Friday, March 25, 2011

Low Budgets and the Demand for Cloud Solutions

Last year, IDC has reported that the server hardware revenue for public cloud computing will grow from $582 million in 2009 to $718 million in 2014, and from $2.6 billion to $5.7 billion in the same time period for private cloud market. This proves that many organizations are considering putting infrastructure into data centers while opting for software as a service. And it comes as no surprise when one considers the advantages cloud services offer to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs/SMBs) whose budgets are tight yet still want to secure their network and take advantage of the latest technologies.

Among these advantages are:

  • No need to invest in security software or hardware – Rather than going for an upfront investment, all you would need to do is simply pay for the service on a pay-per-use or rental basis. This is great, especially for small businesses whose revenue is low, as it would increase the ROI by saving them money which would have been spent on software or hardware. 
  • Network security at low costs – Although software as a service is the cheaper option, it does not mean that cloud computing security does not offer equally solid safety as an on-premise solution. The difference is that while in an on-premise solution corporate data is controlled internally, in the case of a hosted solution the data goes through third parties. Today this isn’t considered as an issue; four of the largest 10 banks in APAC, for example, report that in the following months about 30 to 50 percent of their application will be moved to hosted services. Cloud computing is therefore a great opportunity for your organization if you would like to secure your network even if your budget is low. 
  • No licensing and renewal costs – Software licensing costs are usually expensive for start-ups. This is not required when using a cloud service. Furthermore, software companies usually update their solutions, meaning if you are using an on-premise solution you’ll need to renew it every so often. Again, a hosted service saves you this trouble as it takes care of such updates itself while providing you with the latest service.
  • Third parties are doing the hard work – Instead of worrying about increasing your infrastructure through IT staff with good technical know-how to maximize benefits of your IT systems, meaning more expenses, cloud services provide you with the best resources without requiring any work in this field from your side.

Clearly, cloud computing is becoming increasingly beneficial for SMEs who wish to make the best out of the technology available today on a low budget. Does this eliminate on-premise solutions? Not necessarily; experts see a bridge between the two in the form of a hybrid solution where some functions will move towards the cloud while others will still be based on internal computing. While the three solutions are available, hosted services remain the ideal for organizations with a tight budget.

Additional Readings

This guest post was provided by Christina Goggi on behalf of GFI Software Ltd. GFI is a leading software developer that provides a single source for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs. More information: Hosted Email Security.

All product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

5 Businesses that Benefit the Most from Cloud Computing

While cloud computing is known to have some security risks, most experts in the industry agree that, at least for certain types of businesses, the benefits will be much more significant than the risks. Here are five of those areas of business.

1. Data Loss Prevention

Loss of data in an information economy can be one of the most devastating things that can happen to a business. A company that previously had a great reputation could quickly lose its popularity if it loses a significant portion of its data. This is especially true if data about customers and business partners is lost, which can bring the daily grind of commerce to a halt. Since backing up data using cloud computer is incredibly easy, and requires fewer up front costs, it will be the better choice for many companies.

2. Applications

It is becoming more common for businesses to choose the "software as a service" model rather than the in house model. While common business sense might suggest that it makes more sense to pay for a product once and move on, rather than paying a monthly fee, this is not necessarily the case with software, especially in rapidly changing fields such as customer relationship management. These tools are constantly being improved upon, and choosing the pay as you go model allows a business to use the latest software at all times.

3. Tracking Employee Performance

Global companies hoping to monitor the performance of employees, sales force, and various locations throughout the globe can highly benefit from cloud computing. The bird's eye view provided by this kind of network software was very difficult to implement before the existence of cloud computing. Today, it is surprisingly simple to implement, regardless of the size of a business.

4. Online Business

It shouldn't be surprising to say that online businesses will use cloud computing. The primary benefit is web server space. The costs of purchasing a sever and getting a website up and running are high, especially if a significant level of traffic is expected. Using cloud computer for hosting is the ideal solution, especially for smaller businesses.

5. Collaborative Businesses

In order for large scale projects to be completed, it is often necessary for people who are geographically separated from one another to collaborate. Bigger businesses have the option of flying everybody into the same room, and there will probably always be cases where this will be necessary, but there are many cases when it isn't. Applications running on cloud based software make this process very convenient. With the ability to communicate and share files over the network, it is sometimes possible to avoid the costs of face to face communication.

This Guest Post was contributed by Britney Baker. When she's not getting excited about new gadgets, Britney Baker writes about prepaid cell phones for Her latest article took a look at the GoPhone from AT&T.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

The SaaS Edge by Sahil Parikh - Book Review


Apart from the usual stuff, something that kept me engaged for all of last week (apart from the occasional ICC Cricket World Matches) was the book The SaaS Edge. Although it is targeted for non tech savvy readers, I fully enjoyed this book and had a few actionable takeaways from it – including creating a Facebook page for my blog, which I have been procrastinating on for so long. Whether I was within the target audience or not, this book impressed me enough to write a review for it.

Quick Facts About the Book


Sahil Parikh, Founder and CEO Synage Software.


The SaaS Edge


Tata McGraw Hill

Place, Year of Publication

New Delhi, 2011




Computers and the Internet

Number of Pages


For Whom

Not so tech savvy readers, business leaders, managers, students and anyone who wants to leverage the new technology trend - Cloud Computing, specifically SaaS (Software as a Service).

Why Read This Book?

There is an ocean of information on the web about cloud, or SaaS. But I feel strongly that whatever is discussed in blogs, twitter or tech-forums reaches a highly select audience: those who are smart enough to search, engage and decipher the constant flow of information for their own specific use.

Those who are highly active online are constantly updating themselves with quality updates from the likes of Gigaom, Mashable, Engadget, Labnol, TechCrunch and FastCompany etc. That’s where it ends. This valuable information, which is readily devoured by almost the same set of people in each case, moves in a circle. In most cases, it does not percolate from this elite layer down to the not so tech-savvy end user to empower him or her for some wise decision making.

There are millions of businesses still waiting for their first application. Millions of people working in them still cannot think of software applications beyond eMails and MS office. These are real people and real businesses, and they far outnumber the tech savvy audience I describe above. These real people still base their major decisions on information gathered from print media(or sometimes TV). The print media, by most accounts (and in most parts of the world) has failed in educating its end users about the latest technology trends.

The SaaS Edge has appeared at the right time and has filled that gap. I hope it reaches those who are still trying to find the pearls of wisdom in the vast ocean of information.


Simple and lucid as if you are reading a beautiful tech-story. While reading the scenarios and conversation, most of the time I felt that the conversations were real-time and practical. Whether you are an SaaS provider or a prospective SaaS client, you can easily connect and relate with almost every conversation and scenario discussed.


There are so many examples of SaaS in the book that even the most active power user of web technology will find something new. Apart from the mention of big names like Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter, the author also discusses the technologies (or some other interesting aspect in relation to SaaS) of the relatively smaller and younger Zoho, Yammer, Posterous, DeskAway, Zendesk, Freshbooks, Workday, SurveyMonkey, NetSuite, Tumblr, Slideshare, Netflix, Stubleupon, reddit,,,,, LifeMojo and GetSatisfaction etc. You name it, you might find it here.

Famous personalities, including President Obama, Steve Jobs, Anand Mahindra, Nicholas Carr and Seth Godin find some contextual mention for their effective use of SaaS, or for their vision. A few of the younger entrepreneurs, like Sachin Agarwal, Amit Ranjan, Subraya Mallya, Dharmesh Shah, Andrew McAfee and Namit Nangia also get a well deserved mention.

The author has demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of web-technologies and business processes. The book has a chapter What Next where it briefly talks about the up coming technologies. I was highly impressed by the brief mention of Location Based Services and Augmented Reality.

Every chapter is followed by a summary and a detailed reference (URLS).


The author dives deep not only into an entrepreneur’s psyche, but also reads into the minds of an accountant, IT guy, manager, decision maker and almost every other stakeholder’s perception. Myths and facts about each person’s viewpoints and goals are convincingly addressed.

To The Students of Engineering and Management

Apart from the target audience of the book mentioned above, I highly recommend this book to all the students of Engineering and Management, anywhere in the world.

Yes, I’ve no doubt you are adept at social media, but are you caught in the Bermuda Triangle of Productivity – Gmail, Facebook, Twitter?

This book is definitely going to ignite young minds by making them more productive, and may even drive entrepreneurship.


Way back in 2006 I read The World Is Flat, an international best seller by Thomas Friedman. In that book, Mr. Friedman views the world as a level playing field in terms of commerce. In The SaaS Edge, Sahil Parikh views the world as a level playing field in terms of web technology. Recommended…


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