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Thoughts on what businesses actually need from the Cloud, not what vendors wish they needed.

Chris Bliss

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Top Stories by Chris Bliss

Most small business owners understand cloud computing as a tool. A pay-as-you-go, web based tool. Not more, not less. And they’re pretty much right. Thing is, tools matter. They carry distinct advantages and disadvantages, which are sometimes subtle, long term, and structural. Cloud computing is no exception: besides the usual advantages, cloud based tools help businesses become more transparent, more flexible, and (ultimately) more profitable. Here’s how. 1. Cloud computing makes business more transparent. First off, cloud computing tools tend to centralize everything together. Contacts and files and tasks aren’t spread across multiple desktops or servers anymore: they’re nested online, in one place, always. This tends to make business more transparent, as it’s harder to partition data off than it is to keep things open. We’ve seen clients go from pitting reps agai... (more)

Upcoming Cloud Conferences Worth Checking Out

Here at VM we’re planning our spring 2011 conference tour and we’re happy to say there’s a lot going on in the world of presentations and meetings about cloud-computing. Deadlines are fast-approaching though, so check out the list we’ve put together below and see if there’s something happening near you… hope to see you there! Note: this list is incomplete and bound to change. Descriptions were taken off the sponsoring organizations’ websites and so may not reflect content and/or quality. Don’t hold us accountable if a conference sucks. What: Global Services Conference 2011: Enabl... (more)

The Top 5 Overlooked Reasons Why Business Belongs in the Cloud

There are plenty of “Top 5 lists” with generic reasons for why businesses should migrate into SaaS and cloud computing. Scalability, cost, mobility – they’re good reasons, sure, but we’ve heard them before: what else does cloud computing offer? If you’re thinking about moving your business into the cloud but haven’t yet, here are five reasons that are often overlooked: 1. Clients notice. Traditionally, IT has served a “backend” role in business. With the exception of email and websites, most businesses hide their IT solutions from clients, and with good reason: IT is ugly. Cloud ... (more)

Cloud Computing and the Horseless Carriage Syndrome

Despite our recent(ish) blog post bashing Microsoft’s cloud initiatives, there’s a nugget of brilliance in “The Economics of The Cloud,” a recent paper published by Rolf Harms and Michael Yamartino, head corporate strategists at Microsoft. It’s a good paper, but the brilliance is in the opening metaphor:   When cars emerged in the early 20th century, they were initially called horseless carriages. Understandably, people were skeptical at first, and they viewed the invention through the lens of the paradigm that had been dominant for centuries: the horse and carriage. The first ... (more)

No Tecknolegy: Five Costs of Inaction, or Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense

It’s easy to always say no. Your systems function, the processes are clear, it works. Why invest in cloud computing if nothing is broken? What’s wrong with inaction? We hear that sentiment all the time and it’s easily understood. Business owners are risk adverse and they don’t want to fall for short-term fads, especially with the backbone of their business (IT). That’s commendable. Unfortunately, when a game changer like cloud computing comes along, undue conservatism becomes increasingly costly. Here’s why. 1. When you overlook meaningful trends you then lend a strong competiti... (more)