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If you don’t start integrating cloud solutions and mobile working conditions, your business won’t last.

It’s a grim message – but that’s the reality according to a leading expert in strategic telecommunications.

Speaking at the NSC Group’s 2013 Business Collaboration Summit, Paul Budde, managing director of BuddeComme said business leaders who don’t believe they need to adapt to the new world of work will soon find they simply can’t compete with those who are.

“Are you daring to move into the new world, are you daring to transform your company – or aren’t you?” Budde, who has advised the Obama administration, said at the summit.

A key issue according to Budde is that too many business leaders think the cloud is simply a technology, instead of seeing it as a concept. “Unless you actually understand that cloud computing has very little to do with IT, and everything to do with how your organisation is managing its own future, unless you actually get a hold on that and start to understand that, then unfortunately there’s a big chance that you’ll be a casualty on the super highway, rather than a winner on the superhighway,” Budde said.

Yet advising a business leader that cloud computing increases efficiency, and boosts revenue, isn’t cutting through to many SME’s. So what’s preventing a cloud revolution?

Bernardo de Albergaria, VP and GM Collaboration for Citrix, told Dynamic Business that in many cases, it’s simply a case of old habits die-hard.

“The perception of the world of work is often this “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. The problem is, it is broken, and there’s an unwillingness to admit it,” de Albergaria said. “I think it’s a combination of a lack of awareness of what’s out there, and also a preconception that technology solutions are complicated, and the learning curve is too steep compared to the advantage they would bring,” he added.

One example of a technology which was slow to be adopted, but later become industry standard, is email. However, email as a technology is now a scourge on productivity, and a component of the so-called old world of work. Indeed McKinsey (MGI) research from July 2012 found that the average worker spends 28 per cent of the workweek managing email.

When social technologies are fully adopted, thereby eliminating tasks such as tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks, the research suggests companies stand to raise productivity by 20 to 25 percent.

Cloud tools exist for almost any business, any activity, and any role. “Yet there are also still businesses that use pen and paper for accounting. Or maybe just a spreadsheet instead of accounting software which would be much more efficient for them,” de Albergaria said.

Capitalising on the mobility of talent is also a key tenant of the new world of work, and enabled by the cloud. A provider of such solutions, de Albergaria says Citrix ‘eats its own cavier’ so-to-speak, adapting their processes for those who are not geographically located near one of its offices as a matter of course.

“For example there may be a person who has been with us six months, one year, two years, and really proved himself or herself, but now they want to move for personal reasons. And we decided ‘Wow, for me to find that talent again – train that person, going on even the probability that there’s a 20 or 30 per cent chance that they may not work out as well as that person, it’s a high cost. And so I want to retain that talent, and captivate this resource, so I want this person to continue working for us, (if they want to), but remotely,” de Albergaria said. “These technologies are enablers – everything is in front of you just like in the office.”

For Budde, changes in technology, and changes in society, go hand-in-hand. “It’s time to start operating in a more management and cost-effective way – these changes are taking place in our society,” he said. “You will have to be aware that you could be the next casualty if you don’t move on. And what moving on means, is that the old world has changed, it’s changed forever, and we have to create a new world.”

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Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie Zillman

Stephanie is the editor-at-large of Dynamic Business. Stephanie brings with her a passion for journalism, business, and new ideas. On her days off, you might find her reading a book on the beach.

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