Posts Tagged ‘Cloud’
Its really hard not to notice the flood of press releases from leading WCM vendors that have launched their new ‘cloud’ offering, most recently Sitefinity adding cloud to their list of software features and benefits. Why is the Cloud so great? Does the hype live up to expectations?
To keep in-step with the ever-increasing number of organizations looking to leverage cloud platforms, vendors such as Alterian, Clickability, CrownPeak, EPiServer, Kentico, Open Text, Sitecore, Sitefinity and SpringCM have all launched cloud compatibile versions of their WCM software.
So, why is everyone’s head is in the clouds?
The workplace has exploded beyond the traditional boundaries of the office walls. Today’s workforce is more mobile than ever before, and companies are reevaluating the office cubicle and 9-to-5 workday model in favor of a more cost effective virtual workforce. Consequently, workers need to be able to access and engage with their crucial business content across devices and applications. With web-based content management, files are accessible on multiple devices, and open APIs make it easy to integrate cloud content management solutions with other web-based business applications – such as salesforce.com or Google Apps.
Cloud solutions are more cost effective on a per-user basis, go live faster, update seamlessly and frequently, and carry far less risk with implementation and execution. We’ve all heard stories about six-or-seven-figure technology purchases that never got off the ground or were only implemented narrowly. The on-demand nature of cloud and SaaS systems make such events nearly risk-free in terms of time and money. And cloud platforms will only get more affordable as vendors benefit from immense economies of scale as their business grows, and pass along these cost savings to the customer.
Across all generations, today’s knowledge workers are significantly more web savvy than ever before, but this evolution has largely been driven by consumer technologies. Consumer applications like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook are fast, intuitive, and don’t require anything extra to get started. Today’s workers, especially those who grew up using these consumer tools, require software that helps them get their job done with the simplicity and usability of the internet. There’s a fundamental difference between giving your employees software that they want to use rather than software that they have to use.
The notion of moving any large data repository to a cloud computing infrastructure still makes many CIOs and IT managers nervous, but it’s already proving to be the wave of the future for WCM systems. Forrester Research recently released its report, which projects the size of the world market for cloud service will expand from $40.7 billion in 2011 to greater than $241 billion in 2020. As different cloud service providers emerge, if they emerge, users will have a variety of service options and solution configurations, along with varying fees for service as the providers compete for efficiency.
So, does the hype live up to expectations? The cloud certainly offers clear advantages, but there are trade-offs and you need to understand them before you make any infrastructure decisions.