Everyone is talking about the “cloud”. But what does it mean for your organization?
Cloud Computing has been one of the hottest buzzwords over the last few years but surprisingly we have been using it for more than 10 years and whether you realize it or not, you are using it as well. Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, Skype, PayPal, and Salesforce.com are all examples of cloud solutions. We just don’t think about them in these terms.
The main idea behind the cloud is that you can access all your information over the internet without having any detailed knowledge of the infrastructure used to enable it. Do you need to know about it? We don’t think so. Just like you don’t really need to know what the phone company or electric company does on their end to enable calls and allow the lights to go on when you flip the switch; and, you really don’t want to know as long as when you plug into it, it works.
How can the cloud transform your organization?
- Flexibility - Scale up and down to meet your organization’s requirements. In today’s economy, this flexibility is key. You can adjust your IT expenditures to meet your organization’s immediate needs. You no longer have to build for the future, or be constrained by decisions made or contracts signed in the past.
- Security - Rest assured that your data in the cloud is much more secure than what lives on a tower under your desk or in your small unsecured server room.
- Capacity – In the past, you had to spend a lot of your IT budget on human resources to manage your software. With cloud computing, that’s no longer an issue. Now, you can focus on how the solution will help you further your mission. The IT piece belongs to somebody else.
- Cost – Using cloud technology reduces your maintenance fees. No more servers, software, and update fees. Many of the hidden costs typically associated with software implementation, customization, hardware, maintenance, and training are rolled into a transparent subscription fee.
- It’s open – Internet standards and web services allow you to connect services to each other. This means that you can centralize your information and access it from anywhere in the world, on any computer or mobile device, at any time.
The cloud is still evolving and the latest innovations in cloud computing are making business applications even more mobile and collaborative. Your constituents expect that the information they care about will be pushed to them in real time and this is the direction of business applications in the cloud as well. Moving your organization to the cloud will make keeping up with your work as easy as keeping up with your personal life on Facebook.