<<< Go to Part 1
- Improve Your Mobile Stance
- Bring Your IT Abreast of Time
- Cloud: It’s Not as Ambiguous a Choice as it May Seem
- Human Future-Proofing
- Ready for the Future?
Improve Your Mobile Stance
You need your business to be empowered, or you won’t get very far – and in some ways, you won’t even be functional. Just look at Marty McFly. Realizing he didn’t have any plutonium in 1955, he and Doc Brown had to connect a lightning rod to the flux capacitor in order to get back to 1985. For all Marty’s future-proofing, getting his father to win the affection of his mother, the progress he needed was impossible without a new solution for an old time-travel problem.
Just like Marty needed lightning (and hurry to deliver it, Doc Brown!), you need mobile. Yes, of course mobile is hardware rather than a basic resource, but this part of your business is so increasingly important that focusing on it really will fuel your business’s success.
Bring Your IT Abreast of Time
Many organizations are using digital environments that were put in place by previous employees who have left the firm – as is common with Windows XP software. It’s difficult to change (of course it is) because IT systems are often mission-critical, and migration can get messy.
People think standing in one place with technology is a safe way to go, and that’s not the case, notes Powwownow CTO Chris Martin. “[W]ith software ever evolving, security vulnerabilities being fixed, and software being wholesale superseded,” he says, “businesses are at risk if they do not keep software up-to-date, patched, or drop using unsupported software.”
Cloud: It’s Not as Ambiguous a Choice as it May Seem
When Doc Brown invented a time machine, well, Marty McFly didn’t have to be asked twice if he’d like to take it for a spin. After all, it was the only time-travel game in town.
While there are numerous cloud providers, the technology is, in a sense, the only game in town for certain purposes. It is literally the most important technology for future-proofing, according to numerous online sources, including David Howell of TechRadar and Keith Tilley of The Guardian.
Tilley says one reason cloud is so pivotal to business success is that it levels the playing field, allowing startups and other SMBs to compete with industry giants. The disruption this creates accelerates many projects, leading to boosted revenue and also exciting innovations that can make your and your customers’ lives easier and more efficient.
“Now, startups can potentially access the same level of IT sophistication as any enterprise,” says Tilley. “Meanwhile, the enterprises which invest in a cloud platform are able to re-discover the level of flexibility they enjoyed back in their day as a small business.”
One primary advantage of cloud is that it’s always being updated by the service provider, so you don’t have to buy new versions of software and designate huge chunks of your budget to upgrades. That’s all part of a SaaS or cloud hosting subscription (the latter in terms of hardware maintenance, OS, and other basic system components).
Technology is important. However, so are your peeps. Doc and Marty recognized that their technology was great (heck, it worked); but if they didn’t future-proof themselves by keeping Marty from disappearing, the whole project would kind of be a bust. LogMeIn marketing vice president Stephen Duignan notes that SMBs should not make the mistake of ignoring the rise of the millennials. After all, a decade from now, these people will represent three-quarters of your staff!
The millennials are very much entrenched in the revolution of new technologies. They are connected; they expect to be able to work together with their colleagues seamlessly; and they are driven to lead and transition their companies through the new frontiers opened up within the information age. As millennials become increasingly powerful, there will be less resistance to the adoption of game-changing technology. The result will be an even more obvious and aggressive IT systems sea change.
Ready for the Future?
You may think Back to the Future is a silly, relatively pointless film. Wrong. Brown and McFly point the way for our businesses, underscoring the imperative of future-proofing.
As indicated above, part of that problem was human: certainly it didn’t help that Marty changed the event that first brought his parents together (just a little peeping-Tom accident) – meaning that he was writing himself out of existence.
However, future-proofing is of course fundamentally about technology. “There is no doubt that the future success and prosperity of your business means ensuring your company is using the right tools and services,” explains TechRadar’s Howell.
Cloud adoption is practically one and the same as future-proofing, as Tilley and numerous others advise. Again, though, the human element: you need everything to be managed soundly for success – which is a distraction from your core business.
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