As the year comes to a close, it’s clear that 2010 has been an important time for transition when it comes to business computing trends. MIT’s Andrew McAfee says it has been the “Cloud Era.” The Cloud Era is more than just an emphasis on cloud computing. Other important trends for business he identified are:
- Social Computing. Social computing software platforms have become important for business and are now clearly part of the technology landscape. Facebook has over 500 million users. Some 25 billion tweets were sent in 2010. Groupon, a 2-year-old company focused on local ad sales, turned down Google’s $6 billion buyout offer.
- “Technology Delight.” Users now expect software and hardware that are both easy to use and engaging. Windows 7, the Google search box, and the iPad are examples. It’s a big change from earlier days.
- “Scientific Organizations.” Businesses now have access to huge amounts of data, and “massive computing horsepower with which to analyze it,” says McAfee. With this technology, businesses can employ scientific methods in making decisions.
McAfee says that businesses, for the most part, are just starting to comprehend the potential of these technology trends. The changes now underway are as important as earlier key trends in corporate computing: centralized computing, PCs, and networks.
The new trends provide ways to save money, improve productivity, innovate, reach new markets, allow for a global workforce, and allow for remote workers.
Innovation and other continuing changes mean there will be strong competition among businesses in 2011 and beyond. The important thing for businesses in 2011 is not to be left behind, McAfee said.
For more about this new era of cloud computing, as reported by the Harvard Business Review, please click here.