03Jun 2015

networkThose of us who started working with networks before the Internet became everything got used to looking at the world in a certain way. There was our network, and then there was…everything else.

¬†Our network was a safe place–it’s where we kept our data, made our plans, and did our work.

“Everything else” was a fascinating–and sometimes scary–place. It’s where we went to learn about others–our customers, our vendors and our competitors. It was also where others learned about us. Sometimes, it was the source of threats. Whatever it might have been, it was most certainly not our network.

The Cloud has changed all of that. If you want to stay competitive in today’s business environment, learn this above everything else: there is only one network.

What you consider to be your network is merely a gated community in a larger metropolis. If you still do your work primarily within that gated community, then the market–and your customers–are passing you by.

We used to bring information into our network and then process it. Now, information flows both ways, all the time. And if the information doesn’t flow, business stops.

Cloud applications such as Google for Work, Dropbox for Business, OneDrive for Business, Zoho CRM, Salesforce, Slack, etc. represent massive transformations in the way we access and utilize information. Not only do these applications accelerate the pace at which we can respond (and affect customer expectations accordingly,) they have created ways of using and sharing information which didn’t exist before the apps were created. Businesses that move into the Cloud can share, compete, and grow. Businesses that stay isolated on their networks are living in a world that is disappearing.

Today, there is only one network: the Cloud. That’s where your customers are. Where are you?

Brian S. Pauls is the President of PerAspera Consulting, LLC