If you’ve had enough of trying to catch up with the latest technology that the Internet brings on almost a daily basis, then you’ll be tempted (or you may have already done so) to put cloud computing into the same basket.
I know the feeling. Being a man of IT myself, I have lost count of how many times I’ve been in the situation where the stereotypical web-savvy ‘computer nerd’ will come in and ask what I think about the latest app that can cook a boiled egg via Facebook – I’m sure if you’re an IT worker, you know the people I’m talking about and I can guess you’ve been through it too. As if you’re supposed to be aware of all the innovations and (sometimes) absurd things people do on the internet.
It’s similar to the iPad user (apologies if you are an iPad user) who thinks that everything they do on their iPad is magic and that you must be a Neanderthal internet user if you are not amazed by the apps that they have running on their device.
In fact, for some non-internet-savvy people, most of the things that are done on the internet can be seen as useless (or time-wasting) gadgets. And chances are that cloud computing is assimilated to the latest Facebook app that made the buzz: just another hit that is soon to be a fad. Well, if you are one of those users: think again.
Cloud computing brings a disruptive innovation to the way people approach IT systems and the Internet. It brings solutions to problems that businesses have. It brings state-of-the-art technology to the reach of smaller businesses while still powering big companies. By way of its flexible configuration (you only pay for what you use), a hosted email solution will give business owners the ability to refocus on their core job while leaving the IT constraints to third-party providers: those third-party providers highly invest into infrastructure and human resources so that the small business is almost freed from any deep worry surrounding their IT system.
As we know, every change takes some time to be effective. The move to cloud computing for businesses has already started a few years back. For some core functions of IT, such as your e-mail system, Cloud platforms have come to a mature stage that it’s quickly becoming a commodity as of late. Let’s see some figures that reflect this: according to a Vanson Bourne poll, on questioning 450 business managers in the UK, 48% revealed that they use some form of cloud computing. The interesting fact with this poll is that it’s almost evenly spread between the business of less than 20 employees (28%), between 20 to 200 employees (34%), and more than 200 employees (37%).
Indeed, cloud computing isn’t a fad. Now, if you are thinking of jumping on the bandwagon, make sure you have thought it through – start with the easiest to implement system: your corporate e-mail system. Find out a Hosted Exchange provider to start with and you’ll start benefiting from the cloud. People think that they have to move everything to the cloud from day one, but this isn’t true. You can start with some specific features of your IT systems- most of the businesses who made the move start with the low-hanging fruit, which is the e-mail and collaboration system, and a Hosted Exchange does the job perfectly.