The cloud doesn’t really change what the users can do; it changes the speed at which they can do it and where it can be done from. Some real life lessons can be learnt from examples of companies like Etsy, an e-commerce company selling its handmade goods online; uses cloud based computing to analyze data from approximately 1 billion monthly views of the website and use this information to create product recommendations. The cost flexibility afforded through cloud provides this company the access to tools and computing power that might be affordable only to large retailers. Another example is Active video , creator of cloud TV, which is a cloud based platform that combines content from –web,tv,mobile, social , video-on-demand on to any video screen .They use the content stored and processed in the network cloud to significantly expand the reach and availability of web based experience.
In the middle east, companies like Etisalat intend to bring managed security services to the cloud computing platform. This SaaS(software as a Service) will provide high performance, reduced risk, lower cost and simplified IT Administration. Another success story is Bayt.com (a job site in the middle east) who has adopted a cloud solution for global financial management and reporting to consolidate financial activities of its 13 subsidiaries in 10 countries across the middle east and North Africa (MENA).
Cloud based solutions have been designed for companies of all sizes and across all industries. Here are some tips to remember while selecting a cloud solution:
Service quality– Ensure that the cloud provider offers an arrangement which guarantee a contractual Service Level Agreement (SLA) with penalties.
Deployment model– There are 4 types of deployment models such as
Private: The cloud infrastructure is operated solely for an organization. It may be managed by the organization or a third party and may exist on premise or off premise.
Public: The cloud infrastructure is made available to the general public or a large industry group and is owned by an organization selling cloud services.
Hybrid: The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability
Community cloud: The cloud infrastructure is shared by several organizations and supports a specific community that has shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be managed by the organizations or a third party and may exist on premise or off premise.
If the scalability requirements are high and dynamic in nature, the organization may have to turn to a public cloud provider. If however peak in usage are predictable, the private cloud may still be a good option. It is to be expected though, that due to easier regulation and more community clouds coming up hybrid models will be more prevalent in the next few years.
Security and compliance- Community clouds can be a good option for sectors such as banking, healthcare and government where security is of utmost importance.