ERP Cloud Computing
The question - What is cloud computing? - has been a high profile question over the last couple of years and is getting more and more attention than ever before. The definition of cloud computing is the delivery of some form of technology whether it be a software application, IT platform or infrastructure as a service that is reached by users via the internet. Cloud computing services are business to business, and business to consumer products or services that are delivered and utilized in real time over the web. There have been a few key factors that have been driving the hype about cloud computing as a viable emerging computing model for many users.
Users have been a key driver for cloud computing popularity with social media usage and other Web 2.0 movements that have really ramped up a large installed base of users. Secondly on the technology front, virtualization software has enabled highly robust applications and heavy computing functions and processes to be conducted over the web which is critical to the wide array of possibilities and innovations available with cloud computing. Although social networking and consumer to consumer usage was the key driver in cloud computing popularity, the next wave of cloud computing is happening at the business or enterprise level as the economical downturn is driving companies to gain the benefits of on-premise ERP solutions in a more affordable way via the internet or cloud.
Cloud computing offers users three key benefits. The first benefit is the flexibility of capacity planning as demand loads and usage challenged can be mitigated. IT managers work hard to predict usage levels and secure the ample infrastructure and systems capable to handle peak loads dictated by company service level and performance standards. Depending on the company and cyclicality of both the industry and internal business processes, the capacity fluctuations could be dramatically increased in specific parts of the year while the majority of the year the level and capacity demands are virtually idle. The need to procure hardware and software assets to service peak loads is both costly and inefficient, especially if the occasional peak loads are unpredictable. Cloud computing offers the additional resources and capacity if needed on an on demand basis enabling companies to scale up or down in a cost effective way.
The pricing model of cloud computing is also a key driver for the appeal and popularity cloud based technologies and services. The pay as you use business model is highly attractive, scalable and affordable opening up once capital restrictive enterprise applications to an whole new market of small and mid-sized companies that did not have the deep pockets to buy or implement pricey ERP applications.
The third key benefit of cloud computing services and applications is that the apps are easier to deploy and the headaches and costs associated with on premise software application are eliminated and off loaded to the service provider such as software upgrades, annual maintenance and new releases. This benefit is a critical component only a percentage of companies using on premise solutions have the most current updates and version of the software application due to lag time and aversion to the cost, downtime, resources and business disruption associated with software upgrades. Cloud computing, hosted by a third party enable service providers to deploy new learning, technologies and upgrades to all users the moment an upgrade or new version is ready for release. This real time deployment capability keeps all users at the forefront of Cloud computing, hosted by a third party enable service providers to deploy new learning, technologies and upgrades to all users the moment an upgrade or new version is ready for release. This real time deployment capability keeps all users at the forefront of technology innovations and enhances their ability to compete and adapt to the ever changing and competitive marketplace.