People ask me what do I think of the cloud (cloud computing)?
Well as we all know cloud computing covers a few areas with regards to data storage, infrastructure and applications.
From my perspective, I have only really experienced using applications. Like most of us we have used applications such as Twitter, TripAdvisor, FaceBook etc.
Probably one of the most important aspects and a clear benefit from my personal perspective is the ability to access applications from anywhere at any time.
All of us can relate to that.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
From a business point of view I find this immensely invaluable.
One of the key services that we deliver is providing workshops for organisations to develop their strategic plan, roadmap, marketing value propositions and the like.
SharpCloud – visual roadmapping tool
An end deliverable at the end of the workshop is to upload the results of the workshop into a roadmapping application that we use (SharpCloud, based on Microsoft Azure), delivered as a Software as a Service so that workshop attendees can continue to collaborate and develop their roadmap/plan, post the workshop.
Because we can access the application via a USB modem stick to the Internet, we do not have to try and get Internet through the clients LAN, which is always an issue.
Secondly, and this is the best part. The ability to connect the workshop attendees immediately to the roadmap without having to download any client software applications, get technical configuration/support from the IT department is brilliant.
It allows the organisation to quickly co-create, visualise, share and collaborate the results of the workshop, enabling them to accelerate in getting to the final version.
However, it is not all plain sailing.
As with all systems, security, data protection etc are real concerns. Putting in place the appropriate governance and training goes without saying. Also, taking a pragmatic and common sense approach to how and what you use your cloud application for, usually guides you in the right direction.
The future of the cloud computing is certainly going to grow.
I agree with other commentators (sorry this link is so old it no longer works – here is a link to Pew Research) that this technology transformation/adoption will take several years and will form a hybrid solution with current PC based applications.
There will be barriers to overcome which will lead to more innovation, collaboration and delivery of solutions – some of which will be resolved through the cloud.