Clearing Up the Cloud

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Everybody has heard that cloud computing is the way of the future. The term is bandied about constantly but there is still an air of uncertainty as to what exactly it means. Being that it is an umbrella term for a number of different internet-based trends adds to the confusion. Basically the “cloud” refers to the Internet and cloud computing is putting your shared resources, software and information on the Internet as opposed to PCs or servers that are maintained at your organization. Now that the cloud has come to business computing it is important to know a few key terms you will need to know if you are considering a move to the cloud.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): With IaaS, you get on-demand computing and storage to host, scale, and manage applications and services. You use servers on a pay-as-you go basis. The benefit of using data centers means you can scale with ease and speed to meet the infrastructure needs of your entire organization or individual departments within it, globally or locally.

Platform as a Service (PaaS):  Internet-based platforms for building and running applications. PaaS enables you to create Web applications quickly without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the software and hardware.

Software as a Service (Saas):  Simply put, it is a way of delivering software applications through the Internet.  With Saas you license software through a subscription or a “pay-as-you-go” model, as opposed to buying, installing and maintaining the software. It runs on a SaaS provider ’s servers and they manage access, security, availability, and performance of the application.

These components form the core of cloud computing.  The cloud is about providing a pool of computing resources that all operate together, effectively as a single computer. There are certainly many benefits of cloud computing namely, outsourcing the maintenance of servers and applications, scaling systems to your needs, accessing data from anywhere with an Internet connection and more effective budgeting of IT resources.  And although there are also risks associated with cloud computing, such as provider stability, international regulatory concerns, security and dependence of proprietary cloud applications, it is a powerful new model for business computing that should be considered.

If you’re interested to learn more about cloud computing or how Microsoft Dynamics ERP fits into the cloud business model, contact Sikich. We are a Chicago IL Microsoft Dynamics Partner headquartered in IL and serving the Midwest. We specialize in the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. We are uniquely qualified to handle the complete business solution—ERP and CRM implementations, backed with IT networking and software development expertise. As a member of a CPA firm, we are governed by established professional Standards, strict Code of Ethics, and state licensing laws; making us a trusted advisor to more than 4,000 middle-market businesses. Follow us on Twitter at @Sikich_Tech.

By Sikich, a leading St. Louis, MO Microsoft Dynamics GP partner.

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