- It's already here. If you've used a photo-sharing site such as Shutterfly or accessed email on a friend's PC, then you've already tapped into the power of cloud computing. These simple applications, and countless others like them, don't exist on your PC, laptop or mobile device, they "live" in the cloud and are accessed on an as-needed basis. On the business front everything from email to CRM to customer support has migrated to the cloud. Not every company has moved every application from internal IT systems to the cloud, but the trend is well underway and in our opinion inevitable.
- Cloud computing saves money. When businesses move infrastructure, platforms and software applications to the cloud, they save money. If your core business is not IT, why invest resources, time and money in owning and managing an infrastructure? A good example is Recovery.gov, the first government-wide system moved to the cloud, which expects to save $700,000 in its first budget cycle with more savings to follow.
- Cloud computing is more secure than people realize. The number one concern among CIO and IT professionals is security when moving a company's data and resources to the cloud. But in many cases, cloud-based security is more secure than a company's internal systems. For example, an Aberdeen Group report found that a company's email security may improve by as much as 53% when moved to the cloud.
- Going mobile. With the success of Apple's iPad, new tablets hitting the market, smartphones and other mobile devices, businesses and consumers are both accessing information on the go. These devices simply don't have the storage capacity or internal power to house thousands of apps. Rather, mobile devices are portals into the world of cloud computing. And IDC predicts that more than a quarter of a billion smartphones will be sold this year and numbers will increase next year by 10% or more. All will access the cloud.
- Money talks. Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HP, IBM, Cisco, CA, Oracle and thousands of other companies big and small, are investing billions of dollars in cloud computing. Some, like Microsoft, have made bold claims that cloud computing must be the future of the company if it is to survive and thrive. With this much momentum behind the cloud, it is only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream.
We would interested in your thoughts on cloud computing. Are you there yet? Have you begun the journey? Or is something holding you back?
For the record, 3Point Communications embraces cloud computing and uses cloud-based applications to manage and run our business.