What does the term Cloud solutions for business mean to you?

There is still some confusion in general on what true cloud is and why it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to take notice of. This week we hosted a Cloud Lunch & Learn event which brought local business together to discuss what this means for them. The feedback during the event was very positive about the benefits of adopting cloud solutions for business. One downside that was highlighted was concerns over access to a fast broadband connection to fully take advantage of this. With an ever increasing reliance on fast connectivity, this is something that needs to be addressed across the country.

The key driver for the need for fast connections and cloud solutions is mobile. There is a dependence on mobile devices like never before and saturation point does not seem to have been reached yet. While researching some statistics on technology trends for discussion at our event, I discovered some interesting and in some ways astounding facts and figures on the reliance on mobile devices. By mobile I am grouping phones and tablets into the one category.

It is likely that everyone reading this blog will be in possession of at least one mobile device, possibly even reading this on a mobile. How many times per day do you check your mobile devices? On average, a person will check their mobile 150 times per day and that device is within our reach 90% of the day. What are we doing those 150 times we check them? Looking at social media sites, browsing the internet, shopping, listening to music, playing games and watching films. Our lives are tied to that device in an unprecedented level. We are also checking all of these things while doing other activities. Perhaps we should all try to lock them away for a portion of the day – put them down and speak to each other. Our mobile devices are always on, always connected, ensuring information is at our fingertips like never before. The instant accessibility to information is making consumers more knowledgeable. Most people now will have researched purchases, comparing stores and prices and specifications of products before going near a store or online to purchase. It’s not only research that is being done on mobile. Now over half of the e-commerce transactions made are on a mobile device. Readily available information doesn’t just help with shopping. I am quite sure being able to look up information on a mobile has solved many disputes among friends during heated debates on a particular topic. If disagreement occurs we simply reach for our phones for an answer.

The reliance on mobile appears to increase with each generation. Currently over 50% of the world population are under 30 and worryingly, a staggering 53% surveyed in that age range would rather lose their sense of smell than their technology. This age range are the workforce of tomorrow and their expectation will be that the way they access information socially will be the same in a working environment.

In a business environment, access to real time information is crucial for informed decision making. Gone are the days when if someone was out of the office, everyone had to wait for their return to update systems and information. This can now be done remotely from any office location and systems that are accessible from any device make this possible.

In summary, a reliance on instantly accessible information, from any location on any device is the driving force behind the importance of cloud based business solutions. This is no longer a prediction for the future, this is happening now and businesses need to take note before the competition steams ahead and leaves them behind, stuck with the technology of yesterday.

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