www.chinanationalnews.com - Tuesday 14th November, 2017
Why USB cards and personal servers become a history and how can a business get benefit from cloud technologies?
Let’s imagine, a small company X has problems with online sales. Clients send requests 24 hours a day. Notifications are delivered only to corporate mail that is not available outside the office. Some requests stay unanswered for 15 hours.
In such cases, the sending of notices from corporate mail to personal manager is turned on. But even there the notifications come strictly from 9 AM to 6 PM. From evening to morning, a part of the orders continues flowing to competitors.
Soon it turns out that the corporate mail server "in the old manner" is organized on the computer of the office manager. Leaving at 6 PM, he turns off the machine and the company's connection with customers is cut off.
In many situations like this, even free cloud services could significantly reduce profit losses. However, far from many business executives know about such opportunities. Moreover, if they know, they relate to innovations with caution and continue to lose market share.
We decided to tell you what a cloud technology is and how useful it could be for a business.
Where does it work?
Cloud is a remove computing resources that the customer can use for storing and/or processing information. For example, instead of installing office programs on his computers, his employees can work with them on a remote server (software as a service option, SaaS). In general, to abandon the costs of expensive hardware in the local network. Instead, place a database provider, a CRM system from the cloud provider, and configure all workflows on the external server (variant infrastructure as a service, IaaS).
At a social level, the clouds have already taken their niche. We use e-mail box that is not tied to one device. Send documents and photos; receive electronic tickets and bank statements, exchange files via Dropbox, Fex.net or Google Drive. However, all of this information is physically saved somewhere in a cloud. The user doesn`t care how the service or whatever is mounted and how many sysadmins monitor its performance. The user doesn`t think, his files are on one hard drive or scattered on different continents. It is enough to know that somewhere on the Internet there is a single space that is convenient to operate online. At the same time, businesspersons are not so happy. In their companies, the use of cloud services depends on the scale of the business and the manager`s advancement.
In small trading companies, it`s often enough to adjust the work of office applications and a single storage of documents. Here should be added CRM configuring, which will help you to work without being physically in the office.
If one needs to organize a video monitoring at a point of sales, depot or at the other object, there is no need to buy a camera and reserve an IP address for remote access. You can install an inexpensive cloud camera and manage it through the application on your smartphone.
A team of 5-10 software developers, renting a remote server, does not require a certain person who will configure access, extend memory and monitor the uninterrupted and safe operation of a fixed server. All these functions are assumed by the cloud provider.
What is stronger—forecast or habits?
Specialists of the telecommunication company Platinum Services Ltd (portal.voiplatinum.com) are convinced that in nearest 5 years market of cloud servers will show 21% of average annual growth. This year charges for cloud services will attain 128 milliards of dollars, and by 2021 will grow to 266 milliards.
Not all world companies are ready to fill up this statistics. There are five main reasons.
The first reason is the revolutions of personal computers.
Nowadays every user has a possibility to get a powerful enough machine at home or in an office and to become autonomous from large calculators. The principle: “My server is my castle” created a race for constant upgrade and concentration of resources in one place.
The second reason is the comparatively recent growth of middle speed of the Internet and its accessibility all over the world. For example, this article has been written in a cloud editor due to the mobile Internet. Author, being on a business trip, has a connected smartphone with the 3G-Internet to the notebook.
The third one is the lack of information for users about availability or functionality of cloud services. If we ask the ordinary person or even business representative what is Office 365 he would answer that it`s Word, Excel and the PowerPoint. But in fact, we have that it`s fully featured instrument which covers all business processes: the data storage, internal portal of the organization, and a tool for collaborative mobile work with documents, that almost any team needs.
For the same reason, companies are spent on the hardware and carry not only a one-time capital expenditure but also a fixed operating costs. They are forced to keep an IT professional on the staff or outsource to ensure the operation of the systems.
The fourth is an orientation on cheapness. Small and medium-sized businesses are looking for opportunities to optimize costs. Often this results in the use of pirated programs. Other companies work only with free services, which still have limitations on storage size, compatibility, and functionality. Still, others are used to keeping everything "at hand" - on a physical server, they say, it's cheaper and more visible.
However, calculations appear to be different. The monthly fee for virtual capacity is much lower than the cost of modern hardware. In addition, the hardware quickly becomes obsolete, while the cloud provider is in continuous updating of its hardware resources. As for software as a service, for example, for using the Microsoft Office 365 platform, cloud providers ask $ 8 per user per month. Unlike box solutions, software versions in the cloud are constantly updated.
The fifth reason is the outdated ideas about the security and safety of data in the cloud. Many IT companies got rid of these prejudices, after they fell under the press of legal authorities, lost their physical servers and suffered a million losses. Or retail businesses, for which it is extremely important to provide 24/7 uninterrupted operation and fault tolerance.
According to the experts on cloud technologies to own a reliable corporate server is far from cheap. In a company of 50-100 people, this should be a separate room with costs for rent, electricity, installation, and maintenance of air conditioners, uninterrupted Internet, good grounding, humidity control, fire safety and a specialist who will set up data backup and will constantly monitor the disk volume and system load.
While data center is a robust infrastructure where all these functions are included and the client pays for the final result. In addition, both sides sign the Service Level Agreement - where, among other things, the downtime and safety of customer data are strictly regulated. The business releases its resources for immediate tasks, and all the technical stuff is managed by the cloud provider.
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