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What Listening to Ten Year Olds Defining Cloud Computing Teaches Us About Social Business

4 minute read
Jacob Morgan avatar
You can learn a lot about cloud computing from ten year olds.

You can learn a lot about cloud computing from ten year olds. And what you learn can be applied to not only cloud computing, but to social business as usual.

I actually came across the video below from a post by Michael Krigsman who credits finding the video through Read Write Web. The concept of the video is all around taking a concept that many people find hard to grasp and having 10 year olds simplify that concept (what a great idea right?). That concept is of course cloud computing. Before even reading on take a moment and try to explain to yourself, your spouse, loved one or pet, what cloud computing is.

According to Wikipedia Cloud Computing is:

Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand, as with the electricity grid.

While the definition might make logical sense it’s still a bit difficult to really grasp what it means (I know because I asked a few folks how they understood the Wikipedia definition). What Accenture did is take a bunch of 10 year olds and ask them to explain and define cloud computing. 

It’s easy to look at the video as just a form of viral marketing (which it is) but I think there are a couple of important takeaways here that apply to more than just cloud computing.

Making Things Simple

There’s a lot of talk about Social CRM, Enterprise 2.0, social business and the like, but do you think a 10 year old could really explain those things to you? I’m guessing probably not. I’m all about simplifying concepts and ideas because if a prospective client can’t understand what you’re talking about then it’s going to be tough to get budget for it.

Dan Roam, author of Back of the Napkin says that “he who makes the best images gets the budget,” meaning, if you can simply things then you get the budget; and I completely agree. The next time you’re looking at a business concept or idea (regardless of what it is), ask yourself, “could a 10 year old understand and explain this?” If the answers is “no,” then go back and fix it until the answer is “yes.”

Who Are the Experts Now?

We need to realize that the younger generation (aka my little brother) is going to be entering the workforce soon and this younger workforce has never experienced a world without connectivity…ever.This generation grew up on social networks, sharing information, researching things online, purchasing online, creating content and being….”social.”

Learning Opportunities

Organizations today need to be ready for this new workforce and should be thinking about they can transfer and share knowledge from the tenured employees to the new hires. If not, then the information that the tenured employees have, disappears with their departure.

Adaptability Wins

With every passing year technology is evolving faster, social networks become more popular, consumer and employee expectations grow and the world grows towards being more networked.When you think about Facebook with around 550 million global users, do you ever wonder what will happen when it reaches 1 billion users?

People always say “well you never know if Facebook will even be around in a few years.”Oh really? Let’s be real, Facebook with its 550 million users is most likely not going anywhere.Facebook will not become extinct by a meteor that strikes the earth; in fact Facebook will be anything BUT extinct in a few years. What does all of this mean for organizations?

Adaptability to changing times and landscapes is going to be crucial. Do I have a blueprint or roadmap in my head for how organizations can adapt to everything that happens? Absolutely not, and I don’t think anyone does.However we can clearly see that the world is changing and that organizations need to change with it.

I’m writing this from a client site where I’m conducting a social customer assessment and one of the big challenges for this brand is being able to adapt their organization to meet the needs of the younger “social customer.” This brand sees that the world is changing and understands that it needs to change with it to survive.

I think Accenture did a great job with the video and I think it speaks volumes for the points above. What did you think of the video? Did you get something else out of it that perhaps I missed?Let me know in the comments section!