I had the pleasure of filming an interview with ex-dragons den, current investor at large - Richard Farleigh. A man who has made his millions through taking risks in the post-dot-com-fallout and has worked with hundred of companies to drive business success.
This video was filmed as part of the wider work we are doing at Ogilvy for IBM's Future Focus programme, looking at how businesses can work smarter by utilizing advances in technology and communications.
Smart technology is a funny one, some of the simple things that we as the "young digerati" take for granted are the very systems and practices that will become the future of business communications. Talking with a friend who is far more clued up on the subject (@gemmapercy for more info), it dawned on me that so much of the tech that forms the discourse around "cloud" computing and "viruslisation" is not tales of future technology, but present technology. Facilities such as Google Docs, delicious and Amazon's S3 storage are already changing the way we work.
Far more of our everyday data is being stored in "the cloud" rather than on our hard disks, from our databases, contacts and bookmarks to our personal data such as photos and increasingly video. As Russel M Davies points out in his article on Amazon S3 in this June's issue of Wired UK - I too would rather trust Google with my contacts than my own ability to sit on my assortment of handheld media centres (the less fortunate of which glare at me every time I open my desk drawer). It is more or less a weekly occurrence that I get invited to a facebook group of one of my clumsier chums who has sat on / dropped / digested in drunken stupor their phone and now require me to send them my number. Which proves a number of things a) my friends are stupid, b) there are many people that I am very glad now have no ability to call me (not that they ever had reason to before hand) and c) that we may all be better of outsourcing our personal lives to the likes of Google or Amazon.
I now await the cries of sacrilege from every Orwellian within ear shot, the words "big brother" and "nanny state" reverberating off the bloggosphere ring in our ears when we think of handing over the precious little scraps of data that we can truly can call our own anymore. But these solutions may well be the technologies that bring us back together rather than drive us apart. The decentralization that has taken place has sought to crowd us into buildings but talk less to one another. Maybe the future of sharing resources can truly foster the global village which has so long been heralded. The future of businesses that embrace these practices look healthier, wealthier and all together a more pleasant working experience. May be the "cloud" holds a silver lining yet...