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Expert Guidance for SMBs on Leveraging the Cloud

By April 5, 2011Article

Nearly 70 percent of software executives participating in Sand Hill’s 2011 Leaders in the Cloud survey (Click here to read the report) indicated that small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are the source of their current revenues. Moreover, 85 percent said that smaller companies with revenues less than $500 million account for the highest revenue today. The reasons why cloud adoption currently is faster and deeper among SMEs are many. The two most prominent characteristics driving them to the cloud are:

  • SMEs are less tied down by historical investments in infrastructure, massive data files, and organizational obstacles to adoption
  • SMEs’ lack access to a large reservoir of capital and resources

Despite the significant adoption rates, confusion still reigns around the term “cloud computing,” and many business executives have trouble distinguishing it from several other high-tech trends such as Web2.0, social media, virtualization, Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or simply Web-based applications like e-mail or collaboration applications. The countless incarnations of cloud strategy and vendor marketing and proprietary initiatives have combined to create a ubiquitous confusion in the marketplace.
The essential thing to understand about the cloud is that it is all about services, not about systems.
Taking a page out of the tremendous success and acceptance of the cloud in the consumer market, the business world is waking up to the possibilities of the cloud in the enterprise context. Millions of consumers use cloud computing when they send an e-mail using Yahoo! mail or Google mail, connect with friends on Facebook, post their pictures on Flickr, have a conference call on Skype, or watch a video on YouTube.
In all of these cases, the applications themselves and the data reside not on the user’s computer but are delivered as a service from the “cloud” and managed by the service provider. The user consumes the service anytime, anyplace, and using any device.
This is also occurring with mobile applications where all the data and the server applications are running in the cloud.
I believe business applications will begin to look more like Facebook and Gmail. This is the new model for enterprise applications: inherently collaborative in nature and accessible via the Web through a variety of end-user devices including PCs and mobile devices.
Join me on a series of educational Webinars, hosted by SAP, designed to help small and midsize business enterprises understand in simple business layman’s terms what the cloud really is, how it will benefit your business, and how you can make a profitable move into the cloud to meet your company’s business objectives and get ahead of your competition. Here are abstracts of the Webinars:
Beyond the Hot Air: What’s Really in those Clouds?
Q4 of 2010 saw a dramatic leap in the adoption of cloud computing, according to Sand Hill Group’s latest research data. More than 50 percent of business leaders we interviewed have implemented game-changing cloud solutions in the last six months. But despite accelerating cloud acceptance, the pervasive ambiguity around what the cloud really is has created mass confusion. Ask 20 people to define “cloud computing” and you’ll get 20 different answers. How do you define it? Join us to learn how small to midsize companies like yours are leveraging the cloud in their own business and industry context. Discover how to spot the distinguishing characteristics of a “true” cloud solution. After this session, you will know enough to determine if the cloud is the right choice to meet your business objectives.
Cloud Benefits 101: What’s in it for You? “The Cloud is a giant bed of roses, compared to what we were doing before,” stated a business services company CIO when asked about the impact of cloud adoption on his business. Sand Hill Group’s “Leaders in the Cloud” study found that, in addition to significant bottom-line benefits, early adopters of cloud computing are also gaining the competitive edge today that positions them for success in the future. They described how the cloud helped them improve business agility, convert capital expense to operational expense, and boost systems reliability of operations. In fact, the cloud enabled some firms to re-allocate IT budgets from 80 percent maintenance to 80 percent innovation and thus become truly competitive. Ready to learn how? Join us to learn the 15 cloud benefits that are helping companies like yours solve their most pressing business and technical challenges today.
Roadmap to Cloud Success: How Do You Get There? The case for cloud computing is compelling. But how do you take your company there? What should your cloud strategy and roadmap look like? Analysis of Sand Hill’s Leaders in the Cloud 2011 survey revealed surprising facts about the business needs that cloud computing can best address.
Most important for you, the survey interviews yielded a wealth of best practices for considering, planning and implementing a well-constructed cloud roadmap project. Ready to learn 5 mission-critical steps for mapping your cloud route? Want to know the key phases of implementing a successful cloud initiative? Join this live session and discover how you can follow in the path of business leaders just like you, who are already reaping cloud success.
Competitive Edge in the Cloud: Is the Sky the Limit? “The early 21st century is like the early 20th century in that we are at the beginning of a new economic paradigm. This time, however, the engine of growth will not be manufacturing, but information.” – Russ Daniels, “A Cloud In Every Garage,” Forbes Magazine, May 2009. Cloud computing is proving to be a permanent technological shift, enabling unprecedented access to information, new markets and collaboration on a scale unimaginable only a decade ago. Consider this statistic: just four years from now, cloud budgets are expected to exceed on-premise spending. Yes! Learn why your decision today to invest in the cloud – or not – will have a critical impact on your business for many years to come. Ready to discover the emerging trends of cloud computing and the growth potential that awaits your organization? Join us and learn how taking a long-term view is your ticket to ride this next massive economic and technological wave to ongoing growth and success.
Register today to book your slot for all four Webinars.

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