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What is Cloud Power, Social Impact?
Cloud Power is about technology, Social Impact is about people. Here’s why.
Over the past decade, technology has been going through a big shift , the way in which people access and use information has changed dramatically. Today people are not just receiving information. Armed with a smartphone and some brains, millions have become content generators, influencers and revolutionaries through social media channels. New devices such as IPhones and tablets do things that we could only dream of a few years ago. Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized the way in which we consume and disseminate information. We know other’s likes, dislikes, opinions, favorite food, band, you name it. Information is richer and more accessible than ever.
We use web based email, access Facebook and Twitter through a browser, phone or tablet, store files on Apple’s iCloud, listen to music on Spotify or Pandora, upload and watch videos on Youtube. We use the Cloud and Social Media every day. Yet when we talk about Cloud or Social, many people are confused or have a very basic understanding of what these concepts mean or what they are capable of achieving. Ask 10 people to define these concepts and you are likely to get 10 different answers, all of which could be right. The possibilities are endless.
This wave of changes didn’t happen overnight. First it was Cloud with leaders such as Amazon.com, Salesforce.com and Google leading the way. They provided technology from data storage, to email, collaboration, and entertainment all without having to install any piece of software or configure hardware and many of them for free. Cloud gave way to Social with Facebook and Twitter the indisputable leaders in this area. With other key players such as Youtube, Netflix, Hulu, Blogger, WordPress, and more recently Pinterest, just to name a few. Using the lessons from the movement to the Cloud, social channels changed the way in which we interact with other, access and disseminate information, and they continue to evolve.
These have converged with Mobile to create a revolution in terms of how information is produced and consumed. From talking about your favorite food or color, expressing dissatisfaction with corporations to toppling governments, the impact cannot be understated. Even with this great impact, we are scratching the surface of what is possible with this new approach to technology, especially when it comes to applying it to the enterprise.
So, what does it all mean? How can I use it in my business? The answers are closer and more evident that you may realize. In many ways Cloud, Social and Mobile converge to provide freedom. Freedom to think, grow, execute and innovate. We check our email from our smartphones, access Facebook and Twitter, and synchronize information from desktop, to smartphone to tablet instantaneously.
As a business, the cloud provides power to do what you do best, to think creatively and productively about how to take your business to the next level. It gives business freedom by letting technology experts handle the headaches of updates, upgrades and system maintenance, configurations, while businesses focus on their core competencies. This translates to lower costs, easier maintenance, fast deployments and more productivity.
Social is about impact. It is about connecting with people and their emotions. It opens the discourse and most importantly and allows us to listen and join conversations. It has proven very powerful in revolutions in the Middle East and provides a voice to individuals and consumers which previously didn’t exists. Today when customers speak, businesses must listen, acknowledge and communicate adequately with their customers to turn them into advocates.
Both the Cloud and Social Media become exponentially more powerful when coupled with mobile devices. As consumers, we live this every day; we store in the Cloud, log on to our social accounts, take pictures and send them to friends or audiences across the globe. As you think about your business, think about how what you are already doing can make you more productive and successful, be creative and try new approaches. How can applying these concepts help your business? How can sales people use a smartphone or tablet when they are on the road? How can I collaborate more effectively internally using the skills and concepts that my workforce already uses day to day? Can we turn that Tweet into a customer?
Once again: Cloud Power is about technology, Social Impact is about people.