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Private Vs Public Cloud: Securing Data Online

It goes without saying that there has been an increasing shift towards remote working in the past few years. Whether this is recession driven, or businesses are just becoming more flexible as technology moves on, remote working has grown – and with it the demand for an ever more secure cloud-based software solution. Cloud software allows businesses agility, whilst lowering costs, but businesses need to know that their access is secure. The question is: Public or Private Cloud? What’s The Difference? A Public Cloud is based on a standard cloud computing model where services, applications and storage are made available to users over the internet as a service in its own right. There are many types of Public Cloud, the most common being Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a S...

PaaS: From Spark To Business Reality

Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS is no longer just a ‘nice to have’ for the chosen few. It is now becoming a reality in more and more businesses. Today, we’re seeing an increasing number of decision makers looking to PaaS as a means of reducing the time it takes to develop and deploy applications. This movement is being swept along by the grassroots enthusiasm of citizen developers looking for ways to develop tailor-made apps to personal business specifications. With demand for PaaS on the rise, businesses are looking for ways to ensure a smooth, trouble-free implementation of the platform. The following considerations of choice, speed and integration sum up the factors that can dictate success versus failure. Choice No business is the same. A cloud offering that is binary by nature will be d...

Office In The Cloud: What Are You Waiting For?

Despite the fact that it has had such a transformational effect on so many businesses and marketplaces, many organisations are still too afraid to adopt cloud computing. I have seen a large number of flimsy barriers placed in cloud computing’s path over the last few months, from it posing an increased security risk to the prospect of losing control. Some businesses have always had an in-house IT person and cannot see life continuing without them. Many of these points have been put together by traditional tin vendors. After dismissing cloud at its inception, some vendors have missed out on its benefits and are now desperately trying to play catch-up after the horse has already bolted. Unwitting Cloud Adopters I like to sit back and soak up these conversations, before asking “have you tried ...

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...