Cloud Computing Business Basics for PR Folks

When Illinois Institute of Technology’s School of Applied Technology, invited me to attend a cloud computing workshop, I was curious.

My business is on the smaller side. I don’t have an IT department that manages systems, but many of our clients do. So, it’s important for me to be aware of IT challenges that my clients might be facing.

Question: What kind of IT challenges does your business have?

Disclaimer/Disclosure: Yes, I did write my first computer program at 17. No, I am not an IT expert. But, I do love technology and communications – if you read this blog, I’m thinking you do, too.

Please share any cloud resources – or ask questions – in the comment box. Thanks!!!

Technology – Can’t Live is Living is Without You

Businesses need ways to store, process and access information. That’s where technology, in the way of servers, storage, software, systems and computers comes in.

As more and more businesses consider moving away from the “let’s own and manage IT all” to “let’s share services and outsource” mindset, cloud technology is taking off.

And, we have consumers to thank for that.

Not content to let someone else tell them how to make things happen, for the first time ever people are forcing business technology to adapt to what they want it to do on demand.

Apple Gives Everyone a Piece of the Cloud

Now that Apple’s announced the iCloud coming this fall, “cloud” is a term you’ll want to be more familiar with. Everybody will be talking about being in the cloud and so should you.

Watch Steve Jobs iCloud presentation at WWDC 2011.

Why You Want a Cloud – y Business

What small businesses need to know about cloud computing: what it is, how it works and when to put your business in the clouds.

Consumers upload, download and float images, documents, email and all kinds of content into clouds.

Clouds host and drive business technology where information is stored away from company servers where people/users freely customize with clicks, and are not dependent on developer’s code.

Businesses who operate in the cloud save IT expenses, energy output, equipment acquisition costs and even reduce their carbon footprint.

Question: Which of these benefits would prompt you to use the cloud in your business?

Cloud storage, apps and systems give users/people control on how they want to share, process and access data and content.

Leaders in the cloud industry include Google, Salesforce.com, SAP, NetSuite and Microsoft.

Cloud Computing Definition

Cloud application is the data processing technology in which computing resources and power are provided to the user as a Web service. Users have access to their own data, can control it and interact with the application. However they cannot carry out the administration of the servers, or access the infrastructure, operating system and software they work with. Source: wikipedia

Professor Ray Trygstad, Director of Information Technology, IIT School of Applied Technology, is the real expert on just about everything technology related. Here are a few notes from Ray’s presentation . . . and by the way, if you're looking for someone quote, he is the guy.

Cloud Computing Essential Characteristics

On-demand self service – there for users to call on demand without human intervention

Broad network access

Resource pooling – several hundred servers in a rack

Rapid elasticity – can grow very quickly

Measured service – you pay for what you use, computing as a utility – set prices, the more resources you use, the less you pay

Three Cloud Computing Service Models

Software as a Service [SaaS]

Use provider’s applications over a network

Platform as a Service [PaaS]

Deploy customer-creaded applications to a cloud

Infrastructure as a Service [IaaS]

Rent processing

Four Cloud Computing Deployment Models

Private – enterprise owned or leased, allow you to restructure how you manage data and build self-service

Community Cloud- shared infrastructure for specific community – groups of colleges

Public Cloud – sold to the public in a mega-scale infrastructure

Hybrid Cloud – composed of two or more clouds

Software Runs Your Cloud Business

Wait – clouds come with software? Yes – and some, like NetSuite, come with only one suite to run your business with back office accounting, ERP [definition of enterprise resource planning], sales forecasting and some ecommerce; everyone has to an ecommerce portal.

One of the beautiful things about this system is that you never have to worry about upgrades – they come with the suite and happen automatically. [I think I have that right.]

What to Watch For When You're Looking for Clouds

Look for clouds that allow for elasticity [you can up and downsize whenever], give you a comfortable level of security and come with built-in software upgrades – if you choose to go this route. Check to make sure the cloud is hosted in the US, if that's important to you.

Thanks to NewGen Business Solutions for sponsoring and organizing the program.

Three PR Business Cloud Resources

Dropbox

Online sharing tools for businesses – this is how we exchange large files with clients. When other people accept your invitation, you get credit for more storage. This post includes that type of link – go to dropbox.com if you would like to go direct.

Google Docs

Kind of like an internal shared serve, Google Docs lets you store, share and edit files – no more wondering which version is the most current. I also like the way you can tease text out of a pdf document.

Panda Cloud Protection

Found this one in the comments section. Haven’t tried it, but it has good reviews. Since one of the biggest concerns about clouds is security, I wanted to include one site on the list.

Cloud Computing for Business Resources

Top 10 Cloud Applications for Small Business

Benefits of gmail cloud computing for your business

Cloud Computing Blog by David Linthicum

Cloud Computing Deep Dive Report

InfoWorld's experts demystify one of the most critical trends in enterprise IT today and help you deploy it right.

Top 10 Songs About Clouds

Disclosure: IIT/SAT is on our client list. Thanks to Pam Stella for the invitation.

Image Credit: Eiffel Vegas by Barbara Rozgonyi from the BlogWorld collection.

 

 

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