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Connecting Cloud Computing to an Agile Business Model

How does your business meet the constantly changing needs of your customers? If you have a plan in place to respond quickly and change the way you do business to meet new developments in the marketplace, you have what is known as an agile business model. Agile businesses have a leg up on the competition because they can get customers what they want faster, no matter how their needs change. Cloud computing can play a role in this model, and here's how.


The Essentials of an Agile Enterprise

Before we go any further, it's important to note what the essentials of an agile enterprise are. An agile business keeps tabs on all essential operations and compares them to the industry standards as they develop. It also examines trends so it can effectively predict troubles that might be coming up in the future. The goal behind all of this analysis is to make a predictive business model that can adjust to any issues as necessary. For example, a book publisher with an agile business model would keep tabs on publishing trends, sales comparisons between eBooks and traditional formats, and the price of paper. When something changes such as paper costs increasing, they are already well-situated to handle it.

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Evaluating your Cloud Security

So you’ve made the move to cloud computing, but you’re hearing all sorts of rumbles about security issues. What do you do? Because cloud storage involves making access to the information you’re storing easier for employees on the goal and because most people who use cloud computing go through a third-party managed services provider, there is always a concern about data security. To make sure your information is secure, follow these tips when getting onto the cloud.


Create an Evaluation System for your Assets

One common mistake that a lot of people make is placing all their assets on a cloud database or, even worse, making arbitrary decisions as to what gets ported over and what stays on in-house storage devices. The better way of handling this situation is to evaluate your data and place a value on what is absolutely needed and what information should remain carefully guarded for confidentiality reasons. This will allow you to port over the assets that you have a lower value on to cloud storage so you can save space on your business network while also making sure that those items that should absolutely remain under your control do so. It also gives you a guideline to follow in future storage decisions.

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Recent Changes in the Cloud Computing World

The month of March 2014 may well go down as a significant one in the development of cloud technology. Major companies like Amazon, Cisco, and Microsoft made some big announcements, and Amazon.com made some moves as well. Here’s a summary of some of the major changes in the remote computing world that have occurred recently, as well as an in-depth look at what those changes might mean for your business in the present and the future.


Google’s Price Drop

In a bid to compete with Amazon Web Services, Google slashed prices for its cloud storage options across the board. Some of these reductions were as steep as 85%. At the same time, the search engine giant is trying to make its cloud options more appealing to businesses by consolidating their services into one large comprehensive product. The goal of this offering is to allow people to use the cloud for business use, personal entertainment, or simple file storage, depending on their needs and desires. This is a major coup for Google, but it seems like it’s only a matter of time until Amazon responds with a price decrease of its own. The good news is that the consumer wins during such a competition.

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Cloud Computing Trends to Expect in 2014

The new year has arrived, and with it brings a whole new wave of technology. Cloud computing and other remote tools, which became dominant in 2013, will continue to develop in 2014. With more people familiar with those tools and further expansion of resources, you can expect some substantial changes and improvements as the year moves forward. Some new trends that you can expect to see in 2014 are detailed below.


More Knowledge Brings More Customization

Now that cloud technology has become established among businesses, people have begun finding ways to customize their managed services. This means that there will likely be an increased amount of hybrid services that combine public and private deployments. As a whole, the market might see some fragmentation as more and more customers begin to avoid providers who offer generic, packaged services, instead opting for providers that offer customization options. If you are planning to take advantage of cloud computing in 2014, you should make a laundry list of sorts of what you want from the service. This will allow you to find somebody who is able to cater to your specific business needs.

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Should you Make the Move to Cloud Computing?

Sometimes, having your company’s head in the clouds can be a good thing. Cloud computing is becoming more and more favored by small businesses thanks to its ability to decrease the amount of on-site paperwork and hardware needed. It can also provide businesses with more resources than their income might suggest. There are potential pitfalls when it comes to cloud computing, though, so the big question is: do you want it for your business?


Getting on the Cloud

Using cloud computing usually involves contacting a third party organization that can provide managed services for your business needs. You will select a service plan, sign a contract, and then provide that third party with the documents and software that you intend to store on the cloud. Small businesses typically choose these services as a way of providing them with the analytics data, storage capacity, and software assistance that larger companies have but which are otherwise not possible due to a lack of financial capital. You do need to be aware that cloud computing isn’t a cure-all solution for small businesses, though. Anytime you involve a third party in your business, there will be complications.

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Potential Storms on the Cloud

Cloud computing, the delivery of computer hardware and software services over the internet, is being hailed as THE solution for many business IT challenges. There are many advantages to Cloud computing, including data storage, mobile access, potential savings in system hardware and more. However, there are many disadvantages to Cloud computing as well. Depending on your needs, the best solution for your business may be to stick with a more traditional product delivery. Before you throw caution to the winds and dedicate your IT needs to the Cloud, it is important to understand the weaknesses of the Cloud and how these may affect your business.

Weather Delays and Storm Outages

The first link in your connection to the Cloud relies on your Internet service. The second link in your connection to the Cloud relies on the servers of your Cloud service provider. Therefore, one of the biggest weaknesses of the cloud is the inevitability of a Cloud server going down or your internet connection failing. It’s really not a matter of “if” it will happen, because it will. Instead, you must focus your concern on how often will it happen. In both cases, you will not be able to access the programs, processes and information that are delivered over the Cloud. This will result in interruptions that can easily translate into lost revenues, employee downtime, project delays, and other cost increasing outcomes.

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