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What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a model for accessing IT networks, servers, storage, applications and services that are shared with multiple users through the internet. It delivers cost-efficient computer hardware, software and services as infinitely flexible and adaptable resources. Popular software like cloud CRM require minimal IT personnel and management involvement from users.

The data in the cloud exists on servers which are mirrored onto other servers, this keeps it secure and available always. The three most typical cloud computing models are - SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). CRMnext is amongst leading global cloud CRM vendors offering simple and easy to use SaaS CRM Solutions.

Cloud Computing Deployment Models

Through cloud computing, information can be shared amongst multiple people instantly, the need for carrying around physical storage devices, documents, catalogs, etc. is eliminated.

Three cloud computing deployment models -

  • Public Cloud: resources are shared between multiple organisations, for maximum cost-efficiency.
  • Private Cloud: a closed, dedicated resource made available to a single company or group of companies and can be hosted internally or externally at a third-party facility.
  • Hybrid Cloud: it combines the public and private cloud approaches. For example, a company with an e-commerce website can use the public cloud to host its online sales and service, but keep sensitive customer data in a private cloud.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

  • In the cloud, applications are programmed to fully exploit hardware virtualization for multiple processors, memory and storage devices that are connected to behave as one system, making it highly scalable.
  • Data can be drawn together from multiple sources and distributed in a user-friendly way adapted to individual requirements through a web browser.
  • Cloud computing enables agility on a massive scale. Small, medium and large businesses have opportunities to roll out innovative new ventures, without prohibitive costs, delay or risk.
  • It is elastic and resources can be switched on/ off in seconds, empowering organizations with better experimentation capabilities. In the old model, future requirements would need to be thought through and planned in advance, then new systems would be ordered and deployed much later.
  • It is particularly beneficial for start-up businesses giving them incredible levels of agility and much lower operating costs, thereby attracting investors.
  • Collaborations are more efficient and secure with a trusted third party running a closed environment from their secure data centre. This is especially relevant with sensitive or critical customer data is being shared between two organizations.
  • An external cloud environment which is being audited regularly and subject to global standards and regulations will have higher security levels than at a company's own data centre.

The Potential of Cloud Computing

The whole premise of cloud computing is to change and improve how we work because of the new way IT is being run. Technology resources are no longer fixed, but abundantly and flexibly available from anywhere, around the clock. Gartner optimistically estimates the cloud market at $150 billion by 2013.

The cloud opens up ways for new forms of collaboration by eliminating the need for individual organizations to reinvent the wheel when there are common needs that can be served by a single, central resource. For example, a pharmaceutical company could collaborate on complex and time-consuming administrative activities related to governance, risk and compliance.

Cloud computing and it various forms will take product design and services to a new level, enabling customers to express their views, requirements and complaints clearly through a secure platform to businesses. This collaborative effort achievable through cloud CRM (also known as web CRM and On-Demand CRM) will lead to better innovations and successful cost effective strategies. A SaaS CRM solution is both cost-effective, simple and virtually requires no hardware or software maintenance.

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