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Adopting cloud technology: eat or be eaten

Posted 5 years ago in Advisors by
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Over the past couple of decades, The Chasm Model has been the centrepiece of nearly every conversation I’ve had about launching new technology.

While its merits are many, lately I’ve been wondering how applicable it is in business-to-business markets. Sure there are early adopters. Perhaps even an early majority. It’s the late majority that seems to be in trouble.

Andy lark Shark slide

Having sat around harvesting revenue from their customer base, the late majority wake up one day to face a revenue precipice. In short, the early adopters and majority reach a tipping point and start acquiring their customer base en-masse. Powered by the economics of the cloud (not just technology but also business) these new players scale at speed – achieving continuous growth rates in the high double and even triple digits.

We see a couple of shifts driving the acceleration of the new players. For instance, cloud technology and business models on the supply side, and then mobile on the demand side. Entrepreneurs emerge from both sides presenting the late majority with an impossible force to counter – and their brand advantage and customer relationships are quickly weakened.

Look at what happened to booksellers, record stores, and others. We are seeing the same in accounting where new disruptive value propositions are being built on cloud platforms like ours. What’s important is that these new players aren’t just using new technology – they are reshaping their brands, service offerings, price points and more.

The message is clear. Rather than wait for the late majority, fuel the high-growth early adopters and watch them grow. Who would you rather be (or be backing)? The eater or the eaten?



Ben Walker
February 17, 2015 at 11.47 am

Hmmm good observation, Andy.

I’ve been thinking for a while now, that accountants who aren’t yet on board cloud accounting and “real time” numbers have two options: 1) Change; or 2) Sell, now.

And those two choices aren’t going to be around for much longer…

I think the need is there for businesses, and with the early majority already aboard, choice is available as to who they work with.

In fact, I believe accounting firms need to do more than just adopt cloud accounting to serve their clients. Let’s see some insight being provided to the businesses who look to us to provide it!!


Dave Dodds
February 20, 2015 at 2.46 pm

Nice article Andy.

What is fascinating is the inability of the late majority to see the precursor signs of disruption before they become obvious for all, and by then it is too late.

Not only are they “harvesting revenue” as you say, I have a view that these organisations lack a couple of key attributes of a successful modern businesses – curiosity and peripheral vision. They don’t look outside their own business for inspiration and when they do it’s generally looking down a tunnel. They just don’t sense shifts let alone create or participate in one.

Interesting times.

– Dave

Tina Kaye
February 23, 2015 at 1.40 pm

Love the additional analysis of the adoption curve… food for thought – pun intended 😉

Kat Jennings, CEO
September 1, 2016 at 10.40 am

Hi Andy,
Very insightful discussion. As the CEO of, I would like to speak to you directly about our vision and how to bring XERO to over 2M tax professionals worldwide. I do hope this message is forwarded directly to you and you take a look and read what we are doing here that make us an excellent partner with XERO: .
We like your software and would like to offer it to tax professionals worldwide.
Kind regards,
Kat Jennings, CEO

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