Why firms need their heads in the cloud

Cloud is no longer just an option for businesses – it’s an imperative. However, the right devices are needed to truly utilise the power of cloud
Cloud computing is the industry disrupting technology which has fundamentally overhauled how businesses operate.

The poster child of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, UK cloud adoption has increased by 83 per cent since 2010, according to research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF), which polled 250 IT and business decision-makers.

“We’re almost precisely at that tipping point where the physical environment of computing gives way to the virtual world of cloud and its associated enabling technologies,” said Apay Obang-Oyway, Director of Cloud & Software, UK&I, Ingram Micro.

“Not just in bold initiatives here, and ingenious transitions there, not just from pioneers within certain verticals, and visionary disruptors, but for every organisation, everywhere, in every industry,” he added.

Cloud is at its most powerful when it seeks to enable mobile working, but the key to these capabilities can only be turned with the right devices.

So how can cloud computing, mobile working and the right devices combine to solve the biggest challenges facing businesses today?

Cloud and mobile working

The modern business is striving to increase agility and drive productivity. What the cloud provides is the flexibility to accommodate mobile working and bolster these aspects.

So why is the cloud important to the success of mobile working?

Firstly, the cloud enables information to be accessed from anywhere – a major facilitator of mobile working. Workforces can not only access working documents but also collaborate on projects by using the cloud to bring ideas together.

Secondly, the cloud offers scalability to mobile working. Businesses are not restricted by the extent that they can create data while mobile working. The cloud always has the remit to harness expansion.

Thirdly, while it is not as glamorous an ideal as accessibility and scalability, the cloud also provides back-up and security that businesses can trust. Without this layer of security, using the cloud to leverage mobile working would be a non-starter.

Floating on the right devices

While these cloud benefits appeal, they can only be realised if the cloud is complimented with the right devices.

For example, the Microsoft Surface family of devices are created with the cloud front-and-centre of their capabilities. The Microsoft Surface family starts with an ultra-portable laptop and scales up to a desktop workstation and a creative studio. The glue which sticks this family of devices together is being cloud-enabled.

The Microsoft Surface family enables employees to work from anywhere with long battery life, such as 14.5 hours on the Surface Laptop, and then use cloud connectivity to work together with office or home-based colleagues on a Surface desktop, or the creative Surface Studio.

This is facilitated through the Microsoft Surface Hub, a multi-touch screen solution built for cloud-enabled collaboration as it connects individuals wherever they are to a digital whiteboard, and integrated conferencing and apps. According to a Forrester Total Economic Impact study, businesses using Surface Hub may achieve a 138% ROI*.

Then there is OneDrive, free cloud storage that comes with a Microsoft account. It’s like an extra hard drive that’s available from any devices being used, so the files saved are always with employees.

“We find that cloud tends to be the driver of the modern workplace,” said Ryan Asdourian, Windows and Surface BG Lead at Microsoft.

“We think about it as the intelligent cloud and the device as the intelligent edge – it is how you reach that cloud. Every cloud is more powerful with a great device,” said Asdourian.

The resell opportunity

The lifeblood of resellers’ businesses is when technologies combine and compliment to provide something greater than their individual’s parts.

This is very much the channel story when it comes to combining cloud with the right devices to enable the mobile working needs of end-users.

Providing cloud alongside the complimentary devices is a departure from the traditional resell model, but that is exactly what resellers need – the opportunity to bundle devices and cloud together.

The opportunity can escalate from there as the cloud conversation naturally leads resellers into discussing the likes of managed services. This creates a deeper engagement with end-users and enables resellers to move clients onto a monthly billing cycle, creating a reoccurring revenue model for resellers. The client also gets greater value from their reseller relationship.

Overall, rapid cloud adoption will continue unabated. But to truly unbridle the potential of cloud, resellers need to get the right devices in the hands of end-users.

Head to Ingram Micro Cloud to discover more about cloud-based solutions.

* three-year, risk-adjusted calculation

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