24 Apr Head in the Cloud? – Three Profit Driving Things the Cloud Can Do that You Haven’t Thought of Yet
It’s probable that you’ve been delaying the inevitable. That dreaded day when you’d have to sit down and come to grips with what all the buzz about cloud computing actually means for your company. I’ve got good news. Mostly, it means profits. Let me show you how:
1) A Cloud-Based Workforce Is a More Flexible Workforce
Wouldn’t it be great if your employees could not only work from home, but work from…well, anywhere? Trust me, your employees think so too, and the great news is that thanks to secure cloud storage, they can. Pay special attention to the “secure” part because it’s important. What it means is that all your sensitive work files can exist somewhere out there “in the cloud” accessible by your employees from anywhere there’s a ‘net connection.
They can make changes, do the work, and upload them back to the cloud. It’s a virtual office. They could be at home, in the airport, or on a beach in Maui with sand between their toes, and the work is still getting done. That’s wins all around. Win for you, and win for them. Best of all, it’s a win for your bottom line, because a happy workforce is a more productive and motivated workforce, and that contributes directly to your bottom line.
2) Products that never had computers in them can now have computers in them
We’re already seeing this. There are car companies right now, today, building cars with chips embedded in the unlikeliest of places. These chips are connected to sensors that beam data directly into the cloud where the data from the car is compared to a national database. Is the car running hot compared to average? Is it using more oil? Tires properly inflated? How’s the transmission, any slippages? All of these statistics, and more, are being monitored every time the car is in use.
What’s more, when any statistic falls too far outside the bounds of the expected range, the user gets a ping on his app, from the car! “Hi, this is your car. I’m using more oil than I should. Would you like me to schedule an appointment with a mechanic? I can show you where the nearest dealership is.”
All of that is made possible by the clever combination of cloud storage, cloud computing, a fairly standard app, and wireless connectivity. None of the technologies I just mentioned are revolutionary or groundbreaking. The difference, however, is in how they are arranged and utilized. It is in the way you can combine these different technologies to collect more data than it has ever been possible to collect, then use that data to do something useful.
That’s extraordinary, and don’t think for a moment that it is limited just to cars. You could put similar sensors on your computer (it could tell you when the fan’s going, or if the power supply is acting strangely…anything). You could even put a sensor in your wristwatch. It could periodically check itself against some master timepiece somewhere, adjust for timezone and whether or not the area was in and using daylight savings time, and reset itself accordingly (sending a note, or not, to the owner of the watch to report the slippage and adjustment).
There are almost as many potential uses for this kind of technology as there are products on the market today. If given enough time, I’m sure that the person who invented the “Pocket Fisherman – a Ronco Original” could come up with a way to incorporate the technology into that humble device.
3) Super Easy Product Development and Collaboration
Not only can your employees work individually from anywhere, but it’s never been easier for them to collaborate from anywhere together. This is great news for you, because it means a far flung design team can quickly assemble a computerized version of the prototype for your company’s next multi-million dollar idea, then send it off to the 3d printer to print out a mockup so you can be holding it in your hand in a matter of days!
Cloud technology is both amazing and versatile, but the very best part is how easily and seamlessly it blends with existing tech to make the whole cloth better.