In case you missed the news, the European Union announced a new strategy on September 27th to drive European business and government productivity via cloud computing.
Cloud computing refers to an environment, where your data and the applications software reside on a service provider’s servers on the internet and you can access and use them with a suitable device.
The trend is towards running complete applications using cloud-based services. This is very practical for small businesses like ours – but also large corporations, where getting new applications up and running often takes considerable effort due to internal procedures and other factors that can make such large corporations slow to react…
Properly designed Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions – meaning they are run in the cloud – are also priced in such a flexible way that the service or application can be implemented in a single business unit or for a limited set of your products or services that you offer first – and then taken into wider use once you are ready for it. Paying a monthly fee for such a service is certainly a valid alternative to obtaining a software license for the application, potentially a database software license and of course some server hardware to run all this on. Not to mention all the processes and personnel to keep your application up and running and your data backed up.
Is cloud computing safe and secure? Coming back to the EU, the new strategy lists actions that are designed to provide users with access to a more standardised technology environment, EU-wide certification schemes for trustworthy cloud providers and also model cloud computing contract terms that are “safe and fair”, including Service Level Agreements.
Large organisations will of course involve their IT departments into the implementation of such services to ensure that any integration to existing systems is done properly. Again, a properly designed SaaS application will readily support straightforward integration to solutions like enterprise resource planning systems from market-leading vendors.