In a 2012 survey by Wakefield Research, 29% of respondents referred to actual clouds, the sky or the weather when asked about ‘the cloud’. Only 16% referred to the cloud as a computer network. Fast forward to 2014 and a Gartner IT research paper has noted that although cloud services are more common, understanding of cloud services is still poor and confusion is still rampant.

Given the significant benefits of cloud services for business, it is surprising more people do not understand what cloud computing is.

Cloud computing is an Internet based model for managing your software and data. There are a range of cloud solutions, whereby the entire cloud is privately owned by the user, or it is wholly outsourced to an IT services company. Cloud computing allows multiple users, across multiple devices to simultaneously access data and share resources. It allows users to access information away from a central point, such as home or an office.

When we consider introducing cloud services into our information technology strategy there are a number of key benefits that are of particular interest to business;

  1. reduced IT infrastructure costs
  2. superior disaster recovery options, and
  3. email hosting and the user of hosted applications.

However, there are also very important decisions that need to be made, which include who to trust with company data, what the long term cost benefits are and which cloud services model works best for a particular situation.

Over the coming weeks we are going to look at a number of issues relevant to business and a cloud strategy. These will include:

  • Cloud Deployment Model: Comparing the benefits and risks of free cloud services with paid custom models.
  • Email Offering: Reviewing different email hosting options
  • Cloud Security: Who have you shared your data with and disaster recovery
  • Cost Benefits: Comparing pricing points for cloud with traditional IT models
  • Benefits for Employees: Improved access and flexibility
  • Benefits for Customers: Expanding the business offering
  • Benefits for business: More than just an improved bottom line
  • Business Case: Cloud Services and application in Business

If you have questions or comments or would like to know more about cloud services check out our Cloud Computing page.

 

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Sources

  • Image courtesy of Ppiboon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
  • Wakefield Research (Commissioned by Citrix): Most Americans Confused By Cloud Computing According to National Survey. http://www.citrix.com/news/announcements/oct-2012/cloud-confusion-survey.html (October 2012)
  • Gartner IT: Predicts 2014: Cloud Computing Affects All Aspects of IT http://www.gartner.com/ (December 2013)