Sunday, August 29, 2010

Welcome to Facebook Gramps!

Read this article in the Tribune today about seniors getting on facebook. Some interesting data is suggesting that social networking use by seniors is growing faster than any other demographic. Senior use has doubled from 2009 to 201o.

What are your thoughts on how the growing adoption of social media by seniors will impact how that channel is used by businesses? Is there an opportunity being created by seniors getting bit by the Facebook bug? Add your thoughts and comments below.

Monday, August 23, 2010

3 Ways to Start Using the Cloud Today

The cloud is big right now but it's still a difficult transition for many companies to make. Cloud hesitation is mainly related to FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) rather than based in real-life experiences. Small businesses have embraced the cloud and SaaS offerings as a great democratizing offering. Through various cloud based applications, IT infrastructure and storage capabilities, and collaboration and productivity suites, the cloud has afforded the small guys with IT capabilities that would not have been possible on smaller budgets just 10 years ago. This is allowing more innovation, faster product development cycles, and overall more time to focus on the core business and less time worrying about supporting and administering an IT infrastructure or upgrading application capabilities.

Here are a few ways enterprises can start testing the waters to find the right balance between cloud based and traditional IT:

This may sound like a big leap, but along with storage, email is quickly becoming one of the biggest commodity services. With names like Microsoft in the arena, and their hosted Exchange offering, the transition may not be as daunting. These services are cheaper for the provider to run and make a great enterprise business case for migrating more capabilities to cloud provider alternatives.

Collaboration/Idea Generation/Brainstorming

All 3 of these equal innovation. Give employees quicker ways to capture and share ideas. The Google apps platform and Microsoft BPOS are examples. With remote and distributed workforce becoming the norm, these platforms let you quickly co-create and share information. Easier collaboration and co-creation can lead to more innovation faster. A great example is using Google Apps to quickly create a shared spreadsheet to capture ideas that can be shared with remote participants - no conferencing technology or screen sharing technology needed.

Knowledge Management
Let your staff organize and share what they know, what's important, and what they are working on. Sharepoint is a common example but I'm a huge fan of Google Sites. Google Sites provides simple, easy to use, pre-defined templates to get you started. Starting a project? Create a site. I've used Google Sites to manage the execution of projects as well as a repository for final deliverables. These tools provide a quick consistent way to allow staff the self-service capability to make information accessible.

What is your company doing in the cloud? Is it embracing the cloud? As always I welcome your thoughts on the topic. Please share below.