I spend a fair amount of time thinking about, writing about technology and how it’s changing the world of business. I’m guessing that you do, too, whether you’re in marketing, sales or IT – am I right? I spent the early part of this week in Las Vegas attending IBM’s PartnerWorld Leadership Conference and the focus of the event was on the fact that new technology presents new opportunities for business. Whether we’re talking about big data and analytics, mobile, the Internet of Things, social business, security, cloud, or mobile, customers are interested in productive ways to put technology to work for their businesses and we spent a few days digging in and learning about how to do that most effectively. For a geeky tech nerd like me, it was like being in Heaven.
It’s not news that we are living in a time of unbelievable explosion around technology. It’s not going to slow down – ever and, in fact, it’s going to speed up in ways that can be mind-boggling at times. When you’re in technology, you understand this, and you know that tech builds upon itself, constantly evolving and changing. The more innovation we see, the greater acceleration of technology. It’s exciting from a business standpoint because things that wouldn’t have been possible, or economical five or ten years ago have now come into focus. Technology is enabling businesses to lower the cost of communication, mobile bandwidth, storing data, customer and employee interactions, relationships and so much more.
Clients – your clients and mine – are looking for help. They need guidance and assistance on how to power their businesses, where to put their IT investments moving forward, insights on how to stay more competitive, more innovative, more responsive to the markets, and the clients they are serving. Transitioning to the cloud is how we can help make that happen.
Transition to Cloud: What That Means
Moving business operations to the cloud provides a huge opportunity for businesses, for your clients and your prospects, to not only reinvent opportunities, but also to grow their businesses. Some 70% of CXOs surveyed have initiatives in place today to respond more quickly to emerging trends. They know it’s not a choice–it’s a critical business move.
These CXOs understand that the one constant when it comes to establishing and maintaining a competitive advantage is relentless change. There are one trillion connected things providing data this year. One trillion. It’s kind of hard to get your head around a number that big, isn’t it? Cloud can help businesses leverage that huge mass of data so as to create a competitive advantage And cloud? It’s at the forefront of all this innovation.
One of the most exciting things about cloud is that it doesn’t discriminate. It gives organizations of any size the ability to innovate at speed, public, private or hybrid, bare metal or managed, on premise or off. Cloud
Mobile and Cloud
Cloud and mobile, mobile and cloud. They are inseparable, so if that’s not already a basic premise in your mind, embrace it. The average mobile user checks their phone 150 times per day. I’ve seen this stat a lot over the course of the last year or so and while I’ve never made time to count how many times I grab and use my device, I’m pretty sure that my numbers would far exceed this. How about you? Checking email, grabbing or sending text messages, searching the web, listening to podcasts, watching video, playing games, stalking my kids on social media channels – you’re nodding, aren’t you? Because now you’re thinking that 150 times per day doesn’t really seem all that much, now does it?
The thing about cloud and mobile is that cloud allows you to use mobile as the activation point for customer interaction. Mobile is driving the cloud and could is driving mobile, and the two are so intertwined you can’t separate them. Nor would you want to.
Multiple On Ramps to Cloud
So it’s inarguable that cloud is on your radar screen this year. And I can promise you that it’s on your clients’ radar screens as well – even if they’re not quite sure what to do or where to go with it. Gartner reports that 70% of enterprises are to pursue hybrid cloud computing and there are plenty of small to midsize businesses integrating cloud at various levels as well. The cool thing about cloud is that it doesn’t require huge disruption within the organization. You can bring your own licenses, your own applications, your own ideas and your own customers to the cloud, in whatever steps you want to take in order to make that happen. These onramps, of which IBM has many, enable you (and your clients) to bring your best ideas and to quickly innovate. We are no longer operating in a world where you can take 18 months (or longer) from concept to rollout of an idea – we are in the world of agile DevOps and the quicker you can conceive, develop and launch something, the greater your chance of success. One of my favorite lines of the morning keynote presentations was from the always on it Sandy Carter, who said that “Agile is the new design principle for the enterprise — 80% is good enough and cloud is the enabler of that.”
She’s right. 80% is without question good enough and cloud is how you make that happen. There’s more to come from Sandy and the other insights she shared, but I wanted to get this top line overview of the IBMPWLC event written and published while the conversations about cloud and how it does and will and will continue to revolutionize everything we know about business were still top of mind.
How are you using cloud today in your business? Are you, like many of the CXOs or CMOs surveyed, looking at more and more ways to integrate cloud into your operations? If so, what’s at the top of your list? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
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This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.
This article was originally published on V3 Integrated Marketing Blog.