Four Technology Trends Helping Firms Thrive: Cloud, Digital, Mobility and IoT
The following is an excerpt from Microsoft’s “Four Technology Trends Helping Businesses Thrive” eBook.
Cloud computing is no longer just a buzzword.
Cloud technology sets the foundation of transformation for businesses. The adoption of cloud services worldwide has continued to accelerate at an incredible pace. For almost all industries, the cloud changes how people work, where people work, and the way people do business. While cost reduction is still a top priority, scalability and business agility have stepped to the forefront as primary reasons businesses are adopting cloud solutions.
The next generation of business applications in the cloud allow businesses to start with what makes the most sense for their business now, and easily extend and modify as their business needs change over time without IT complexity and disruption to their business. With the right service provider and the right applications in the cloud, even complex business processes can be moved to the cloud with confidence.
“By 2020 clouds will stop being referred to as ‘public’ and ‘private.’ It will simply be the way business is done and IT is provisioned.” – IDC
Digital transformation is taking connectivity to new heights.
We recently surveyed small and mid-sized business owners and employees to understand their most challenging problems. Lost productivity spent working across multiple systems that don’t talk to each other was a common issue reported by business owners and IT managers. Disconnected systems cause manual processes, duplicate entries, and reports that are out-of-date before they finish running. Lack of visibility hinders decision-making and puts the longevity of your business at risk.
For businesses to survive and thrive in this new era, they must embrace digital transformation. But what is digital transformation? A simple definition is the use of digital technologies, such as mobile, social, analytics, and cloud to transform how people work and businesses operate. Less-mature digital businesses are focused on solving discrete business problems with individual digital technologies. The businesses that are connecting their processes, systems, people, and data are able to get deep insight into what’s happening in their business. They are also able to anticipate what will happen and capitalize on that insight quickly.
The “Internet of Things” isn’t a mystery, it’s a reality.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the collecting and analyzing of data to identify patterns, track trends, and even predict behaviors.
Every business collects data. The secret is to use that information for better insight into customer behavior and operational efficiency. Organizations that can tap into the value of their data to predict the future instead of simply reacting to the past will thrive.
The cloud is transforming the way data is managed and delivered. There is a world of data available (both inside and outside your organization) and business applications that infuse big data, advanced analytics and IoT into business processes can actively guide employees and customers to optimal outcomes.
More and more, we’re seeing IoT become part of the fabric of business, bringing together assets, data, and processes with people and business systems. This intersection is driving new business opportunities while providing insight that drives meaningful customer interactions.
Don’t fear mobility, embrace it.
Mobility enables businesses to put technology advancements into practice on any day, across multiple devices, and at any location. Your employees need to be connected like never before. Customers expect your sales and service representatives to have immediate access to the information they need to solve their problem or deliver on a good or service they expect to receive. Calling back to the office to see if an item is in stock or waiting for a follow-up response to schedule a service appointment just doesn’t cut it.
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