You use the cloud more than you realize. Did you write a postcard today? How about writing a check? What about going to the post office? Do you even know where your post office is? Has anyone used a map today; the paper kind?
Five years ago 53% of people would have answered yes to at least 2 or 3 of these questions. The cloud is changing the world we live in and the future ahead. We know we live in a world of social media. We live in a world of mobile. We live a world of analytics. We also live in a world, in this amazing time, called cloud. Cloud is something that is going to transform the way all of us work. In fact, it already is. If you have kids, you’ve either thought about or actually monitor what they do on their mobile devices. That’s a good thing these days, right? We’re in a world in which everything is connected. Let’s take a little journey on the connected world.
In 1960, the population of planet Earth was 3 billion. Today, you likely have a phone where you can look that up on Google or you can ask Siri or Cortana? These answers are easy to find. We’re in a connected world that uses the cloud. The population of the planet today is 7.1 billion. The population in 2020 will be 7.8 billion. This is really interesting because the thing about cloud is not about the number of businesses. It’s about the number of people. What do you think the population of the United States was in 1960? It was 180 million, right? The population of the US today is 316 million. That’s almost double and continues to grow. It continues to grow where you live; in big cities like LA, NY, Chicago, Atlanta, and Miami. Cities are getting bigger and bigger so there’s more and more people to serve in those cities. Let me give you another example. The population of China in 1960 was 660 million. Now it is a staggering 1.35 billion. That’s the latest census statistics. That’s a lot of people. Can you imagine how many cloud consumers are going to be added in China? The population of India in 1960 was 449 million. Today, it is a staggering 1.25 billion. It’s gone up “3X”. The cloud is about the users. Let me give you one last statistic to give you a sense of the magnitude of the journey that you’re on and why it’s important that you take that journey soon. 20 years ago, there were less than 500 million cell phone subscribers. Today, worldwide, there are 6.7 billion cell phone users. Many people have more than one subscription. As of this year (2015), there are 4.5 billion users. That means that most of the people on the planet already has a cell phone. Everything is connected. Data flows everywhere in the world. Excerpts from: Nimish Dave, Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2015 Keynote.
As the number of people accessing data on their devices and apps increases, organizations already in the cloud are experiencing a transformation of efficiency, cost and emergence which allows small businesses to compete with major firms for business. Not only do these cloud adopters experience the benefits but their consumer base does as well. Some great examples are Airbnb and Uber. As a consumer, these cloud offerings weren’t there a few years ago. However, they are now. Plus they have added efficiencies to our everyday lives. As this trend continues, your employees and consumers expect it. Imagine that you’re a medical association with 25,000 members. Your consumers, the medical professionals, can go onto a mobile app to register for an industry event that they get Continuing
Medical Education (CME) credit at. Within that app they can register and track events hosted by you, another society, other journals, grand rounds, and virtually anything that counts for credit. Now imagine if upon registering, you and other credentialing bodies could see and track their transcripts across organizations. Imagine as the medical professional being able to do this from one app rather than disparate places to understand what their entire CME transcript is and what categories have not been satisfied and when those are due.
When is the last time you’ve traveled? If you’ve traveled recently, you likely have used a mobile cloud app like the one United Airlines offers. In there, you can purchase your tickets, pick your seats, add extra bags, track your miles, view your travel history, receive status updates and board the plane all from your phone.
As consumers, we expect the same conveniences in our professional lives as we do in our personal ones. The first step toward achieving this goal is getting your organization on to the cloud so that the transformation process can begin. Once you’re in the cloud, your users and consumers can use any device, any platform, anywhere which opens up new opportunities.
Challenges In 2015
Many small and medium sized businesses (SMB) are focused on increasing profitability, growth and customer relationships while reducing operational costs. Below, the SMB top 10 business issues, IT priorities and challenges businesses are faced with are depicted. Source: 2015 Top 10 SMB Business Issues, IT Priorities and IT Challenges (Infographic).
Ways Others Are Using It
Many SMBs are leveraging the cloud more than ever. The following infographic depicts the current trends on how it is being used. Source: Intuit, The Applification of Small Businesses.
What Others Are Doing About It
Here are the current statistics as more businesses continue to adopt the cloud. The infographic below shows who is adopting the cloud, how SMBs compare to larger businesses, the realized benefits, top uses, the future and projections. Source: Rackspace.
Is The Cloud In Your Roadmap?
As SMBs continue to adopt the cloud at an accelerated rate, they’re enabled to focus on their customers and making their businesses operate efficiently, timely and smart. Think about your competitors. Have they adopted the cloud yet? Whoever adopts earlier will have a competitive advantage in reaching new markets and growing existing ones. Is the cloud in your business roadmap? Don’t get left behind in this amazing time.
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