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Any business technology worth its salt should do more than solve a single problem. It should open up new opportunities. That’s certainly what the cloud does today. Demonstrating that what began as an efficient way to store and manage data, infrastructure and applications is now one of the most transformative technologies around.

But while most have invested in the cloud to some degree, many are yet to exploit its full potential for smart working. In other words, they’re yet to take advantage of the possibilities for better connectivity, more mobility, intelligent devices and inspired innovation that the cloud offers. All of which can tangibly benefit their people and their customers.

That must change if these businesses hope to compete with the agile, born-in-the-cloud innovators disrupting every industry.

Not every cloud can

CIOs are spending a lot of time looking at how to make their businesses smarter with cloud technology. The problem is, the sheer variety of clouds available, and a range of providers (from niche to global players) is causing confusion. To get the cloud right, it’s necessary to align suppliers’ cloud capabilities against very clear objectives, while also making the cloud an enabling tool that helps workers and contributes to business strategy.

It’s all about understanding not just what the cloud does in functional terms, but what it makes achievable. As well as which cloud is suited to which purposes. Whether that’s faster decision making, closer customer relationships or better connections for global businesses.

Learning from best-in-class cloud businesses

So who are the people that really understand what smart cloud working is?

Of course there are the outliers. Disruptive businesses who make the most of the cloud by using it in tandem with the Internet of Things, applications and connectivity to rapidly scale, test and deploy new products and services, and to find new, different and daring ways of doing things. But there are countless businesses to look at and learn from who harness the power of flexibility, agility and speed to grow and gain market share.
What they all have in common is the ability to respond to variable business conditions and customer expectations, to change according to demand, and to deploy applications exactly when and where people need them. As well as partnerships with providers who understand the importance of connectivity, and how the cloud can really mean smart.

A new eBook from Vodafone delves further into what smart working is, how the cloud can make it real, and use cases of businesses who are showing their peers the way forward.

Find out more: There’s a cloud that can make businesses smarter

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