Why the cloud? Why now?

The inevitable trend toward businesses embracing cloud-based applications – and all the attendant advantages it provides – is gaining momentum and generating more converts by the minute.

Once derided as a technology inappropriate for the business community, more businesses are going with the cloud, leaving the percentage of companies using the on-premise, client-server model with an increasingly smaller piece of the applications pie. And in a recent research report, Gartner predicts that cloud computing services are expected to grow 48.7 percent in 2012 to $5 billion, up from $3.4 billion in 2011.

Cloud-provided IT services are considered ideal for the start-ups driving innovation in the IT industry, with immediate benefits in capital expenses, security and operational logistics. For the same reasons, business enterprises with multiple facilities and revenues exceeding $1 billion also are migrating to the cloud.

Faster deployments, predictable costs, nimble configurability, enhanced security, freedom from maintaining an IT infrastructure and staff dedicated to maintaining, updating and testing software; all of these advantages argue for considering whether an enterprise is better served with business as usual – or if it’s time to embrace new technology and focus on its core competency, whatever it is.

We see manufacturers choosing the cloud for its ERP system because it provides superior results at a reduced cost – a winning combination in any environment.

It’s ironic that clouds on the horizon used to portend a storm approaching. Now it metaphorically foreshadows something else entirely – lowered IT costs, reduced waste, improved workflow processes, and more accurate data capture.

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