What is the cloud?  A simple question, but not with a clear answer.  There is an amazing amount of confusion about what the cloud is.  Even if you do a Google search on it, most of what you will indicates it is a metaphor for the internet, or that it is a hosted solutions, or even that it is just a subscription service.

Ultimately, it depends a little on how you look at it.  Salesforce.com was a definite catalyst from the perspective of a SAAS (Software As A Solution) cloud architecture and more of the perspective in this article.  Granted now everything lives in the cloud because it is hip, but some of us remember when it was the scourge of IT heads who we thought might never “get it”.

These three areas are taken from the perspective of a business user who wants a solution that focuses on running a business process on a computer system without dealing with networking and hardware past having a computer and an internet connection, ideally with as little “code” as possible to get real stuff done.

1) What the cloud is

  • Accessible from any internet connection
    • May have offline synchronization
  • Requires no hardware configuration or management
  • Allows for user configuration of platform
    • Creation of new data elements and objects or tables
    • Manipulation of User interface
    • Code enabled for advanced user configuration
  • Complete security enablement
    • Roles
    • Profiles
    • Read / Write / Edit / Delete Configurations
      • Field Level
      • User Interface
      • Object / Table

2) What the cloud is NOT

  • A client / server solution with custom installed software on a local server accessed by dummy terminals
  • A local computer with a custom installed solution that synchronizes with a central or other computers
  • A local computer with all software and data stored locally

3) Primary Benefits of the Cloud

  • Getting new development and major functionality updates / upgrades even if you have dramatically changed the system
    • Companies spend massive amounts of money on customizing only to lose it with upgrades or not be able to stay current on platforms because of their customizations constantly! (welcome to the world of SAP and Great Plains implementations, if you have not experienced this pain yourself ask around and you will hear the massive budgets or limitations quickly)
  • Latest security updates occurring regularly
  • Crowd sourcing best practices with other users
  • Rich ecosystem of suppliers building innovative solutions on the backbone infrastructure
  • Much lower cost and higher uptime by having no special hardware to manage
  • Flexibility for any size business to stay ahead of competitors
  • Predictable budgeting and a lower overall cost of ownership versus continuous increasing capability

Everyone has their own perspective on what the cloud is, and if you want to learn more about how to get a full quote to cash and inventory management system in the cloud with high quality and low cost, contact Legendary Supply Chain today.  You will see how we are making the cloud real one customer at a time by treating your business like it is our business with solutions that work for you and your team.

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