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The Cloud Revolution – Lessons from a Beta Gmail User

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Thinking about making the jump into the cloud for a database? You already have, you just don’t know it.

Every day I work with recruitment consultancies that are debating the cost benefit equation of moving from a legacy client server database to a true cloud recruitment CRM. On the surface the benefits are obvious:

  1. Speed to implement
  2. Flexibility in integration
  3. Cost
  4. Scalability

However, there still seems to be a lot of anxiety surrounding a move to cloud recruitment CRM. Organizations have concerns about adoption, security, and flexibility. I encourage them to think of the bigger picture and not buy into the fears being pushed by the technology zombies. Almost every employee at your business has adopted cloud technology in their day-to-day lives, and they’ve had nothing but great experiences.

Think of some of the changes in technology we have seen at the consumer level already.

Nearly everyone has adopted online banking and it’s actually heralded as a more secure way to transact purchases than traditional bricks and mortar transactions.

Dropbox and other cloud storage services have entered our lives and are readily accessible on smart phones and tablets. Every contact I have ever had and all the personal photos and videos I have taken, are automatically backed up to the cloud.

Now, let’s pause for a moment and think how quickly social media has become a major part of our lives over the past ten years. What interests me about this is that these platforms are true cloud systems that update on the fly. Has anyone ever needed training on the new version of Facebook or LinkedIn? The interfaces on these products change every year – but we don’t re-train before we update our statuses, because they’re intuitive – they also boast incredible user retention.

One of the most amazing spaces in which we’ve seen rapid adoption of consumer cloud products is in the media content delivery world. I can’t picture life without Netflix, Spotify, or Wikipedia at this point! What’s even more impressive about this shift in content delivery, is the integration/flexibility story. How long did it take Netflix to integrate with Facebook?  It seems like these two were always communicating.

These consumer technologies are starting to affect how we operate in big business as well.  I was one of the first 1000 beta users of Google Mail way back when. The value proposition was simple…more storage than Outlook and free. Ten plus years ago that was the case and it’s the case today.  Nearly everyone has either a Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail account. Businesses are beginning to understand the true cloud value proposition that consumers realised so long ago.

In conclusion, change is constant and true cloud technology makes it easy for us to implement and recognise change in business quickly – the consumer may have sprinted ahead, but the business world is catching up fast!