Friday, 4 November 2011

Notes on the Cloud

Some interesting reading from Intel's Small Business Index on SMEs, their understanding and their take up of Cloud computing at Allegedly, many small businesses still use fax machines. Bizarre - who do they send things to?

What is interesting is the comparatively slow take up of applications by SMEs in the Cloud. I have written a lot about SMEs using Cloud software to decrease bills, smooth costs and be able to scale faster as well as making life easy and it surprises me that SMEs are not more savvy in tough times. The reality is that most SMEs don't have the resources to consider the changes in enough detail while the concept of change conjures up images of cost and disruption - both nasty things for SMEs.

Intel also finds from its 3,000 business survey that a high percentage of SMEs have little idea what the Cloud is really about. It points out that many Google and eBay users surveyed don't use the Cloud. That doesn't make them daft in my book as my own survey of larger business executives shows they don't think such things as ecommerce, internet banking or co-hosted private networks as anything to do with the Cloud either.

In another article, we see the growth in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or the 'Consumerisation of IT' as a colleague refers to it. This is the idea that many of us are now countermanding IT directives and spending our own money on tablets, smartphones and the like and bringing them in to be included on the corporate network. In here lies an opportunity.

Imagine a distributor who is extremely strong in all of volume software, enterprise IT and mobility. If they could bring together technology and sales they could quite possibly find ways for corporations to include such devices within the confines of the network securely and in a controlled manner (handling such issues as if the CEO's device is lost or stolen - what happens to the data?). Imagine if such a company could provide approved 'App Stores' for the corporation's users to buy and download. Imagine if such a company could produce a corporate controlled alternative to iCloud or similar?

BYOD is a phenomenon that is here to stay - solutions like this are a next step. Will a distributor bind all these technologies together and not lose the potential sales that vendors and App Stores are taking? 

We'll see.

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