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If you’re not using the cloud, are you running your business from under a rock?


If you are a CEO and not yet aware of the power of cloud computing and the potential it has to transform your company, then you, my friend, must be living under the proverbial rock.

Today, we are witnessing and in one way or the other participating in the biggest development in technology since the advent of the mainframe computer, so every single organisation on the planet must address the challenges and opportunities that cloud computing presents.

Cloud Computing, ubiquitous wireless networks and a broad range of networked mobile devices (Cloud Wireless Mobile or CLWIMO) will have a major impact on every organisation and person on the planet. Add pervasive mobile computing to the cloud and you have the biggest revolution in organisational capability in history. The means to deliver a highly responsive, graphical and content rich experience on mobile devices connected to applications residing in the cloud.

Boards of Directors should therefore be asking their CEO to urgently report to the Board with a plan detailing how the company will maximise the opportunities and mitigate the risks that are inevitably a part of significant change.

Businesses need to make decisions now but they have to be made with a level of certainty and with an appreciation of the market context in which the organisation operates. What is vital is to analyse, understand and appreciate the context of these changes for your industry and business.

CEOs that are trying to understand what CLWIMO means for their business have to do so on the basis of context. It is a folly to be swept up in the excitement of a general sense that CLWIMO will present opportunities and to rush into decisions that seem right but may well be totally wrong.

Like all big technology innovations, CLWIMO has strong advocates who will want to push their company to make decisions in the general belief that as long as you are in the game then you will realise benefits – greater efficiency, lower costs, more competitive, more customers. That may work out to be true but then just being in the game doesn’t mean you have a made a smart decision.

To really have any chance of making good decisions about CLWIMO for your organisation you need to do so based on the context of the evolving scenarios in your industry. Forecasting the market context at about 12, 24 and 36 month intervals is a critical starting point for any business that is thinking how it will position itself to exploit CLWIMO.

Documenting the context of CLWIMO for your organisation will need a diverse set of opinions, knowledge and skills. It’s highly likely your staff will have very diverse and subjective opinions and these should be balanced by external, objective opinions.

One thing is absolutely certain – CLWIMO will bring far-reaching change to our world and you are far better off being well prepared. If you do decide to play a “wait and see” game, don’t be at all surprised if by the time you decide to act, that the CLWIMO train has left the station and you are left watching it disappear from view.

Greg Twemlow is a Director at Keystone Management Group and has led diverse operations starting with little more than an innovative idea to grow to achieve sustainable commercial reality.