Two convergent trends – mobile and the cloud – are changing the way the world does business. The rise of mobile technology has enabled workers and business owners to connect to their offices from nearly anywhere, while cloud computing has streamlined and simplified enterprise IT. And services that leverage both mobile and cloud technologies offer a multiplier effect, making both trends even more powerful by combining them.
A handful of data points illustrate the rise of business mobility. One is Cisco’s prediction that the number of web-connected devices will exceed the world’s population by the end of this year. Another is the adoption rate for Android smartphones and tablets, of which more than 12 are activated every second. A third is mobile-web use data: Between late 2010 and May of this year, mobile traffic rose from 4 percent to 10 percent of all internet activity.
Mobile tech lets businesspeople check email, take calls, manage faxes, access customer information and book travel – no matter where they are. The productivity benefits to mobility are obvious, and people who work remotely are generally happier than their office-bound counterparts, too.
Running parallel to the rise of mobility is the emergence of cloud computing. Cloud providers like NetSuite, Salesforce and Bluelock are helping businesses of all sizes migrate important applications – accounting, customer relationship management, data center integration and more – onto third-party-managed platforms.
Moving processes into the cloud reduces costs, limits IT headaches and grants access to high-level features. So it’s no surprise that cloud computing is gaining more and more adherents: research firm IDC expects corporate cloud spending to grow from $21 billion in 2010 to $73 billion in 2015.
Even the notoriously sclerotic federal government is getting into the act. The Office of Management and Budget has ordered federal agencies to prioritize cloud IT solutions when signing new contracts.
Mobile + Cloud
The most powerful new technologies are those that combine mobile and cloud services. Dropbox and Box are two examples; RingCentral is a third. All three cloud-based platforms are fully accessible from mobile devices.
The RingCentral mobile experience illustrates why mobile and cloud mashups are so revolutionary. A RingCentral customer who uses her personal smartphone to place and receive business calls doesn’t have to reveal her personal number, and she’s able to stay connected with her professional contacts from any location.
RingCentral Office also includes online fax functionality, so faxing with a mobile device is as simple as sending an email. With full voice and fax support, RingCentral makes it easy to stay on top of business communications – inside the office and out.
Both mobility and cloud computing are powerful on their own – and combining them delivers a level of functionality that would have seemed impossible just a few years ago. It’s an exciting time to be in business: thanks to the mobile web and the cloud, corporate IT services are better than they’ve ever been.
What’s your favorite IT tool? Share it in the comments section below!
Originally published Dec 14, 2012, updated Jul 26, 2021