Can businesses afford to ignore the future?

laptopBusinesses can’t afford to ignore the future if they want to stay ahead of the game, according to a computer expert from Microsoft.

Gordon Bell, principal researcher at the software giant, recently pointed out that companies will need to invest both time and money into investigating how new technologies such as the cloud will improve the way they operate. Not to do so is both lacking in foresight and tantamount to putting their business in the slow lane of progress.

Much of our software today is via the web – Software as a Service (SaaS) – rather than as downloadable products. While this will still have its place for some time to come, businesses will have to start making use of cloud based programs.

Why should businesses do this? The answer is quite simple – cost. Increasing costs and heavy competition via the internet are beginning to take their toll on many firms, and particularly on shop chains.

Never a week goes by now without news of yet another well-known high street brand going into receivership. In the last two months alone, several firms from HMV to Jessops have closed their doors, citing the internet as the major reason.

As someone who has an online shop, I can easily see why people are switching to this method of purchasing. Not only can you more easily find what you want but it can also be delivered straight to your door in a matter of days.

Similarly, a business using online applications cuts the cost of having to pay for software; moreover, these are often free, such as Google Apps.

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