Everyone is talking about “the cloud.” But what does it mean?
The technical answer is Cloud computing consists of hardware and software resources made available on the Internet as managed third-party services. These services typically provide access to advanced software applications and high-end networks of server computers. Think of it as buying something right out box with just a little assembly needed and you are ready to go. This is the difference between designing and making a bicycle yourself, or just buying one at a cycle shop, putting air in the tires and riding it home.
Everyone in the technology world is talking about it…and a lot of people in the business world are asking the same question. Cloud computing platforms are growing in popularity, but why? What unique advantages does a cloud computing architecture offer to Armenian companies in today’s economic climate?” Let’s explore the cloud computing infrastructure and its impact on critically important areas to IT, like security, infrastructure investments, business application development, and how it is critical to Armenian.
Most western small businesses are forced to spend a significant portion of their time on frustrating designing, implementation, maintenance, and upgrade of software that too often don’t add significant value to the company’s bottom line. Increasingly, businesses are turning to cloud computing technology to minimize the time spent on lower-value activities and allow IT to focus on strategic activities with greater impact on the business.
The fundamental cloud computing infrastructure has won over the many of world’s most successful businesses. Businesses are running all kinds of apps in the cloud, like customer relationship management (CRM), HR, accounting, and much more. The latest innovations in cloud computing are making business applications even more mobile and collaborative, similar to popular consumer apps like Facebook and Twitter. As consumers, we now expect that the information we care about will be pushed to us in real time, and business applications in the cloud are heading in that direction as well. Here are the main points to be aware of:
- Proven Web-services integration. By their very nature, cloud computing technology is much easier and quicker to integrate with your other enterprise applications (both traditional software and cloud computing infrastructure-based), whether third-party or homegrown.
- World-class service delivery. Cloud computing infrastructures offer much greater scalability, complete disaster recovery, and impressive uptime numbers.
- No hardware or software to install: a 100% cloud computing infrastructure. The beauty of cloud computing technology is its simplicity… and in the fact that it requires significantly fewer capital expenditures to get up and running.
- Faster and lower-risk deployment. You can get up and running in a fraction of the time with a cloud computing infrastructure. No more waiting months or years and spending hard earned money before anyone gets to log into your new solution. Your cloud computing technology applications are live in a matter of weeks or months, even with extensive customization or integration.
- Empowered business users. Cloud computing technology allows on-the-fly, point-and-click customization and report generation for business users, so IT doesn’t spend half its time making minor changes and running reports.
- Automatic upgrades that don’t impact IT resources. Cloud computing infrastructures put an end to a huge IT dilemma: If we upgrade to the latest-and-greatest version of the application, we’ll be forced to spend time and resources (that we don’t have) to rebuild our customizations and integrations. Cloud computing technology doesn’t force you to decide between upgrading and preserving all your hard work, because those customizations and integrations are automatically preserved during an upgrade.
Armenia in the Cloud?
So, we have shown how cloud computing can present numerous advantages to business including reduced capital costs associated with IT resources, but how does that relate to Armenia, and what can Armenian software companies capitalize on the trend?
Well the increased demand for cloud computing services presents Armenian software companies with a great opportunities because there is a ready market, plus it also requires limited financial investments and technical skills to run cloud computing services. Cloud based software has the potential to generate tremendous economic value particularly for a small land locked country like Armenia, where internet based, “green” low energy usage and high technology skills are it’s future and is being supported by Government policies.
- Utilizing Existing Infrastructure to Minimize Cost and an Immediate Tech Gain.
As a pioneer in the field since 2006, Amazon Web Services and other services like GoGrid, offer Armenian companies the ability of a strong infrastructure at little cost. Many successful American small start-ups, like SmartSheet.com have utilized third party services such as Amazon web services for their own advantage. Todd Fasullo, director of operations at Smartsheet, said “There’s no sales negotiation, and no long-term contracts,” he said. “We really love the model.” Fasullo noted that the cost of using Amazon’s S3 cloud storage was only one-twentieth of what it would have cost to use Smartsheet’s hosting provider. There are also pre-puilt software tools to utilize and build off of like the Google App Engine or Microsoft’s Azure.
- Increased Business Agility
Armenian companies need to keep pace with the ever-changing dynamics of today’s markets and stay ahead of competitors by educing time to market and shipping better products faster. Having an on-demand cloud computing environment in which to test your new products rapidly, at scale, and across multiple platforms and configurations is critical. For Armenian companies that are seperated by distance, language and time zone; this is a huge benefit.
- Perfect for Start-ups
Even Forbes magazine is saying How Cloud Computing is Fueling the Next Startup Boom. It is also a proven business model that will attract Venture Capitalist and foreign partners/investors to Armenian businesses. These companies may not want to open an office in Armenia, but cloud computing gives them a virtual highway directly to Armenia with little risk.
Here are a three companies that might start the ideas flowing about the possibilities for Armenia to join world in the cloud:
- GoodData, San Francisco, offers a powerful cloud-based business-intelligence platform, which provides users with operational dashboards, advanced reporting and data warehousing at a fraction of the cost and complexity of other approaches.
- SalesCrunch, New York, has a social-selling platform—not unlike Salesforce.com—that it says takes selling from “fuzzy art to repeatable process” by capturing, measuring, training and tracking sales across a company and its customers.
- Erply, New York, is an enterprise software company focusing on cloud-based retail and point-of-sale IT. The company provides elaborate inventory management, point-of-sale and sales management software that would normally be out of reach for small and midsize businesses.
This post is also available in: Armenian