Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you could miss it." In the 18 years since the John Hughes classic was released, technology has increased the speed of business exponentially. In 1986 the landline telephone was the main communication tool and being at work meant being in an office for eight hours. Fast forward to 2015 and internet technology, mobile services and cloud computing mean our working lives are moving fast and the line between home and work continues to blur.

Technology has enabled businesses to become more responsive to customers’ needs, with employees able to access the same computing services, platforms and power at home and on the move as they can in the office. This mobility and agility would not be possible without cloud computing. The cloud provides the computing infrastructure and economies of scale that enable businesses to access increasingly complex computing applications and services on a pay as you use basis, according to business requirements. The financial flexibility of cloud services means companies are gaining operational efficiencies whilst reducing their IT expenditure.

Back in 1986 this would have been unimaginable. As would the ability to access a company’s core business systems and data from any location; or conduct analysis of business data on the move using a smartphone, laptop or tablet. However, the development of a mobile, responsive, flexible, agile workforce has become a reality due to cloud computing.

Looking ahead 15 years. It’s clear that cloud computing is fundamental to the next wave of digital development. The Internet of Things and the rise of the smart city will mean a significant increase in data. Only the cloud will provide the data storage, processing and analytical capabilities needed to unlock its value. Thanks to services and applications built, managed and accessed using cloud computing, businesses will become more mobile, increasingly agile and faster than even Ferris Buller could have ever imagined.