Cloud Computing vs Local Install
This issue had to be addressed. Software in our market has not changed very much over the years but we are being told at trade shows, in our news feeds, by our IT vendors about this cloud thing and how it will save us money and replace the servers we currently have running in our back closet. So let me break this down. SaaS is a term for Software as a Service; meaning that instead of buying software you lease it. Instead of getting a CD and installing it on your machine you log into it. So where is the hardware, where is my data? In the cloud.. is the answer.
Now in the cloud is only a reference to how you get to the data and the application. We are used to running our applications once we get int the office and our on-call are either in the office, have remote access to the office or carry an on-call book. The difference is that the data permanently resides in large data centers all over the country and information is available to us 24×7 from anywhere if we know where to go and have the right user names and passwords.
These technologies are far avanced to CD installs. Costly IT Consultants, data backup, hardware replacement, maintence fees, etc are all involved in the local CD copy…. But I know where my data is at all times.
Cloud Computing places data technically for anybody who is smart enough to steel my password. But the upside is that my data is backup by professional, I get upgrades immediately as the vendor releases an update, I can get rid of all the expensive equipment in my office and reduce my IT consulting costs.
Technically I should also get some other benefits, however our research has found this is not always the case. This benefit is platform independence. What is that you ask? This is the ability to use Mac, Windows, Linux to do business. Linux desktops for office staff are a couple hundred dollars. Windows machines cost that much for just the software. MAC’s are expensive but so easy t use that more and more are making the switch.
Our evaluation of this technology is that it is a must have for any organization looking to make a switch. It opens the door to so many new technologies and possibilities. Read our software evals for the specifics on how we got here. Below are jsut some of the applications in the cloud we use everyday… Or at least I do.