Technology has come a long way in what appears to be a relatively short period of time. We now have generations who have never known a world where not everyone had a mobile phone never mind a smart phone or when streaming music and watching television and film wasn’t on a catch-up subscription service and we maybe shouldn’t ask today’s generation what they would do if photos weren’t instantly available on their devices to be shared across social media platforms. “what do you mean I have to wait for it to be printed?” These are all aspects of our lives that are accepted as normality and very much taken for granted.
The pace of change has been quick and all of the day to day devices and services we take for granted are enabled by cloud technology. We have reached a stage where cloud technology is normal. This applies to our personal lives as well as business. In some cases, we might just take the end result for granted and not even be aware that cloud is the enabler.
Cloud adoption rates and investment in cloud technologies continue to increase and is predicted to reach $250 bln by 2017, a date that is not in the too distant future.
The business world is changing as the adoption of cloud continues. This has brought many benefits such as a collaborative way of working where information is available to anyone throughout the organisation from anywhere at any time which ultimately ensures a more efficient way of working. Some people might ask – so what? If that is the question you are asking, then you need to look beyond the internal benefits to an organisation and think about the ultimate benefit that efficiency savings bring – improved customer service and relationships with customers.
Improvements in efficiency internally in an organisation ensures that customers are serviced quicker and their overall experience of working with the organisation is improved, therefore, more likely to result in repeat business and referrals.
Cloud also brings opportunities for new products and services. Think how successful Netflix has been by offering film and television on demand. Prior to the launch of this and Amazon Prime, people would have laughed at the thought of this being possible. Now it is accepted as a standard way of viewing. Cloud technology made this possible.
The opportunities in promotion of products as a result of cloud are endless. The information that can be captured about consumers means organisations can push promotions to them based on their preferences which are all stored in databases based on their previous buying decisions and internet browsing history.
For some, we might be getting too sophisticated and they might want to slow down this pace of technological change and are concerned about the security required to protect so much information about our lives. Despite the massive growth in cloud adoption and expenditure, there are still some concerns over security. To dispel fears it is worth noting that the FBI adopted cloud for the storage of their criminal database in 2015. This is a major endorsement of cloud security, the information stored by the FBI would require the highest levels of security so if that is secure then surely all of our personal and business details are as well.
The reality is that technology will continue to evolve and change but cloud as the enabler is something that will be with us for some time to come. Cloud technology is not a thing of the future, it is here, it is now and organisations need to take note on how this can benefit their business or their competitors will leave them behind.