Many of us are still clear on what the phrase “cloud” means. In accordance with Wikipedia, cloud computing “…provides computation, software, data access, and storage services which do not require user understanding of the physical location and configuration of the system that gives the assistance.” Why is this important? It delivers agility to firms that has never been seen before.
When a business moves towards the cloud, it is no longer required to ensure that it stays on premise. What this means is dramatically reduced infrastructure and energy costs. While not having to put money into expensive infrastructure, and using web-based services instead, businesses can grow faster, and just make use of the storage space they need, growing when needed and shrinking when space will not be needed. Servers have been in another location, so you can find no high power bills to monitor, and no unexpected spikes in costs.
What’s interesting is that every clients are trying their particular methods: either pioneers inside the company have started using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google pages (and so on and so on – there are a lot of social networking platforms available). As social media has grown to be popular, a lot of third-party providers also have emerged because the “specialists” – they will approach you and convince you they are those who have mastered the usage of twitter – then a different one comes as the specialist for engaging customers with Facebook…At the end of the day, as being a company taking into consideration the adoption of social networking, you’ll more confused than ever before. And worst of, some customers would think they are fully aware of everything that is to understand about social media marketing and you also now how you can reach every one of them individually on all these different platforms.
On the contrary, experience indicates that even though social media marketing has become quite popular, very few companies have clear strategies along with clear indicators in relation to their social networking campaign. Most of the time, many businesses think they’ve tried it all once they have formulated their accounts on popular social media marketing platforms then publish bits of information from time to time – mostly ads regarding their services. Even though this approach is common, we quite often see companies apply this strategy just to abandon everything together a few months later, mainly because they may have no clear path to follow, nor clear indications. The thing is, those companies adopted social media marketing thinking they already knew what you should expect right away: and this is where the matter lies. Social media could be very 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, when it comes to cloud-based solutions, most companies believe that they already know what you should expect from cloud computing solutions: this usually leads to companies minimizing the disruptive change that cloud-based solutions may bring. Moreover (as is the case with social media) the cloud has become very popular that the majority of solutions are now tagged with the word “cloud” – even though some aren’t actually cloud-based solutions per se. From your client’s perspective, this provides the false impression 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 many companies who zoarok they know everything you should know about the cloud, it’s very hard to highlight the huge benefits that this company may benefit from custom-implementation of cloud collaboration. Let’s take a good example: you know that I’m an advocate for Hosted Exchange- I’ve got plenty of measurable indicators that can work in favor of adopting Hosted Exchange for just one company (it’s always good to get clear return on interest or ‘ROI’ for each and every IT project), however if the client thinks which they don’t need to have a cloud-based solution, simply because everybody available has demonstrated and advertised the incorrect method for their company to adopt the cloud, there’s a higher chance they won’t even consider listening to any pro-cloud arguments.
As a final note, here’s what I would suggest to the company pitching the adoption of cloud computing: don’t enter into that trap that lets you think you are already aware anything that a cloud-based solution will bring, and secondly- have whoever pitches to you personally about cloud computing come up with measurable ROI – opt to adopt the cloud simply because you see actual benefits, not because it’s trendy.