New technology landscapes are full of clouds, but does it rain enough to help your fields flourish?
We are all connected to the world, any time, even in our sleep, even in our dreams. We wait for some of the miracles that eventually will happen because we are so connected to everything - and some do happen.
For some companies, the cloud is just a big computer hidden behind their office walls. And because it’s so big, it doesn't fit in the building and becomes just an opportunity to share and save the technology costs and have access to the best of what the computing industry can offer. And they are right, but it’s not enough.
If people are using the cloud to share information with their families and friends, and not just pictures or ideas, in most cases, people are using social networks to communicate. I have seen people almost forget about email. Email is becoming the most formal way to communicate, almost something that must have a kind of ‘proof of delivery’.
Why shouldn't businesses do the same?
Why do colleagues in a company have to communicate through such formal, and slow, ways to solve problems, or find solutions?
Why shouldn't customers and suppliers look at the sky and find the most heavy and dark clouds and make sure they have enough rain to cover their fields and make their businesses prosperous?
Some months ago, in China, I saw people in a business communicating between offices and their drivers in real time, using the country’s most frequently used social media network chat service. In this way, they were able to save time and money on text messages or phone calls. They were exchanging all the necessary information about new orders, changes on requests, and whatever was needed to make their work efficient.
This real time collaboration has become wider in many business conditions. Instead of communicating to each other by message, email, text messages, social networks or even by phone, the business software itself can make decisions based upon the information added into the system and just alert the users, wherever they are, whoever they are, whenever it is needed, without the manual intervention of any one person.
For instance, if the customer has a mobile app, or an online portal to place an order, why doesn't the system detect, in real-time, where the drivers are and, based on the driver proximity to the customer location, choose the closer one to assign the order? If we can use our smart phone to show us the ‘near me’ restaurants, why shouldn't your customers do the same for your services?
Through the cloud it’s possible to prepare business fields to receive the rain at any time.
Imagine if an agriculture business could predict when it will rain, then work accordingly and not the other way around; where they have to be prepared for whatever the normal seasons are and be ready for unpredictable weather conditions.
Imagine if you could have such a system that would allow your customer to press the button to make the cloud rain on their field, where it would also be up to the customer to stop the rain when they had received enough water. Well, that’s available today.
The clouds are great if you can forget about computers and focus on the water or services that can be delivered to customers with such perfect timing that it will kill their thirst and not make them open the umbrella too much.
If cloud business software was only developed to be able to run through the cloud, leading to technology and computer cost savings, and it was not developed to change the processes between people, departments and customers, then this cloud might give you some shade in hot days but it will never rain.
Published in "Cooler Plus" Magazine, issue 55, February - March 2015