The Cloud is a ‘Fluffy Bunny’: Lessons from Shark Tank Star at Ariba LIVE

Ariba LIVE jonnysek/Adobe Stock

The Ariba LIVE 2016 conference is taking place in Las Vegas this week. And while, unfortunately, the Spend Matters team couldn’t be there in person — the ISM and Spend Matters #ProcureTech2016 event in Baltimore took place on the same days — Ariba set up a live streaming channel, allowing me to catch a glimpse of one of the events featured speakers: Robert Herjavec.

Herjavec is widely known for his his role on Shark Tank, the ABC reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their business or product ideas to a panel of savvy business experts in the hopes of receiving some financial backing. But Herjavec is also an entrepreneur himself and the owner of the Herjavec Group, an information security company. Herjavec spoke this morning at Ariba LIVE and shared his insight on how innovation, technology and being able to take risks is crucial for business success.

The Cloud and Internet of Things

According to Herjavec, there will be no “Internet of Things,” in the future. “Forget the Internet of Things,” he told the crowd in Las Vegas. It will “just be electricity.” Everything will be connected and everything will change, fast. Speaking directly to the technology providers at the event, Herjavec said if you are not comfortable with change, you should not be in the technology business.

However, the cloud is even more transformative for businesses. Everything is moving to the cloud — it has become the “biggest innovation for businesses, bigger than the Internet,” Herjavec said. He compared the cloud to a “fluffy bunny,” and if you leave fluffy bunnies alone, they procreate, they make more fluffy bunnies, he said. The cloud works the same way, and more and more cloud applications are being created. The businesses that accept the cloud and integrate cloud applications into their operations are the ones that will experience more opportunities for growth.

Herjavec said when he talks to business leaders about how and if they are using cloud applications, they often are unaware of just how many cloud applications their organization is using. On average, business say they are using 8 to 12 approved cloud applications. However, in reality, according to Herjavec, enterprises are actually using 200 cloud applications they do not know about.

Taking Risks — A Necessary Evil

The increasing number of technology solutions, such as cloud applications, presents new opportunities for businesses. But, with opportunity, comes risk, Herjavec pointed out in his presentation. Whether you are starting a new business, launching a new product or trying to innovate in existing company, there will be a certain amount of risk involved, and often people hesitate to take the action due to fear of something not working out.

“It’s scary to start something new, because there is the possibility someone will say, ‘No,’” Herjavec said.

What may be worse, though, is not taking action at all. People tend to sit around and wait for the opportunity to come knocking. But, “Opportunity doesn't knock — you just got to go out and go to find it,” he said.

Businesses need to be comfortable with a certain amount of risk in order to truly innovate and develop, according to Herjavec. If you are not willing to take the risk to innovate, you never will, he said.

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