Cloud computing a valuable resource, expert says

    Cloud computing is changing the ways companies do business and many industry experts believe the technology is a valuable option for cash-strapped organizations. In a recent interview with SmartBusiness, Mike Maloney, vice president of a leading communications vendor, highlighted the advantages of the cloud.

    "Until the advent of the cloud, computing tasks were not possible without the application of software on a computer," Maloney explained to the news source. "You bought a license, installed the application and then used the program. With the development of local area networks, or LANs, the client-server model of computing was born, offering an opportunity to begin sharing resources."

    The expert told SmartBusiness that successful cloud deployments offer companies many benefits, especially in terms of value. For businesses undergoing significant IT changes or expansion, cloud computing addresses these needs more effectively than other solutions, thanks to its scalability. By leveraging this flexibility, organizations can add new users and lower operating costs.

    While the benefits of cloud computing are clear, companies still have to devote resources for their network infrastructure to ensure proper uptime and system reliability are present, according to Maloney.

    "For any company looking to move to the cloud, it’s important to note that you are transferring new operating risk and requirements on to your network," Maloney told SmartBusiness. "Upon moving to the cloud, 100 percent of your application has to travel the WAN every time users want to access it."

    Cloud computing supports unified communications

    Cloud computing is having a positive impact on many IT solutions, especially unified communications. By combining the two platforms, businesses can innovate how their employees collaborate through multiple channels like video conferencing and instant messaging, among others, through the internet.

    A survey conducted by IT nonprofit CompTIA found that a majority of organizations are implementing these technologies. Eighty-five percent of businesses polled by the firm said they plan to invest in communication and collaboration solutions to keep pace with competitors. Another 80 percent of respondents believe unified communications is a valuable resource. Seventy percent of participants are considering the cloud to support their UC deployments.

    CompTIA noted that some challenges remain regarding the adoption of unified communications. Employees generally only use those tools they are most comfortable with, rather than all technology options available to them.

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