Article | January 22, 2013

The Exceedingly Mobile Cloud – How To Weather This Disruptive Storm

Michael DeLapa Kamal Shah

By Kamal Shah, CEO, Michael DeLapa, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, FotoNotes

This is a warning to IT departments everywhere: hold on tight. A disruptive storm is upon us. It’s going to shake, rattle, and roll your old legacy systems from dark and dingy office closets out into the bright, open sunshine. Data won’t be hidden, processes won’t be rigid, and IT costs won’t be fixed and rising. More importantly, customers, employees, and owners will all be happier – relieved of the burden of archaic internally managed hardware, software systems, and processes.

Consider the prevailing conditions:

  • The Internet is everywhere, over Wi-Fi or cell. More than 94% of the U.S. and 72% of Europe now has broadband Internet coverage.
  • Smart phones and tablets are exploding in numbers. Half of all adult Americans now own either a tablet computer or a smartphone.
  • Global Internet usage will more than double by 2015, and most of these users will be mobile. The increased use of smart phones makes it easy for field workers to adopt the technology, since they are already using it in their personal lives.
  • Cloud services, such as Amazon and others, are faster, cheaper, and safer than onsite storage and processing
  • Software as a Service (SAAS) has become the de facto choice for virtually any organization in the past 10 years. Realizing the total cost of ownership, no one wants to buy servers and maintain software

That’s the storm – the convergence of a ubiquitous Internet, smart phones, cloud infrastructure services, and software-as-a service. Whatever exists today, on a laptop, is only a breeze away from a mobile device.

Imagine the possibilities this storm brings:

  • Smart mobile devices and apps with rich capabilities including video, photos, voice, SMS, GPS, time stamps, signature capture to maximize productivity and increase information flow for mobile workers.
  • Secure mobile-cloud platforms that let you centralize data storage and easily access, manage, analyze and report on that data anywhere, anytime.
  • Configurable software platforms that let you adapt and optimize business processes continually and bring the agility needed to compete in today’s rapidly evolving landscape.
  • APIs in the cloud that let data flow openly between mobile devices and backend systems.
  • Software-as-a-service (SAAS) solutions that let you get started quickly and inexpensively, without on-premise installation, provisioning, maintenance, or setup and then scale-up as you grow.

So, how do we navigate the mobile-cloud storm? Here are a few tips:

  1. Is your mobile solution flexible and configurable? Choose a configurable mobile solution that lets you adapt and optimize business processes over time.
  2. Does the solution take advantage of the latest smart phone features? Leverage the full power of mobile devices for rich data collection, including video, photos, text, audio, GPS, time stamps, signature capture, and other smart phone functionality to maximize the productivity of your field staff.
  3. Is all the data centralized in a single repository? Adopt a mobile-cloud platform that lets you centralize data storage and easily analyze, manage and report on that data.
  4. Does the solution integrate with your other systems? Ensure that your systems integrate via APIs so data flows seamlessly from mobile devices to your backend systems.
  5. Is it cost effective? Consider a software-as-a-service (SAAS) solution that lets you get started quickly and inexpensively, without on-premise installation, provisioning, maintenance, or setup.

As they say, the sun is always brighter after the storm, but if you’re prepared you can weather and maybe even enjoy the storm a bit. To stay competitive you need to constantly improve the quality of your services, increase productivity, drive down costs, and keep your customers happier. The right mobile solution for your business can be critical in achieving those objectives during and after the storm.

Kamal Shah is the CEO of FotoNotes, a mobile and cloud platform that extends business processes to the field through smart phones and tablets. Michael DeLapa is the Vice President of Marketing and Strategy.

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