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Why Should Small Businesses Look at Cloud Computing Solutions?

March 5th, 2013 1 comment

 

Why Should Small Businesses Look at Cloud Computing Solutions?

The business world has seen several new advances in technology and has undergone many trends over the years. Whether it’s BYOD, social media explosion, or the Blackberry craze, there always seems to be something new in the world of business. Some of these trends last over time, and most are eventually phased out or replaced by something new. One innovation that seems to have taken over and is here to stay is Cloud Computing.

cloud_businessThere are a few different reasons why it’s fairly safe to assume that cloud computing will continue to be an integral part of the business world. For one, the advantages (which we’ll take a look at) are too good to be ignored. Unless there is some radical new technology that is released in the next decade, cloud computing won’t be knocked off any time soon. Also, cloud computing is still a relatively new technology. Cloud technology first became being offered as a service for businesses and consumers in 1999 by companies like Salesforce and Google. But it really hasn’t been until the past 5-10 years that companies and individuals really started to grasp what cloud computing is all about. What this means is there is still plenty of room for growth and development in the cloud computing industry.

Small businesses and even aspiring entrepreneurs need to seriously consider cloud computing and start taking advantage of all it has to offer.

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How to Pick the Right Cloud Model for Your Company in 2013

February 22nd, 2013 Comments off

How to Pick the Right Cloud Model for Your Company in 2013

With the new year well and truly underway and companies planning expeditions to the proverbial seventh cloud, it is imperative that they earmark the right cloud model for themselves. Cloud computing has different impacts, which vary according to the person one talks to and their experience with the cloud thus far. I believe there is more or less a general consensus on the importance of cloud computing and its continuing positive impact, especially within the realm of communications industry. How cloud computing is fast growing is vindicated by stats and prognostications of Altman Vilandre & Company that has forecasted cloud service revenues the world over to reach over $30 billion, with the revenue predicted to exceed the $10 billion mark in the U.S. by the next year.

Know Your Cloud

Cloud_computing_svgThorough understanding of what is available and of cloud model fluctuations would help you and your firm, formulate the IT environment optimally and cash in on benefits. It’s a crucial part of planning for future growth. In case you’re an IT pro who is managing data resources and network in an environment that is data centered, you’d in all likelihood have access to various tool and resources that’d aid you in leveraging your company’s cloud. Hence, through proper understanding of the multitudinous models of multi-tenant resources being hosted, whether they’re platform configuration, software or infrastructure, you can conjure a solution that best fits the business requirements of your firm, fulfill your technical objectives and in turn maximize the ROI.

Models of Cloud

To give a better picture of what’s being discusses, it’s time we reviewed the cloud models:

SaaS: ‘Software as a Service’ or SaaS is a quite tempting cloud model, which supports particular business applications covering a wide gamut from email, collaboration to enterprise services like for instance enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). SaaS provides the customers merely those functions that are performed courtesy of the applications, which can be accessed through client infrastructure – thick or thin.

PaaS:  ‘Platform as a Service’ or PaaS allows the creation and configuration of host environments to construct applications and deploy them. PaaS gives developers the needed support, but essentially gives very little control with regards to the used infrastructure.

IaaS: ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ or IaaS provides on-demand, storage, processing and also network services which help in the deployment of any software. While the customers do not control infrastructure that might be underlying, they do control the operational software, apps, storage and networking components. Infrastructure, being a service as well, provides affordable scalability to businesses. IaaS coule be used by enterprises for particular, extremely variable or fast-growing needs of computing. Infrastructure also provides foundational flexibility.

IaaS’s Growth

When one talks of mature cloud models SaaS clearly tops the charts, but if one were to earmark the segment that is the fastest growing, it’d have to be IaaS. It helps firms of every size leverage benefits like accessing enterprise-class solutions with affordability, having rapid scalability and cost structures that are predictable. Small and medium sized businesses seek additional flexibility and ways for cost reductions, especially CAPEX, and all this while keeping an eye on the demands of the customers. Massive applications need capacity and more crucially, throughput – something that many a company fails to manage itself and deploy on its site. For these very reasons, infrastructure is a more cost effective method of scaling quickly and accommodating the ensuing growth, without upping the IT expenditure. Another reason why IaaS is growing rapidly is the stability factor

Since both Saas and Paas put attractive services on the table, a slight managerial change or summoning new features from a service with which they compete can result in a massive change. IaaS leverage gives increased stability and ascertains the fact that the environment is used to similar changes.

Picking the Provider

So when you choose a cloud option for the IT environment, a data center provider needs to be looked at, one that is going to offer a cloud service model with immediate access to storage, processing, resources of networking as well as infrastructure. Cloud infrastructure integrates meticulously with the rest of the components that creates a solution that is both feasible and flexible. Through the amalgamation of cloud services with the existing services of data center, one benefits from data center provider’s familiarity that it has with the infrastructure and that needs of the business. Furthermore, through leveraging the increasingly available, safe environment of the data centre of the provider, you’d only be dealing with a solitary vendor and hence you’d be receiving the service more consistently. Whichever option you set your heart on, rest assured cloud computing is here to stay and would continue evolving as the users better utilize and understand the technology, with the passing time.

 

Author Bio:  Jessica writes regularly about cell spy issues, which fall in her line of expertise. Readers have deeply appreciated her articles about Blackberry messenger spy app, which have been reliable source of information and latest news for them. For more details about mobistealth, follow the link.

 

Disperse the Myths Behind Cloud Computing (Infographic)

February 20th, 2013 Comments off


cloud computing security myths

Myth vs. Fact: IT Jobs

Myth: The cloud steals local IT jobs

Along with the perceived cost of cloud computing, the myth of IT job loss is also on the rise. IT professionals already concerned about shrinking budgets and increased demands on their time worry that the lure of outsourcing many of their department’s resources to the cloud will also mean an outsourcing of their jobs.

If someone else manages data storage, security and server backups, say concerned IT stalwarts, what’s the point of having a full complement of IT staff? CEOs and CFOs are often pointed to as prime drivers behind this myth, since their focus will be on cutting costs, and many are thought to be starry-eyed at the idea of not paying for servers or maintenance. Combined with a technology market focused on automating processes, along with the increasing ability of employees and executives to circumvent IT policy, it’s no wonder that worries about job security in the cloud are on the rise.

Fact: IT is evolving

Instead of being phased out, many IT departments are evolving as cloud adoption increases. A recent study found that over 3.1 million people in the United States telecommute rather than working from a local office, and IT pros are increasingly among them. Smartphone and tablet security, along with anywhere, anytime access to the cloud gives IT experts the power to change when and how they work.

As a result, the scope of IT work is changing to include not only high-level cloud management of company data in offsite facilities or private cloud servers, but also “big data” analytics and programming. Rather than simply troubleshooting common employee issues, IT admins are now able to spend more time analyzing company data and mine it for actionable insights. In addition, IT professionals are often asked to develop employee education programs about responsible cloud use, social media safety and network access. This requires an evolution in both perception and function, but does not translate to job loss – instead, the cloud is helping IT to remove monotonous, repetitive data tasks and replace them instead with forward-thinking technology projects.

Dataprise provides IT services and consulting for growing businesses. Visit http://www.dataprise.com/cloud365/cloudmyths to view or share the infographic.

 

 

What is cloud computing?

February 19th, 2013 Comments off

Today’s post is a guest post by Rens.

What is cloud computing?

Let’s say you are the owner of a company. Your responsibilities include ensuring that all your employees have the right computers and software. You’ll need to buy the right software for all of them to make sure they can do their job properly. You can purchase and install all the software onto their computers but there is also another alternative, in which you only have to install one application. That program allows your employees to log into a web-based service that suffices for all the programs your worker needs. Another company hosts these programs and ensures that applications like word, email and a large variety of other programs run smoothly. This is called cloud computing.

With cloud computing the local computers do not have to run installed applications but the network of PC’s handle that instead. On the user’s side software and hardware demands decrease. You’ll only need a computer with the cloud’s software interface and the rest of the work is done by the cloud’s network.

If you have an email account then you’ve already had experience with cloud computing. Services like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail run in that way. With these web based programs you only need to log in and the storage and software is not on your computer but in the ‘cloud’.

The front and the back end

A cloud computing system comprises of the front and the back end, which are connected with each other through the internet. The front end is what you see on your computer and the back is the cloud part of the system. Yet some cloud systems have different interfaces to others. For instance, an email program can work on internet Explorer while other systems can have unique applications that provide network access to clients.

The cloud can be found on the other side of the system and consists of various servers, computers and storage systems. Theoretically any computer program can be included in a cloud system and each application has its own server. The central server monitors traffic, client demands and administers the system to make sure everything keeps running. It uses middleware, which is a type of software, and follows a set of rules. The middleware permits computers that are in the same network to communicate with each other.

What are the advantages of cloud computing?

There are an almost limitless amount of cloud computing applications. You are able to work with all the programs a normal computer could run if you have the right middleware. Therefore customised programs specifically designed for a company can be run on the cloud but, for instance, also a regular word processing software. Let’s have a look at some of the advantages of cloud computing:

Users are able to access data and applications at any time from any location. The only thing you’ll need is a computer and an internet connection. In this way data is not restricted to only one hard drive on a computer.

Hardware costs can be reduced because the cloud will take care of most of the work. You don’t need to buy an expensive, high-tech computer. A computer terminal that has enough power to run the middleware is enough. A large hard drive is not necessary as you can store your data on the cloud. Also software costs will decrease as employees will no longer have need for it. Instead, you pay a fee to the cloud company making cloud computing an attractive way to save money.

Rens works for Intralinks, a leading virtual data room provider.

 

 

PayPhrase Attacks Paypal! News at 11.

October 29th, 2009 2 comments

Ok, now they’ve gone and done it. Amazon just doesn’t know when to quit. Is there a web service they don’t want to own? I josh. I like Amazon and like to see them put new and useful services out there and I am a big proponent of competition. I think competition is good for everyone as long as it doesn’t become predatory.

Now, Amazon has been going after Paypal for a while now with Amazon Checkout. But now, they have made this a super simple, no login, purchase tool with PayPhrase – the easy-to-remember shortcut for paying on Amazon.com and other websites.

According to Amazon,

PayPhrase links your Amazon.com payment and shipping information with a simple phrase that you choose. With PayPhrase, you no longer have to register or share credit card information with multiple web sites.

With Amazon Checkout, my info is stored and some kind of token is exchanged with a vendor so my personal information doesn’t need to be. I like Paypal and use it fairly heavily when paying for things on the internet. I also like Amazon and even have an Amazon credit card. I think I buy something from them at least once a month. Now, I don’t even need to login.

The cool thing about PayPhrase is the control you can put on an account. You can give your kid access and set spending limits and have it send you order approval notifications. Man, I need that for XBox Live! You can use it to give your kids an allowance. Set them up with a PayPhrase using your credit information and then set a monthly limit. Sweet!

There is no way that PayPhrase is as widely supported as Paypal right now. Amazon CheckOut market share has got to be minimal compared to PayPal. Have to see how well it spreads over time. For a developer or merchant already on AWS, it’s kind of a no brainer to include this. They already have some merchants using PayPhrase: DKNY, Jockey, Patagonia, Buy.com, J&R Electronics, and Car Toys to name a few.

If you sign up, the system will generate a phrase for you. I didn’t like mine as there is no way I would ever remember it. They also list some suggestions but I didn’t like those. Almost every suggestion included the word “bread”. They trying to tell me something? I swear I’ve cut back on the carbs!

It must be at least two words and contain no numbers. This is NOT a password. It is a pass phrase.

Once you’ve chosen your phrase, you also have to enter a pin number (4 digits). When complete you verify your credit card and payment info and then you are the proud owner of a new PayPhrase.

Be interesting to see if they make any kind of a dent in PayPal. This is a service of Amazon Checkout which is a sub-service of Amazon Payments. I don’t believe PayPhrase is an additional fee on top of CheckOut. CheckOut has very reasonable pricing.

Take care,

LewisC

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