It’s not a matter of if you utilize the cloud, it’s a matter of when.  This is true for both businesses and consumers alike.  Progress Software’s keynote at Cloud Expo shed some light on the 10 must haves for an effective cloud implementation for business, and how such cloud services benefit us as consumers.

1. Think Cloud First:  Each and every business should be looking at using the cloud to provide their company more elasticity – flexibility to drive not only customer value, but drive value back into the business. VMware also shared this sentiment in that 84% of executives believe innovation is extremely important to their business, while 94% are unsatisfied with their business’ innovation process. VMWare cited cloud as the answer to innovation.

2. Think Mobile First: Cloud and mobile go hand in hand because when it comes to a business’ mobile strategy, they must engage with customers wherever they are and on whatever device they are using. One example of this Progress Software provided is mobile based reservation systems for rental car agencies, hotels, airlines, etc.

3. Location & Context Aware: Businesses need to engage with consumers real-time to maximize revenue.  An example of this would be if you are running errands and happen to be in the market for a new snowblower (winter is coming in Minnesota) based on recent searches you did on the web, or “likes” of Toro on Facebook, and you happen to be near a Home Depot which is running a sale of snowblowers.  Guess what pops up on your smartphone…

4. Be Socially Connected: The fact that 80% of mobile devices are connected to social media is reason enough.  The use of smartphones and tablets in the social world provide a wealth of real-time analytics and sentiment analysis.  How else would Home Depot know you were in the market for a snowblower?

5. Need for Global Scale: Businesses are increasingly global and the ability to gather real-time data from millions of consumers from all over the globe provides a wealth of information and enables businesses to feed augmented reality mashups.  Take for instance Google glasses – imagine walking around any town in the world with your Google glasses on, looking at a coffee shop and knowing if any of your friends are inside, or looking at a local shop and seeing the latest specials they have to offer.  The concept that every move you make triggers data served to you based on where you are, what you are doing, and even what you may be in the market for.  Now multiple that by the billions of people all over the world.

6. Big Data in Motion: Simple, find opportunities and threats for businesses in motion. This is largely related to the next must have – being proactive, not reactive.

7. Be Predictive, Not Reactive: The example shared by Progress Software centered around financial markets and insider trading.  What if businesses were able to identify unusual trading activity just before news broke of insider trading?  What if they could remedy the situation before it cost the business and consumers millions of dollars?  This happened to UBS when rogue traders were making deals behind the scenes and cost UBS $2 billion, not to mention their clients.

8. High Productivity Model Driven: It’s all about time to market and how businesses integrate business processes in the cloud.  The ability to effectively assemble apps, and not build them have a direct effect on productivity, hence the ninth must have.

9. Assemble, Don’t Build:  Use what is out there and combine together to expedite time to market. Businesses need to ask themselves how do we coordinate apps available in the cloud instead of building their own app from the ground up? For example, think loyalty programs.  Subway is a good example. Imagine coordinating CRM customer contacts with social media analytics and sentiment with big data Hadoop data analytics software.  Now, take that data and import it into visual analytics software to create charts and graphs on real-time trends. Combine that with a predictive analysis app to look for patterns by geographic area, and take that and integrate it with automated marketing to launch a highly targeted end user email, social media, online, or mobile campaign. That’s some crazy stuff.

10. Community is King:  How do you pull this all together?  Open source communities…your business’ competition is already doing it, and we consumers are reaping the benefits.

After all,  it’s the world in which we live…a world driven by data.

More from Cloud Expo.

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