What is the killer benefit of cloud computing?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 gc 3 Comments

The killer benefit is business continuity. With cloud computing, businesses can improve continuity when faced with real-world events: acquisitions, bankruptcy of a vendor, escrow deals, loss of personnel, moves, growth, and others. This improved continuity helps increase velocity and momentum necessary for growth.

The reason: business continuity is a big deal to investors, stakeholders, and customers. They are the very people that drive these kinds of decisions. It will likely not be the CIO or Director of IT, but a customer that pushes you into the cloud.

Imagine that you are a small to medium-sized business and your biggest customer, a Fortune 50 company, wants to use your solution for their entire company. In this kind of deal, a software escrow agreement will not be enough; they will want your solution to be in the cloud. So that in the event that your company goes under, they can just take ownership. They acquire this virtual property as opposed to trying to figure out a mess of software and hardware that is hard-coded to a particular location with odd configuration and deployment.

Imagine another scenario: a company loses a vast amount of data because of hardware failure and did not notice that their backups had been failing for the past 6 months. Or a RAID 10 system is lost due to administrative error. By the way, evidently most arrays are lost due to human error. There are a ton of other scenarios like these that can hamper business continuity. The result of any one of them can be detrimental.

Cloud computing will also reduce capital and operating expenditures; also, likely to appeal to stakeholders, but business continuity is the killer benefit that will push companies into the cloud.

In my view, cloud computing is great design. What do you think?

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I agree that cloud computing is a great concept with the overhead cost savings, backups anywhere access. Microsoft is a trusted SaaS provider that offers business solutions and contact management.
The BPOS Suite includes e-mail, document sharing/collaboration, instant messaging and web conferencing. Exchange Online and SharePoint Online include anti-spam, anti-virus, data back-up, disaster recovery and system updates. You can also choose to keep some of the services on-premise - http://smb.ms/baPQlA
There’s also Microsoft CRM Online to take care of your sales, marketing and service. You can customize rules and automations to trigger e-mail notifications, alerts or request for approvals. There’s also solid analytics to run detailed reports to stay on top of sales numbers, campaign indicators, etc - http://smb.ms/b2XXar
Microsoft Online Services provides 27/4 online technical support and has financially backed SLAs of 99.9% uptime.
Jodi E.
Microsoft SMB Outreach Team

Google Apps does have its place in the market for some users, but they don’t work for everyone. Uptime and support may be two really big factors to consider. Google provides a 99.9% uptime SLA, but that doesn’t include anything less than 10 min. Microsoft Online Services provides a 99.9% uptime SLA and no restrictions with downtime. Microsoft also has 24/7 phone and web support whereas Google only has certain hours for phone support.

You may also find the platform compatibility with Microsoft Office and Outlook to be more dependable with BPOS compared to the Outlook Connector with Google. Here is a link with more comparative information, demos and customer stories: http://smb.ms/ajqfSn

Jodi E.
Microsoft SMB Outreach Team

byron appelt said...

I generally agree with your post in that it is a description of how big companies should view cloud computing. But in practice I still encounter a lot of people who do not really understand it and actually think of it as a problem for business continuity.

The weakness of many cloud SLAs is certainly an issue, but I think the root problem here might be that people put more value into SLAs than they really should. Here is a good post on that.