New year resolutions! They tend to be all of the same: attending the gym, giving up smoking, living a better  life. All laudable goals, but how many of us actually see it through to the end of the year?

At The 848 Group we see the same in some of our dealings with clients. With just cause, ideas around cloud for business are very often considered by businesses and sometimes they are dismissed because of legacy decisions, business priorities, cost (contrary to many popular beliefs the cloud is not always the cheapest!), or politics between departments.

But the advent of the cloud is undeniable, and if you are CIO, a business owner, an end user who wishes that the IT department would react to your needs more effectively then cloud solutions can help you.

The team at 848 presents you with 5 ideas that should be part of your business agenda, and 5 suggested new year resolutions for you! Death to on-premise software!

Well, not quite, but it is true that there are many business applications that are better suited to the cloud. Email, collaboration, CRM and even accounting systems from the likes of +Box and +xero are giving businesses of all sizes the opportunity to carry out key business functions more efficiently in the cloud.

We have written previously on the benefits of +Box and the abilities it brings to share and collaborate with customers and partners. Box is capable of co existing with on premise systems and gives you functionality you simply cannot get elsewhere.

So your first new resolution could be:

1. Arrange for a free trial and consultation with 848, to see how your IT plans for 2013 are providing what your business needs. All without obligation of course.
Take mobile opportunities seriously.

Despite some of the negative press around tariffs for 4G from Everything Everywhere (EE), there is no doubt that 2013 is the year that many of the cloud services you can now use in business will benefit greatly from the speeds on 4G, and of course the ever increasing amount of wifi coverage. The 848 Group is part of the Apple Consultants network and we can help you link your business to your mobile workforce using Apple, Android, and the Windows platform.

Mobile access to the internet has already taken over desktop access according to recent estimates. Facebook, Twitter and Google UK products are already in use by many of us and this ability to access what you want, from anything and from anywhere, creates new possibilities in working more closely with your customers and partners.

So, your second resolution:

2. Contact 848 to find out how we can help by matching your mobile requirements to your business objectives.
IT is no longer the gatekeeper in a business.

As you read this article, this section will mean different things to you. If you are a business owner of any size, you will have a view on IT, either from your own department or from your current supplier.

If you are CIO, we assume that the fact you are reading this at all means that you know that change is coming and IT departments can no longer operate independently of the business (there are a surprising number of companies that still have this view).

And finally, if you are an end user, then you are not alone in expecting more from your IT department or supplier.

The oft used phrase of the ‘consumerization’ of IT is more true than ever. It is now possible to run key business systems on any device and a department head can purchase an IT solution without ever talking to the IT department.

Your 3rd resolution therefore:

3. Ask 848 for examples of our work where we have helped businesses use IT more effectively- and yes, we have also helped IT departments deliver the value to their user base and get a ‘thumbs up’ from the users.
Social data is critical to innovation and business growth.

Monitoring your brand on the social networks was so 2012, and at 848 we follow the trends as best we could. We could tell how many people ‘liked’ us, but how does it translate into business innovation and connecting to our customers in a better way?

We are not all the way there yet but you can interact with our helpdesk via any media you wish, and if you venture an opinion on our service, good or bad, we will know and be able to react immediately.

We have helped our clients build social media platforms that deliver similar innovation- it is worth remembering that text messaging is now bigger than voice calls on mobile. Why does this matter to social data strategy? It is simple: people are far more likely to vote with their keyboards and phones these days than they are to ring up and tell you why they are not happy.

Resolution number 4 henceforth is:

4. Arrange to speak to our digital media consultant on how these services can help your business.
Increase skills, capacity, and innovation with crowdsourcing.

Do you have the capacity in your organisation to cope with demands that you cannot see? Can you accurately predict the resource requirements for a new product, launch or brand? Crowdsourcing is a hot topic right now and at 848 we are starting a programme with  local universities, to request help and suggestions from the local talent to solve problems for our clients.

Therefore your 5th resolution should be:

5. Speak to your local faculty, set up the right social media channels to get input, invite people to submit their CV’s and sponsor local innovation by working with your local education authority.
So, take a few minutes to evaluate your IT priorities for 2013 and see how cloud for business fits into your thinking.