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The Gathering Storm: Analyzing the Cloud Computing Ecosystem and Implications for Public Policy


  • Kenji KUSHIDA

    (Stanford University)

  • Jonathan MURRAY

    (Warner Music Group)

  • John ZYSMAN

    (University of California Berkeley)


We contend that cloud computing is historically unique by simultaneously being an innovation ecosystem, production platform, and global marketplace. In the 1st Part we define cloud computing as a 'dynamic' utility, listing key characteristics of what it is and what it is not, both from providers' and users' vantages. In the 2nd Part we characterize three competitive battles in the broader cloud ecosystem - winning the User (cloud providers), the search for value (network providers), and the device wars (device providers). We then provide a new and simple, but powerful and practically applicable typology that combines the type of providers with the commonly understood architecture types. The 3rd Part applies this framework to analyze the business strategies of global cloud service providers and select others in the broader ecosystem. We conclude with policy implications and where to take research from here.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenji KUSHIDA & Jonathan MURRAY & John ZYSMAN, 2012. "The Gathering Storm: Analyzing the Cloud Computing Ecosystem and Implications for Public Policy," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(85), pages 63-85, 1st quart.
  • Handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs8503

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin Kenney & Bryan Pon, 2011. "Structuring the Smartphone Industry: Is the Mobile Internet OS Platform the Key?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 239-261, September.
    2. Kenney, Martin & Pon, Bryan, 2011. "Structuring the Smartphone Industry. Is the Mobile Internet OS Platform the Key?," Discussion Papers 1238, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jaclyn SELBY, 2012. "Anyone's Game: Economic and Policy Implications of the Internet of Things as a Market for Services," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(87), pages 21-40, 3rd quart.
    2. Nedzad Fajic, 2014. "Risk As Source Of Reluctance To Saas Adoption In Europe," Interdisciplinary Management Research, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek, Faculty of Economics, Croatia, vol. 10, pages 226-235.

    More about this item


    cloud computing; industry analysis; business models; policy.;

    JEL classification:

    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights


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