What is the cloud? The Cloud is Both a Tool and a Strategy
Everyday you hear or see an advertisement about “The Cloud”. Experts agree that Cloud Computing is the future of the IT industry. But here is the thing, for all the buzz of the term, what does The Cloud even mean?
If you were to ask 10 different people what does it mean, you would probably get 10 different answers. It has multiple meanings to different people. Typically, the term in used in about 3 different ways.
First, it is used to indicate offsite storage and file sharing. Tools like Dropbox and One Drive along with offsite backup solutions are typical of this definition of The Cloud.
Second. it can be used to indicate Remote Desktop services. Traditional tools like Citrix and Terminal Services are typical of this definition of The Cloud. Basically your applications are run on a remote server and only screens are sent back to your workstation.
Third, it can be used to indicate applications that were developed to run in a web browser. Acumatica and the Dynamics GP Web client are prime example of this.
The deployment method can also vary greatly. You can deploy in the cloud using outsourced IT management, often referred to as hosting. You can deploy on rented resources and your own IT management can manage those resource.
Frequently the ownership of the software license is implied in the term. Typically people think of the cloud as rental software vs. purchase software. Office 365 is a great example of rental. BUT, purchased software can be deployed in The Cloud. The rental approach may benefit your financial statements as typically monthly fees can be expenses and not capitalized as an asset. Both Acumatica and Dynamics GP can be either rented or purchased. Using a very broad brush, there is a two year breakeven or payback when considering rent vs. buy.
The bottom-line is that The Cloud is an option to consider as your think about what your requirements are and what you are trying to achieve. There are advantages and disadvantages in several aspects of the decision to incorporate The Cloud as part of your overall IT and Financial strategy.
All of our Products and Services can be deployed in The Cloud or On Premise.
Find out more about our cloud offerings at PCG2GO