What do Netflix, Zipcar, Mint.com, Nike+, Amazon, the Nintendo Wii, and the Apple iPhone all have in common? They all take advantage of four technologies that once were scarce and expensive but are now plentiful and cheap. These technologies can be combined in numerous ways, and we are just starting to see companies really taking advantage of the possibilities. These four technologies will have a disruptive impact on your business, almost regardless of which industry you're in. The question is whether you will choose to adopt them before a competitor does.

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In my last blog post, “Race to the Cloud,” I talked about cloud strategies for Tier-1 telcos. Essentially, they’re big enough to be able to take the risk of hosting their own cloud data centers (telco’s “private cloud”), while gradually climbing up the cloud-chain from IaaS-provider to PaaS-provider to SaaS-broker/communication-and-collaboration-as-a-service provider. But, what about the smaller players? They must be shying away from hosting cloud data centers (otherwise they would have been in the news) because of the kind of investment they need to set up the cloud infrastructure. However, they can’t ignore the fact that the cloud-model is knocking at their door and they really can’t afford to lose the business opportunities.

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How do you build a collaborative mindset in a company? Collaboration needs to be seen as a process that happens over time, and that the crucial groundwork for successful collaboration needs to be laid before the "actual" collaborative work happens.

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