In this space we’ll begin tackling specific innovations that stem from the cloud. In what new directions are we headed? How will the cloud continue to impact business and in turn, drive new customers and consumers? There is much to consider and even more to discuss. Consider this our opening salvo as we prepare to examine the cloud and all that it encompasses.
Advances in technology drive new initiatives and great expectations, but not always instant or widespread success. Things take time before the full extent of innovation is realized and implemented in more useful and productive ways. This has never been truer than with the advent of the cloud
Whereas the Cloud, once mostly of interest to techies and the domain of big corporations is now quickly emerging as a genesis for new products and services for the rest of us. Over the next year, great expectations exist for numerous byproducts from the advances in cloud technology that promise to be impactful, affordable and relatively easy to use.
Not long ago at big companies, computers were very different. Most if not all heavy lifting; data crunching, storage and analytics were performed in a computer room. Everyone had computers at their work stations but really those were used to access information from the large mainframes and equipment in the bowels of the computer rooms. It all seems so antiquated now and it is.
Cell phones are now more powerful than entire company computer systems back then. But interestingly enough, things are moving back in that same direction again. Only instead of the archaic monolith of a computer room in a basement, today, there are provinces of servers that are readily accessible by anyone wherever they are, through a host of services.
It has become so much easier to connect and access far-reaching and expansive computing reservoirs, a prospect that will transform everyday lives and alter much of what companies can do in the future. Large corporations that once had a distinct advantage with sophisticated mainframes and computer systems too costly for smaller companies to buy and maintain, no longer have that advantage.
Times are changing
With the advent of cloud based solutions things work much differently. All you need is an internet connection and you can access and set up virtually anything you need. And, since most cloud platforms allow for an abundant of applications that work together, customizing is relatively simple to do.
For instance, if a small company wants a digital marketing solution it just needs to go to a provider’s website and sign up for it. A company service rep can help as can web tutorials and other users in forums online.
Moreover, providers can offer to scale up services as needed. The bottom line is that capabilities available to small businesses are now equivalent to those offered to big corporations. Services are not limited to marketing help either. Platforms now exist for accounting, enterprise resource management and countless others. As a result, the playing field has been leveled between large and small companies for access to complex technology resources.
Entering a new realm
IBM’s new Watson Analytics has the capacity to understand and interpret millions of documents and the ability to take questions in a natural language and not just computer speak. First used in scientific research and the like, new applications will soon help manage your business. Imagine having a computerized assistant that can access massive amounts of data with the analytics to help figure out if your ideas are sound, or on a more practical level, manage work schedules more efficiently.
First developed as one of the most powerful systems, now four years later it’s being made available to anyone, no matter how big or small with no startup costs and a pay- as-you-use model.
Everywhere you look, technology is allowing for control and convenience at the touch of a button. Smart homes equipped with intelligent appliances can be automatically controlled through the internet from the cloud with your smart phone.
Easily control and monitor heat and air conditioning from anywhere you are. And, since it’s all on the cloud, the system will be able to communicate with your energy company to optimize your bill, part of partnerships with massive data sharing and analytics to make life easier if not more surreal.
Principally, 2015 should see an expansion of access over ownership but rather than more smart devices and services geared to the few, there will be an array of sophisticated computerized and analytical applications for the mainstream.
Major companies are already making the investment in new applications that will continue to change our lives and our work – and all because of the cloud. New innovation is everywhere you look. It can’t be avoided.
If you’re new to the cloud, we should talk. There’s no better time than now to start learning about all of the business implications that are coming from this technology.