The information technology industry and its’ services are changing with more businesses now subscribing to their computer services through the Cloud rather than purchasing it. This change in service delivery is being looked at by more businesses as it can offer them flexibility, enhanced security and cost savings. We are seeing more software vendors adopting Cloud delivery models for their software for the same reasons but this may not always materialise with the same benefits for their customers. Cloud computing service cost can be confusing and can result in hidden costs and risks if it is not understood properly.

We recognise that Cloud adoption is not right for every business with some choosing to continue to operate a full on premise network service, others may choose full adoption but in the main we are seeing a hybrid of deployments being more typical.

Cloud services have some specific characteristics which are different from more traditional hosting or on premise solutions:

On-demand self-service: Individuals can setup the Cloud service without needing anyone’s help with this usually managed through a web based control panel and typically with minimal technical knowledge.

Ubiquitous network access: Cloud services should be securely available through standard Internet enabled devices and whilst some services may require a simple plugin to support the delivery of the service it should be device agnostic so can run on Apple, Microsoft or Android devices for instance.

Resource pooling: Processing and storage demands of the Cloud service are balanced across a common infrastructure with no particular resource assigned to any individual user. This resource is typically location independent and may change based on the current Cloud platform workload.

Rapid elasticity: The ability for the Cloud service to expand and shrink at will to meet the changing demands of the subscribing user, this is one of the key factors of Cloud services over the more traditional hosted services.

Pay per use: The billing unit of the service can be processor seconds, GB of RAM per hour, TB of storage per hour, per application instance per user per day or month or any other appropriate model for the service. The important thing is that the consumer is charged fees based on their usage whilst recognising the other characteristics.

Most of our smaller clients will be looking at SaaS services as these are more suitable for them with Microsoft Office 365 but online accounting systems and Customer Relationship Management tools are also becoming popular. We will help our clients with their Cloud adoption by advising them what fits their own business needs.

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from some independent advice to assist them in understanding how they might adapt their IT strategy to benefit from current vendor service offerings and which strategy is appropriate for them to consider. We listen to our clients so we can fully understand their business requirements and offer advice on how the Cloud may or may not be appropriate for them. We can work with our clients in choosing an appropriate Cloud service provider and assist in the migration of the business as they adopt Cloud.