Moving to the Cloud

Cloud computing is becoming significantly mainstream.  There are endless articles touting 2013 as the year of the cloud and how many of a company’s processes are going to be moving to the cloud.  ‘Cloud first’ is the operative term nowadays in the enterprise. 

For the better part of the last decade (2000-2008), software companies and entrepreneurs dedicated their resources to consumers because those are the folks who most easily adopted new technology.  Businesses, on the other hand, have always been slow on the uptake. 

However, the past 5 years have seen businesses adopt software.  The term ‘consumerization of the enterprise’ has shown that product development is been being applied to companies. Software has gotten cheaper and there isn’t a need for huge servers to be installed into offices.  Experts say that the last 10-15 years had companies install servers into their offices and the next 10-15 years will have companies ripping those servers out and transferring to the cloud.    

There are 3 (three) main reasons for this:

Generational Shift - The next generation can’t imagine a world without computers, smartphones, tablets and smart devices.  For that matter, I can’t imagine a world where I don’t have things on demand.  Interactive experiences and technological advancements have provided for an entirely new pace of living and comprehension.  This shift is perception and reality have caused companies to not only cater to a new generation such as offering you to see Beck in concert from your couch (‘couch concerts’) but also to offer perks which entice a younger generation to join the employee ranks.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) - Companies are shifting to a “Bring Your Own Device” mentality, where more and more companies are becoming device agnostic.  Marc Andreessen, entpreneurial investor, sees this as employees pushing the IT department for change.  He believes companies are looking at it as such – “if I have to support smartphones and tablets anyway, and my CFO is probably carrying around an iPad and all my new employees are coming in with iPhones, so I have already got to support this stuff, so then I might as well encourage it.  And I might as well basically have a model where instead of issuing a company laptop to everybody or even a company phone, why don’t I just let people bring in whatever device they want and just plug-in and access it.”

Working Remote - The best talent isn’t always located in one area.  Finding employees who can be productive while offering work flexibility helps companies secure and retain top performers.  Companies get all excited, because then they say, well, not only are my employees going to be happier and more productive, but then I don’t have to buy them hardware anymore, so I can cut my budget.  

Everything doesn’t have to move to the cloud but hybrid can work just as well.   Most enterprises know they should virtualize their infrastructures, but they struggle with where and how to start.  Cloud computing isn’t just about hosting servers alone, or giving customers virtual machines in the cloud. They are about business provisioning and helping businesses transform their physical environments to virtual ones. The question is not ‘is your employee connected?’… the answer is YES… but are you, the company,....are you connected?



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