As we established last week, (hyperlink to previous post) the world of enterprise is currently undergoing a technological revolution that will transform the way business as we know it, is conducted. This is the second of an eight-part blog series examining the changes that will drastically alter the corporate landscape in the next five years.
Cloud computing—the umbrella term for the growing trend of providing software, storage and other services from remote data centers over the web, instead of relying on software or data installed on individual PCs—is quickly becoming the new technological standard for big business. With employees working across so many different devices from multiple locations, cloud computing is increasingly essential for a seamless experience. Whatever solutions companies decide to buy from the likes of Google, Microsoft, IBM, or whoever, they all have to work on the myriad devices people now carry. In a nutshell, cloud computing is making business life easier by allowing users access to the same information regardless of which gadget they have logged on with. It’s universal access to storage and services that don’t technically “live” on your device.
Over the first three quarters of 2011 alone, there was more than $10 billion spent on enterprise cloud consolidations. This includes moves like SAP’s purchase of SuccessFactors and Oracle’s acquisitions of RightNow and Taleo. These moves are signals of the severity of the disruption occurring in this sector—disruption that will make it very difficult for incumbent vendors to hold on and will inevitably revolutionize the way we work. Microsoft has also announced it is revamping its 2013 Office suite to be tailored to the cloud, in the company’s largest-ever overhaul of its aging workplace software. If that’s not an indication of changing times, I don’t know what is?
A Day At The Office…
Using email and FTP servers to share files is becoming a thing of the past. Installing programs onto your “work computer” and having to log in remotely using a VPN to gain access to your files is a thing of the past. The days of frustration for many employees and days spent troubleshooting for the IT department, are coming to an end as technology has evolved to better serve our workplace needs.
Our new mobile workforce means that software and file storage must be accessible anywhere, on any device and cannot be stuck in one static place anymore. People want to be able to access work while at the beach or soccer field. Simply dropping a file into a centralized location using cloud technology offers easy access and version control with the click of a button, quite literally. This also means that your IT team will be able to focus on their core competencies rather than getting bogged down by contextual issues from their fellow, less tech-savvy colleagues.
An Early Adopter
Classic Kitchens and Cabinets is well known for its operational excellence. Meeting timelines and staying within budgets is an art Director of Operations, Nadeem Esmail takes pride in, and that is why he has taken a proactive approach to develop an explicit digital strategy to optimize day-to-day operations, streamline decision-making and drive profitability. ”Today`s new home construction industry operates on tight schedules and short turnaround times. For our just-in-time manufacturing facility, that means focusing a great deal of attention on managing and disseminating information to ensure our team is able to complete work efficiently and on time,” he says.
Bridging the communication gap between head office and field teams is a common problem in this industry and Esmail understands how leveraging the cloud can drastically help this area of the business. “Increasing our ability to access and manage information rapidly, and from outside the office, is key to further enhancing our responsiveness, efficiency, and customer service. Having the ability to tackle problems on site from a smart phone and respond to queries immediately in person will provide us an important advantage in today`s competitive, consumer-focused marketplace. Equally importantly, it also creates the opportunity for a better work-life balance for our employees.”