Check out the full break down on cloud computing and collaboration in our latest infographic.
There is a lot of information circulating about cloud computing, and while many companies are making the move to the cloud, others have some misinformation that is holding them back. So how much data is in the cloud? How quickly are companies adopting these new strategies and solutions? By looking at some real-world examples, we can see a growing trend toward using this technology.
According to an IBM survey of 2,000 mid-size companies conducted in 2011, 2/3 of them either already used cloud-based technologies or planned to make the move in the near future. IT spending on cloud computing between 2008 and 2012 grew by 25%, and 30% of SMBs used cloud software in 2011. Microsoft spent 90% of its R&D budget that year on cloud computing strategy and products, and there’s no reason to think that will decrease in the near future.
Microsoft in the Cloud
Microsoft has already put a lot of data in the cloud. Between Windows Azure, SkyDrive, and Hotmail, Microsoft Data centers host hundreds of petabytes of data. To look at that another way, an average hard drive is usually between 500GB and 1 terabyte. A single petabyte is 1024TB, which means that more than 100,000 hard drives of data are stored at these data centers.
Despite the trend towards cloud computing and cloud-based services, a lot of companies still have lingering misconceptions about the technology. One of the most prevailing myths is that only small businesses would see gains from this change. The belief is that most enterprises can (or should) maintain their own servers and productivity suites. The truth, though, is that Microsoft has more than 40 million users and 10,000 corporate customers (such as 3M, Siemens, and T-Systems). There are benefits in the cloud for companies of all sizes.
Security is another major concern. These companies will be shifting a lot of important information off site and into the cloud, so they are naturally worried about its safety. Most modern cloud services really are extremely secure, but it’s still important for the client to take every precaution as well.
Some companies are also concerned that they will get locked into a single vendor, and that once their data is moved off-site, it will leave their control. However, by combining on- and off-premise services, the company can easily maintain the control they need while still taking advantage of the scalability and other benefits of cloud computing.
The next evolution in Microsoft’s online services is Office 365. This is a cloud version of their email, collaboration software, and communications services. It is designed to work seamlessly with Office, provide access to important applications and information from any location, and offer secure and reliable service that modern companies need.
Microsoft Office 365 products include Office Professional Plus, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Microsoft Lync Online. The combination of these services has made it a very valuable resource for companies as diverse as Energizer and Godiva Chocolatier, who have adopted these cloud services to increase productivity and save a lot of money.
Written by Bob Barnes