We have all heard the new internet term “the Cloud” and I know many of you are wondering what is the cloud “exactly” anyway, even if your too embarrassed to ask. Hey, I have been in the IT business for almost 25 plus years and I wondered the exact same thing. So I got online one evening, after receiving a meeting request from a client on “Expanding our Cloud Services”, I decided I should know what the term “The Cloud” meant exactly after all I was already doing it anyway apparently.
So much to my surprise, after a few hours of reading and a visit to wiki. I found it was a simple concept, that had been around since the early 1980s, that some marketing gurus figured out a great descriptive buzz word for. It means shared resource services (old school idea, reserved for mostly big business, sharing main frame resources), using the Internet as a transport vessel instead of the expensive Wide Area Network (WAN) lines of traditional service providers of the past. This IT model that not only cuts the cost of server hardware, the infrastructure to correctly support a server environment, and expense of management and personal skill sets need to install and support such systems (we all know geeks are not cheep). In attention it eliminates much of the communications cost, as well as providing easily and almost immediate expansion capabilities.
Meaning now you can use Open Cloud Computing Software a as Service (SaaS) for such mandatory systems as accounting, order entry, shipping, billing, accounts payable, manufacturing, customer relationship management (CRM), imaging and a host of other applications and resources from vendors that specialize in these areas, at a fraction of the cost of installing those systems in house. Accessing this systems on standard internet connections or more secure Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Eliminating a big expense to the traditional Wide Are Networks (WAN) of the past.
Turning up and down the amount of computing power you need by a few clicks of a button, in many cases, and such task require very little effort to add locations or staff. Information Technology Project management becomes a thing of the past. These systems are already up and running with support staffs in place provided by the vendors themselves in most instances. Upgrades are part of the service, in most offerings, and do not require additional expenses, also a simple as a few clicks of a mouse, in may instances. Not to mention you have developers that can create the custom software changes many companies need to increase productivity in a competitive environment, right on the software they install, support and develop everyday. No learning curves like is needed with projects completed by the traditional custom software developers.
And if it is not good enough with all that being said the most exciting part of this Information Technology of the future is most of the software is web based, using compatible software ad-on like java, and other compatible technologies. You not stuck running work stations, and laptops, from one specific vendor. Many of the application offered today are compatible on all MACs, All Windows OS, and Linux desktops, just about any operating systems offering a stand web browser software all at the same time. Many time without installing any software on these work stations what so ever, and if so, it is a automated process seamless to the end user.
Many of these software offerings offer integrated software solutions like Open Cloud Software and Cloud Accounting Software products. Perfect for the start up business, or the business looking to expand, and upgrade there existing systems. Small, Medium and large companies can find solutions today that will not only save them more than 75% on there IT budget, but will provide there end users with a better experience, as well as eliminating many of the hassles inherent in traditional in house Information Technology server environments.