*How Large Enterprises Use Cloud Computing

Our previous post covered how large enterprise is growing and embracing the advent of cloud computing. Today we’re going to expand on that and outline the individual parts and reasonings behind this ever increasing switch to the cloud.

Like our last post, this one is based on a Management Insight Technologies, white paper titled “The Arrival of “Cloud Thinking”, How and Why Cloud Computing Has Come of Age in Large Enterprises”. It’s based on research gleaned from over 400 IT professionals at major companies in North America and Europe.

1. The Applications in a Large Enterprise Cloud Computing Network

When it comes to large enterprises (1,000+ employees) the most used function of the virtual office, or cloud computing, is the email and collaboration aspect. Virtual desktops, databases, applications and the rest are all used by enterprises to keep employees on the same page and within the same structure to avoid compatibility issues as well as promote continuity throughout their organization.

Pay special attention to how an enterprises focus on cloud computing shifts as the stages of “virtualization”, or switch to cloud computing, progresses. Database and Virtual desktops peak in the ‘advanced stage’ after an early boom of email/collaboration and applications (software).

Finally, in the most “cloud-like” stage of integration, enterprises begin to use industry specific applications that were once available only at a centralized point or only through the sharing large files with multiple copies of the software loaded on separate computers. CAD Design springs to mind. Rather than one person editing, then sending it off to the next person, an entire group could work on the same project simultaneously. Newspapers and publishers could benefit from this as well. It would allow layout designers and editors to compile an issue from all points of the globe.

2. The Pubic Vs. Private Cloud Computing

You may be scratching your head wondering what constitutes the difference between public and private clouds. Well, according to Mike Maxey over at Sys-Con Media, it’s simply a measure of where it is deployed. Simply put: within a firewall is a private cloud. Outside a firewall is a public cloud and is usually offered as an internet-based service with per usage transfer fees.

Security is the biggest differentiator when it comes to public and private cloud computing, at least in the eyes of large corporations. So, if a large enterprise does not need “Global Access for Users”, as the graphic above depicts, why would it open itself up to the risks posed by allowing it. However, if a company can make use of “Global Access for Users” they can cast a wider net, potentially increasing sales or another similar goal albeit at an increased security risk.

It all depends on which one works for any given business model. For most truly mammoth enterprises, this amounts to a hybrid system, where some parts are public and others are private.

What Does it Mean?

It’s very clear that small enterprises have gained nearly level footing with large ones and can compete in today’s marketplace. This is mainly due to the use of mobile technologies and cloud computing or the virtual office as well as the ability of a small organization to connect personally in a world of increasingly personal business to consumer relations.

It takes time and a lot of resources for giant organizations to accomplish their goals of virtualization. During their switch they are particularly vulnerable because of the inherent glitches that come with switching over IT systems, procedures and that comes before considering the short-term loss of productivity from the learning curve of new technologies for employees and management. That means that this period of history is bound to see a great deal of shake-up as cultures, thought patterns and business models shift to embrace the swiftly moving future.

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