Benefits of the Cloud Apps
Cloud applications are typically accessed via a web browser or a client application that’s continually connected to the Internet. This application delivery system offers numerous benefits over traditionally installed software.
- Less hands-on maintenance required. Since the apps are cloud-based and managed by the cloud application service provider, there’s much less routine maintenance for your IT staff compared to software deployed locally. For example, for cloud apps that run in a browser, there’s no need to install and configure software on each user’s computer. Likewise, all upgrades, security patches, and bug fixes are handled by the cloud app service provider in the background. That said, many cloud apps are installed on computers, with the data residing in the cloud. A good example of this is Microsoft Office 365 which has both locally installed and web apps for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other Office products. Users can move seamlessly between the web and local apps, with all their data readily available.
- Lower costs. Cloud apps often cost less than their desktop counterparts, and they have the added benefit of easy management with minimal maintenance required. All users are running the most current version at all times — without having to upgrade, download and install updates.
- Flexible licensing. Cloud apps are highly scalable, making it easy to add or remove users as your user base increases or decreases. This is helpful for seasonal workforces, startups, and growing businesses alike.
- APIs and integrations. Cloud apps often work with APIs, allowing for back-end processing, database connections, and calculations with the results then appearing within the cloud app. Many cloud apps integrate with others, allowing for even greater functionality using existing apps and data. For example, Microsoft Word and Outlook can integrate with DocuSign, making it easy to get documents signed directly from within Office 365.
- Improved collaboration. Cloud apps lend themselves to collaboration and often include sharing tools in their feature sets.
- Mobile access. Because data resides in the cloud, many cloud apps come with companion mobile apps. Users can move between their desktops and their smartphones or tablets with ease.
Though the cloud data resides on remote servers, the processing power is provided by the local device. An Internet connection is used primarily to transmit data up and down.
Collaborating in the Cloud
Cloud apps and data help facilitate collaboration while also making it more efficient. For example, before cloud apps and data arrived, collaborating on a simple Word document typically meant emailing the file to several collaborators with each making their changes on individual documents. Reviewing and combining changes from multiple people and managing multiple versions of a document was a tedious process. With Office 365, the file is stored in the cloud where all collaborators can work on it simultaneously.
Not only is file sharing much easier, cloud apps allow collaborators to communicate with each other in various ways such as threaded comments, chats and instant messages, or even by launching an audio or video conference.
Common Types of Cloud Applications
As cloud computing matures, the use cases for cloud apps continue to grow. Some of the more common types of cloud applications include:
- Communication — Skype for Business, Outlook, and instant messaging apps fall under this category.
- Business productivity — Microsoft Office 365, task managers, note apps, and project management apps.
- Data storage, backups, and recovery — Services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft OneDrive are commonly used to store and backup data.
- Big data analytics — Cloud-based apps like Hadoop allow data scientists to mine their data for insights in real time.
Is it Time to Make the Switch to Cloud Applications?
You’re probably already using cloud apps, and perhaps more than you realize. For example, Facebook and Twitter are cloud apps. So are Spotify, Waze, Dropbox, and LinkedIn. While installing and using these apps as a consumer is a simple matter, switching an enterprise to the cloud can quickly become overwhelming. Aitelephone Select can help.
Our cloud app and data expertise are unmatched. We help companies just like yours tap into the power of the cloud with thousands of cloud engineers, established best practices, and partnerships with the leading cloud application providers. Even better, our expertise doesn’t cost you anything more. In fact, you’ll save money with us compared to going directly to the vendor.