We get asked frequently whether or not the Cloud* is something that companies should consider / change to / replace their existing solution with.
Many people hear the term and sometimes the hyperbole which can surround it at times and find themselves unsure and confused as to what they should do and what it means for their business. It has featured frequently on the news, in seminars / webinars and newspaper articles for a while now with many vendors pushing their cloud offerings hard.
The simple fact is like anything in life, Cloud computing is the answer and a great solution for some companies and it’s not for others.
First of all you need to have a clear understanding of what it is that you are trying to achieve and whether cloud computing will help you achieve that. There are some things to think about here that are absolutely vital;
- Do you have or can you get a connection to the Internet that will support the application and the number of users who will need to access it concurrently? If you don’t, it just won’t work properly.
- Does using a cloud application deliver any real benefit to you – does it save money, does it deliver more up to date software, or is just a different way of doing what you already do anyway, in which case what is the benefit of change?
- Is it secure? The majority of work done internally in companies is confidential to one degree or another, does the cloud solution you are thinking of deliver the kind of security you want.
- Where does the data get stored? If you have confidential data when you save it or use it on a cloud application, where is it stored when you are not using it and can you be sure it is secure?
These are just four simple questions, but they are ones you need to ask and get answers to. We ask the same questions when we are working for a customer on the idea of cloud computing as a solution. In our design work on our own first cloud application - offsite backup – we went through a rigorous process of researching, questioning and testing before we were absolutely happy that the solution we offer answers the four questions above adequately.
To be sure, there are some great solutions which are Cloud based, CRM systems, email systems, accounts systems to name a few. Some of these are a perfect fit for some companies, however, the best thing you can do is to get the correct unbiased advice up-front from people you can trust and who have the experience and knowledge to steer you in the right direction.
Like most people in IT, we are excited about the potential for cloud based applications, however we also recognise that the software providers can also be a little bit too enthusiastic and take things to market without fully thinking through the implications. To ensure that you do get value and make the right choice for your business, we will always lay out the whole picture so you make your decision based on the full set of facts.
The two following quotes from David Hewitt, the IT Manager from Kilgraston School for Girls says it all I believe:
“OCD were the stand out supplier, the company’s focus on understanding our need and proposing a solution that fitted made them the obvious choice.”
“From the start it was clear that OCD were going to deliver not just a better technical solution, but a higher and more focused level of service. We would confidently recommend OCD”
Our business model is based on the concept of proof. We let our Clients do the talking for us as opposed to the everyday method others use, which is to tell you how wonderful they are in their eyes.
*Cloud – Sometimes referred to as software as a service, software + Service, Internet computing and so on. In simple basic terms it’s where your servers and applications i.e. email are located in a datacentre which you access via the Internet.
*On premise – Where you have servers and applications running locally, i.e. on your business premises.