The Cloud = lower costs + more flexibility + more automation + better service
But what does this actually mean?
I'm fed up with the way the technology industry keeps over-complicating things. IT underpins almost every business but often gets in the way of doing business. This is where the Cloud can come in.
Cloud computing principles can (over time) help companies change the cost / complexity curve. Move more and more applications, infrastructure, and even their support out of their company and into the Cloud. This can free up precious time, effort and budgets to concentrate on the real job of running their business. Plus, service levels in the Cloud are probably better than what you can achieve in-house.
It really comes down to focus. Figure out what you are good at and focus all your effort on that and let others (who are better at it than you) focus on all the other peripheral stuff. There are some real business benefits to be gained using what is available today and will only get better as the technology and services improve over time.
In my own business (ZeroTouch IT Ltd) we use a whole range of Cloud based services to drive down costs, improve efficiency and generally to keep the communication flowing across our company. We also use the Cloud as a key part of the services we provide to our clients - but that's for another post.
Here's a list of some of the Cloud based services we use to help run ZeroTouch:
- Google Apps (for e-mail and calendars)
- Skype (for talking to each other and Instant Messaging)
- DropBox (for backups and synchronising files among machines)
- DimDim (for web conferences)
- OpenProj (for project management)
- Windows Live Messenger (for Instant Messaging)
If you subsequently need a higher level of service not provided by free (or low cost) services then upgrade to those premium services later. But don't hold up the benefits your business can realise today because you can't make a decision while you wait for perfect information to come along. You'll never have perfect information!
Make your decision, move on, adapt later.
The Cloud makes this possible.