February 10, 2012
Dreaming of a Cloud Computing Solution?
Considering a cloud solution for your business? If you’re unfamiliar with this term, cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product. Shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices over a network, typically the Internet.
A few years ago, “cloud” or Software As A Service (SaaS) offerings, were limited to a few solutions such as Salesforce, ADP and Quickbooks online. These solutions were effective for smaller businesses or for a point solution, but still left a void for larger enterprises.
Based on our experience the last two years, Bridgepoint has seen increased client demand for true enterprise solutions that are cloud hosted. It seems that over time, our clients’ “willingness to consider” has turned into “an insistence on pursuing” a cloud solution. In fact, in several recent system selection engagements, our clients have opted to limit their choices exclusively to cloud solutions over the alternatives.
So why is the cloud so popular and what are the benefits? Our clients consistently have sited the following reasons for preferring a cloud solution:
- Ease of deployment – no hardware, no network. All you need is an internet connection and a browser.
- No maintenance – the system is maintained and supported by the software vendor
- IT staff focus – many organizations use their IT resources to develop technology that they sell. These revenue producers must focus on external projects.
Sounds great, but what’s the catch? Well, yes, there are also some concerns to consider with cloud solutions:
- Security – how can I be sure that my sensitive sales, customer and financial data is protected?
- Functionality – cloud solutions tend to be less functional than their on-premises competitors
- Integration – mature organizations may have many internal solutions that need to talk to the enterprise system
Is a cloud enterprise system the right solution for you?
The only way to know for sure is by conducting a careful and broad assessment of the current market alternatives and evaluating them against your specific needs.