Cloud computing: special report

Cloud computing could be as important, and as game changing, as the first PCs. So how should businesses use the cloud, how should they prepare for it, and who are the vendors to watch? By Stephen Pritchard.

"If I didn't have the cloud, half of my infrastructure spending would have to come from capex, and I have to fight that much harder for funds for capital spending."

Advanced Innovations now runs all but two of its servers in the cloud, via Amazon's EC2 service, and runs a number of demanding Oracle applications, as well as service such as Microsoft Active Directory, on those servers.

But, along with other businesses using cloud computing, the switch from opex to capex is not the only advantage. According to Higgins, there is a significant further benefit of being able to add, or remove, IT resources quickly for specific projects or to meet peaks in demands. Testing an update to the company's Oracle infrastructure, for example, costs Advanced Innovations under 10 for 10 hours' server time. "Once we are happy with the upgrade, we simply shut the test server down," he says.

The move to consumption-based or on-demand computing has been trailed for several years, but cloud computing is now bringing it to businesses in a form they can use.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Whilst early efforts around on-demand were focused on large-scale contracts and compute-heavy applications, cloud computing allows companies to buy storage by the gigabyte or processing by the hour using a credit card and a web browser, or rent software from Microsoft Office or to Google Apps either per person per month, or per year.

As the cost of the servers, bandwidth, software and even power are wrapped up in the service fees, companies do not have to pay up front for IT hardware or facilities they might not need.

Featured Resources

What you need to know about migrating to SAP S/4HANA

Factors to assess how and when to begin migration

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

Testing for compliance just became easier

How you can use technology to ensure compliance in your organisation

Download now

Best practices for implementing security awareness training

How to develop a security awareness programme that will actually change behaviour

Download now

Most Popular

Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
data governance

Brexit security talks under threat after UK accused of illegally copying Schengen data

10 Jan 2020

Dell XPS 13 (New 9300) hands-on review: Chasing perfection

14 Jan 2020