This months theme – ‘Leveraging Technology’ – is super hot in the business world right now, and if you didn’t know that, perhaps that’s a warning sign for you!

Before diving into the articles we’ve shared here, I highly encourage you to start with my interview with Clayton Oates simply because the world of ‘online’ or ‘cloud’ technology is transforming so quickly. Clayton helps to put it all in perspective and gives some great points to consider before getting lost in the vortex of cloud options.

Software today is becoming so capable and affordable that being aware of what is possible really is key to staying current. Simply said, those who adopt and benefit from the exponential growth in tech, will very quickly out-maneuver those who don’t.

It can definitely give your company a competitive edge.

But before you dive in either out of excitement or fear – do so with caution. Cloud technology is an emerging space. While many players are claiming to have seamless solutions, the reality is that most are still finding their way. So do your homework (which can in itself be an onerous task).

My advice – Educate yourself to a basic level (though enough to be dangerous, as they say) then engage a cloud integrator (specialist who knows more than you about this new field) who has an objective view of the market and can truly help you get the solution that will best serve your company. I have a few I work with, so if you need some recommendations, just reach out.

Now with my disclaimers aside … enjoy

What Do The Thought Leaders Say About Cloud Computing?

Get ready to Geek out. Actually this interview is a great snapshot into the world of online technology and how you can navigate the landscape to find the right solution for your business.

Software guru Clayton Oates has 25 yrs experience. Meaning he’s been around cloud computing since its inception. He has a really good grasp of where it is today and the issues you should be considering if you are about to dive into cloud software.

Enjoy the interview HERE

Why Do Cloud At All? And If You Do, How To Do It Right

Randy Bias , is a leading blogger and as he puts it, “has been doing cloud for about as long as it has been a ‘thing'”. If you are looking to educate yourself, spend some time cruising his blog or follow him on twitter .

This particular blog post I think captures what I was trying to communicate in my intro (only much better). Make sure you are pursuing cloud for the right reasons.

How can cloud technology help with the human side of your business?

This article addresses an area that is less covered by popular media – training and communication. And it’s an area that is undergoing massive change.

The ability to customize and personalize the training experience (even make it fun) is now becoming the norm. If you want to have the ‘people edge’ and lead the field on your approach to HR, check out this article

What areas can technology help best?

This simple article outlines 12 areas where technology can potentially help you gain efficiencies. While the article gives a software suggestion for each area, do your research. First decide if this area presents opportunity for you, and if yes, a simple google search will give you the leading options to check out.

This quick read is a great starting point if you are relatively new to the cloud.

Horizontal or Vertical??

The dominant approach for cloud service providers is to become a specialist in one area, develop an open API (the architecture that allows a software program to talk with other software programs), then integrate with other specialist programs. In this approach, you pull from a suite of offerings to give you the total package your business needs.

While this definitely has it’s merits, it does mean you become responsible for the integration (there is software and consultants that can do this or for common solutions it just works out of the box) and are also left managing a fleet of different softwares (multiple fees, support contacts, points to login etc)

The other option is to go with a horizontal developer whose offerings are all built in-house and work seamlessly together. I only know of one of these companies right now and I think their approach is definitely worth exploring. They will even build custom software for you for a very reasonable investment (with many creative forms of ownership – including on-selling to others). Check out MYP Corporation to find out more.

Thought of the Month: