One of the technology buzz words that has been in the news over the past year is cloud computing. What is cloud computing? The true meaning is Internet-based computing where applications and computing resources are provided as services through a distributed and massively scalable network of hardware and network resources. In a nutshell, computer services are provided like electricity is provided; it comes from somewhere outside of your organization and is paid for on-demand.
The benefit of cloud computing is that organizations no longer need to support the server infrastructure that is normally necessary to provide email, database services, CRM, backups, etc. The misconception is that the server architecture is not out there somewhere – it is. There is still hardware behind the application servers, but someone else is maintaining and supporting it. So the first question to ask, when someone is pitching you cloud services is “Who is behind the cloud supporting it?” If you do not know that answer, beware! Many cloud providers will offer SLAs (Service Level Agreements) which provide you guarantees related to uptime, performance, and other key indicators. These are important documents to understand and review if your organization is considering a cloud-based solution.
There is no doubt that there are many benefits of the cloud computing approach for businesses. Both large and small businesses can benefit in different ways. Large companies can transfer the risk of large complicated infrastructure to IT professionals who are paid to handle it. Small companies can avoid spending large amounts of money on hardware by using cloud services. Businesses of all sizes can benefit by shifting the cost of their computing infrastructure from capital to operating budgets.
If you have questions about how cloud computing may work for your organization, please contact us at 518-885-2857, firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://twitter.com/coldenco.