How fervently has your organization embraced cloud computing techniques? Chances are the hug is going to get tighter in the next months and years. To get you ready for that next big planning meeting, TechRepublic offers a list of ten applications that can - and probably should - be moved to the cloud.
Put These Ten Things in Your Cloud1. E-mail Email architecture has become quite standardized, and there is really no value-add to keeping it inside your firewall other than mitigating regulatory concerns. 2. Conferencing software For a low monthly or yearly fee, this weight can be off your shoulders. No one will notice or mind, and your staff can move on to other tasks. 3. CRM It's a fairly low bandwidth application with maintenance overhead you do not need. Moving to a hosted CRM system can free you to spend more time on more important issues. 4. Web hosting Many vendors have shifted to (or offer) a virtualized hosting environment, which has dramatically increased uptime, reduced security risks, and allowed them to provide much more open and direct access to the servers. 5. Development test labs Why do this to yourself when there are quality vendors out there who already have these test systems set up or that allow you to configure them with point-and-click ease? 6. Video hosting Now, the big name sites have upgraded their quality, and few companies block them because there is plenty of legitimate usage. 7. E-mail security If you look at how much incoming email is spam, you'll see that you can reduce your bandwidth needs dramatically by allowing a third party to perform an initial scan of your e-mail. 8. Common application components Many functions that used to be the purview of components or libraries you could buy are now being made available as Web services, typically billed on a per-usage basis. 9. Basic office applications If you are one of the many organizations that use only a small fraction of the Office feature set, it may make sense to look at one of the new crop of online Office replacements (or even Microsoft's online version of Office). 10. Batch processing applications One type of application that shines in the cloud are batch processing applications, such as data warehouses. As long as you can get the data needed into the cloud without disrupting your operations (such as "seeding" it with the shipment of physical media or synchronization over time), the ability to rapidly scale capacity in the cloud can result in tremendous savings.
-- Don Willmott