When to Use Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is being used more and more, as it is credited with cost reduction, great flexibility, and optimal resource utilization. However, is it smart to use it for everything in order to maximize obtained benefits? Mark Samuels, in writing for ZDNet, talks about where the cloud can go next and how business and tech leaders can take cloud to the next level. He says that for a business, the cloud can mean the following:

  1. Overcoming legacy concerns to leave the internal data center
  2. Using on-demand IT for almost everything
  3. Boosting real-time marketing and sales communications
  4. Enabling education and development from any location

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First, cloud computing services are attractive because they cost less but work better than a traditional data center. Most data centers run a lot of different applications and have a wide variety of workloads with higher costs. With the cloud, you can still maintain legacy apps, while conveniently accessing them from anywhere and at any time. However, legacy apps are not going to be entirely removed from traditional data centers, as some are still better to be maintained in-house, or because migrating workloads can feel daunting sometimes. But you should try to reap the benefits of the cloud and reduce costs and inconvenience wherever possible.

Cloud computing also has huge implications for marketers, creating competitive advantages for those who act on it early. With its accessibility and flexibility, it is easier for marketers and sales agents to access marketing software in the cloud (SaaS) to track leads, test new channels, and improve CRM apps. The cloud has the ability to facilitate collaboration with many constituents, with whom marketers interact and share information through standardized processes.

In addition, Matt Britland, director of ICT at Lady Eleanor Holles School, says that his school uses Google Apps for Education and Microsoft Office 365. As such, cloud computing can encourage education and learning, as the cloud allows students to work from any location provided that they have an Internet-connected device. This brings convenience in working and studying for both educators and pupils.

Samuels quotes CIO consult Andrew Abboud on how cloud computing has become on-demand IT for “almost everything” nowadays:

CIOs must help ensure the hype surrounding the IT industry does not get in the way. “As technologists, we get hung up on buzzwords when we should be focused on the opportunities,” says Abboud. “Every organisation is different and every business must understand how the cloud will deliver benefits.”

Once the CIO has helped the rest of the business to establish the context of implementation, the key debate is simply how far an organisation can push its use of on-demand IT.

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