Long thought of as a sight, to tell daydreamers to comeback to by “getting your head out of the cloud” – advertising and marketing people may want to put their heads back in and have a look around.
For our purposes, a cloud is a metaphorical off site data backup that stores personal data and information. Cloud computing has been in the works for over a decade, yet there still so much information floating that it makes it hard for companies to decipher what it is (Ulander, 2012). One thing for sure is that cloud creates a seamless connection from all of your devices making all of your information accessible anywhere. It literally brings the whole world to your fingertips.
The way people compute is evolving as technology advances and consumers are spending more time online. One popular trend is the use of cloud based computing within a company to streamline internal processes. For example, Avon recently launched an internal cloud based computing system in an effort “increase the sales and efficiency of Avon’s distribution system” (Hamm, 2012). This system will be utilized by 150,000 sales representatives as well as accessible via smartphone and PC (Hamm, 2012). Not only does a system like this integrate the company’s system, it also is cost effective. I’d say that’s a win-win for any company.
Another rising movement is the creation of personal clouds. Apple’s iCloud is a great example of how a company can capitalize off of creating personal clouds. Not only has Apple been able to generate direct revenue from storing their user’s content, they are also able to market other products within the cloud and create a more meaningful brand experience. They market their iCloud service with a simple emphasis that it is “automatic and effortless” (Apple, n.d.). Since the information stored is available everywhere you go, it encourages the use of more Apple products and a continual connection to the Apple brand.
Apple has maximized this new technology and brought its usefulness into reality as an excellent business solution. Now other major companies (for example, HP and IBM) are attempting to follow in their footsteps because they have realized that the cloud is changing everything.
Based on current theory, developing a cloud strategy is becoming a necessity to stay relevant in today’s market. Ulander’s (2012) advice is to learn “from others who have already built highly scalable, successful clouds that have helped them transform the way they deliver and consume IT resources”. Because the cloud has endless interpretations and possibilities, each company has to come to an understanding of what the cloud shift means for them.
It’s hard for consumers and companies alike to know where to begin and to not to feel like their head is in the cloud in the information. This just goes to show more research is needed to fully understand the implications of this new technology and how it can be best utilized.
Apple. (n.d.). iCloud. Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/
Hamm, S. (2012). How cloud computing will change business. Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_24/b4135042942270.htm?chan=magazine+channel_special+report
Ulander, P. (2012). Top 5 things the cloud is not. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/cloudline/2012/06/top-5-things-the-cloud-is-not/