Cloud computing offers significant benefits to cash strapped businesses that need to Get Things Done. There are no high upfront costs of buying servers and software, rather you on pay as you go for what you need. The service is ready and waiting for your requirement, like a Labrador puppy – always eager for walkies.
But the silver lining doesn’t stop there.
Whilst cost and availability are pretty helpful (OK, more than just helpful in difficult economic times) one big benefit of cloud computing is its ability to join up geographically separate locations. If I want my Edinburgh office to see the same set of performance indicators as my Southampton office, I need a way for them both to be able to see the same data - and I need it to be secure. For smaller companies that don’t have their networks linked, this isn’t so easy.
Putting your application in the cloud takes care of all the communications issues in one monthly payment. No support costs. No need to hire someone to take care of the infrastructure. No necessity to deal with multiple suppliers: just a simple internet connection.
Whether a company is spread across town, across the country, or all over Europe – this is a big benefit. And the mechanics of designing the application are no different from any other business app.
So whilst cost is often trumpeted as the big benefit of cloud computing, I suggest there are others that are probably more important. After all, what price efficient communication?