Cloud is the foundation for the adoption of many futuristic technologies like AI, IoT, Big Data, Cognitive analytics and more. These technologies are becoming more and more important in the delivery of better customer value. For example, IoT is enabling consumer electronics companies to reduce time to market for their products by improving factory processes. SaaS is gaining popularity among businesses of all sizes and hi-tech companies in the software sector are now expected to deliver subscription versions of their software. Cloud is critical enabler for all of these.
Cloud Technology Levels the Playing Field
SMBs in the hi-tech sector are certainly aware of how integral technology is to their success. In fact, 92% of SMBs use at least one cloud application*. There are obvious benefits, such as reducing technology infrastructure costs or freeing up IT to focus on strategic initiatives instead of on day-to-day technology management. We see cloud being used for:
- Improving the Customer Experience - big data analytics is one of the key technologies today for understanding customer behavior, analyzing patterns and making effective decisions. But this can't be achieved without organizational data flowing seamlessly. Cloud is the foundational technology to enable this interoperability.
- Enabling anywhere, anytime working - the pre-requisite for enabling employees to work remotely is enabling cloud based storage and mobile applications. With the mobile workforce slated to grow to almost 45% of all employees globally by 2022**, clearly no organization can ignore this aspect.
- Increasing Employee Productivity - many organizations have employees working across different offices who must seamlessly collaborate to ensure productivity and efficiency. There are many technologies to facilitate this, including ThinkSmart Hub meeting room solutions or ThinkCentre Tiny micro-desktops running Intel Unite software. Such solutions make it quicker to schedule and book meeting rooms, and share screens on meeting room displays without scrambling to find the right cable connector.
As SMBs take advantage of new mobile, cloud and other technologies that make their businesses more agile, it's not uncommon to feel ill-equipped to deal with security breaches. But this can start with a simple fix; get the right endpoint devices with security built in. For example, Lenovo's business-grade PCs include Intel® Active Management Technology to enable IT managers to discover, repair and help protect networked computing assets remotely. Windows 10 Pro built-in security features such as BitLocker can encrypts data to better protect. The latest match-on-chip fingerprint readers improve user authentication security and make it quicker and easier for users to access their devices without remembering passwords.
Hi-tech companies are at the forefront of enabling newer, improved technologies to help various aspects of business; from manufacturing to business processes. So it is highly unlikely that you wouldn't have already deployed cloud technologies in your own organization. The key however, is to understand which cloud technology is best for you and the importance of endpoint devices in a cloud ecosystem.
*2018 SMB Technology Trends, SMB Group Research **RCR Wireless, 2017 Predictions: Mobile workforce to drive further enterprise change in 2017