Technologies such as business management software and analytics, once the domain of large enterprises, have become increasingly available to SMEs. At the same time, newer tools such as social media, mobile, and the cloud have become essential almost overnight. Along with the opportunities afforded by these technologies come some significant cultural challenges.
For example, more than one-third of respondents (35%) say their adoption of cloud computing—an innovation that enables SMEs to more cost-effectively adopt enterprise software and free up resources for innovation—is hindered by a lack of organizational understanding of the technology’s benefits. Another one-fifth (19%) cite employees’ unwillingness to cede control of IT systems. In both cases, Latin American firms are most likely to encounter such obstacles.
The holidays are around the corner, most major retailers have already released their annual toy catalogs. It’s not surprising that many of this year’s most sought-after toys use new technology to appeal to children, reviving and adding new dimensions to classic games. Some toy companies are even leveraging cloud technology to improve their products or adapting cloud-based technology for children’s use. Here is a look at a few of this year’s cloud-powered toys:
: Certain new Disney toys are designed to work alongside an app trained to recognize them. When a mobile device’s camera is focused on a compatible toy, one of thousands of images and animated clips stored on remote servers is streamed to the device, giving new life to well-known characters.
Meep! tablet for kids
: The market for kids’ tablets is growing rapidly, appealing to children with entertainment options designed for them and to parents with its control options. Of course this tablet’s app use the cloud, but one of the best new uses allows parents to set controls on the tablet remotely, from any device.
An update of the ‘70s classic “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots,” these physical robots are controlled through the user’s app when they are placed in a designated boxing ring. The robots’ movements are also displayed on the app, and robots can fight remotely when two users connect over their tablet or smartphone.
: Another example of how the cloud can help develop any industry—new sensors on plants help monitor the status of crops and provide valuable insight into their health.
The Quest to Build an NSA-proof cloud (The Atlantic)
: The EU continues to move forward with plans to establish Europe’s central cloud that would guarantee data protection and provide competitive advantage by capitalizing on current distrust of US providers like Amazon and Google.
Many people see in cloud computing only the people-centric, mobile-first, and analytic-driven applications which can be purchased with a credit card. This would undervalue the transformative power of the cloud.
If your cloud vision is narrowed down to SFA (sales force automation) or even any cloud CRM, then you need to accept that your applications will be siloed and integration with the rest of the business will be ad hoc at best.
A quick fix cloud application can become a long-term business problem when there is no integration between the application and the rest of the organization, especially at a process level.
To truly leverage the cloud for your business, cloud applications need to be considered in conjunction with a modern platform (PaaS) AND flexible integration capabilities.
as taken this kind of holistic portfolio approach
More and more companies across an increasingly broad range of industries are harnessing the potential of cloud computing. Here’s a look at this week’s cloud news, including discussions of big data and predictive analytics, Europe’s struggle to unify regulations, and the US Army’s currently-cloudless processor.
Heaven help them: Army needs a good cloud to save lives (Washington Times):
The army’s processor, the Distributed Common Ground System (D-Sigs), has received criticism for its general poor performance and lack of cloud processor, which would provide intelligence analysts with more data. Major General Harold Greene, deputy for acquisition and systems management at Army headquarters, recently discussed the complexity of the system and outlined future plans for D-Sigs.
November is here, and gamers are anticipating the launch of Xbox One and PlayStation4 in the next two weeks.
, we discussed the potential rewards and downfalls of cloud-based gaming consoles—on one hand, developers will be able to more efficiently improve games even after they have been released, but on the other, potential connectivity problems have the power to destroy user experience. It seems that connectivity is already expected to be a problem for Xbox One users.
Research from Oxford Economics revealed certain companies that are further along in cloud platform deployment. These leaders are more bullish on cloud’s potential to drive revenue and cut costs and more likely to prioritize virtual collaboration as a goal of mobile strategy, to have a BYOD policy, to have launched a managed service offering, and to use a cloud-based mobile app platform in production.
Will cloud leaders continue to advance and remain ahead of other companies, or will widespread advances across companies close the gap? What will the next set of cloud leaders look like? Our research suggests that leaders will focus on integrating platforms.
Cloud leaders are already finding ways to use the cloud to collaborate with partners, suppliers, and/or customers. These leaders are using the cloud to innovate at the pace of business and meet rapidly changing market needs in real time and to participate in networks set up by technology providers. This trend will likely accelerate in the coming years, allowing companies to run more flexible, agile, and cost-effective IT departments and unleashing unprecedented business and IT gains.