While many hear the term ‘the cloud’ and think of storage or hosting, cloud technology is an exciting, robust market that is only just beginning, and has real long-range benefit to both consumers and businesses. The past year has seen a boom in startups and ideas in cloud-based tools and services. Much of this has centered around business needs. It has spanned everything from payroll to billing and bookkeeping, sales and marketing department functions, to applications that track customer behavior. For consumers, online education that moves beyond the traditional courses is increasing. Web-based fitness instruction, dance lessons, cooking and more are all being offered with growing participation. Communications is an equally powerful area — I am EVP of Innovation at RingCentral, which provides cloud-based phone systems. It is a very exciting and emerging category in cloud-based technology, and one that will continue to grow in the years ahead.
While many of the deals and movement has been on the business-side, we have only just begun to see the potential for cloud-based applications. Watch for emerging trends in utility management, cross device tools and services, fun and games for kids and many, many new ideas.
Being in the cloud computing industry, and the broader tech market, it is interesting to see moves in the business. IBM is said to be teaming up with a China-based ISP to offer cloud business services. The news is compelling in that it demonstrates the continued value of business offerings in could computing, and the potential for IBM to take a larger position in the industry. The company certainly isn’t among the first to look beyond the U.S. for opportunity and scale. Very exciting!
Not long ago I had referenced a media article about Google’s partnership with Barnes and Noble. It came to mind while reading some of the media articles about Amazon opening up a physical store to enable same-day pick up of online orders placed through its Amazon.com site. It’s not the first time that Amazon has laid the foundation for integrating its online offerings with the offline world, but it certainly sparks excitement and ideas for innovations and technologies that connected the online and offline consumer market. For startup entrepreneurs and investors, this is a great arena to watch. There have been multiple new startups in the space and we can likely expect more to come in the future.
VentureBeat had a recent article that discussed data regarding women at VC firms. The continued effort to increase diversity throughout the tech industry is great for women, but also great for the business and this includes VC organizations. While men bring talent and skills to the VC industry, women possess unique insight that also has value. We often have a touch to women-centric or targeted technologies and solutions, as well as a pulse to the overall female market and consumer. With women said to make up nearly half of the technology business today, and 74% of women consumers overall using social networks and other technology, there is without question investment potential and opportunity. Not only can women in VC investment bring benefit here, but in management, leadership and more across all of an investment portfolio. I hope to see more women take interest in careers in venture capital and other areas of technology finance.
I participated on a great panel about mobile data at the 2014 Kairos Global Summit this past week. The panel discussion took a look into mobile data and its dynamic role in both the present world we are in and the future, as well as where opportunities might exist for young people to get involved and what solutions may be needed. Thank you to the Kairos Global Summit for having me participate. Photos by Getty Images.
I participated in a great article about women in technology business in ENTweak this past week. The article discusses and explores the roles that women are currently choosing in the technology industry, along with what might help increase and drive further growth among women in technology careers. It’s a good read with some outstanding insight from several others in the industry. I’ve talked further about how to take women in tech to the next level here as well. Thank you to ENTweak for including me in the article this week.