Two of my favorite subjects are technology and business. It was, of course, destiny that an article on this subject would transpire. The idea began with a keynote presentation that I gave to a room full of CFO’s and IT Directors. It just made sense to share with a larger audience.
Are We Already Impacted?
First thing in the morning I check my bank account online through their cloud services. I then virtually contact my global business connections through the use of Google Apps, Web 2.0, and Cloud Computing using social media. Some of these tools consist of LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook all of which have storage and SaaS (software as a service) applications on the cloud. I then finally check my Google analytics, which of course is on the cloud, to see how my articles are doing on my website which uses hosted cloud data services. As I start my commute a potential client calls my office cloud hosted VoIP/SIP phone and through virtualization connects instantaneously to my smartphone which I now can answer a few last minute questions before arriving at the office. I had previously sent an agreement for online signature, using the cloud, which I now receive signed and the deal is closed.
As you can see new technology has a tremendous impact on how we do business.
Why should You Care?
I can sum this up into one word. Money. Instead of the IT Director asking for more technology to get things done they are now asked to get things done with less. Budgets are gone or much smaller than ever before. In other words no longer can companies get by with “do more with more” but now have to “do more with less”. So how does this work?
In a recent Morgan Stanley report they stated that 50% out of the 500 CIO’s surveyed plan to use virtualization. They also reported that that same amount planned on expanding their cloud applications. Why? Their reason was that they could “do more with less” with these business technologies. Instead of buying the typical suite of applications like Microsoft Office, Goldmine, Adobe, QuickBooks, etc. loaded locally, with upgrades, licenses, and compatibility issues, they now could have SaaS applications on a web based interface without the inconvenience and costs.
“50% out of the 500 CIO’s surveyed plan to use cloud applications.”
A great example of this is using Web 2.0 or rich internet applications like Google Apps to create, edit, collaborate, word processing, spreadsheets on the cloud. You now have much easier administration and up-times, lower server loads locally, and definitely less PC needs. Do more with less.
Another big break through is you can now host your voice (communications) system on the cloud as well. This obviously has a tremendous impact on the bottom line. So everything is great right? Absolutely, if you’re OK with exponential change.
Disruptive technology is “innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect” – Wikipedia.
How about the web? No longer can your website be a business card. Now everyone’s a competitor and small businesses can look larger and SEO better than their mightiest competitor.
Open source changed things overnight with Linux and Asterisk as examples. I know in the communications world this changed most company directions literally overnight.
“Forecasts from GigaOM Research, which expects the total worldwide addressable market for cloud computing to reach $158.8B, an increase of 126.5 percent from 2011.”.
The combined consumer and enterprise market for cloud-based mobile applications is expected to rise 88%, according to a study from Juniper Research. Gartner Group has stated that Enterprises in North America will be supporting more mobile phones than desktop phones and we’re seeing this come true. Always on devices such as iPhone, iPad, etc. and their personal cloud venues are changing enterprise plans instantaneously. How are you and your company dealing with these changes?
Holistic Approach, what is it? Well I can tell you Jerry Garcia didn’t dream it up and Al Gore didn’t invent it. It’s an answer to reactive company technology direction and purchases. Companies continue to buy PC after PC, server after server, and software after software, without long term thought to future costs and compatibility. Should a company expand their building or hire telecommuters? Should they buy more PC’s or look at tablets? Wrong decisions can cost thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars.
“The rate of obsolescence is outpacing the pace of change” – altimeter.
So what’s needed? A proactive, all encompassing holistic approach. You can’t expect your data guru to know everything about, cloud computing, virtual servers, hosted communications and always on mobile devices. Just as you need a business posse, attorneys, accountants, and advisers, you need a technical posse of field experts, consultants, internal managers and users. This technical posse needs to understand and participate in your 1,3,5 year plan. They need to understand that all new technologies affect all current technologies and all departments.
Here’s a real life scenario. A company’s sales department was tired of the downtime with their email, Word, Excel, etc. They started using Google Apps. They also had Droid based phones which integrated seamlessly and easily. The sales department had never been invited to the technology planning meetings. Now the IT group was out of the loop. They had no idea this had happened and they had budgeted for a different much more expensive solution and no mobile integration. Not good.
It is speculated that technical advances are growing exponentially. One hundred years of accomplishments, twenty years from now, will only take one year!
Your technology posse needs to understand the long term business philosophy as well. Technology needs to enhance and help achieve business success. It should be part of the company PEST (political, economic, social, and technological) and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis.
Here’s something to think about. In the year…
- 2020 Work and leisure will be seamlessly integrated. “Individuals will find themselves most productive when using the same tools for both work and personal purposes… – Forrester Research”.
- 2045 “Computers will vastly exceed human intelligence” – “The singularity is near” by Ray Kurzweil. In my case that’s not a big challenge.
It is important to understand how technology impacts your business, today and tomorrow, by using a proactive all encompassing holistic approach. By doing so you can do more with less and keep your bottom line healthy and your internal user’s happy.© 2006-2017 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF