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Archive for the ‘Hosting’ Category

 

Report: A third of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 by

Cloud computing is transforming the business world, allowing companies of all sizes to implement advanced software and embrace innovative IT trends with fewer concerns and bigger savings. At the same time, however, not everything that can benefit from the cloud is doing so, as there are many technologies that have yet to make the transition to the hosted environment.

33 percent of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

33 percent of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017

Unfortunately, the transition of many technologies, such as office systems and email, is slower than many advocates predicted. Gartner recently highlighted this occurrence, noting that only 8 percent of all office system users are in the cloud. Still, analysts believe this is a progressing market, noting that 33 percent of these tools will be in the cloud by 2017.

This market will gain significant momentum after 2015, Gartner noted. This is likely because the cloud will be more familiar to most organizations by then and employees will demand the ability to access mission-critical resources from anywhere.

“Despite the hype surrounding migration to the cloud, big differences in movement rates continue, depending on organizations’ size, industry, geography and specific requirements,” said Tom Austin, vice president and Gartner Fellow. “While 8 percent of business people were using cloud office systems at the start of 2013, we estimate this number will grow to 695 million users by 2022, to represent 60 percent.”

What factors weigh into cloud decisions?
Analysts noted that email is one of the world’s most significant collaborative tools, as it provides individuals with the ability to share information across networks and platforms. In many organizations, the option to move email to the cloud is among the biggest decisions, weighing into moving the entire office system to the cloud or not. Gartner believes that at least 10 percent of all email users will be based in the cloud by the end of next year, a number that will triple by the end of 2017.

(more…) «Report: A third of office systems will be in the cloud by 2017»

Cloud computing improves security for SMBs, studies reveal

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013 by

For the past several years, cloud computing has been disrupting the business world by providing organizations with innovative ways to save money, improve operations and gain access to next-generation applications. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have begun to recognize that the benefits of the cloud have reached their organizations as well. Still, some fears about the hosted services held many companies back. A recent study of US SMBs by Microsoft, however, revealed that many of these concerns are not backed by data but are really just misconceptions about the technology.

Cloud computing improves security, not impairs it

Cloud computing improves security, not impairs it

The survey found that 60 percent of organizations that have not yet adopted the cloud because of security concerns. Other SMBs that have not embraced the cloud said the fear of unreliability or loss of control over sensitive data held them back.

Conversely, businesses that have adopted the cloud have experienced benefits in all of these categories, suggesting the shroud of uncertainty surrounding the cloud should not be an obstacle.

“There’s a big gap between perception and reality when it comes to the cloud. SMBs that have adopted cloud services found security, privacy and reliability advantages to an extent they didn’t expect,” said Adrienne Hall of Microsoft. “The real silver lining in cloud computing is that it enables companies not only to invest more time and money into growing their business, but to better secure their data and to do so with greater degrees of service reliability as well.”

The truth about the cloud
The underlying reality of a cloud infrastructure is that it is often more secure and reliable than traditional premise-based systems. Microsoft highlighted this truth when it found that a whopping 94 percent of SMBs using the cloud revealed that they acquired more security benefits using the hosted services than they did with legacy solutions. This meant having access to more innovative and up-to-date antivirus and data management tools.

(more…) «Cloud computing improves security for SMBs, studies reveal»

Get Your Game On in the Cloud

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 by

Do you play mobile games on your smartphone or tablet? What about on your computer? And do you still put in a CD or DVD to play them? Or do you download an app to play? Have you ever tried an online game within Facebook? And what about on your game console? As bandwidth has increased and technology has evolved, more and more of these gaming experiences are being served from the cloud. Online gaming has transcended physical media like CDs, DVDs, and installed applications and moved to virtual environments based on Flash, HTML5, or other streamed or in-browser technologies.

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According to investment bank Digi-Capital, mobile games account for 42 percent of all new game investments. If money trails are any indication of success, we should watch to see where the banks are investing. In December 2012, Forbes reported that US video game sales dropped 25 percent in the month of October 2012, falling from $1 billion to $775.5 million. Conversely, general spending on mobile and social games rose 7 percent to $7.24 billion in 2011…and that was a few years ago!

Just take a look at some of the games listed in this .NET article, “The top 10 HTML5 games of 2012.” It’s very impressive that the underlying technology is completely browser-based and that these games are absolutely interactive and full-featured. Just for fun, I decided to see how many of these HTML5 games are cloud-hosted. (Remember though, because HTML5 is in-browser code, it doesn’t matter that much if it is cloud or traditionally hosted.) Here’s what I discovered:

  • “A Grain of Truth” – shared hosting
  • “Dune 2 Online” – colocation
  • “Cut the Rope” – cloud/dedicated/custom hosting
  • “Hex GL” – shared/dedicated hosting
  • “Lux Ahoy” – cloud/dedicated hosting
  • “D.E.M.O.” – cloud hosting
  • “BananaBread” – telco hosting
  • “Save the Day” – cloud hosting
  • “Bombermine” – shared hosting
  • “BrowserQuest” – ISP/VPS/Web hosting

As you can see, there’s quite a mixture of hosting provider types, ranging from shared to large-scale ISP/telco to cloud. The physical requirements for these types of HTML5 games rely mainly on the end user and the capabilities of the specific device. However, if any of these HTML5 games were to take off in popularity, the game owner would need to scale its infrastructure to handle the increased demand.

(more…) «Get Your Game On in the Cloud»

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Friday, May 31st, 2013 by

When cloud computing first emerged, IT analysts had mixed feelings about the hosted services, unsure if they would be embraced or disregarded in the enterprise. Today, experts understand that the cloud now plays a central role in the ongoing development of the business world, providing decision-makers and employees with innovative solutions for growth and performance improvements.

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations

Companies are using a mix of different cloud models, including Platform, Software and Infrastructure as a Service, all with positive results. In fact, a recent CA Technologies survey of IT decision-makers who have been using the cloud for at least a year found that the benefits of using the hosted solutions are exceeding many respondents’ expectations.

Many executives highlighted the cost-saving advantages of the cloud. This is because the ongoing use of the cloud is allowing decision-makers to become more familiar with the technology and, as a result, establish new goals and objectives. “Cost is often considered an early benefit – or even a required result – in order for IT teams to justify moving in the direction of the cloud,” said John Michelsen, chief technology officer of CA Technologies. “Once they show that cloud computing improves the bottom line, they can shift their focus to innovation and other objectives, such as increased performance and enhanced security.”

Who is using the cloud?
CA Technologies found several unique distinctions between organizations planning to invest more in cloud servers and other solutions within the next year and firms that are still on the fence. First, businesses that have been using the cloud for four or more years are roughly six times as likely to spend more money on the hosted services in 2013 than their counterparts that are relatively newer to the environment. This suggests that companies that have done more than just tested the water are more comfortable with the cloud and are experiencing greater results.

Second, the study found that organizations in the United States are more likely to invest in the cloud this year than businesses in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Benelux. In fact, 48 percent of U.S. respondents stated they plan to up cloud spending by up to 30 percent, while another 17 percent will invest even more. This is a stark contrast between the 42 percent and 4 percent, respectively, of European IT decision-makers.

(more…) «Cloud opportunities, benefits exceed global expectations»

Cloud Migration: Whatever You Do, Have a Plan

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 by

Every company adopting public cloud computing as part of its IT service delivery strategy is faced with the decision of which applications to migrate to the cloud and how. Some common cloud migration options we discuss with customers include:

  • Migrating to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider
  • Rebuilding an existing application in the cloud
  • Migrating an existing application “as is” to the cloud

Determining the right option depends on your business objectives and the application itself. Each option has benefits and drawbacks, but a business will often decide on an approach without adequately researching a comprehensive migration strategy. And without ample planning and consideration, the cost and complexity of migrating these applications can lead to delayed cloud projects that are over budget.

Cloud Migration - have a plan

Migrating to SaaS

For a new business looking for application services at a low up-front cost, a SaaS application is often a “no brainer.” However, when a business decides to migrate from an existing on-premise application to a new SaaS application, things get more complicated. There are data migrations to consider, transition time and labor, lost customizations, training, and “sunk costs” that can’t be recovered to factor in. Many SaaS vendors offer tools and services to help customers migrate data from legacy applications to the new SaaS application, but it’s important to research the migration process thoroughly before making a purchasing decision, especially if you’ve invested a lot of time in customizations or IT service integration.

Depending on the application and the availability of migration tools to assist in the migration, these factors can offset some of the gains of SaaS. Plus, the business risks additional time and expense if unforeseen migration challenges arise along the way. Businesses considering moving to SaaS should also consider what I call “SaaS in a box” or “SaaS-lite” applications. These applications are typically offered by vendors as part of a partner program or ecosystem like the GoGrid Exchange and deliver some SaaS benefits with more customer control. These templates can also be used to simplify the migration of an existing on-premise application to the cloud. (more…) «Cloud Migration: Whatever You Do, Have a Plan»