Computer schools have already changed up their approach to teaching cloud computing, preparing future IT professionals to manage both virtual and physical systems. While managing cloud services requires a more complex approach, distributed computing promises a revolution in productivity and security for most businesses.
1. Cloud computing keeps your team in sync
Only a few years ago, “POP” email dominated corporate workstations. That system worked fine when you only had one desktop computer keeping track of your communication. Today, your team needs to see the same information on their tablet devices and smartphones as they do on laptops or desktops. SaaS solutions from Microsoft, Google, IBM and others can ensure that everyone’s in the loop and nobody’s wasting time reading the same message twice.
2. Cloud computing lets your team share knowledge
Your team collects information every minute, from customers in the field, on the phone, and at your own locations. Instead of letting that knowledge bottleneck at a single point of entry, cloud-based customer relationship management and business intelligence tools unlock the potential for your team to act on that data. Solutions from Salesforce.com, IBM SmartCloud, Intacct, and NetSuite offer powerful tools that teams can use to build deal pipelines while resolving customer service issues efficiently.
3. Cloud distribution lets your information scale
Your PR team will love it when Pete Cashmore and John Gruber link to your company’s latest blog post. Your IT team will wish they were back at their computer schools. A crush of positive traffic can grind even the fastest web server to a halt, leading to even more trouble at companies that have bundled contacts, mail, and calendars on the same hardware as their websites.
Now, imagine what “hacktivists” and criminals can do with a denial of service attack, pinging your network with millions of requests every minute. Companies like Akamai and Rackspace can absorb heavy traffic bursts without breaking a sweat.
4. Cloud services centralize your security
The call you never want to get usually comes in the middle of the night: a laptop containing your entire customer database has gone missing. Before cloud computing, you’d have spent the next week salvaging your relationships. Instead, you can issue a single “wipe” command that erases sensitive data from a remote device’s storage.
If your team uses tools from companies like nivio or Terremark, you won’t even have to do that — virtualized desktops store files in the cloud, not locally. Single sign-on credentials ensure that your IT department can maintain compliance, while giving your team just a single password to remember. Fast deployment also means your team won’t feel like they’re sitting through IT certification courses just to get email on a new device.
5. Cloud computing maximizes your IT budget
Virtualizing the desktop changes the way you’ll buy software and hardware from now on. On-the-fly instances let you may for just the software you’re using right now. Scale up or down with seasonal sales and hiring cycles, without wasting money on permanent seat licenses.
With remove servers handling more of the heavy lifting, you can invest in lighter, less expensive client systems. Ultrabooks and tablet devices look sleek and preserve battery life in the field, while making upgrades and equipment swaps as easy as entering a username and password.
Yes, cloud computing means letting go of being able to touch or even hug your traditional server. Giving that up means getting the benefits of helping your team compete with the fastest, most secure tools on the market.
Citations: Saas Solutions
About the Author: Ivan Tully has worked in IT sales, project management, and development for over a decade. He’s got NDAs from companies on both coasts, yet still manages to write about startups and software. He teaches computer training courses on web application development and mobile device deployment and is currently researching computer schools for his next IT adventure.