The Challenges and Benefits of Modernizing Legacy Applications in Cloud

The Challenges and Benefits of Modernizing Legacy Applications in Cloud
It was right from its inception that cloud computing displayed a revolutionizing potential—it had an unforeseen scope over diverse targets including individuals, companies and governments. The major services available in these sectors and the ever growing inventions of the modern world do indeed call for a more advanced and flexible application of cloud computing. It is seen by many as the new wave of information technology. In 2010, the World Economic Forum published a report which evaluated the impact of cloud computing technologies and signaled the large potential benefits of adoption, ranging from economic growth and potential improvements in employment to facilitating innovation and collaboration.

Need being the mother of invention, Cloud has evolved beyond basic SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS offerings, as the cloud matures to become the engine of enterprise technology innovation. It is moving towards a faster and more efficient world. However, the Information Technology is increasing its demands to solve the arising complexities. Take for example the modernizing of legacy applications in cloud. It extends both challenges and opportunities, as the facets of a coin, but in each way it moves towards a more advanced and intricate web of complexities.

Most of the large enterprises run at least some form of a legacy application, for which updates and replacements can sometimes be tricky. However, failing to modernize out-of-date systems may hinder the pace of information exchange due to slow runtime speeds and inefficient load balancing. Many organizations have, thus, begun to modernize their legacy applications which will yield long term benefits such as portability and scalability, better speed and resource management, and granular visibility.

Since the start, enterprises have run on time-consuming manual processes and tools that are involved with legacy applications also hinders modernizing efforts. Manual processes take up significant amount of time and still leave room for errors. However, at the same time, enterprises say they need to move to the cloud, but they don’t really understand why, nor do they realize how difficult it can be. This includes applying cloud services to a non-compatible old legacy application and facing challenges when trying to re-host. They must be cautious of the processes involved in migrating the valuable data. If one moves one application to cloud which has business logic or IT logic of another application that isn’t migrated to cloud, they might run into issues. Therefore, it is better to consult the professionals before landing into problems. In this league of advancement, the infrastructure might face challenges such as:

Cost adjustments: The cost of maintaining and upgrading Legacy systems renders the firm a challenge of combatting the financial balance. The challenge preparers the employees learn the skills of pulling the firm through the tight passage without de-establishing the financial pace of the organization.

Inflexible and closed architectures: There are some architectures used by organizations that hinder Web and mobile enabling and integration with contemporary platforms, therefore, they turn out to be challenging opportunities for the modern minds at work.

Limited Integration: Legacy systems might sometimes not go in cohesion with the integration to contemporary technologies like Mobile Apps/Devices, Enterprise Content Management Systems, Automated Workflow, E-Forms/E-Signatures, Geographic Information Systems, and so on, therefore pose a major obstacle for the integrators.

User Friendliness: The existing system uses command-based screens and cannot provide a contemporary Graphical User Interface (GUI), web, or mobile which have become commonplace, however, if it is in constant practice, the newer models of commanding may pose an oddity for quite some time for the old hands. Therefore, the migrators have to go an extra mile to ease the way by employing less complicated systems.

On the other hand, there are various benefits of applying this modernization. If the engineers handle the aforementioned challenges wisely and implement the newer technology with greater precision, there indeed some charming benefits await, such as:

Enhanced flexibility: Creates a flexible IT environment with new architectural paradigms such as web services; aligns IT systems to dynamic business needs.

Modern development tools: Legacy and new developers can use the same or similar tools, enabling both to develop Legacy applications.

Lower risks: Re-use of business rules where data becomes less risky than alternatives.

Shorter development times: Modernizes development tools and retrains developers which lead to shorter development times.

Reduced cost: Lowers high maintenance cost of existing old fashioned Legacy platforms and development tools, resulting in substantial savings in IT budgets.

Minimized disruption: Reduces the risk when modernizing Legacy platforms by combining two decades of development experience with contemporary platforms, a proven modernization framework and rich domain knowledge.

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Machine Learning’s Impact on Cloud Computing

Machine Learning’s Impact on Cloud Computing

Machine learnings impact on cloudcomputing
Increasing dependency on AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the (Internet of Things) have given new goals to cloud computing infrastructure administrators. The premises enfolding within this newly emerging subfield of Information and Technology are indeed very vast ranging from smartphones to robotics. Firms are developing new machinery requiring the least amount of dependency on human resources. Developments aimed at providing human-made mechanisms with levels of autonomy to become entirely independent.

To gain a level of autonomy over soft resources, developers have begun to depend on a mediator to assist ‘smart machines’ in increasing functional ability. As cloud computing is already taking over essential domains of human efforts such as data storage, this technological advancement will result in unprecedented impacts on the global economy.

Integrated cloud services can be even more beneficial than current offerings. The contemporary usage of cloud involves computing, storage, and networking; however, the intelligent cloud will multiply the capabilities of the cloud by rendering information from vast amounts of stored data. This will result in quick advancements within the IT field, where tasks are performed much efficiently.

Cognitive Computing
The large amounts of data stored in the cloud serve as a source of information for machines to gain their functional state. The millions of functions that are occurring daily in the cloud will provide vast sources of information for computers to learn. The entire process will equip the machine applications with sensory capabilities, and applications will be able to perform cognitive functions, making decisions best suited for them to achieve their desired goal.

Even though the intelligent cloud is in its infantile age, the propositions are predicted to increase in the coming years and revolutionize the world in the same way that the internet had. Expectations of those who would utilize cognitive computing including those in the healthcare, hospitality, and business fields

Changing Artificial Intelligence Infrastructure
With the aid of the intelligent cloud, AI as a platform service makes the process of smart automation more accessible for users by taking control of the complexities of a process; this will further increase the capabilities of cloud computing, in return growing the demand for the cloud. The interdependency of cloud computing and artificial intelligence will become the essence of new realities.

New Dimensions for the Internet of Things
Just as we are now aware how the IoT has overtaken our lives and created an undeniable dependency on gadgets, cloud-assisted machine learning is almost increasing rapidly. Smart sensors that allow cars to operate in cruise control will grasp their source of data from the cloud only. Cloud computing will become the long-term memory for the IoT where they can retrieve the data for solving in-time problems. The web’s massive of interconnectivity will generate and operate on an enormous amount of data saved in that very cloud; this will expand the horizons of cloud computing. In coming years, cloud-based machine learning will become as meaningful to machines as water is for humans.

Personal Assistance
We have already seen assistants such as Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and Google perform well in the consumer market; it is not absurd to think that an assistant will exist in every modern home by the next decade. These assistants make life easier for individuals through pre-coded voice recognition that also gives a feeling of human touch to machines.

Current assistant responses operate on a limited set of provided information. However, these assistants are very likely to be developed more finely so that their capabilities will not remain so confined. Through the increasing use of autonomous cognition, personal assistants will attain a state of reliability where they can replace human interaction. The role of cloud computing will be supremely vital in this regard, as it will become the heart and brain of these machines.

Business Intelligence
The tasks of a future intelligent cloud will be to make the tech world even smarter – autonomous learning coupled with the capabilities of understanding and rectifying real-time anomalies. In the same way, business intelligence will also become more intelligent wherein along with identifying faults, it will be able to predict future strategies in advance.

Armed with proactive analytics and real-time dashboards, businesses will operate upon predictive analytics that process previously collected data, making real-time suggestions and future predictions. These predictions from current trends and recommendations for actions would make things easier on leaders.

Revolutionizing the World
Fields like banking, education, and hospitality will be able to make use of the intelligent cloud, enhancing the precision and efficiency of the services they provide. Consider, for example, having an assistant in hospitals which diminishes doctors’ customary load of decision making by analyzing cases, making comparisons, and promoting new approaches to the treatment.

With the rapid development of both machine learning and the cloud, it seems in the future that cloud computing will become much easier to handle, scale, and protect with machine learning. Along with those mentioned above, more extensive businesses relying on the cloud will lead to the implementation of more machine learning. We will arrive at a point in which we will have no cloud service that operates as they do today.

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Advantages of Cloud Analytics over On-Premise Analytics

Advantages of Cloud Analytics over On-Premise Analytics
Majority of the organizations now agree that data science is a great tool to scale-up, build and streamline their businesses. But, with this huge amount of data they are collecting, are the organizations really coping up to analyze and implement the decisions in time? Most of them, in-spite of having on-premise analytics teams are in disconnection with their operations part.

Having the in-house analytics teams linked to your Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP) systems can be sometimes be irresponsive due to data loads, might cause your sales teams to lose the real-time data, also can cause delay in response to the queries. Collection of data from various internal applications, devices, online media networks, consumer data and converting them into actionable insights can be a cost consuming (both time and capital costs) process for the organizations.

Is there any better way of utilizing your Company’s data towards reaping benefits?
Yes, most of your valuable data from modes of communication to collecting track-able data of consumer behavior lies in the cloud. Cloud computing allows you to easily consolidate information from all your communication channels and resources, and helps you to do it in a wider scale.

Cloud, basically helps the business’ data teams to re-establish the connection with their operations. And hence the business will be able to minimize the time and capital costs incurred, from the research and development of the product, marketing and sales to increasing the efficiency of your consumer support teams.

How does Cloud Analytics serve as a better and real-time mode of efficient data management?

Agile Computing Resources
Instead of handling speed and delivery time related hassles from your on-premise servers, cloud computing resources are high-powered and can deliver your queries and reports in no-time.

Ad hoc Deployment of Resources for Better Performance
If you are having an in-house analytics team, you should be concerned about an efficient warehouse, latency of your data over poor public internet, being up-to date with advanced tools and experience in handling the high demands for real-time BI or emergency queries. Employing Cloud services in data science and analytics can help your business scale-up by establishing a direct connection between them, reducing the latency and response issues to less than a millisecond.

Match, Consolidate and Clean Data Effortlessly
Real time Cloud analytics with real-time access to your online data keeps your data up-to date and organized, helping your Operations and Analytics teams function under the same roof. This makes sure of no mismatches and delays, helping you to also predict and implement finer decisions.

Accessibility
Cloud services are capable in sharing data and visualization and performing cross-organizational analysis, making the raw data more accessible and perceivable by a broader user base.

High Returns on Time Investments
Cloud services provide readily-available data models, uploads, application servers, advanced tools and analytics. You need not spend any time in building up a separate infrastructure, unlike employing on-premise analytics teams.

Your marketing teams can forecast and segment your campaign plans, the campaign reports and leads generated are readily available to your sales teams to follow-up, insights from sales and marketing and more real time consumer data can help your strategy teams in predicting crucial decisions or your support teams being immediately notified with consumer queries. Better the collaboration, higher are your returns, and an ideal cloud service can make this possible.

Flexible and Faster Adoption
Cloud-based applications are built with self-learning models and have a consumer friendly user experience unlike the on-premise applications. Cloud technologies learn to adopt as your business grows and can expand or adjust as your data storage and applications needs increase or decrease.

Affordability
There are no upgrade costs or issues, and enabling new tools or applications require minimal IT maintenance. This keeps the business in a continuous flow without any interventions like the need for upgrading the on-premise infrastructure, and having to redo your integrations and other time consuming efforts.

Security
Robustly built, Cloud analytics are reportedly more reliable than on-premise systems in times of a data breach. Detecting a breach or a security issue can be within hours or minutes with Cloud security whereas with an in-house team, it takes weeks or even months in detecting a breach. Your data is more trusted and secure with cloud computing.

Implementing cloud services in data science can be the best and most-effective infrastructure you can give to your business. They are agile, secure and flexible and help you to streamline each of your business process as Cloud services enable all your teams function under the same data foundation.

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How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Cloud Computing

1.	How Artificial Intelligence is transforming Cloud Computing
Everyone in touch with technology is aware of cloud computing. It has already turned out to be an important part of the current digital era. It has transformed the manner in which individuals, professionals and even companies store their essential information and data.

The market for cloud computing has tremendously made progress over the past few years which in turn has strongly affected the lifestyle and work culture in various ways. But the cloud is a new technology, due to which companies are worried about whether it will evolve over time or not. Recent trends such as the use of mobile phones instead of computers have even made petty changes in the cloud technology. Therefore, AI has come up to enhance the cloud technology (AI is the capability of a robot controlled by a computer or a digital computer that carry out tasks that are usually linked with the intelligent beings). Cloud computing and AI are bringing major changes in the corporate world and their fusion is believed and known to be the coming future of technology.

The cloud technology can help AI’s by providing the required information for the learning processes while the AI can help cloud by providing information that can offer more data. AI is capable of streamlining the immense capacities of the cloud. It equips cloud technology with enormous powers. It enables the machines to act, react, think and learn in the manner human beings do. AI assists different machines in learning and analyzing the historical data, making decisions and identifying the patterns. Such a process helps in eradicating the chances of human errors. Therefore, AI enhances the process of decision making of various organizations.

Cloud technology is spread among a number of servers in various languages with huge data storage and across various geographies. Organizations can make use of this data to make up intelligent and automated solutions for customers and clients. Cloud computing is getting more powerful with AI as its applications are extended across multiple diversified sectors in the economy. Thus, even organizations can make use of AI cloud computing to attain long-term goals for their businesses.

Another crucial aspect of the fusion of AI cloud computing is the process of machine learning. Such a process helps in making reliable and quick decisions, reducing the chances of cyber crimes and improving the experiences of the customers. In the recent years, machine learning has been able to quickly employ complicated mathematical calculations to large amounts of data. It is even capable of delivering more accurate and quick results on a huge scale which drives new business opportunities and growth strategies for organizations around the world.

The fusion of AI cloud computing has brought about a huge change in information technology and several other industries. It can potentially change the manner in which the data was stored earlier and processed among several geographies. Such an amalgamation also offers unique opportunities for the professionals of AI and cloud to look over the boundless possibilities for future.

Cloud, when stood alone, has the capability of becoming a significant computing commodity in several fields. But the AI cloud computing integration will enhance its requirement in the market. With huge strides existing in the growth of both cloud and artificial intelligence, their future seems to be highly tied together. Cloud computing gets much easy to protect, scale and handle with artificial intelligence. Above that, the more the businesses are getting on the cloud, more it needs to be integrated with AI to attain efficiency. A point will come when no cloud technology would be existing without artificial intelligence.

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Top Roles of Cloud Computing in IoT

Top Roles of Cloud Computing in IoT
Transformation is an ever going trend, which is becoming an absolute need of the hour in today’s fast paced world. With technology churning every bit of information in a refined new format, there is a lot of scope when it comes to data storage and manipulation.

As smart phones and social media begin to rule the roost, there is a lot of conversation happening around what’s coming next. The evident answer of the hour is, the Internet of Things or IoT. With the Internet churning out huge chunks of data every second, there is a pending strain on the data infrastructure, making it necessary to look for solutions to ease the use of data storage.

Since the rise of the Cloud, there is a massive shift towards using it as a means of storage for people and businesses alike. Given the scalability and the data dynamics, there is a lot of stress being given on the use of Cloud computing to make data available remotely.

Putting this scalability to use, the Cloud has proved to be an efficient tool for transferring data through the traditional Internet channels as well as through a dedicated direct link. The traditional method is not preferred extensively; however, at the same time, many businesses prefer to the use the direct link to transfer data to the Cloud, given the quality of the data and the security it ensures during the transfer phase.

This is not all; the Cloud has become an integral part of the Internet world. Simply put, the cloud can be termed as an enabler when it comes to IoT. The Cloud is undoubtedly an ideal solution to meet all data driven needs of businesses. As this technology is developing, it is providing an agile platform for developers to create meaningful apps to establish better data devices over the Internet.

How Cloud Computing Aids IoT?

The underlying idea behind IoT and the Cloud computing is increase efficiency in the day to day tasks, without disturbing the quality of the data being stored or transferred. Since the relationship is mutual, both the services complement each other effectively. The IoT becomes the source of the data, while the Cloud becomes the ultimate destination for it to be stored.

As we progress through the years, we will see a lot of changes happening; some of these changes will be gradual while others will be more rapid. Companies likes Amazon AWS, Google and Microsoft will become the undisputed leaders of Cloud IoT Services, making the challenge even more worthwhile.

As the Cloud gathers more attention and speed slowly, there are a multitude of Cloud service providers which are beginning to offer pay per use models to businesses. This way, businesses only need to pay for what the computer resources they use.

Some more Reasons which Highlight the Importance of the Cloud in the World of IoT are:

Reduced cost of ownership: Inflation is a never ending menace which every business has to face sooner or later. The Cloud technology provides ample resources to businesses so that they do not have to spend through the nose on setting up their infrastructure. In the absence of on-site systems, hardware and software, the IT department is more focused on their day to day up keeping activities, which are often an evident benefit with the Cloud.

Business continuity programs: The Cloud computing is capable of running businesses even in the midst of sudden disasters. Since the data is maintained on additional separate servers, there is no imminent danger to the private data, making the Cloud an indispensable part of Internet based firms.

How will the IoT and the Cloud Expand?

Startups: As more and more Cloud vendors pop up, startups will continue to evolve and become more efficient, making the technology flow stronger yet smoother. The transition from one source to another will become a cinch, making the Cloud a strong place to function.

Developing countries: The strongest and biggest source of revenue for the Cloud comes from the developing countries, as they are trying to play catch up with the times. However, this revenue will drastically dip, once these countries are able to adopt their technology to the Cloud, marking the adaptation as complete.

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Overcoming Cloud Security Threats with AI and Machine Learning

Cloud-security

The increasing flexibility of Cloud services has made the enterprises to embrace them in storing, sharing and managing their data efficiently. Cloud computing has not only increased their operational efficiency, but also have helped them save thousands of dollars in IT investments.

From helping the organizations deliver faster, cost-efficient and quality results to effectively managing their resources, Cloud services has definitely been a boon for enterprises. It helps them focus on their businesses rather than spending their precious time in building and managing their IT infrastructure.

But, with any kind of new technology comes greater and complex security needs associated, making the universal adoption of Cloud services questionable. Some threats associated with Cloud services are:

-Having large amounts of sensitive data in the Cloud (especially for industries like Finance and Healthcare) can be a promising target for the hackers.

-The enterprises are liable to face heavy dues and even criminal charges in-case of consumer data leakage, under compliance regulations like HIPAA.

-BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) systems have been a great advantage for both employers as well as employees in terms of data mobility and accessibility. But, stolen or misplaced devices, if goes in the wrong hands can be a huge expense for an Organization as they are almost impossible to track without proper tools in hand.

-Weak authentications and leaving the credentials in one’s device can also lead to loss in enterprise data in case of any phishing, ransomware and brute-force attacks.

Offering great value for enterprises in terms of scalability, feasibility and cost savings, it is important that they untangle these security concerns before adopting comprehensive Cloud strategies.

AI and Machine Learning for Advanced Cloud Security Solutions:

AI is a system that has the capability to learn and adapt to the change in its environment. Often used with Machine Learning, AI uses predictive analysis which can pre-model the results by analyzing the past events. With the cyber threats advancing at an alarming rate, there is a real need for us to employ the tools that forges ahead of them.

Crucial Role of AI in Detecting Cyber Security Threats

-A recent study on global security conducted by Nemertes research says: the average time taken for an enterprise to spot the threat and respond with a cloud security solution was 39 days. Some companies were able to detect and respond within hours.

-Faster response time means the threats are detected and blocked immediately from the user’s side, preventing further data leakage.

-The organizations those were able to detect the threats faster employed automation which can only achieved by employing AI and Machine learning based cloud security solutions.

-Fully automated AI cloud security solutions use behavioral analytics to determine a path on which the systems operate. Any deviation from the flow, it takes the system off the network bringing this ‘response time’ to effectively zero. Notably, 28.6% of all companies have already employed full automation to their key business processes, as per Nemertes’ reports.

Moving at a Faster Pace than Cyber-Criminals with AI

Cybercriminals were always ahead of the traditional security standards deployed by the enterprises, posing continuous nightmares to the IT teams. They had to spend most of their time and capital investments in optimizing their security standards, each and every time they experience a data breach.

Now, with the AI and Machine learning technology in hand, their adaptive learning capabilities prove as an efficient cloud security solution for enterprises in thinking and acting ahead of cybercriminals:

-The number of patterns processed by the Machine learning programs increases with the increase in data injected. As the patterns increase, it makes AI easier to give early indications of cyber threats whenever it senses a slight change in this pattern flow.

-Machine learning not only processes the real time data quickly, but can also co-relate them across time and geographical locations. This helps the organizations to be aware of the security breaches and prevent them, days before the event.

-Email has always been an easier platform for cybercriminals. AI and machine learning based cloud security solutions can help to plot relationships between different kinds of content sentiments, mail services and communications. In case of any suspicious patterns, the organizations can alert their employees, days before a threat is potentially identified.

The current machine learning technologies have begun to detect even unusual threat events with high volumes of data. The organizations can now leverage their business process more efficiently through Cloud services with AI in hand as their most powerful tool against security threats.

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Top 10 Advantages of Cloud Computing

cloud computing

In simple words, cloud computing may be called as computing that is based entirely on the internet. As in the past, where people needed to run programs or applications from software which would be downloaded from a server or a physical computer, cloud computing services help them to access those applications through the medium of internet. When you make any status update on your Facebook account, you make use of cloud computing. When you check your bank account balance on the phone, again you make use of cloud computing. We can say that cloud computing services are becoming the new common.

The most trending cloud computing services are the AWS Cloud Services (Amazon Web Services). It is an evolving and comprehensive platform for cloud computing offered by Amazon. It offers more than three others varied services including RedShift, DynamoDB, and Mechanical Turk etc.

According to the estimates, 90% of the businesses in the United Kingdom are using a minimum of one cloud service. Have you ever wondered why so many businesses are moving towards it? It is simply because there are several advantages of cloud computing. It helps in improving the cash flow, increases the efficiency and numerous others. Have a look at these top 10 advantages of cloud computing.

1. Less Costs
The services are free from capital expenditure. There are no huge costs of hardware in cloud computing. You just have to pay as you operate it and enjoy the model based on your subscription plan.

2. 24 X 7 Availability
Most of the cloud providers are truly reliable in offering their services, with most of them maintaining an uptime of 99.9%. The workers can get onto the applications needed basically from anywhere. Some of the applications even function off-line.

3. Flexibility in Capacity
It offers flexible facility which could be turned off, up or down as per the circumstances of the user. For instance, a promotion of sales is very popular, capacity can be immediately and quickly added to it for the avoidance of losing sales and crashing servers. When those sales are done, the capacity can also be shrunk for the reduction of costs.

4. All over Functioning
Cloud computing offers yet another advantage of working from anywhere across the globe, as long as you have an internet connection. Even while using the critical cloud services that offer mobile apps, there is no limitation of the device used.

5. Automated Updates on Software
In cloud computing, the server suppliers regularly update your software including the updates on security, so that you do not need to agonize on wasting your crucial time on maintaining the system. You find extra time to focus on the important things like ‘How to grow your businesses.

6. Security
Cloud computing offers great security when any sensitive data has been lost. As the data is stored in the system, it can be easily accessed even if something happens to your computer. You can even remotely wipe out data from the lost machines for avoiding it getting in the wrong hands.

7. Carbon Footprint
Cloud computing is helping out organisations to reduce their carbon footprint. Organizations utilize only the amount of resources they need, which helps them to avoid any over provisioning. Hence, no waste of resources and thus energy.

8. Enhanced Collaboration
Cloud applications enhance collaboration by authorizing diverse groups of people virtually meet and exchange information with the help of shared storage. Such capability helps in improving the customer service and product development and also reducing the marketing time.

9. Control on the Documents
Before cloud came into being, workers needed to send files in and out as the email attachments for being worked on by a single user at one time ultimately ending up with a mess of contrary titles, formats, and file content. Moving to cloud computing has facilitated central file storage.

10. Easily Manageable
Cloud computing offers simplified and enhanced IT maintenance and management capacities by agreements backed by SLA, central resource administration and managed infrastructure. You get to enjoy a basic user interface without any requirement for installation. Plus you are assured guaranteed and timely management, maintenance, and delivery of the IT services.

Even the few of these advantages of cloud computing might be enough to persuade businesses to move onto the cloud computing services. But when summed up all of these 10, it is accosting no-brainer domain.

Cloud Computing: Empowering Businesses of all Sizes

Cloud computing is now widely accepted as a solution that is here to stay for businesses looking to streamline, centralise and add value to their operations. Pavin argues that cloud, while not a game-changer for large companies, has brought forward a revolution for a huge number of businesses, in particular when it comes to adding enterprise-level capabilities on a small business budget.

In a business, it also offers an easy way to deploy tools, services and manage access. Pavin notes from his personal experience the ease of no longer having to ask the IT department in order to get access to specific tools, to get accesses validated for different systems, or having to ask an IT guy to come and actually install software on a laptop. Cloud allows for easier deployment and management in a controlled and secure environment.

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Best Cloud Services

Choosing the best cloud service comes down to personal preference based on whether you want to access files on the go, back up your files for security or collaborate with colleagues on projects.

As ethereal as cloud computing sounds, it simply refers to an external server where you store data. It’s essentially a hard drive on which you lease space. Cloud computing has improved over the past several years, which has extended to storage space, software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

For our buying guide, we chose the best cloud services that let you store all your data, including media files, documents, emails, contacts and calendar information. They also let you access those items through the cloud service’s desktop and mobile app, and via browsers, which is important whether you’re running a small business, you’re an entrepreneur or you’re an individual who simply wants more space.

Some cloud service providers in our guide are made for Mac lovers, and some are great for any device. A handful let you edit files in the cloud, whereas others require you or your client download files first. All the services we included here let you store music, photos, videos and documents, while others offer broader storage options.

Choosing the best cloud service comes down to personal preference based on whether you want to access files on the go, back up your files for security or collaborate with colleagues on projects. Many of these services are excellent choices, regardless of your storage needs, but if you’re running an enterprise-level business, you may require a business cloud storage service. For more information on what the cloud is and how it can change how you do business, read our articles on cloud computing. Read more..

Cloud security faces the public sector test – a Q/A with Doug VanDyke of AWS

One highlight of the Infor Federal Forum was a view from AWS on the dynamics of public sector security. I missed him that day, but I tracked down AWS presenter Doug VanDyke to get his take on cloud security, and share the reactions to his keynote.

Few things bug me as much as an interview opportunity missed. I covered the Infor Federal Forum event from several angles, but I wasn’t able to sit down with an important piece of the puzzle: a guest keynote from Amazon Web Services on public sector cloud security. Read more..