If you've worked in or close to the IT industry for any length of time you will almost certainly be used to regularly hearing new buzzwords, in fact it's highly likely that you get bombarded by them. A natural response to this bombardment of marketing messages and buzzwords is to build up an immunity and ignore them. After all buzzwords are often simply new names for existing technology that's being re-invented, and of course we all know that vendors hype up their products.
By now though there can't be many people in business that haven't heard the term 'Cloud computing' indeed most people have some notion of what it is, although the impression I get from the many discussions I have is this notion is usually pretty vague and coupled with a perception that they should know more. The sentiment that I encounter most often is "We're not sure about putting our IT services into the cloud, its not the same as having your own server in the office" there is also a lot of fear of the Cloud, particularly amongst us IT professionals.
To put 'Cloud Computing' into some context, Vendors like Microsoft have in the region of 80% of their resources behind Cloud solutions. Other industry giants such as Google and Amazon have the thrust of their development behind the cloud. So If you think the 'Cloud' is just another buzzword you're hugely mistaken. There really can be very little doubt that 'Cloud Computing' is going to revolutionize the technology business and fundamentally change the way that technology is purchased and delivered.
So what is Cloud Computing?
A nice simple definition I like from Wikipedia is;
"Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like electricity"
In practice the Cloud computing can mean a great many different things and the finer points of its underlying mechanics are actually pretty complex. But in really simple terms what it means for small businesses is that they can purchase the IT services that they need as an ongoing service instead of a capital expense. This could be their infrastructure, a platform to develop and host a business application or just the software application itself. So the Cloud spans the entire spectrum of IT services.
In addition to the elimination of capital expense, this brings some huge benefits to users.
Pay as you go - you can scale your computing up or down and only pay for what you use.
Mitigation of risk - contrary to what many people believe, having your IT services and information in the cloud reduces business risk
Access to better technology - It enables you to use the latest technology and to avoid expensive upgrades
Reduce ongoing support costs - Less technology for you to pay to support
More Flexible- It promotes being able to work from anywhere on any computer
Its early days for Cloud Computing and the majority of companies at the moment will only be able to adopt a hybrid approach - i.e. a combination of private infrastructure and Cloud computing. But its changing fast and there are a new generation of Cloud solutions on their way from Microsoft to name but one. There are opportunities to take advantage of cloud computing right now. That means there's money to be saved and new and better ways of purchasing many of the IT services that Small and Medium sized businesses need.
At Connexion we've embraced Cloud computing. We see it as one of the best ways of bringing value to the table for our customers and growing our business. Over the last 18 months we have helped to reduce some our clients ongoing IT costs by as much as 50%. They are not only delighted with the cost savings, they love the technology. There can be no doubt that the Cloud means better IT for businesses. If you haven't explored the opportunity already, you should and certainly should before you purchase any more expensive Server infrastructure. If you would like a free consultation then contact us now on 0118 9209600
Thursday 3 March 2011 18:28:16 by
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