When cloud first appeared, it was seen as a potential replacement for traditional IT platforms, writes Mike Dearlove, managing director of EACS.
The key consideration was price – did it offer a more cost efficient solution?
While this may still hold true, it also has the advantage of being scalable and flexible, enabling the solution to grow as a business grows, and offering significant mobility and productivity benefits.
People want better access to their business systems and resources and to be able to consume them from any location, including at home. This is particularly important to small businesses, for whom speed of response can be vital.
As a result, some organisations are turning to corporate equivalents of social applications such as Yammer to share information in real time, while actively encouraging their staff not to email as it reduces human interactions and their ability to innovate.
The first applications an organisation typically puts into the cloud are end-user email and those that encourage collaborative working, such as document sharing, at a fixed price per month.
In addition, we are seeing a large adoption of cloud-based backup and business continuity solutions.
Managed cloud services are also available; these are cloud services with a management layer on top, which can be of significant benefit if the organisation has limited IT skills available in-house.
Cloud then, should not just be considered for its ability to reduce costs. By removing barriers to success and helping staff work together in new ways, it can help organisations innovate and collaborate and move their business forward in new directions.
Risk and compliance continue to be important considerations, but these can be addressed with appropriate choices and due diligence.