The hype throughout the media channels suggests that cloud computing and cloud business suites are the only way to go. The statistics surrounding the use of cloud computing, however, can be a bit confusing. On one hand, businesses are reluctant to embark on cloud business suite installations, yet on the other, they list it as one of the areas where they need to improve.
According to this Call Centre Clinic piece, the problem might lie in that IT managers don’t totally understand how cloud business services can affect their operations. In the U.K., roughly 74 percent of IT managers find cloud business suites irrelevant. However, new technologies in cloud computing can help companies outsource and reduce costs.
One barrier to entry for a number of IT managers is the security factor. Many IT managers believe there are risks to outsourcing and taking data off premises. There is also a reliability/trust issue in allowing third parties to handle private data. These concerns, though important, are taking the focus away from the benefits of cloud business services.
As a testament to the cost-saving abilities in cloud business, Node4, a data center and communications firm, has turned over roughly $17 million in seven years by embracing cloud computing.
Not all companies are jumping on board, however. Barely eight percent of IT managers said they are using one or two cloud services in their company, and less than three percent said they are using cloud business services company-wide. Companies that have installed cloud business suites, which include a combination of financial management and CRM tools, are generally in the services sector. What they’re finding is that embracing cloud business suites is enabling them to reduce overhead, while matching with demand more efficiently.
Surprisingly, only three in 10 firms predict that they’ll go to a cloud business platform in the near future, and about 16 percent of them plan to embark on private cloud services. About 10 percent are leaning toward public cloud business services. The recommendation by those who have been there is to start in low-risk areas to show immediate savings in the IT department, particularly because they are able to access more storage capacity.
While reliability, performance, and security are the three top reasons companies are resisting the move to cloud business suites, companies offering SaaS (News - Alert) services are continually adding muscle in those areas. For instance, one company offers a variety of backup electricity measures so information will always be accessible. The information is also stored in locked compounds, some with 24-hour guards overlooking the physical location of these data centers.
And while there is a fear that there is a risk of incomplete and ineffective data protection or deletion, most leading companies are accessing cloud business services with strong security controls rather than risks and reaping the benefits.Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf