Many of us are still clear on what the term “cloud” means. Based on Wikipedia, cloud computing “…provides computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user understanding of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the assistance.” Exactly why is this important? It delivers agility to firms that has never been seen before.

Each time a business moves towards the cloud, it is not required to ensure that it stays on premise. What this means is dramatically reduced infrastructure and energy costs. Without having to spend money on expensive infrastructure, and making use of web-based services instead, businesses can grow faster, and just use the space for storage they want, growing when necessary and shrinking when space is not needed. Servers will be in another location, so you will find no high electricity bills to monitor, with no unexpected spikes in costs.

What’s interesting is that every company is trying their own methods: either pioneers in the company have started using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google pages (and so forth and so on – there are plenty of social media marketing platforms out there). As social networking is becoming popular, lots of third-party providers have likewise emerged as the “specialists” – then they will approach you and also convince you they are individuals who have mastered the usage of twitter – then yet another one comes as the specialist for engaging customers with Facebook…At the conclusion of the morning, as being a company taking into consideration the adoption of social media, you’ll more confused than ever before. And worst of all, some customers would think that they are fully conscious of everything that is to know about social networking and also you now how you can reach every one of them individually on each one of these different platforms.

On the other hand, experience has demonstrated that although social media marketing has become very popular, only a few companies have clear strategies in addition to clear indicators in relation to their social media campaign. More often than not, many businesses think they’ve done it all when they have created their accounts on popular social media platforms and then publish bits of information here and there – mostly ads with regards to their services. While this approach is typical, we often see companies apply this approach simply to abandon everything together several months later, mainly because they may have no clear way to follow, nor clear indications. The issue is, those companies adopted social media thinking they already knew what to expect from the beginning: and this is when the problem lies. Social media marketing could be very powerful provided it’s implemented strategically- not because a company has decided to copy-and-paste another companies approach or feel it’s the ‘done thing’.

So what’s the analogy between social media and cloud computing with regards to company adoption? Well, when it comes to cloud-based solutions, a lot of companies feel that they know already what you should expect from cloud computing solutions: this usually results in companies minimizing the disruptive change that cloud-based solutions may bring. Moreover (as is the case with social media marketing) the cloud has now become very popular that the majority of solutions are tagged with the word “cloud” – although some aren’t actually cloud-based solutions by itself. From your client’s viewpoint, this gives the false impression which they know all they should about cloud-based solutions. But this actually creates an uncomfortable situation for actual cloud-based solution providers as, with many companies who zoarok they are fully aware everything there is to know regarding the cloud, it’s hard to highlight the advantages that the company can benefit from custom-implementation of email collaboration. Let’s take a good example: you know that I’m an advocate for Hosted Exchange- I’ve got plenty of measurable indicators that can work in favor of adopting Hosted Exchange for just one company (it’s always good to get clear return on interest or ‘ROI’ for each IT project), but if the client thinks they don’t need a cloud-based solution, just because everybody on the market has demonstrated and advertised the wrong way for their company to adopt the cloud, there’s a very high chance they won’t even consider paying attention to any pro-cloud arguments.

As a final note, here’s what I would suggest to any company pitching the adoption of cloud computing: don’t get into that trap that allows you to think you are already aware anything that a cloud-based solution can bring, and secondly- have whoever pitches for you about cloud computing think of measurable ROI – choose to adopt the cloud since you see actual benefits, not because it’s trendy.