Weather Report: Despite Confusion, Cloud Is Good for Business

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“It has something to do with technology.”

 This response to Citrix’s recent survey on cloud confusion summarily conveys what many cloud service providers have long suspected—most people are still struggling to understand what, exactly, the Cloud is.

 Flush out the answers to Citrix’s prompt, and the confusion becomes clearer: with responses like “something hovering over you” to “a place to meet,” “Angel Soft” and “mattress,” it seems as though the advertising industry has more control over Cloud than the cloud computing vanguard does.

 General confusion can be a powerful obstacle to Cloud adoption, especially with regard to the business aspects of the Cloud—namely, hosted ERP solutions, CRM, ISV enhancements, and hosted services, like data backup or mobile device management. Oddly enough, the Citrix survey illuminates another facet of Cloud confusion: of the respondents who say they never use the Cloud, 95 percent of them actually use it regularly in the forms of online banking, e-shopping, social networking, photo storage and online music services.

 Nonetheless, the general confusion over what is and isn’t Cloud has not stunted worldwide growth in the field. The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that over the next five years, global spending on cloud computing services will increase at a pace that is five times greater than the growth of the IT industry as a whole. This same data set projects that companies will spend $100 billion in cloud services by 2016. Nearly $40 billion will be spent this year alone, with the majority of growth coming from small and midsized businesses. Says IDC Chief Analyst Frank Gens of the growth: “Cloud investment priorities will shift from simply improving IT operations to delivering business innovation. SMBs will rise as the critical customer segment—providing the scale needed to bridge IT vendors from old financial models to the new.”

 The Citrix study illuminates an interesting issue: While the Cloud is widely used (97 percent of respondents use Cloud on a regular basis), it’s still largely misunderstood. 51 percent of respondents think that stormy weather can actually interfere with cloud computing (false), and nearly one in five Americans confesses they have actually pretended to know what the Cloud is or how it works.

 If you barely know what the Cloud is, then how do you know if the Cloud is right for your business? Ask yourself a few questions:

 

  • Are you looking for reliable pricing?

Cloud services are offered on a subscription basis, generally on a month-to-month cycle. You will always know what you’re paying in advance, plus you can scale up your infrastructure for heavier traffic or scale down your infrastructure and licenses for lulls in action—this can translate into big savings for your business.

 

  • Are you paying for more than you’re using?

With the Cloud, you can pay for the software and services you’re actually using rather than paying to license the whole package or for extra users you only need once in a while.

 

  • Are you looking for ways to avoid hefty investments in infrastructure and software?

Since the Cloud suite of solutions is delivered to you via a secure internet connection, there is no need to sink valuable resources into hardware investments. Similarly, upgrades to your business applications are included in your monthly costs, thus eliminating expensive lapsed software license fees and the cost of upgrades.

 

  • Do you wish you had more time to spend on your business?

If you’re running your current in-house systems, the Cloud could help you refocus on your business rather than your IT. Move to the Cloud, and your cloud service provider will handle your technology needs for you.

 

Want to see more reasons why you should consider moving your business to the Cloud? Download our comparison guide to see how your on-premise solutions match up to the Cloud.

by Myappsanywhere, Microsoft ISV Partner

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