Marie’s TV session: cloud computing and gamification

Cloud computingOn this morning’s Breakfast on One, Marie explained two buzzwords that have been circulating for a while: cloud computing and gamification.

Cloud computing has been around for a while, but many business owners still don’t know what it can do for them. The Christchurch earthquake brought this issue to the fore, where some businesses were unable to retrieve their paper records because they had no off-site backup.

Cloud computing simply means storing your files on the internet instead of storing them on your own computer. Over the past decade, many cloud options have arisen for normal business processes, such as Google Docs for documents, spreadsheets and presentations, and (New Zealand’s own) Xero for accounting.

It’s similar to the situation when electricity was first introduced. At first, you had to own and maintain your own generator. As time went by, specialist power companies arose, and all you had to do was subscribe to their service, and plug into the mains.

In the same way, cloud computing offers software as a service, rather than as a product you buy. One of the best guides we’ve found to cloud computing is from New Zealand’s own (in fact, Christchurch’s own) Ben Kepes, and his site diversity.net.nz.

Meanwhile, gamification is a relatively new buzzword (there’s even been a conference about it). It’s all about applying the lessons learnt from video games to areas like education, marketing and management.

There’s a lot to it, but in a nutshell, playing is our best way of learning. (We’ve discussed this before with our book review on The Little Red Ball). Volkswagen knows this, and dramatically demonstrated it in their “The Fun Theory” series of videos, including “piano stairs” as shown on Breakfast this morning:

We’ll post the link to Marie’s session once it’s on the TVNZ website.

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