IT Support in London Goes Into the Cloud!

The Wikipedia Definition of Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, like the electricity grid.

As usual businesses in London – Westminster, Paddington, Hammersmith, Bermondsey, Battersea, etc. – are adopting Cloud Computing faster than the rest of the UK. Perhaps that’s no surprise. Global financial companies in the City of London and the Docklands frequently adopt technology early pulling the rest of London and the South East of the UK with them.

That’s not to say that companies outside London don’t adopt technology early, but it seems that there are more early adopters in London

There’s a well trodden path of new technology adoption in the IT sector and Hosting or Cloud Computing is already following that path. In fact this path is so established that there have been many articles and books written on it. The most famous of these was one called “Crossing The Chasm” by Geoffrey Moore. It’s on the shelf of every IT company and Venture Capitalist, or at least the successful ones.

In the book he describes Innovators, Early Adopters, The Majority (Early and Late) and Laggards.

The Innovators are the “must have at any cost” people.They adopt things at the very early adopter stages when they patently don’t fully work. But for those in the leading edge and with deep pockets in London City and London Docklands it’s worth it. For these companies a small advantage can have a massive payoff.

The Early Adopters are those who wait for most, but not all of the problems to be ironed out.They accept some problems because they want to be in early. Being in early enables them to surf the growing wave of adoption to give them competitive advantage.

Generally Early Adopters they put a toe in the water adopting the new technology in limited areas of their business. Only when they are confident do they jump right in with their entire business. A lot of London businesses fit into this category. Perhaps not in the City or the Docklands, but perhaps in the West End, Borough, Croydon, etc.

It feels to me as if Hosting or Cloud Computing is at the Early Adopter phase and that it will make it across The Chasm. And at we have our toe in the water as well- actually it’s probably knee-deep! I guess we fit the early adopter profile with an Office near London Heathrow and right in the centre of London in Liverpool Street.

All of our business applications are available remotely across the internet so that our staff can access them at home or at a client’s office. Some of the applications that we use are in The Cloud, so we don’t even need to install the application at our central London or Heathrow offices. Our telephone system is online so staff can have a telephone at home and use it as if they were in the office.

Why do we do this? Because the ease of access enables us to provide better client service at a reasonable cost. I should emphasise that it doesn’t actually save us money it allows us to do more with a similar budget. The time to save money is in the later adoption phases.

The next step for us is to move some of our business applications out to a hosting service. In the fullness of time our technology will all be in The Cloud.

When you decide to adopt depends partly on your companies’ culture – and of course your location! Do you want to be in the leading edge, do you want to take risks, or are you more conservative in your approach?

Most companies don’t want to take the risk – have a look at the Bell Curve above. If that’s you then wait a year or two.If you are willing to put up with problems to give you a competitive edge then the time to start moving into The Cloud is now.

If you do decide to adopt now then the main problems you will face are slow and potentially unrelaiable telecoms. If you do want to adopt this approach now do it selectively in your business and get a suitable IT Support company in London to look at the quality of your telecoms first.

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