The new normal is everything online, all the time. Business is quickly moving to the new normal of "cloud computing" where everything, the software and associated business logic, reside and function remotely off a vendors server, not on a computer in your office. Some would say this is all "new" but in fact this has been around for years and your customers are probably using this type of technology on a weekly, even daily basis.
What are the benefits of cloud computing? Well for one thing, you can get out of the cycle of software and hardware upgrades. Since no software is actually installed on equipment you own, you no longer have to worry about things like operating system compatibility or upgrades that can wreak havoc with other applications you may be using. All those responsibilities now reside with the product vendor. This makes life easier for software vendors as well since they no longer have to support customers who have not upgraded and are still on older versions of their product. This cuts down on their support costs. Another benefit, a product running on a central server makes it easier for product vendors to upgrade their products on a more timely basis...and, since many customers are using the same product, ideas from one can be quickly implemented into the product that can benefit all the other users.
At the end of the day, the hub around which all business else turns is the Internet. Its mass appeal is its ability to provide consumers with quick and easy access to information about anything - whenever they want it. What a great resource!
This does mean however, that adjusting your business to the new "normal" is more important than ever. If you are not delivering your customers the information they want, when they want it then chances are someone else is. With so much information at their fingertips, people don't wait like they used to and they won't jump through multiple hoops to get what they want. Their quick fingers means they are easily distracted by other online opportunities clamoring for their time, attention and leisure dollars.
The once new and convenient feature called Voicemail is now very unpopular and many skip it all together. Consider this, when you are interested in something, do you like to leave a Voicemail in hopes someone will get back to you at a convenient time? How about navigating the "press 1 for sales, press 2 for operations, press 3 for our party staff" option? Chances are after pushing all those buttons you end up in voicemail anyway or have to listen to long-winded descriptions of party packages, office hours or staff schedules! There is a better way and your customers want it, it is called the cloud computing model. Check it out and prepare for the new "normal"