Consciously or unconsciously businesses and people in general are using more and more applications within the cloud. Everything from corporate intranets, CRM and company email through to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all delivered through the cloud to a browser. The challenge for businesses is how best to leverage the solutions available within the cloud, both those running inside the company firewall and those beyond.
There is significant interest in cloud computing infrastructure, applications and services with many new businesses emerging addressing these areas and the well established software companies responding by offering SaaS based solutions for their current products. This ever growing marketplace while offering greater choice requires deeper investigation to determine which services to leverage. Equally important in addition to deciding which services/applications to use is how to seemlessly stitch these solutions together along with existing non-cloud based solutions. This requires taking a broader perspective to enterprise architecture that includes services beyond the company firewall as an integral part of the solution not just an afterthought. Assembling the services you need in the cloud is made easier due to the open standards typically being adopted such as SOAP and REST. It also requires consideration to be given to security of data being transferred and stored in the cloud.
What makes the cloud so interesting is it’s openness and the ability to truly assemble not only the best services but not be locked into one particular platform or have to accept a monolithic solution which is providing capabilities you don’t need. As the breadth and variety of services available grows businesses can decide to utilise the services they need when they need them at the right time for their business. Assembling or even pre-assembling compelling services and applications in the cloud will offer businesses the business agility and control of cost they need both this year and beyond.