“Cloud” has been a buzzword within the industry for the past decade. In fact, some even claim it’s “old news.” And while others may be looking to the next big thing, visionaries in the space view the cloud movement as the first step of a monumental shift in both the IT industry and the world. This shift is driven by connections with other waves of innovation as established technologies (such as mobility) continue to evolve and new movements like the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to rise. Cloud will play a major role in fueling efficiency, profitability and collaboration in the very near future.
IoT Will Explode Cloud Computing Across Industries
Just as cloud has evolved the technology supply chain, IoT is poised to drastically enhance the supply chain across many verticals. Businesses will be able to analyze data points from the source to the distributor to the cash register—all in one place. With significant applications tied together by the cloud throughout the product lifecycle, IoT will make businesses smarter, more efficient and more profitable. Combining IoT’s machine learning and sensory data with the connectivity of the cloud will provide significant insights. And while a broad range of opportunities are born from IoT’s global reach along the supply chain, finding a niche specialty will be key.
With Great Growth Comes Great (Security) Responsibility
One of the benefits of cloud solutions is the ability to scale. Naturally, it’s important for IT solution providers to ensure solutions are properly secure before rolling them out to customers. We call this “smart scaling.” There are obvious risks, such as housing customer data, but the security risks that can come along with the cloud may not be as obvious. Transaction data is very sensitive, but in the cloud, the amount of transactions increase exponentially, meaning there’s a lot more information to protect. Before growing your cloud solutions, ensure your cloud solution has significant security protocols in place and that a best-of-breed ecosystem exists to protect the pathways to the cloud.
Prepare for the Expansion of the Connected Workplace
Just as IoT will increase efficiencies and productivity through the supply chain, expect amplified connectivity to optimize offices around the world (even beyond where they are today). This movement will bring more than web conferencing—it will provide an environment for enhanced collaboration tools. What was previously a single presenter’s PowerPoint deck will soon be a platform where multiple participants can present and interact with each other in a single meeting room. The vision of cross-company collaboration via tools like Microsoft SharePoint will be realized. Advances in hardware and software will be enabled by the connective capabilities of the cloud—changing the way teams collaborate in the future.
Mobility Will Continue to Expand our Reach
The mobile revolution changed the way people around the world communicate. Paired with the cloud, the new wave of mobile technology will realign how work is done across global organizations. Businesses that leverage cloud mobility are equipping their workforces with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions across platforms and devices, and across the world. Solutions like Skype and OneDrive are just the beginning of the Cloud + Mobility shift. And while the remote workforce concept isn’t a new idea, the cloud’s expanded role in the space will decrease barriers to entry, improve flexibility and significantly increase mobile productivity.
In the coming months, we will take an even deeper dive into how cloud technology will partner with each of these areas of technology, drastically changing the way customers leverage technology to conduct business and access information.
Nethercoat leads Tech Data's TDCloud business unit, which is dedicated to the adoption of cloud computing and the enablement of solution providers to build a profitable business through a recurring revenue model. A 20-year company veteran, Nethercoat is responsible for TDCloud's organizational structure, strategic direction, business development, sales and marketing. Recently, she was named to the seventh annual MSPmentor 250 by Penton Technology Group, which identifies the world’s leading Managed Services Provider (MSP) executives, entrepreneurs, experts, coaches and community leaders. As a result of her efforts in 2014, Tech Data was ranked No. 21 in the Talkin' Cloud 100. In 2009, Nethercoat was named to CRN’s Power 100 Women of the Channel list. Most recently, CRN named Nethercoat to its 2015 Channel Chief list