Posted by: Mathu Nganga
chatter, Cloud 2.0, Facebook, force.com, Google, Google Buzz, IAAS, IT efficiencies, Microsoft, net books, Salesforce, Social media, Twitter
Creating real business value out of Cloud computing has been a major question for corporates, how to justify cloud computing to the business? Initially when cloud computing came up and the thoughts of moving your CRM, Email and Collaboration platforms online was all about cost and efficiency, reduce infrastructure costs, reduce energy costs, reduce License costs, reduce staffing cost, this were the key drivers for business to move some of their Legacy Applications as IT applications became more commodities-ed and SAAS (Software as a Service) was born. Any business exec could go online flush their credit cards and not need IT to come set him up, and you business was up and running, talk about efficiency. However this missed the mark as now serious business justifications needed to be made around cloud computing and not only just cost savings.
Then true to the Software industry, hardware was hot on the tail and creation of static state hard disk and Intel Atom processor creating better and more efficient ways to work online at low cost, net books moved laptops moved from US$ 1000 to US$ 300 on linux and battery life to die for- any business traveler would attest to the battery levels while on travel. Soon even software Giants like Microsoft were quickly falling in line and building more efficient OS on Windows 7 and extending XP sp3 to cope with demand, to run on intel atom processors and Laptops, serious efficiencies were being created, and work any where, collaborate anywhere was quickly catching fire.
Now with the cost cutting for business efficiency getting old, new business justifications needed to be put in place for users to move to the cloud. Software Giants and Cloud computing leaders have kept up pulse of innovation and the birth of PAAS (Platform as a Service) and IAAS(Infrastructure as a Service), and what we call cloud 2.0 has arrived. From Google to Microsoft PAAS is the new efficiency, Google pushing with its platform and enabling millions of corporate and organizations to build business Apps on Google App Engine and link them with Google Apps service on their cloud platform, Salesforce developed their own force.com and users could create their own applications and link them up with CRM, Microsoft and Windows Azure. IAAS is still evolving but its the new buzz word in the cloud with Microsoft Launching SQL Azure, reducing the need for users to look for infrastructure elsewhere but in the cloud, and Google coming up with its Big table to cater for database needs on the cloud.
When you look into the cloud their is only one reverberating business justification, what businesses have been trying to do on premise truly, but had not yet got it down truly and now can easily be done online. Business collaboration has been taken to a new high with developers being able to do greater integration of Applications without having businesses loose the proverbial tooth to implement them on their own. Microsoft has been slowly building towards this with its integration of Microsoft Office SharePoint 2007 and all its other applications i.e. Office Communicator Server, Project Server (Project Management), Dynamics. However collaboration has been taken to a new level. Take a look at Salesforce and its integration with Google Apps, Facebook, Twitter and its very own Chatter, giving businesses a variety of tools through which to bring business collaboration while creating more value for its customers and driving up revenue. Google has already gone into integrating all its online Apps from buzz to blogger into offerings on the Google Apps platform giving businesses even more avenues to collaborate and bring in more customers.
I believe this new wave of online application integration along with PAAS and IAAS are building a new class of cloud services, integrating business applications with social media applications to bring greater business efficiencies in collaboration is what is truly cloud 2.0.