For the last six years, I've been managing a small web site for my neighborhood homeowner’s association. When I first set up the site, I used packaged on-premises software to build and post content—and I chose a web site design from a template that was built for traditional desktop users.
A few months ago, a neighbor saw me at our park and asked me, “When are you going to put our web site into the cloud?”
I was caught off guard. The web site lived with a popular hosting service and I regularly posted updates over an FTP connection from a home computer. What was the concern?
My neighbor explained:
“We need a web site that works with smart phones or tablets and that other members can update using web-based software. No one uses desktops anymore to get their information. And it looks a bit dated and ugly on a smart phone.”
The long explanation rattled me. It was like hearing a playback from an Oracle blog posting on fundamental cloud concepts and why employees are asking for modern cloud applications.
And so I pondered how the modern world has very rapidly embraced working in the cloud as the de facto approach rather than a supplemental mode.
The changes of the last five years are profound, and with these changes there are new expectations—especially as, every day, we get to see why working in the cloud is the best approach for productivity.
What my neighbor highlighted is one of the six core tenets of the cloud experience. Mobility is a defining characteristic of any modern software application, but the other components—the Internet of Things (IoT), analytics, social media, big data and cloud—are equally important. By themselves, each of these defining components represents a remarkable technological movement. But when used together to deploy small and medium business solutions, they become a 21st-century game changer that enables any company to propel forward more efficiently, and with much less effort.
All of these technologies have been evolving over the last decade, if not longer. The cloud solutions in use today represent the convergence of these components. This convergence coincides with user experiences, education and expectations that have evolved over the last several years—to the point where employees often demand the capabilities and conveniences the cloud offers.
Just like my neighbor.
Soon after that conversation, I converted the entire web site to a 100% cloud-based solution—with comprehensive online files storage, email integrations, and popular social tools used by the community—all wrapped in a modern, clean, mobile-friendly design.
This past week, I ran into my neighbor again at a local coffee shop. He glanced up from his tablet and said, “Thanks for putting our web site into the cloud,” while giving me a thumbs up sign of approval.
Mission to the cloud accomplished. There is no going back.