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Understanding Cloud Computing in Business

Posted by cloudservicesforbusiness on March 16, 2011

We can sometimes be so integrated into what we're doing on a day-to-day basis, sometimes we forget to start from the beginning. Today, I'm going to write about just that - what on earth is cloud computing from a business standpoint?


Moving to the cloud can be a tough decision for most businesses as the bigger the organization, the more impact technology has on your users if it just doesn’t work. So what do you need to start thinking about now to make sure the decisions you make are the right ones?

The most functional starting point is understanding your users and determining what they need to do on a daily basis.

This is not how IT decisions have typically been made in the past, which transforms the way we think about technology in a business environment. Today it is critical to think about the challenges your employees and customers face and how technology can help solve those problems. Some problems are fairly easy to solve and come with an agreeable price tag while others require more thought and analysis of the business value.

The fortunate thing about the cloud is while it may have one name; the cloud is comprised of different services that can be rolled out as decisions are made about each problem.

In 2009, Gartner defined cloud computing as a “style of computing where scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ to customers using Internet technologies.”

Currently, cloud services fall under one of three categories: SaaS, PaaS or IaaS.

Software as a Service (SaaS) is the most common of cloud services. It is simply applications that are delivered over the Internet, which are paid for a “pay-per-use” basis. This subscription model can be rolled out and updated over the web, serve multiple machines and is typically measured by overall usage.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) is essentially online development platforms focused on the app and where it runs. The benefit of PaaS is it updates the platform automatically and is built to expect and withstand failure.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the way business consumes IT and when you boil it down to the common purpose it is akin to renting space in a datacenter instead of owning it. Most people see the immediate benefit of scale as IaaS allows the infrastructure capacity to fluctuate dynamically based on demand.

Once you understand the challenges your workplace faces and have aligned them to potential cloud services; the next step is determining the business value. It is important to calculate the total cost and look at the fine print of a cloud services agreement. Vorsite recommends calling on an experienced cloud partner to help you through this process, as every business has individual requirements and needs that may or may not fit with a cloud solution.

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