Making forecasts about the future of disruptive technology used to be one of those things we’d do around the end of the year. That’s when you see all those pieces about what’s out and what’s in about everything from music to movies to meals. But information technology is a different animal. It’s not trend driven, it’s results driven. And innovations are now occurring at such a breakneck pace that we can’t hang around until the ball drops in Times Square before we talk about what’s going to happen.
So with apologies to Ryan Seacrest and all his new year’s party-goers, here are five cloud computing predictions we’re pretty certain are going to become the new norm:
Cloud Computing Adoption is Accelerating
This isn’t a hit-and-run trend. Cloud computing continues to prove its value in terms of ease-of-implementation, management and maintenance, and cost effectiveness. Close to 25 percent of companies today are using cloud-based applications, and most of those businesses are planning to expand capability and usage across their organizations. The numbers also tell the story: Revenue from worldwide cloud services was $46.4 billion in 2008. By 2013 it reached more than $150 billion.
Cloud Computing is Going Mobile
The idea that devices are mobile is just about redundant today. You have a device, you expect and even demand it should be capable of performing everywhere and anywhere. We no longer have to point out the distinction of the “mobile workforce”. Today, the workforce is mobile, and that’s driving a rabid demand for anytime/anywhere data access. Cloud-based applications are what make this possible. Does anybody have to stop by their desk anymore to get things done? Of course not. Grab your tablet or your smartphone and you are literally in business.
The Cloud Will Cover the Globe
We’re not talking about it being overcast around the world. We mean companies worldwide are using cloud-based tools with increasing consistency. Communication connectivity and collaborative power will continue to grow, available and accessible for workers on every continent. That also means the demand for systems operating seamlessly across myriad locations will explode, to say nothing of the need for multi-currency financial tools and multi-language interfaces.
The Cloud Is Killing Friction
Cloud-based IT means fast access to more accurate information. Communication and collaboration is streamlined, which makes the cloud a catalyst for knocking down outmoded methodologies that slow interaction among internal departments, and frustrate customer experience. Those impediments, killed by the cloud, mean much less friction between employees, vendors, partners, and customers. It’s the solution that’s driving automated supply chains, and powering dashboards displaying rich, real-time info on just about any aspect of business performance.
Social Tools Will Fuel Greater Cloud-Driven Collaboration
The improved business performance of cloud-based applications is indisputable, but the cloud is also becoming the driver for improved social interaction across the entire business cycle. Customers expect online chat capability when visiting a site. Internal teams want micro-blogging that facilitates collaboration. These kinds of interactions are much faster, more convenient, and more satisfying than phone calls or even email. These real-time tools are how we all communicate with coworkers, current customers, and prospects. These social tools are also generating a monumental amount of valuable business data. And that data needs to be stored and subsequently mined to optimize interactions, enhance experiences and boost sales.
In a way, calling these predictions is a bit inaccurate. These are evolutions that are already taking place, and gaining major momentum with every business day. It’s definitely not a time to remain satisfied with traditional business IT strategies. Embracing cloud-driven IT can keep your organization ahead of the innovation curve, and be the advantage that sets your company apart from its competitors. Contact me directly to discuss your business requirements and get a more precise picture of what the cloud is capable of. It’s definitely worth the conversation.