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05-09-2013 / The Who, What, Why and When of Standard Costing
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04-29-2013 / Macola in the Cloud: A Match Made in Heaven
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01-30-2013 / Where is ERP Heading for 2013?
01-24-2013 / Why Cloud Hosted ERP is Set to Take Off in 2013
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I am the type of person that likes having control over the situation that I am in. Does that make me a control freak? I would say no, but it is very possible my friends and family might have a different answer for that question. That being said, it stands to reason that if I owned a business I would want to have control over the data, security, confidentiality, and the location of where my business information is stored. Control is what you have with a client server application. Access, resources, and data security are controlled in your own environment. Upgrades are done when appropriate and are not forced upon you like they can be with SAAS applications. Some even make you upgrade every 6 months! (cough Netsuite!) Less control is what you have with a Software As A Service model, also referred to as "cloud computing". With SAAS you have little to no control when it comes to handling your data and information. This alone makes it a bad fit for certain businesses out there because you may not have access to the tables in which the data is stored. You are also depending on a third party to ensure your security and confidentiality. And as I mentioned above, upgrades are often forced upon you. (cough Netsuite!) Another myth regarding SAAS is its low cost of ownership. What people don't realize is with its frequent upgrades, which commit time, money and resources, along with reccurring costs, it may end up costing you more money than a client server application and will cause you a huge headache! If you are a person with your head in the clouds, (no pun intended) and don't need to have full control over your business information, then by all means choose a SAAS model for your company. However, if you are like me and freak out when you have little control over things, then it is not wise to trust the "cloud" or SAAS model!
When I first heard of the term “cloud computing” I wasn’t really sure what to think? At the risk of sounding ignorant the first thing that came to my mind was sitting on a puffy cloud while using your PC or Mac. I know, I know, completely idiotic, but I am just being honest. I soon found out that “cloud computing” can be a pretty efficient and cost effective way to manage the IT infrastructure of your business. So what on Earth is “cloud computing?” Simply put it is moving software applications which would typically be on the user’s network infrastructure out onto the internet by having control remote servers to maintain data and applications. Did I say simply put? I know, confusing! So basically you are having your IT hardware being shared amongst many companies. By sharing costs including electricity, internet bandwidth, data storage, security and IT management, cloud computing can provide higher quality resources at a lower cost than most companies can provide with their own resources. Another example to explain this would be if you want milk, do you need to have a cow living in your backyard? No, let the grocery store handle that for you! Another advantage to “Cloud” environments is that they are generally managed in a secure, disaster-ready environment. So if a major flood, tornado, or earthquake takes place, your equipment will remain safe. Now that you know that “cloud computing” isn’t working with your computer up in the sky, it is up to you to decide whether or not it is right for your business. A lot of business’s today use a combination of “cloud” and “on-site” technology to handle their needs. Whatever your choice is, it is nice to have an option of having your own in house infrastructure or sharing it with other companies.