RECENTLY we learned that three of the world’s largest business software providers have invested billions of dollars in cloud computing . The announcement was accompanied by heady predictions about the likely penetration of ‘the cloud’ in the years to come. Senior vice-president of IBM Global Technology Services Erich Clementi offered one of the more sober estimates, expecting industry-wide cloud computing to account for about $250bn out of a total $3.5tn in IT spending by 2015.
While Clementi sees a future in which on-premise systems and the cloud complement each other, for others, the more evangelical of the cloud-computing congregation, the news will augur the inevitable demise of in-house business computing. Tomorrow’s firms will have portals, they say; the cloud will see to everything else. The old, cumbersome infrastructure of office computer systems will then seem as quaint as the typewriter is to us.
This kind of inflationary language generates as much anxiety as it does inspiration among real world business customers, for whom computing is a means to an end rather than the end itself. What, they ask, will become of the on-premise systems we invested so much money in if we move over to cloud-based solutions? Those bespoke systems expensively designed specifically for us? And what about the security of our data? Now, we have it here, under our nose. Can we be sure that it will be safe floating up there in the cloud? Won’t our data be lost, or worse, stolen?
There are plenty of anti-cloud reactionaries out there, perhaps with an investment in technologies threatened with obsolescence by the cloud, who are fanning the flames, who have an interest in business anxiety over the cloud.
But these kinds of objections get the cloud wrong, on all counts, and their willingness to demonize the cloud, misses all its potential.
The truth is that the cloud is an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary development. Computer scientists have long understood the potentiality of the cloud, even before the ‘cloud’ was invented. They knew that, like heads, ten, a hundred, a thousand linked computers are better than one.
The cloud takes advantage of this fact, and makes it possible for many of the services that businesses today rely on their on-premise systems for to be cheaply provisioned. The result should be many kinds of savings that free up a company to do what it is in business to do – develop and sell its own unique product or service.
The cloud will not do away with in-house computing – IT development officers your jobs are secure! But the cloud will change them. The cloud will substitute for existing hardware leading to new bespoke systems and packages on cloud-based hardware. A new relationship will emerge between on-premise systems and cloud.
WorkMobile, a distinctive, flexible product, provides solutions for the range of customers. All our clients are looking to free themselves, inexpensively, from the burden of paper forms whilst also seeking to reduce the time they spend on the ‘on premise’ processing and storage of the data they capture. Our ‘WorkMobile in a box’ solution does the job for these customers. We visit the business and install WorkMobile on their system customized to their needs, made-over to fit their brand image, to expedite their data capture requirements.
WorkMobile customers need not worry about security. All data is held in our secure facility. Data is transmitted to and from our servers using industry standard encryption with asymmetrically encrypted key exchange.
The unique selling point of WorkMobile can be summed up like this: WorkMobile is an ‘off the shelf’ multi-tenanted, generic cloud solution that the business itself can turn into a fully bespoke solution, or which we at eSAY can turn into that bespoke solution for the business. It thus combines the virtues of the tailor-made standard ‘on premise’ system with the simplicity of the downloadable, inexpensive app. And there is no loss of uniqueness. Forms, for example, can be customized to replicate company brand features.
WorkMobile offers the best of both worlds – the old and the new – in the interests of business customers across the board.
References: Paul Taylor, ‘The Cloud Builds up Steam’, Financial Times, June 6 2013