Posted by Dawn Aldwinckle on February 10th, 2011
Here’s a nostalgic rock n roll trip for those of you who appreciate the Rolling Stones. Follow this link to a YouTube video of the Rolling Stones playing Get Off Of My Cloud on Top Of The Pops in 1965!
On a more sobering and technical note you may wondering what is meant by Cloud Computing and SaaS (Software as a Service) hence the real reason for this blog topic.
Cloud Computing is an on demand access to shared servers, software and data using the Internet. The user accesses the cloud using any type of device (PC, Laptop, Smart Phone, iPad) that runs any type of web browser.
The Cloud is meant to represent the concept that the user does not need to know anything of the computing infrastructure he or she is using and that it just sits within a cloud somewhere out there. It is often depicted, as a drawing of a cloud inside which is a network of linked servers much like drawings of telephone networks or electricity grids.
The Cloud can also be seen to represent an alleged infinite capacity of computing resources available for all to use. The cloud can even be a private Cloud (at a cost) hence the cry of ‘get off of my Cloud’!
There are many types of applications for cloud computing from backups, data storage and email systems through to full-blown ERP systems such as Lakeview’s LV product. In theory all business and personal systems could be delivered to you via the cloud.
In reality there are of course still companies that you contract with for these delivered services via the cloud as the latter is after all a different route to market for the products and services already on offer pre Cloud.
The way these Cloud application services, known as SaaS (Software as a Service) or ‘Software on Demand’, are delivered via a subscription from the service provider.
So, what are the pros and cons for your business potentially moving to a cloud computing model?
Cost reduction: This is the key benefit in that there is no longer any need for in house IT hardware or technical expertise.
Scalable: Will grow with your business (although you will pay more.)
Green: Companies sharing global data centres within the cloud should reduce green footprints.
Risk: Single point of failure with one supplier for all IT needs with limited negotiating power, control and costly to revert back in-house.
Privacy: Handing confidential business data over to a third party.
Performance: Many software applications are slower and less reliable as they weren’t designed for cloud deployment.
If your business is an early adopter, and prepared to take a considered risk for a cost saving, then the Cloud and SaaS are worthy of consideration.
For the remaining majority of pragmatic, conservative and technology laggard businesses then best to maintain status quo and keep your server and data sat safely within your four business walls (five counting your firewall)
Author: Mark Greatrex, CEO of Lakeview Computers