After many many sleepless nights and discussions with opinionated business owners I feel I would like to set out what I see as the not too distant future of cloud technology. Now these are only my opinions, but I have been right before (he says smugly) and your comments are welcome.

With a focus on the retail and banking sectors, I hope what I have to say can disrupt the way you’re thinking about cloud tech and the future.

Retail – the future of shopping

We have seen stores come online rapidly and obviously some have excelled more than others in digitalising their outlook, take a look at what Burberry are doing for a great example of this. Some interesting statistics show that there are conflicting comments on the way we shop.

The suggest:

  • 56% of shoppers still think advertising is important to their purchase decision in-store.
  • But only 12% of shoppers feel the in-store sales associate is an important touch-point in a purchase decision.

This is an interesting conflict and I think the decision is really down to personal taste, coupled with the “can I be bothered to go to the shops” mentality. Advertising is still important for clothing purchases, but the desire for a sales associate experience is very low. Clothes are personal and we all like to try before we buy, but how many of us have recently purchased clothes online, negating the sales associate altogether? The only thing stopping you is the pain of sending the items back when they don’t fit, which many retailers are now combatting by offering returns collection services.

So, I think small steps will be taken to reduce the amount of staff needed within retail organisations (similar to TFL ticket offices) and the retail chains will become glorified showrooms that will hold a skeleton staff for essentials. Payments can still be made in-store by wireless transactions and a point. Wait I hear you say, how do I know it fits? Well due to your smart device that has recorded your measurements and size this will feed a big database in the sky (constantly updating) your measurements.

Imagine an add-on for your smart device that 3D scans your body, and records your measurements. This is then recorded to your favourite stores online presence and each store will know your size. Not only this but also your purchase history and preference so that fantastic offers can be presented. Sound far-fetched? It’s really not. There are already 3D scanning attachments available for tablet devices, though at present they aren’t quite sophisticated enough to scan a whole body.

I personally would still go to the stores, as I like to get out of the house. plus, I don’t want to end up an obese man that can’t tie his shoelaces. but the need to visit stores at all will diminish eventually.

Banking – What else can I have?

The banking sector has always had the most sophisticated technology for mainstream operations and let’s face it they need to. In this competitive landscape where margins for banking products being squeezed and regulation stifling creativity, this industry will change dramatically. Let me make one statement insomuch that it may explain my way of thinking.

You trust your bank with your money right? (Even if you don’t do you have a choice?). So who do you trust with your data as this is the new economy for business? Correct – logically you would trust your bank! Makes sense really and a new breed of service provider for your data is born for the cloud.

Already we have seen a few high street banks offering data storage, why not offer the whole package, applications to boot? In fact it would be easier for banks to scale their tech for mass consumption than your average IT provider and they already have the client base to convert.

So what does this mean for you if you are a Cloud provider today? Possibly that you can expect to be purchased over the next 10 years.

This is just a taster of the modernisation of technology within two market sectors. However generically I feel the improvement of technology is at a pace that is very hard to predict. Gone are the days that we could easily relate to upgrades and replacements for our ever creaking tech. From a business standpoint there is no need to purchase any core computing services unless you fall into a service provider model, it just doesn’t make any economic sense. Your home PC will be supplied by your internet provider (or cable/satellite TV) and maintained by them – this too makes sense as whoever provides you the connectivity, to this increasingly over populated web called the internet, holds the keys. Connectivity is the one thing that you cannot be online without and it’s the artery that feeds net.

One final thought.

We may see a revolution on our hands with a very classist scenario taking place between the pro automation companies and the out of work employees who simply say no. There is an economic change coming and it may be the disruptor that nobody is expecting.

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