Just how important are things like mobile technology, social media and cloud computing to businesses today?
Can a business expect to survive and thrive if it doesn't stay on top of the latest trends in technology? According to a new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the answer is, not surprisingly, 'no.'
Email may not be the most exciting part of the internet economy, but it's one of the most important. After all, while areas like social media capture a lot of attention, email continues to be one of the most effective ways to reach consumers online.
Sending email reliably, of course, can be tricky and while big companies that rely heavily on email, such as major online retailers, can justify large investments in email delivery. But what about smaller players?
Last week, I listed the 'enterprise cloud' as one of the five things to watch in 2012.
My rationale was straightforward; while the cloud has been a hot topic in the consumer space for the past several years, there's increasing activity in the enterprise space as major software vendors like Oracle and SAP move to ensure that they don't get left behind.
Salesforce.com, one of the first big players in the enterprise cloud space, didn't wait for the new year to make a new move of its own. Yesterday, it announced that it was acquiring human capital management SaaS Rypple for an undisclosed sum.
Despite questions about the global economy and volatility in the
markets, 2011 proved that there's no place quite like the technology
industry, where innovative new services and products continued to win
adoption by both consumers and businesses.
With 2012 just around the corner, it's time to ask: what's around the corner?
Amazon is not just the kingpin of online retail. Increasingly, thanks to Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Seattle-based company is at the center of many companies' clouds.
The rise of AWS is impressive, and Amazon owes much of its success to the breadth and depth of its cloud platform, which is used by hundreds of thousands of customers, large and small.
Facebook's revenue growth over the past several years is almost as
impressive as its user growth. And with money pouring in, thanks in
large part to advertisers eager to reach consumers on the world's
largest social network, its profits are growing. How much?
According to Michael Arrington, Facebook generated nearly $800m in
operating income in the first six months of this year.
Arrington's sources said the company produced $1bn in operating income
in all of last year.
Dropbox, the company that has made "your files, anywhere" a reality for some 45m users, confirmed yesterday that it has raised a whopping $250m Series B at a rumored valuation of $4bn.
Also revealed yesterday: the fact that in 2009, then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs invited Dropbox's two twenty-something co-founders to a meeting in which he offered to acquire their company for a nine-figure amount.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison hasn't exactly been the biggest proponent of 'the cloud'. In fact, in 2008 he went so far as to state that the cloud is "the Webvan of computing".
To be sure, the cloud isn't without its problems, and as a buzzword, it's a bit worn.
But the rise of services like Amazon AWS has proven one thing: the cloud, for better or worse, is here to stay.
In late 2009, Amazon introduced a new way for AWS customers to purchase its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service: spot instances.
Instead of buying an instance outright at a fixed price, the price of a spot instance is determined by supply and demand.
So long as your bid for the instance is above the current spot price, you have a fully functional Amazon EC2 instance at your disposal.
With cloud solutions becoming more and more popular with businesses,
selecting the right providers is becoming more and more important.
Thanks to its skyrocketing popularity, established technology
companies and upstarts alike have rushed to create cloud offerings. The
competition this produces is a boon for companies shopping for cloud
offerings, but it also creates challenges when looking for a provider
that can be trusted.