The cloud: an opportunity that is changing the way of doing business online

Anytime and anywhere… This is the new customer service target for any business that wants to succeed in the competitive global market. Companies are forced to respond to the demands of a new type of consumer, one who is always in motion, who has no time to go to a store to shop and therefore requires instant access to products and services no matter where he or she is. 

In this context, new technologies arise that help companies generate more dynamic and flexible means of communication with their users. A new operational scheme appears that helps capitalize on technological resources and confer a competitive advantage with costs savings: cloud computing. For many, this term might seem to represent a fad, a passing tendency that will fade in a matter of time. Actually, it is much more than that. It is a step toward taking a company’s operations and customer contact entirely into a web-based environment of Internet communications.

What is cloud computing?

“Cloud computing means taking advantage of all the computing power available through the web and of resources that may not be the property of those using them.” This simple and straightforward explanation was given to me by Bill McCracken, CEO of CA Technologies, during an interview at the latest CA World in Las Vegas.

CA Technologies is one of the companies leading the migration to the cloud, allowing them to provide more and better services while reducing operating costs. Many might believe that cloud computing is something strange and complex that it is only used by big companies for business applications. This is not true. Have you ever used web mail? If so, you have used cloud computing. Have you ever edited documents on one of the online office computer systems? That was also cloud computing.

The focus is the service

There are more than seven million people on the planet using five million mobile devices to communicate daily. This phenomenon, according to McCracken, “is possible to a great extent because companies can take advantage of new technologies that allow them to make their services available anywhere in the world.” In this context, companies are forced to provide communication and marketing structures that are available 24 hours, provide the highest level of service, and allow users access to them from different platforms.

The thing is, adds CA Technologies’ CEO, that companies now can provide more and better services to consumers. The dynamic solutions that can be implemented thanks to concepts such as cloud computing allow companies to be more flexible, to be able to change their businesses quickly, and to find new ways to talk to consumers.

Cloud computing is a huge competitive opportunity. Organizations can access, through a web platform based on a third-party infrastructure, services that might not be affordable in a traditional operating environment. In this respect, small and medium-sized companies that apply the model can reduce costs and implementation times, making themselves more competitive with big corporations.

All this is changing significantly the way business and marketing are developed online. It places us in a context where innovation, dynamism, and the capacity to adapt to new market variables have become fundamental values. And the focus is always on the consumer. As McCracken states, cloud computing is probably “one of the most important changes in the IT industry of the last decade, and it is used to propel new user experiences.”

** CA World 2011, Las Vegas – Interview with William McCracken, CEO at CA Technologies.