Behind the Hype: Tangible Benefits of Cloud Computing may be Silver Lining.

No doubt, there’s certainly a lot of hyped-up buzz terms and frenzied discussion about “Cloud Computing” out there these days.  There’s an equal amount of talk on the drawbacks of Cloud Computing as well.

October 17, 2012

Cloud Ready.  SaaS.  PaaS.  IaaS. Big Data…

No doubt, there’s certainly a lot of hyped-up buzz terms and frenzied discussion about “Cloud Computing” out there these days.  There’s an equal amount of talk on the drawbacks of Cloud Computing as well. So how can you decipher between what’s considered “hype,” and what is the true “add value” of Cloud Computing?

Let’s first take a look at the most compelling “potential” benefits to consider when looking to add cloud services to your business infrastructure:

  1. Scalability. When it comes to data storage space and sheer computing horse-power, Cloud Computing allows a company to expand or reduce IT resources depending on the changing needs of the business. This brings us to the next benefit…
  2. Reduced IT costs. With cloud computing, you only pay for what you use.  Companies looking to streamline their overall IT expenses can reduce the need to invest in certain hardware, software, network management, etc.
  3. Automatic Upgrading & Updates. As part of the services provided, the cloud vendor will automatically keep you current on the latest version of the software you are working with.  Typically, your monthly or annual fees will reflect these costs.  Automatic updates can also reduce in-house implementation costs for the user.
  4. Accessibility. Having access to information and applications from anywhere – and from multiple locations is one of the top reasons companies are looking to cloud computing as a viable tool to save money and increase revenue growth.  Accessibility is especially valuable when it comes to business globalization and outsourcing.

So is Cloud Computing right for your business? As we’ve reviewed, there are tangible benefits to Cloud Computing to consider.  It really depends on what specific objectives you are looking to accomplish by adding “cloud services” to either pair down or augment or your company’s IT resources.

With smaller firms, a great deal of time can be spent trying to troubleshoot technical issues.  As briefly reviewed in #3 above – cloud computing can be of benefit in reducing the time and energy it takes IT in-house to do so.  Mid-sized companies can also benefit from reducing the amount of time spent on IT issues.  In addition, for both small and mid-sized companies, the “IT relief” cloud computing can offer will in most cases free up a company’s employee resources to spend more time on increasing sales and profits.  No matter what the company’s size, large, medium or small, it is important to look at cloud computing from a strategic, individualized approach, and keep in mind that the tangible “value” from working in the cloud is all about providing a company with the ability to optimize resources.  It’s important to identify the need first, and based on the need, build a “cloud strategy” accordingly.

The Not-So-Pretty Side of  “Computing in the Cloud.” Below are the 2 main identified risks or issues of Cloud Computing:

The Need for Constant Internet Connectivity. Cloud Computing completely relies on a stable and secure Internet connection, therefore, cloud services are not an option for businesses in rural locations or patchy internet service areas. Also, if the Internet connection has security or reliability issues, cloud computing will create problems with data recovery and operational issues.

Data Storage Security – The cloud services industry is not currently regulated, meaning, there are no laws or a blanket code of ethics protecting data currently stored in the cloud from hackers or theft, with the exception of the contract between the cloud services company and the company using these services.  This is why it is important to work with a cloud service company and people you trust.  Talking with a company’s current clients and references is also a good way to determine how a cloud service company operates as it relates to keeping its clients’ data secure.  Another recommendation by industry experts is to look to cloud computing services for “non-mission critical applications, such as file sharing, archiving and backup.”

It’s interesting to note that in certain circumstances like “disaster management,” a company’s data can “virtually” be safer if it is secured in “cloud hosted” data centers versus only with an on-location server.  This translates into a company’s ability to retrieve ‘mission-critical” data quicker, as well as get back on track after a disaster sooner – with less effort, time and money spent.

Connect with trusted and proven experts. Decision Research Corporation’s insurance rating and policy administration software products and services are available in the “cloud.”  DRC has successfully created private “cloud” networks for clients, as well as customizes a hybrid of SaaS and in-house services to meet individual client’s software and support needs.  DRC welcomes the opportunity to discuss “cloud computing” with you to determine how your business can benefit most from the array of innovative insurance software rating and policy processing products and services we offer – in the cloud…or on-premise.

About DRC
DRC is a highly experienced and trusted solution provider to the P&C insurance industry for Personal, Commercial, and Specialty Lines.  DRC consistently delivers and successfully implements software products to support a wide range of P&C insurance companies. DRC’s solutions are in production at small startups to clients with written premium in excess of $5 Billion. Whether the need is Rating, Policy, Administration, Claims, Billing, clients can be confident that when choosing DRC they will receive market-leading solutions with unrivaled implementation expertise. For more information about DRC, visit:  www.DecisionResearch.com.

For more information on DRC’s people, products, and services please contact:
Rick Young
(808) 949-8316 ext. 120

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