved ability for customers to make decisions that are data-based. Customer interface: The sales channel is not believed to necessarily change from today. Cloud technology will not remove the use of personal contact in sales. As for how the software is deployed, parts of the product will be delivered as a SaaS, whereas some functions will remain on-premise. Further investigation is necessary to determine whether to use a public, hybrid or private cloud hosting solution. Infrastructure management: ABB’s combination of hardware and software is a key resource, making the collaboration between different business units a key activity. Furthermore, a key activity will also be to alter the software design from being customized, towards modular and configurable software architecture. Financial aspect: The cost structure is highly dependent on the selection of the deployment method of the cloud. It is clear that a public cloud would create more variable costs and considerably lower investment costs opposed to using a private cloud. The revenue streams could be structured as a combination of subscription and pay-per-use. The pay-peruse should primarily focus on software functionalities with a less frequent use.

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