With all the technical jargon and hype regarding cloud computing – how can you decipher what is real in cloud computing? SBS Group’s white paper – 35 Questions Every CFO Needs to Ask About ERP Software in the Cloud – overviews key questions to guide CFOs in evaluating ERP/accounting software. The white paper is organized into five key categories and these categories can be looked at as steps when evaluating ERP software in the cloud. The 5 Simple Steps for Demystifying Cloud Computing include:
Step 1 – Define the Terms
Step 2 – Understand the Benefits
Step 3 – Ask Questions and Address Concerns
Step 4 – Ensuring Compliance
Step 5 – Simplify the Licensing Purchase
SaaS vs. IaaS? Private or Public cloud? We start at the beginning by defining cloud terms – Step 1. Here is a list of the most common cloud terms and brief descriptions:
1. Cloud Computing – the method of delivering any type of software to users via the internet (email, accounting, ERP, CRM, etc.) A public cloud’s infrastructure is comprised of multi-tenant servers while a private cloud has dedicated servers for one organization. The term hybrid cloud refers to a combination of public, private or on premise infrastructure services.
*For a visual representation of cloud computing, view the Why Are Everyone’s Thoughts in the Clouds? Infographic.
2. IaaS or Infrastructure as a service – All applications run on a cloud provider’s infrastructure. The cloud vendor only supplies hardware and connectivity.
3. PaaS or Platform as a Service – Applications on the cloud provider’s infrastructure and provider manages the operating system, storage, hardware and networking.
4. Hosting – Most commonly used when associated with ERP (enterprise resource planning) and LOB (line of business) software. The hardware, operating system, installation, upgrade and user configurations for the systems are all provided by cloud provider. The licenses may either be subscription based or owned.
5. SaaS or Software as a Service – Users subscribe or rent access to the software over the internet. The customer application data is stored on public cloud servers. This is often referred to as “on demand.”
6. Virtualization – A software layer between existing computer hardware and host operating systems. This buffer layer of software allows multiple virtual machines (VM). Each VM hosts its own operating system and application to run side by side on the same physical hardware.
7. MSP or Managed Service Provider – Provides management of network based services, applications and equipment to end users. The MSP often acts as the agent for a cloud provider with value added services to monitor applications and manage user issues.
Our next blog post in the series, Step 2 – Understanding the Benefits of Cloud Computing will overview key questions to ask around costs, scalability, security and more. However, if you want to learn more now, download the white paper – 35 Questions Every CFO Needs to Ask about ERP Software in the Cloud.
As a business solution provider, SBS Group works with clients to offer ERP/accounting software in the cloud and other cloud solutions. To learn more, contact SBS Group at 888.725.2555 or visit our contact page (http://www.sbsgroupusa.com/contact-us).