“If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business.”
That’s the cloud, according to Marc Benioff, CEO and founder of cloud business platform Salesforce.com.
And while you could argue that he has a vested interest, he has a point. The cloud is so widespread that every business needs to understand what it is and how it can help deliver products and services people will actually pay for.
But there are many definitions of the cloud. If IT is not your main focus, the cloud can quickly turn into brain fog.
The cloud is like a serviced office
For a straightforward, alternative definition of the cloud, take a look at a serviced office like the one we work out of here at Desynit.
Other than a great view of the station and a fantastic local bakery, there are good reasons for us being here:
- When we moved in, we didn’t have to worry about sourcing basic office equipment. It was included.
- All the main services are managed for us: lighting, heating, internet, reception, cleaning and so on.
- Because we share with other businesses, we can access facilities like meeting rooms on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- The building is in good condition and well-maintained, with a proper alarm system, locks and security.
- As our business grows, it’s easy for us to find more suitable premises. (We’ve moved to a bigger office three times so far.)
On top of all that, there’s only one bill to pay each month. That makes life much easier for our finance team and helps us budget accurately.
The real benefits of the cloud
It doesn’t come for free, that’s for sure. But in terms of value to a business, it’s a clear win. So when Marc Benioff talks about businesses running better in the cloud, this is what he means.
Desynit Director, Matt Morris, explains: “You no longer need to think about the bricks and mortar issues of hardware, licensing, maintaining operating systems and installing updates — to name just a few. It’s all taken care of.
“If you need additional services, bolt them on. Need more capacity for peak time? It’s there on a pay-as-you-go basis.”
Oh and one more thing. This particular office is mobile. Wherever you are, as long as you have internet access, just step right in.
The final fittings and fixtures
Let’s come back to the serviced office analogy. The basic building set-up may tick most of the boxes, but what if you have a more unusual requirement?
Some cloud providers open up their platforms so third party vendors can develop apps and add-ons to meet business needs. (At Desynit, we integrate apps from the Salesforce AppExchange.)
When your requirements aren’t standard, being able to do this makes a big difference.
Choosing the right cloud platform will enable you to focus on your core service, rather than on your supporting systems. And that has to be better for your business.
- How the cloud changes your business IT
- Which cloud persona fits your business?
- Cloud computing: there’s nothing new under the sun
Amy Grenham is the marketing manager at Desynit, a business systems IT consultancy and Salesforce.com integration partner.