In 2009, many companies began to integrate cloud computing into their daily operations (whether they know it or not). The main concept behind cloud computing is the delivery of computing resources over the Internet, as opposed to a physical machine.
Several aspects of the cloud are extremely appealing to the enterprise, especially smaller companies who can be more adaptable in their choice of technology.For one, it’s a cost-effective feature and also saves on time, which are two of the most important resources in any business.
As you’d expect, there are many people who are still skeptical of this technology perhaps because of the rampant cybersecurity cases. This is one of the biggest challenges of cloud computing, but the technology also comes with a lot of benefits. Here is how this innovation is changing the enterprise:
We Don’t Need No Stinking Hardware
Software as a Service (SaaS) is the use of a system (generally a web application) within a managed environment, rather than installed on local servers. This allows you to get up and running immediately without having to worry about the underlying technology. As a business, you’ll not be forced to invest in high-end hardware for you to run some of the applications. All you need is a reliable platform and an affordable service provider.
Last year, while working for CrossTech Partners, we developed a SaaS-based content management system called ExgenexCMS. Using the SaaS approach, we were able to get the client database provisioned and the basic website up and running within hours.
For clients that do not have a server environment or internal IT resources, this is an ideal situation. The number of entrepreneurs looking to integrate this system to their businesses is growing every day. You can, therefore, invest in selling SaaS to the right clients provided you have all the necessary resources.
It’s worth noting, though, that building a responsive SaaS platform is one thing and attracting customers is another. As such, if you choose this route, you should be ready to invest in a good SaaS marketing agency for you to succeed.
The Way of the Google
Over the last few years Google Apps has evolved to mimic the functionality of the Microsoft Office suite. We use several of their tools for collaboration, including the Docs and Spreadsheets. (If you haven’t edited a Google Spreadsheet at the same time as someone else and seen their changes in real time, it is pretty cool). Since we are often traveling, it is important that we have tools that all users can interact with, regardless of location or platform.
Interestingly enough, this week Google made an announcement this week that they will working with several partners to straddle the desktop-cloud divide. While I’m sure Google developed these applications to compete with (read “replace”) Microsoft Office, they are smart enough to realize that large companies aren’t going to ditch their legacy systems…unless they bridge the gap.
It will be interesting to see which how long it takes for companies to stop straddling and to dive headfirst into the cloud.
Let’s Get Virtual
For me, one of the best parts of the entire cloud movement has been virtual machines. A virtual machine is exactly like a normal computer (with processor, memory, storage, and operating system), but is doesn’t live in a physical box. Several virtual machines can live within a single box, or could spread across a server farm.
We have been using virtual machines in our server room for a few years now, and I cannot praise it enough. Before virtualization, it would take us hours to get a new server ready for production. Now, we can simply clone one of our existing machines and have a fully functional web or database server up and running within minutes.
Whether it is building a web-based application or virtualizing your server room, there are many ways in which you can use cloud computing to improve and supplement your existing technology environment.