It does not end with the cloud!

Ever wanted to hang a new painting couldn’t find your level? What did you do? Maybe you simply trusted your sense of proportion or postponed the task. Nowadays help is literally at your fingertips: you click into the app-market of your smartphone and get yourself the latest water-level app. A few minutes later and the picture is hanging straight – problem solved. I think this will be a software ‘purchasing’ model for enterprises as well, probably sooner than later, because habits change fast when they bring more convenience.

Take my kids: A few days ago, I watched them getting in touch with a laptop for the first time in their lives. Guess what happened? They intuitively touched the monitor to navigate through it.

What’s already normal for our children is getting more and more normal for us in our private lives. The boundaries between consumers and businesses are blurring – even more so with the ever-growing trend toward BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). But in contrast to the past, innovation today is being driven by the consumer market. More and more of our gadgets are based on cloud technology. Take mobile robots, for example. In the future, they will depend on the Internet for getting a software update during inspection. The Internet has become the lifeline of our private lives, our products and our businesses, linking all of these areas together. That’s why businesses catch up rapidly. According to avanade , 74 percent of businesses worldwide already use some form of cloud service.

So why not learn from each other and adopt functioning systems? Enterprise-wide upgrades and rollouts could easily belong to the past. What’s coming is the business-app market (the Business Solutions Store) and with it, enormous savings as well as a plus in efficiency. This is twofold as it reduces administration costs. It also leverages productivity since each employee can easily and quickly get the tools he needs to do his job.  He can access those tools from anywhere, anytime – paying by use. Moreover, due to the rating system and experience of other companies in the market, enterprises will quickly find the application that suits their goals best.

As the Internet and all the apps we installed on our smartphones are inextricably linked with our lives, we want to constantly improve them. We will do this through the ratings and the feedback that providers receive. This affords a great opportunity to improve products, to get even better ratings, more downloads, more success – much faster than was possible with traditional market research. This is a great advantage for businesses! Consumers will probably develop greater brand loyalty because their feedback will be heard immediately, directly.

Of course businesses will have to make sure that there is no proliferation of software. They will have to make sure that there is no proliferation of systems in order to avoid inconsistencies in data quality or access. However, a store concept can handle that easily by allowing only downloads of programs that have been internally certified. This could be a new task for the IT department in the future.

Some time ago, I said that cloud computing is the new black . Now I may add: It’s like a comfy pair of shoes that you hardly feel while walking (and you know: there are these other pairs out there that give you blisters instantly. Not every shoe is comfortable, not everything is cloud).

Cloud technology enables businesses and consumers to focus on problems that need to be solved and tasks that have to be done. Apps live and die with the results they obtain; pragmatic tools that are easy to handle are thus the most promising. As users can influence features directly, they will make sure they get what they really need in the long run.

Democratization of software – that is the magic word. And where will this lead to? I think, next year we will already be talking about the internet of things. It is not only about new business models, it’s a radical change in our daily lives that are becoming easier and more and more comfortable with the progress of technology. The cloud is not the end.

Yours sincerely,

Andre Kiehne

Author: Andre Kiehne

Director Solution Sales, Microsoft Germany GmbH

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