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The Internet now connects 2.5 billion people and more than 15 billion devices. While those numbers are staggering, we have to ask: What do they mean?

Some prognosticators have opined that CDs and DVDs will be collectors’ items by 2020. They further believe that before the decade is over, 14% of people won’t own physical books and 11% won’t have a TV.

Why? Because of the Cloud.

The professional services industry is moving to the Cloud faster than any other. And for professional services firms the Cloud is not just about IT. It’s about driving rapid innovation throughout the enterprise. It’s about agility. It’s about enabling new business processes. We’ve entered an era where major technology decisions are made outside of the IT department. According to some, in just two short years as much as 80% of new IT investments will directly involve line-of-business executives … executives who manage teams of people used to watching movies on YouTube or Hulu. People who routinely send and receive email messages on Gmail or Yahoo. People who read books on Kindle, who keep in touch via Facebook and Twitter, who share photos on Flickr and swap recipes on Pinterest. These people ― these employees ― are now using the Cloud to manage talent better, to gain greater insight into their customers and to connect the dots in unique, unexpected ways.

That same Cloud (which is hastening the obsolescence of our Blu-Ray discs) is delivering the innovation and agility professional services companies need toextend existing infrastructures, to enable new processes and insights, and to quickly adapt to keep pace in today’s fast-changing world.

Clearly, expectations for the modern professional services firm in today's market have significantly evolved. Transformations in cloud computing are creating a hyper-competitive market where operational excellence and flexibility are critical to coming out on top. It’s an exciting time to work in this industry.