contracts, or complex licencing structure to fathom out. To help your business moveacross, you may want to enlist some external expertise.
Major Kiwi organisations are moving to embrace SaaS. These include New ZealandPost as well as the Universities of Auckland and Waikato.They're all using Google Apps, which is a suite of office, collaboration and web siteapplications. Should an Internet connection get interrupted for a period (note the brief Google outage on 2 September), staff can even carry on working in an offline scenario.
Example 2 - Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Your business employs external software developers to create a new web browser-basedapplication, which your workforce will be able to securely access via the Internet whetherin the office, or working from home. Your business needs to run this application on a
specific technology platform, such as Microsoft’s .Net.
Embracing the Cloud
Instead of purchasing and installing new production/backup servers, technologyframework and database instance, your business looks to utilise a cloud-based Platformas a Service resource.Your business pays a monthly subscription to utilise the computing platform which hostsand delivers the new application. The computing resource scales according to demand,so if your headcount increases by 25% over the next few months, you can easily allocatemore computing resource, literally at the click of a mouse. You avoid the worry of needing to buy/install a hard drive (say), how to install and maintain the technologyframework or how to back up data. That's all now the responsibility of the PaaSprovider.
One example of a Kiwi company utilising PaaS is Christchurch-based Trineo,founded by
Daniel Fowlie. Using PaaS, Trineo is developing LegalSoftOnline.com - an online practicemanagement tool for legal firms. LegalSoftOnline.com is based upon a PaaS solutioncalled force.com. The force.com PaaS solution used by Trineo offers programmablebusiness logic and user interfaces, as well as customisable databases.
A new opportunity for innovation
There's more to the cloud than SaaS or PaaS. Embracing the 'cloud' is more than simplyan exercise in smart outsourcing.Cloud Computing is also about using technology - web standards, clever software codingand cloud service providers - to create new value for your business. By 'new value' Imean things like a competitive edge, innovation and even a new business model.
Pros and cons
I'm a realist/optimist more than a blind optimist. So let's clarify that Cloud Computing isnot perfect in every sense.In the cloud, data is stored somewhere else other than your office (maybe that happensalready). So while in the cloud your business would still own its data, the data would be