Cloud hosting and cloud computing are two buzz words on the net these days. When you hear them, you may think of several things, low cost, scalability, load bursts, and storage. All of these are important and advertised widely; these are what most would consider when choosing third-party cloud services or your virtualized datacenter.
The real question you need to ask eludes many, what happens after the agreements are signed, and you are online. There are two elements at work here, customer service and technology already in place. No matter how robust the system, there will always be issues, some minor, the other central, but how they are handled is the question.
INTERVIEW WITH BUSINESS OWNER
MACSINET: Can you tell us a little about your experience with the cloud and how it’s affected your business?
Sure, my partner and I had an idea we thought would fly and wanted to give it a try. It’s centered around e-commerce, extremely hot these days, but also, allot of competition. Our issue was funding, while we knew some angels, we didn’t want to give away the farm and searched for alternatives. This was in the early days of the cloud when few even knew what it meant. Fortunately, my partner had a strong background in IT and was well versed.
We wanted to test our ideas without committing to a significant IT spend, and cloud hosting seems to fit perfectly. We were able to get online in a reasonably short time and low cost. The options we chose allowed us to test small, then scale nearly immediately if our ideas struck pay dirt.
MACSINET: And did they?
STEVE (co-founder): They did, the proof of that is the fact you’re sitting here asking. Within six months we were profitable and able to make a more significant commitment.
MACSINET: Would you recommend cloud hosting to others?
STEVE (co-founder): Definitely, anyone with an eye on the bottom line needs to consider it seriously. There’s no sense betting the farm if you don’t have to. Run it up the flagpole, if people start saluting, that’s the time to scale.
MACSINET: What do you feel would be the main takeaway from this interview?
STEVE (co-founder): To embrace new technology and use it to your advantage. This is an era when anyone can get up and running on a shoestring. The playing field may not be level, but its close. If you think you have an idea or product that has potential, don’t let anyone or anything get in your way. Cloud hosting and cloud computing is quickly coming of age, use it to your advantage.
Recently, as the cloud has become the primary stream, we’ve spoken with several business owners to find out their experiences. Our questions covered the gamut of business web hosting, and we found several standard benefits of cloud hosting, many may not be familiar.
The cloud comes with flexibility, particularly for a startup, who, as yet may not know their exact needs. One of the reasons technologies has flourished new ideas. But what if you have a great idea, but lack the funding to put it online, do you need just to let it die? No. While in the past there were significant investments required, both in equipment and staff that has changed. Today, you can put a new product on-line, allocate resources, test new configurations, create the complete website, all within a short period. This significantly reduces the time commitment and associated costs of an IT department.
Users pay for what they need and can upgrade or downgrade in short order. If you need powerful cloud computing for an hour, a day, a week or a month, you pay only for what you use, negating the requirement to purchase dedicated servers and the staff to man them. This paradigm shift can have a dramatic effect on a company’s bottom line, particularly so, if it’s a start-up. What the cloud has given us, effectively, is the ability to innovate without the associated costs, and this is right for someone new, or the most significant Fortune 500 companies.
Utilizing on-demand cloud hosting levels the playing field, entrepreneurs, and business owners can test a new idea without significant the need for server arrays, IT staff, and ancillary equipment. Cloud hosting can create a paradigm shift in the way companies do business
.Mergers and Acquisitions
Today’s business moves at unbelievable speeds, companies move, merge and change their board of directors at a moment’s notice. In the past, one of the stumbling blocks has been joining or integrating data from one system to another. This can be a herculean task that can take months or longer, yet everyday small and large businesses, as well as government agencies, struggle with the process.
Hard as it may be to believe, there are still companies manually moving data from one program to another, copy/paste – copy/paste, a very tedious operation. In the cloud, while not a perfect solution, many difficulties just disappear or become more comfortable for the end user. Cloud computing is the wave of the future.
Cloud Computing Fears
There will always be detractors, no one or nothing is going to get a 100% approval rate, that’s true for the cloud also. Fear concerning the cloud is that it’s been homogenized to level the playing field. That statement is both true and false. Cloud services are a technological marvel, and the tech running in the background is akin to Sci-fi, but on the front, the part you and I see and use, the interface is quite simple. When new clients experience the cloud, over time, they know and experience the raw power, receiving an education beyond the scope that many derive from college-level degrees.
Tech Minded Executives
As the Internet has evolved, so too has the people who use it. In the early days, everything was a mystery and new experience, understood only by those manning IT departments. That’s changed somewhat, and while IT departments are still part of the equation, people in general, and business executives have become more tech savvy. This hasn’t happened to derail IT departments, rather stay competitive in the global market where technology is vital to a companies bottom line.
Transitioning to the Cloud
Change is inevitable, in life, in business, and most assuredly in technology and we shouldn’t fear it. The cloud is innovative and helps all of us move toward the web that is focused on helping all of us reach our potential. The darkness shouldn’t be feared but embraced.