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Justifying Your Website In The Cloud

Posted by cloudservicesforbusiness on November 4, 2011

The idea of putting your biggest marketing investment - your website in the cloud - might be a little scary. But that’s why you’re reading this post -- you’re smart and know when to take a well-calculated risk.

The cloud is built for those with a built-in taste for success – who want to provide their customers with an updated website that’s optimized for search and ready to handle the campaigns generated from your marketing and sales departments.

For those who like official definitions, Gartner came up with a good one: “The cloud is a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided “as a service” to customers using Internet technologies.” Gartner crammed all the important key words in there: scalable, elastic, service, Internet and IT. It makes it a good definition, but what does that mean for your public-facing website?

If the cloud is a scalable and elastic IT service, everything should be a good fit for the cloud, right? While that might be eventually true, for now here are the top uses for the cloud.

Public Websites with fluctuating traffic levels often require a big investment in an infrastructure (hardware, power and IT staff) that can accommodate short-term spikes. If your web analytics resembles a roller coaster, it might be a good idea to consider a cloud solution.

B2B / Partner / Client Portals are becoming extremely popular. With the right security features in place, the cloud is the perfect place to host a partner portal as it can experience fluctuations in traffic with every new product rollout or change.

Applications that can be pushed to the cloud are those that are a collection of services, like security services, mobile access, workflow integration, email, spam filtering, archiving, etc. Forrester recommends if you have an OLTP (online transaction processing) application – avoid the cloud for now.

3rd Party Integrations  Integrating 3rd party applications with your website becomes a no-brainer because the cloud acts as shield against your internal systems while providing the necessary scalability and cost savings.

A content management system (CMS) makes the web more usable. It’s more important than ever these days to have your website be easy to manage, handle traffic fluctuations and be scalable with your business. Having a CMS solves many issues we face in business today.

Easy to update – Most websites grow organically over time and we find much of the content is out-of-date. If pages were manually updated using tools like Dreamweaver, its likely there are lost pages and things have gotten out of control. The benefit of a CMS is that anyone can learn to update the website.

Remote management – If the majority of your web production team (including content contributors) is off-site, a cloud CMS is a good fit for your business. Using Internet services allows individuals to easily access the information and data they need to effectively manage content and workflows all from within a single tool.

Saves time – Instead of struggling to publish content through your overloaded development team, a CMS gives non-technical staff the ability to publish directly with a push of a button. All with the added ability to revert back to an older version of the content should someone have hit publish too early.

Consistent user experience – The more your website can scale, the more you can take advantage of the cloud. Using templates gives your website consistency and pushes best practices out to your rogue teams.

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