06/05/2011

By Ben Weiner, COO, Conjungo

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a term used to describe the Internet as a method of delivering information, software and other services. Cloud computing allows individuals and companies to use software applications that reside on a specialist company's servers. This can be accessed via the Internet. So instead of the software being physically located on a company's PC or an individual's PC, access is gained via the web. As long as users have a web browser they can gain access and use of the application. An example of this model is software on demand or as it is often called software as a service (SaaS) i.e. being able to rent or pay for software by the amount of time it is used for.


What is the future of Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing as a new model or delivery method is without doubt the way forward but of course this will very much depend on how responsive businesses will be to take up this new model. There are a great many benefits with using the 'cloud' but the main one is lowering costs For example, it is possible to pay for software and other services as you use it.


Why Cloud Computing?

The recent recession has in many ways been a catalyst for organisations to rethink and restructure not only their businesses but also the way in which they engage with customers, primarily because of the need to control or drive down costs.


Benefits of Cloud Computing

Some of the benefits include:

- Cost reduction. Because of the business model used with cloud Computing it is possible to pay only for services used or as they are needed.

- No or reduced Capital Expenditure. (CAPEX). By renting or paying on demand for software and other services, it means that an organisation will not have to pay 'up front' for software licences and infrastructure needed to run the system. The charges can be made on a 'per usage' model or an agreed monthly charge. (Flat monthly fee).

- Scalability. Using the cloud model means that companies can scale up or down projects as they can use only the services required for a period of time.

- Improved service levels. It is most unlikely that a small, in-house IT department will have the resources that allow for 24 hour support. Using Cloud based services will generally lead to a 24/7 support capability.

- Quality of service. It is also possible in some instances to improve service quality through being able to have more resources and better qualified personnel.

- Fast and easy implementation. Reduced time to deploying new applications can be achieved through cloud based services.

What type of Companies would benefit from Cloud Computing?

Most companies can benefit from some form Cloud implementation regardless of size and scale. In fact, even large enterprises are adopting this model because of the many benefits that can accrue. It is also taking a new attitude that rather than having tangible products on site such as DVDs and storage, the need is to accept that much if not all of the IT function can be run via the cloud.

Conclusion

Cloud Computing, (as usual within the ICT market!) while a confusing term, is actually a very simple concept. The ability to deliver software applications and other services via the Internet has actually been in use for a long time and there are many well known companies that have been using this model for many years. Ultimately, what companies seek to achieve or indeed what they wish to use via the Cloud depends naturally on circumstances, how 'comfortable' and secure management feel with the model and the level of risks that they perceive to be involved.

Read more at www.conjungo.com

Watch the video below featuring Matt Holmes is Managing Director at Liquid Accounts discussing the 4 best ways to get your business in the cloud.

[tv-prg461-360x202]

Join us on