Get with the times or die

If you don’t start integrating cloud solutions and mobile working conditions, your business won’t last.

It’s a grim message – but that’s the reality according to a leading expert in strategic telecommunications.

Speaking at the NSC Group’s 2013 Business Collaboration Summit, Paul Budde, managing director of BuddeComme said business leaders who don’t believe they need to adapt to the new world of work will soon find they simply can’t compete with those who are.

“Are you daring to move into the new world, are you daring to transform your company – or aren’t you?” Budde, who has advised the Obama administration, said at the summit.

A key issue according to Budde is that too many business leaders think the cloud is simply a technology, instead of seeing it as a concept. “Unless you actually understand that cloud computing has very little to do with IT, and everything to do with how your organisation is managing its own future, unless you actually get a hold on that and start to understand that, then unfortunately there’s a big chance that you’ll be a casualty on the super highway, rather than a winner on the superhighway,” Budde said.

Yet advising a business leader that cloud computing increases efficiency, and boosts revenue, isn’t cutting through to many SME’s. So what’s preventing a cloud revolution?

Bernardo de Albergaria, VP and GM Collaboration for Citrix, told Dynamic Business that in many cases, it’s simply a case of old habits die-hard.

“The perception of the world of work is often this “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. The problem is, it is broken, and there’s an unwillingness to admit it,” de Albergaria said. “I think it’s a combination of a lack of awareness of what’s out there, and also a preconception that technology solutions are complicated, and the learning curve is too steep compared to the advantage they would bring,” he added.

One example of a technology which was slow to be adopted, but later become industry standard, is email. However, email as a technology is now a scourge on productivity, and a component of the so-called old world of work. Indeed McKinsey (MGI) research from July 2012 found that the average worker spends 28 per cent of the workweek managing email.

When social technologies are fully adopted, thereby eliminating tasks such as tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks, the research suggests companies stand to raise productivity by 20 to 25 percent.

Cloud tools exist for almost any business, any activity, and any role. “Yet there are also still businesses that use pen and paper for accounting. Or maybe just a spreadsheet instead of accounting software which would be much more efficient for them,” de Albergaria said.

Capitalising on the mobility of talent is also a key tenant of the new world of work, and enabled by the cloud. A provider of such solutions, de Albergaria says Citrix ‘eats its own cavier’ so-to-speak, adapting their processes for those who are not geographically located near one of its offices as a matter of course.

“For example there may be a person who has been with us six months, one year, two years, and really proved himself or herself, but now they want to move for personal reasons. And we decided ‘Wow, for me to find that talent again – train that person, going on even the probability that there’s a 20 or 30 per cent chance that they may not work out as well as that person, it’s a high cost. And so I want to retain that talent, and captivate this resource, so I want this person to continue working for us, (if they want to), but remotely,” de Albergaria said. “These technologies are enablers – everything is in front of you just like in the office.”

For Budde, changes in technology, and changes in society, go hand-in-hand. “It’s time to start operating in a more management and cost-effective way – these changes are taking place in our society,” he said. “You will have to be aware that you could be the next casualty if you don’t move on. And what moving on means, is that the old world has changed, it’s changed forever, and we have to create a new world.”

  • I remember being told in 1999 that people who didn’t understand the business model were dinosaurs (good image!) who would die but 95% of dot.coms failed in the crash.

    So I would just like to say re “cloud computing” that there is no such thing as a cloud, there is only people connecting remotely to a sever, which is what every website has done for the past 20 years.

    Cloud computing is a data access technology, it’s about how you enable an outcome and far, far less important than the outcome itself. It may for a moment be a high level tech issue, but it’s a low level management issue because it is not a marketing outcome, it is just an enabling tool.

    “Cloud heads” are just air heads with a disconnect.

  • Michael Kaff

    The issue for many, including me, is that “cloud” technology puts all of your private information “out there” to be accessed by anyone. Yes I know that it’s secure and only you and the chosen few can supposedly access such files and information but hey, NOTHING IS 100% SECURE. The right hacker can get into anything, should they be motivated enough. Just look at the various Governments’ systems that have been compromised. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t use the Cloud system at all. Just be careful as to what you put “out there” and, correct me if I’m wrong, but can’t files that have been “deleted” still be sourced/restored if you know how? Food for thought….and yes, I grew up with “old school” methods and I was an auditor/accountant who’s seen much fraud and misappropriation.

  • Leigh Holladay Crawley

    Yes, I agree great article! I discovered a great cloud-based business
    management software called, “System100” through
    systemization. It’s everything I wanted and more. I love how the
    systems max revenue through efficiency.