Most of us are still clear on what the word “cloud” means. According to Wikipedia, cloud computing “…provides computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user understanding of the physical location and configuration of the system which provides the services.” The reason why this important? It delivers agility to companies that has never been seen before.
Whenever a business moves to the cloud, it has stopped being required to make it on premise. What this means is dramatically reduced infrastructure and energy costs. Without needing to spend money on expensive infrastructure, and ultizing web-based services instead, businesses can grow faster, and only use the space for storage they want, growing when needed and shrinking when space is not needed. Servers will be in another location, so there are no high electricity bills to keep an eye on, without any unexpected spikes in costs.
What’s interesting is the fact every clients are trying their own methods: either pioneers inside the company have started using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google pages (and so on and so on – there are plenty of social networking platforms out there). As social media has grown to be popular, a lot of third-party providers have likewise emerged because the “specialists” – then they will approach you and convince you they are those who have mastered the use of twitter – then yet another one may come as the specialist for engaging customers with Facebook…At the conclusion of the day, being a company thinking about the adoption of social media, you’ll more confused than ever. And worst of all the, some customers would think that they are fully conscious of everything that is to know about social networking and also you now the best way to reach all of them individually on each one of these different platforms.
On the other hand, experience has shown that even though social networking has grown to be quite popular, not many companies actually have clear strategies along with clear indicators in terms of their social media campaign. Most of the time, most companies think they’ve tried it all when they have created their accounts on popular social media platforms then publish bits of information from time to time – mostly ads about their services. While this approach is normal, we frequently see companies apply this approach just to abandon it all together several months later, due to the fact they have got no clear way to follow, nor clear indications. The thing is, those companies adopted social media marketing thinking they already knew what to expect right from the start: and here is where the matter lies. Social media marketing can be quite powerful provided it’s implemented strategically- not just because a company has made a decision to copy-and-paste another companies approach or feel it’s the ‘done thing’.
So what’s the analogy between social networking and cloud computing with regards to company adoption? Well, with regards to cloud-based solutions, a lot of companies feel that they already know what to anticipate from cloud computing solutions: this usually brings about companies minimizing the disruptive change that cloud-based solutions can bring. Moreover (as is the situation with social media) the cloud has become quite popular that the majority of solutions are actually tagged using the word “cloud” – even though some aren’t actually cloud-based solutions per se. From the client’s point of view, this offers the false impression that they know all they need to about cloud-based solutions. But this actually creates an uncomfortable situation for actual cloud-based solution providers as, with a lot of companies who zoarok they understand everything you need to know regarding the cloud, it’s very hard to focus on the benefits that the company can benefit from custom-implementation of gmail to google docs. Let’s take an illustration: you already know that I’m an advocate for Hosted Exchange- I’ve got plenty of measurable indicators that can be employed in favor of adopting Hosted Exchange for starters company (it’s always good to have clear return on interest or ‘ROI’ for each and every IT project), but if the client thinks that they don’t need to have a cloud-based solution, simply because everybody on the market has demonstrated and advertised the incorrect way for their company to adopt the cloud, there’s a high chance they won’t even consider hearing any pro-cloud arguments.
Being a final note, here’s what I recommend for any company pitching the adoption of cloud computing: don’t enter into that trap that permits you to think you are already aware everything that a cloud-based solution may bring, and secondly- have whoever pitches to you about cloud computing develop measurable ROI – choose to adopt the cloud simply because you see actual benefits, not because it’s trendy.