There is a lot of talk about both hosted and cloud computing and sometimes the lines between the two are a bit blurred. So just what is the difference between them and why would it matter to your business?
Hosted and Cloud computing are similar in many respects, but there are differences.
Hosted applications are off-site and the hardware is owned by a business as an asset. Software was purchased and installed on a remote server and must be maintained by the host. The software is accessed through a VPN or virtual private network, so others who also use the network, depending on permissions, can also access the software. These software applications are not typically web enabled and therefore require the network infrastructure needed to run the application such as a Terminal Server.
Cloud applications, on the other hand, are applications that are web based, which means you do not need on-premise installation. You need only an internet connection and the necessary user licenses and permissions in order to access and use the software. You will not be responsible for IT, upgrades, troubleshooting, backups or security. Solutions such as Dynamics GP are offered as a web-based, Internet accessed option and/or a client installed on the workstation. What this means is that you could access Dynamics GP through the Internet at home or, if you are in the office, you could use it on your workstation or conversely use GP through the Internet at the office, etc. As a business owner you can decide which option is best for your business based on advice from a trusted IT vendor.
Deployment methods for solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions include SaaS (Software as a Service), Cloud and Hosted options.
There are public or private cloud options, or Hybrid which is a combination of the two. A good example of a hybrid environment would be running Outlook on your desktop with Microsoft CRM as a Saas and Office 365 for your productivity tools such as Word, Excel, etc.
The biggest concern a business owner or decision maker might have is whether they are willing to run their business through an Internet connection. What if your Internet goes down at the office? If your backup plan for an outage is to send employees home to work, then you must be sure that everyone needing remote access is set up properly.
For more information about the differences between Hosted and Cloud computing, read the article:
by ERP Cloud Blog Editors