Offers that information systems are available as a service in the cloud are often hastily rejected. Is that right? It seems that concerns about cloud computing are usually exaggerated, because of the lack of rules and methods of using such applications. Often the lack of ownership of the product, services and its physical presence in user’s IT resources based on purchased license cause user many problems based on the habits and past experience.
What are the benefits of cloud-based solutions, what are the differences between them and why many of the existing licenses purchased at one time may disappear from the market?
Comparison of costs - a real account
When you buy a license you should consider the real costs associated with the usage of the software in the whole life-cycle of a product or project. In the case of "one-time" license purchase one often forgets about many expenses related parties such as the purchase of equipment and its long-term maintenance costs of installation and implementation, and then update or upgrade. These and other expenses are usually not taken into account as often own IT department performs many of these activities within the framework of current expenditures. However, total costs can be substantial, so they must be taken into account when choosing the optimal solution. We must also remember that the technology used today, sooner or later may be replaced by newer, and further updates will not allow to continue work in the program what force us to replace the entire environment, including hardware and software, causing a large unexpected expense and the deterioration of business liquidity . Thus, perhaps is it time to think about services provided by the network, available eg. via a web browser?
In case of subscription solutions we pay a periodic fee and we must have an access to the Internet. It is easy to calculate the monthly, annual and perennial cost. At the same time we do not have any other worries, such as hardware failures, outdated functionality or need to employ skilled IT professionals. In return, we have unlimited access to all current business tools, professional-protected content, often as part of a package we can rely on extra remote help. In addition, cloud-based systems are easily scalable. It is all for a fixed monthly or other periodic, predictable fee – similar to leasing, software rental, but contrary to vehicle leasing – the lessor almost daily presents the latest version of the software instead of the latest model of the car. Such things are possible only in the cloud!
Security of confidential data
Concerns about entrusting and storage of the confidential data, often essential to the business, on the resources physically located outside the company seem at first glance justified. Further analysis may, however, lead to the conclusion that in fact our data sewn into cloud-based services are more protected and safe. This is due to the fact that the service provider has a professional team and tools for ongoing security and risk monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 days a year, as opposed to its own servers security that rely on knowledge, experience, and, above all, the engagement of the employees. Confidential data stored on own servers are much more at risk of leakage due to negligence of staff, hackers rather than stored in secure data centers.
Customs and habits
In conclusion, the expenses associated with using cloud solutions are more predictable and flexible to use than stationary solutions with a single license. I did not even realize how often we use similar solutions in private life, not only in relation to material resources, such as periodic rent of equipment, but also intangible assets, including services or software. Even using e-mail, many people use external service providers. Similarly, with the access to many electronic services that due to the scale and dispersion would not be possible without the use of cloud-based solutions. The only reason for the lack of interest in these types of applications tend to be existing habits to have something on the property or unreasonable fear of the unknown solution. Therefore it is good to have a choice, then you should consider new solutions and possibilities and decider what is more profitable from the point of view of the business benefits and return on investment throughout the whole period of use.
Written by Leszek Zając