Posts Tagged Cloud

How Cloud Software Can Cut Down Your Business Costs

In a troubled economy businesses are trying to minimize their spending and cloud software offers an excellent way to achieve that. But the problem is not many businesses are aware of the advantages offered by cloud software. So if you are one of the first to embrace these technologies you can gain a significant advantage over your competitors. Mentioned below are some ways web based software can save you money.

Subscription Model

Most web based software provides you with a pay as you go option. So you don’t have to spend a huge amount upfront to make use of the software. This also enables you to test the software without making a long term commitment. Additionally cloud based solutions are much cheaper compared to traditional desktop software. For example a web based Visio alternative like Creately costs 5$ per month compared to a 300-400$ Visio license.

Reduced Maintenance/Installation Costs

Because cloud software resides in vendor servers they are platform independent. Only thing you need to access them is a modern browser which can be easily downloaded for free. This means you don’t have to worry about downloads, installing the software, doing compatibility test before installing and upgrading, creating disk space for installations and a whole lot more. Basically you let the vendor handle the maintenance and upgrading while you use the software.

Collaboration Features to Improve Productivity

The collaboration features including real-time collaboration makes it very easy for teams to work together. Additionally they help people working from remote locations and independent contractors to easily share and edit documents. In real-time collaboration you can share a document with multiple persons and edit them simultaneously. You can instantly see the changes made by each other so there is little chance of someone getting confused. A good example of this is working with your accountants using a web based accounting tool like Freshbooks. Because both parties can see the changes instantly you can suggest modification, give explanations for some expenses etc. Another example is discussing your website layout with a web design company. You can share a UI mock-up and collaboratively edit it until both parties are satisfied about the design. These are just two examples, the possibilities are limitless.

Anywhere Access to Quickly Retrieve Data

Another big benefit of cloud software is you can access them from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. Instant access to data makes it very easy to take decisions and act faster according to the data. It is important to note that some cloud based vendors provide offline access as well, so you’re not handicapped when working in remote areas that don’t have Internet access. HTML5, On-premise installations are some of the things vendors provide to give offline access.

Other Ways Cloud Software Saves You Money

Mentioned above are some of the main ways cloud software helps your business save money. But there are plenty more. Because of online collaboration you dramatically reduce the number of meetings and the time spend on meetings. You cut down travel costs because now you no longer need to go to the client or vendor to discuss your plans. There are plenty of other little benefits that add up to make a significant difference.

With all these benefits it would be foolish not to give cloud software a try. Most of them offer a free trial so you have nothing to lose.

Nishadha Silva is a tech evangelist working for Creately, a web based diagram software to draw business process diagrams, flowcharts, organization charts, network diagrams and much more. Give it a try and feel the difference.

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Cloud a game changer for technology giants

June 2012 may well go down as the month the tech world entered a new era. On June 11, Apple showed its next operating system for iPhones and iPads. It offered maps and speech recognition, plus music and movies on iTunes, all tied via the Internet to Apple’s “cloud” of servers.

A week later, Microsoft, known better for software, demonstrated the Surface tablet, its answer to the iPad. The Surface interacts with both the Web and Microsoft’s cloud, called Windows Azure. And, on Wednesday, Google introduced its newest cloud-connected phone and tablet, as well as a media player called Nexus Q.

The player works with the devices, the Internet and the Google cloud. Remarkably fast, a multibillion-dollar industry is moving away from personal computers made mostly with Microsoft Windows software and Intel semiconductor chips.

The combined revenue from these largely “Wintel” desktops and laptops last year was about $70 billion at Dell and Hewlett-Packard. But these companies played virtually no part in the June shows.

Asked what part it hoped to play in the cloud-dominated future, Dell declined to comment. An HP spokesman said in a statement that his company had computer servers and software in “eight of 10 of the world’s most trafficked sites, four out of five of the world’s largest search engines, the three most popular social media properties in the US” He said nothing about PCs.

The tech future also poses challenges for Intel, which has been diversifying. Its chips are now in Apple computers and a host of other devices. Intel still has a significant place in the market, but often with lower-margin chips, and increased competition.

Another chip company, Nvidia, got a shout from Google’s stage. We are seeing a new business ecosystem with all sorts of mobile and cloud-connected devices. Each is a powerful computer, with connections to a nearly infinite amount of data storage and processing in the cloud.

“We’re entering this era where consumer electronics is the hardware, and the software and the cloud,” said Matt Hershenson, Google’s hardware director. His view increasingly holds for bus- ness computing, too.

Coincidentally, Friday was the fifth anniversary of the iPhone’s introduction. Next week, cloud-based software applications for the iPhone from outside developers will have their fourth anniversary. And, already, cloud devices that Google called experimental last year are now almost mainstream.

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33% of digital content will be on ‘cloud’ by 2016

NEW DELHI: Your e-mail has been on the internet cloud ever since you started using one. Now brace up to store more content on the cloud-with the convenience of being able to access it anywhere, anytime on any connected device. That’s the promise of cloud computing and this trend will only accelerate over the coming years.

According to research firm Gartner the desire to share content and to access it on multiple devices will motivate consumers to start storing a third of their digital content in the cloud by 2016. Gartner said that just seven percent of consumer content was stored in the cloud in 2011, but this will grow to 36% in 2016.

“Historically, consumers have stored content on their PCs, but as we enter the post-PC era, consumers are using multiple connected devices, the majority of which are equipped with cameras. This is leading to a massive increase in new user-generated content that requires storage,” said Shalini Verma, principal research analyst at Gartner. “With the emergence of the personal cloud, this fast-growing consumer digital content will quickly get disaggregated from connected devices.”

The increased adoption of camera-equipped smartphones and tablets is allowing users to capture huge amounts of photos and videos. Gartner predicts that worldwide consumer digital storage needs will grow from 329 exabytes in 2011 to 4.1 zettabytes in 2016. This includes digital content stored in PCs, smartphones, tablets, hard-disk drives (HDDs), network attached storage (NAS) and cloud repositories.

The bulk of the cloud storage needs of consumers in the near term will be met by social media sites such as Facebook, which offer free storage space for uploading photos and videos for social sharing. The Gartner analyst said that while online backup services are the most well-known cloud storage providers, their total storage allocated to consumers and ‘prosumers’ is small relative to that maintained by social media sites.

Average storage per household will grow from 464 gigabytes in 2011 to 3.3 terabytes in 2016. In 2012, Gartner believes that the adoption of camera-equipped tablets and smartphones will drive consumer storage needs. In the first half of 2012, a shortage in supply of HDDs as a result of the floods in Thailand provided an impetus for cloud storage adoption, leading to an unusual overall growth rate between 2011 and 2012. The future is definitely on the cloud!

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