The sky is overcast with clouds of a different kind but the Sun is shining brighter than ever. It is the IT cloud that brings hopes of improved efficiency and productivity while reducing costs for not just governments and institutions; enterprises and banks but also for students and small one man business shows. Plain and simple, the cloud allows you to do what only large enterprises could do at one time: access data and services from any time on any device from any where and work collaboratively or interact; use any app and run any software.
The cloud is indispensable and everyone, including governments, have seen the writing on the wall. Take for instance the US federal government. Its spending on IT is over $ 80 billion with 10000 systems spread over data centers. The government plans to reduce its data centers by about 40% and migrate to the cloud and save billions in the process. Educational institutions are transitioning to the cloud. Already they have CRM systems in place and learning management systems (LMS) based in cloud are following, transforming the way students and professors study, teach and work. Students can access courses and study materials; professors can teach through the cloud in virtual classrooms, conduct tests and evaluate. Over 50% of universities in the US plan to go the LMS way in the next two years to save on costs and improve all round efficiencies. The healthcare sector is another area where IT has significantly transformed the scenario. Using tablets and phones, doctors and medical staff can enter data, call up patient records, save themselves labour and time while delivering better, more affordable services when the cloud becomes central to their operations.
The small entrepreneur running a one man show can hardly afford sophisticated CRM solutions or vendor management, inventory, accounting and billing that larger enterprises enjoy. However, clouds introduce a quantum shift, changing the perspective and one man can now have countrywide or even global operations and do it much better with cloud forming a solid support structure.
As for large enterprises, they do have to spend a lot on hardware, software development and people to manage and run their IT operations. It is not just money; it is human resource also that could otherwise be gainfully employed in more productive operations. With a shift to the cloud environment businesses cut down on investments in hardware, personnel, application development and maintenance. The cloud even frees up office spaces. Employees need not work from their desks. People can work collaboratively, stay in touch with those who matter and get things done faster, at lower cost and do it much more easily.
That the cloud Service Provide productivity and enhances efficiency is unquestioned. The question only remains as to when to adopt it. The sooner the better for you.