Are you still using the desktop; still choosing to access enterprise applications through Windows?
It can be difficult to break away from accepted ways of working. Managing such a break is even more complicated when the business is bamboozled by a series of marketing buzzwords.
The big hype of the moment is cloud computing, a generic term used to describe the provision of scalable enterprise services over the web. Rather than having to access applications through a traditional desktop interface, businesses can use the cloud to host applications and store data.
As many as nine out of ten C-level executives know what cloud computing is and what it can do, according to a recent survey by consultancy Avanade and Kelton Research (see further reading, below).
But at the same time, 61% of senior managers are not currently using cloud technologies. For the majority, it is probably time you woke up to the power of the web browser.
Working through a web browser is no longer a niche activity. Salesfore.com and Google Apps are high profile and popular examples of how users can access applications through a web browser.
Such cloud-based software suites mean users can enter the browser and work collaboratively on essential documents. The high quality of services also means users can also benefit from the functionality of traditional desktop software, such as drag and drop, and multiple interfaces.
There are still issues to overcome, of course. Some businesses remained concerned about hosting information outside the corporate firewall. And recent problems with Google Mail show how failure of the cloud could derail essential business processes.
Such issues mean providers will have to develop secure methods for accessing browser-based applications offline, as well as online. However, such problems are minimal given the quick development of cloud computing.
Businesses often need a high profile sponsor to help push new technologies. When it comes to browser-based apps, there can be no more prestigious supporter than Vivek Kundra, the new CIO of the United States and a confirmed fan of Google Apps (see further reading).
What’s more, the recession is likely to push interest in cost effective and hosted applications. The Avanade and Kelton research also found that 54% of executives use technology to cut costs.
In these economically sensitive times and with an increasing high level of functionality, the web browser can help your IT department provide a great customer experience.