By all indications, yes, 2012 may be the year that businesses big and small will more fully embrace cloud computing in larger numbers. As technology continues to advance, there are plenty more reasons to tap into the cloud to help your business stay competitive and successful. Let’s take a look at some trends we’re seeing in the tech world. Internal Social Networks Social networking usage by businesses continues to increase because it’s a way of life for many people, including your target markets. But what may be more interesting is internal social networking. And that doesn’t necessarily mean Facebook, Twitter and other such popular public spaces. Internally, companies are using Microsoft SharePoint and wikis for instance, offering employees online collaboration at work in real-time for sharing content. Obviously, micro businesses with employees located in one place may not benefit from this, but other businesses that are spread out with employees on the go could see positive results with internal social networking.
With so many portable communication devices out there, companies are conducting business more and more on the go. Tablets and other newer mobile devices and the programs they run on are becoming more like business tools. These mobile gadgets use methods, applications, platforms and data that have to “live” somewhere – namely, in the cloud.
The cost of storing data isn’t getting any cheaper, for the most part. Couple that with the fact that the amount of data that many companies need to store somewhere is also accelerating. At some point it becomes impossible for some businesses to store information on-site or even using some traditional off-site storage solutions. That’s just one scenario that has many businesses choosing to store their data in the cloud. The cloud becomes more and more appealing for companies who rely on lots of stored data being nearby and easily accessible through the cloud.
The cloud is becoming more than just one thing. It’s actually becoming a hybrid of solutions for storage, computing platforms and software applications, all accessible to serve your business needs. So it’s less about choosing one service over another or one company over another, and more about engaging an entire lifecycle of cloud-based solutions that are available across multiple companies.
Public v. Private
As far as infrastructure capabilities, some businesses will move away from their private cloud solution to a public-cloud solution. It comes down to whether a company can survive on a hardware-constrained private cloud – a solution that also imposes limitations on being flexible. There are only some many resources that you can own privately and still stay in business profitably. Public clouds on the other hand offer more flexibility and have no restraint n the volume of hardware of software needed.
As with any advancing technology, there could be so downsides, including security issues or complete downtime where you may be unable to retrieve your data for a prolonged period of time, for example. So consider how often and for how long you may have to withstand outages just in case, and how that would affect your business and what alternatives should you have in place.
If you want to find out more about the true value of cloud computing, contact CRS Technology Consultants. We’ll help you figure out which pieces of the puzzle make the most sense for your business model.