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The 3 Most Important Questions To Ask ‘XaaS’ Providers

It’s a given that colocation and cloud services enable businesses of all sizes to focus on their core competencies but now there is an interesting trend in which many Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS) providers are doing something similar. They are contracting with larger IT service providers to host their equipment and manage their IT operations. End-users do not consider this very often. These managed service providers are following the same logic that drives other businesses to cloud and colocation. They focus on their business and what they do best and rely on the operators of multi-tenant data centres to provide them with reliable infrastructure. As a result, “Who hosts my XaaS solution?” doesn’t always have a straightforward answer. You’ll often hear phrases like “......

Cloud Sprawl: Maturity Will Put An End To Business Inefficiencies

Today’s workplace plays host to employees using a variety of cloud services side-by-side with corporate-sanctioned IT. This often results in incongruent information sourcing and storage, typically known as cloud sprawl. While Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) can boost smarter working and innovation in businesses, information disparity issues need to be addressed to sustain efficient working environments. As businesses adoption and management of cloud services matures, some are still suffering inefficiencies due to cloud sprawl. At the moment, different software is being selected for different solutions by different departments or even individual members of staff. There is a knowledge gap where businesses aren’t fully informed about how cloud technology can respond to business challenges in a d......

5 Questions Every Business Should Ask When Evaluating IaaS

If your organisation finds it needs to process more and more data, you may have come to a crossroads. Buying in all the necessary processing capacity would embroil you in a new hardware maintenance cycle, and probably still wouldn’t provide the flexible scalability now needed – unless you buy a lot of extra capacity you’re almost never going to use. If you think cloud-based infrastructure services (IaaS) might have the answer, here are some considerations to help you find the right kind of provision. 1. The Provider’s Business Model This might not be immediately obvious, so consider who else is using the service you’re looking at and for what sorts of activities, to see whether it’s likely to be a good fit for your business. If it’s a large, mainstream provider offering large s......

Survival Of The Fittest: Cloud Computing Is A Darwinian Mutation

Cloud is the future of computing. I think we’re all agreed on that. Any business software company that doesn’t have a cloud strategy will go the way of the dinosaur. Having said that there are still conflicting messages centred upon cloud-based versus ‘on-premises’ business applications, where ‘on-premises’ describes a dying technology model, while applications in the cloud are at the forefront of progress. This polarised view is far from the truth. A central tenet of Darwin’s evolutionary theory is particularly apt here: “In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.” More evolved creatures develop from more simplistic ancestors naturally over time, with mutations occurring along the ......

New Era For ERP: Cloud Helps Growing Businesses Unlock Growth

Enterprise software has come an incredibly long way since it was first coined in the 1990’s, but for too long it has been dismissed as solely the territory of mid-market enterprises. That time, it seems is now over, with cloud computing promising to revolutionise the way businesses and financial directors view Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). The research, conducted by YouGov, found nearly a third (31%) of FDs believe said cloud computing would make ERP a more viable option for businesses and a further 30 per cent agreed cloud would make ERP more affordable. On top of this, 31 per cent said cloud would make ERP more flexible, while 27 per cent of FDs also believed it will improve return on investment. What is critical about these stats is that financial directors hold a key position in ......

The Rise Of The Cloud Integrator

Three quarters of UK businesses are now officially ‘in the cloud’ in one form or another. The universal, horizontal cloud benefits of agility and utility are undeniable and compelling, but businesses still need to be able to translate these into enablement and competitive advantage. Getting the most from your cloud investment can be a challenge. The fact is, not all clouds are created equal, and depending on your drivers, required outcomes and preferences, some will be a far better fit than others. The current cloud market is fragmented and rapidly evolving, featuring niche startups, traditional infrastructure providers, telcos and a technicolour array of different propositions and services, making it hard to be (and stay) well informed. It’s sometimes difficult to know where to go and how......

Cloud: The 60-Year-Old Hot Topic That Gives Data Centres A New Perspective

For something that started in the 1950s, cloud computing might seem to be late to the buzzword party. In fact, that pervasive, omnipresent trend of today is technically more than 60 years old. In those days, time sharing allowed multiple terminals to share the physical access and CPU time on mainframes. But the vision for cloud was already there: in the 1950s, scientist Herb Grosch predicted that the world would operate on dumb terminals powered by about 15 large data centres. Commercialised in the 1960s, cloud computing evolved through the early VPNs of the 1990s, virtualisation and the dotcom bubble that fuelled Amazon’s rise to success, until the point in 2008 when Gartner remarked that cloud computing could “shape the relationship among consumers of IT services, those who use IT servic......

Business Networks In The Cloud: Facebook Versus MySpace?

In this, the third in a series of articles on what businesses can learn from Facebook, I consider the impact of the network effect. The first article, a new information sharing model, considered how the principles of Facebook information sharing can be applied to business and the second turned attention on collecting and analysing data. When you sign up for Facebook today, the site already has dozens, maybe hundreds of friendship recommendations waiting for you. All you need to do is hit ‘accept.’ As odd, perhaps even a little creepy as that may feel, it is testament to the vibrancy of that community. It’s proof that the famous network effect has reached critical mass. It’s easy to forget though that it hasn’t always been that way. Just a few short years ago, Facebook and MySpace were roug......

G-Cloud: More Needs To Be Done To Make It Work

Imagine a world where the public and private sectors work harmoniously, boosting the economy with innovation and giving taxpayers more for their money. Imagine a platform for finding and contacting new businesses with new ideas, that will engage with and surprise an organisation while meeting its specific needs. The G-Cloud framework represents the fundamentals of this brave new world. Now about to enter its fifth iteration, G-Cloud is widely acknowledged for bringing ICT services to the public sector. Designed to give local authorities and councils a flexible means of accessing accredited providers to procure cloud services, G-Cloud’s CloudStore makes it easier to find small and innovative cloud providers, ultimately reshaping how public services are provided. However, G-Cloud is not livi......

5 Ways Cloud-Based Accounting Makes A Difference To SMEs

Cloud computing is being deployed on a grand scale at some of the world’s biggest companies and, in many cases, changing the way they operate and do business. But beyond the headline-grabbing investments of enterprise giants, cloud computing is steadily bringing about a revolution too in the way that small companies go about their work and plan for the future. A key part of the equation for these small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is the effective use of cloud-based accounting software. Here we’ll take a closer look at why it is making such a difference. 1. Cost Effectiveness Every innovation is required to illustrate its cost effectiveness before being pounced upon in earnest by small businesses and cloud-based accounting software has been no exception. But once installed and readie......

Cloud Computing Pros And Cons For SMBs

Appetite for the cloud has increased immensely throughout the business community over the last few years, with the widespread availability of mobile devices and Wi-Fi prompting professionals to look to cloud-based apps and computing models that enable them to work on the go. Yet while enterprises with large IT departments have dedicated time and resource to cloud working, smaller businesses have had to forge their own route – in some cases with trepidation. So what are the biggest barriers to cloud in the SMB? And what should smaller firms think about when making a move? A recent survey by the analytics firm ComScore confirmed that the reasons many UK SMBs are yet to move their business applications to the cloud are because they are afraid it may create problems around data security and ar......

The Need For Speed: The Growing Importance Of Faster Cloud Computing

There can be a tendency to think too simplistically about the benefits of moving applications to the cloud. Traditional logic centres around the cost savings that companies can make out of the shift from on-premise deployments but there is another, more important element of the cloud that should be given more credence – speed. The need for speed amongst enterprise organisations is critical, and, with growing understanding and competence, enterprise organisations are harnessing the potential of operating mission-critical applications in the cloud. More Than Meets The Eye When thinking of speed and the cloud, raw compute power tends to immediately spring to mind. The cloud can provide an environment where existing applications can run up to seven times faster than they would on-premise......