August's Blog Series Theme: Ideas That Inspire
Insights on the cloud from: Reddy Beeram (Director of Product Development)
A Brief Overview:
Modern cloud computing began making waves with the introduction of Web 2.0 in 1999, and it has evolved into 3 main infrastructures types:
- Public Cloud
- Private Cloud
- Hybrid Cloud
Additionally, there are 3 primary cloud services:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Accessed by users via a web browser
- Individual client use is not customizable
- Examples: Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Accessed by users via a web browser
- Clients can develop and deploy software applications using tools the provider supplies
- Example: Microsoft Azure
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Accessed by users via a computing infrastructure
- Clients manage applications and software and own the maintenance of these systems
- Example: Microsoft Dynamics AX
What Makes the Cloud an Inspiring Business Solution?
Cloud computing as a whole is in its infancy but shows inspiring potential for future implementation.
Some of its many benefits include:
Organizations experience many periods of growth fluctuation over time and cloud computing easily meets their demands for change, which helps alleviate many growing pains that they may otherwise experience.
The public cloud can be accessed over the internet from virtually anywhere on almost any internet enabled device.
3. Reduced IT investment costs
In most service scenarios, clients that adopt the service incur no upfront hardware or infrastructure expenses, and the service provider takes on the burdens of IT investment and bills the client based on computing services and resources used.
4. Predictable IT costs
Clients pay a fixed amount for computing resources and services used.
Many small to mid-size organizations neglect investing in a secure IT infrastructure due to cost, but the majority of large cloud computing service providers invest a significant amount of resources in ensuring secure services.
What are the 3 Most Important Things Businesses need to know about AX Cloud Solutions?
1. Rapid Deployment: Typical deployment and implementation time for complex business solutions takes weeks if not months. This is due to sizing and acquiring the proper computing resources needed to deploy such systems. However, with the cloud, this time is greatly reduced because clients only need to worry about acquiring the proper software licenses, readily accessible cloud computing resources, and the installation process. As a result, deployment time is reduced to days if not hours.
2. Scalability: Most ERP computing needs evolve over the life of the implementation.
- Analysis: smaller needs
- Design: increase in capacity needs
- Development: integrations and customizations require additional capacity needs
- Deployment: production system needs
Larger organizations employ staged deployments during ERP implementation, and cloud solutions are ideal for this method because clients can administer additional capacity as needs grow incrementally.
3. Maintainability: Cloud service providers offer a dedicated staff to ensure operating systems and applications stay in sync with support releases. Additionally, parallel systems can be temporarily deployed to allow for thorough testing of updates following desired operational SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) processes, which prevents updates from having adverse impacts on production configuration.
What is the Biggest Challenge for the Cloud?
The short answer: Security.
Currently, most business applications store significant amounts of proprietary information that differentiates them from their competition. When the cloud hosts application data, organizations sacrifice control over that information because it is managed by an external entity. And although cloud service providers offer better security infrastructures than any one organization can reasonably engage, there is no guarantee that an electronic or human security breach will not occur.
Though, this issue can be mitigated to some extent by using a private cloud infrastructure, cost of those service can be significantly high compared to the alternatives
What Inspires you Every Day?
Technology, adoption of technology, and the general direction of technology consumption, has changed exponentially in the past two decades.
I remember the days when there were only 5 pages on Yahoo, and Google did not exist. Cellphones were as huge as bricks and could do only one thing – make calls. Today, a cell phone can do more things than a whole building full of hardware could in the past. It does not matter where you are, if you need information -- it is as far away as your cellphone. We have so many platforms to consume information from and to perform business on.
Today, most of us are in the cloud consuming SaaS or PaaS offerings without realizing it. You are consuming cloud services when you look up maps and get directions, playing online games, checking your email, posting your photos, or hanging out in your social media niches. Additionally, most of our banking systems, medical records, texts, and voicemails are in the cloud as well. Given this reality, it is clear that business applications are the only other systems we interact with that should move into the cloud, and this is what inspires me every day.
Related Articles: Cloud Adoption Surpasses Expectations