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Cloud Computing

 'Cloud computing' is starting to change the IT landscape considerably and will in the future change the way IT is done. There are some pros and cons to it but once an organisation understands those it can leverage those for its business. There are particular benefits for small to medium size businesses. The three cloud platforms that I have looked into are

Google Apps is the platform that I have spent most time looking into.The others will provide variations on what it does. It is largely free to do significant development work and it works. I have gained an understanding of the Java environment where as a developer you get a huge amount of capability for little to no cost. 

The platform is extremely powerful for a business wanting to leverage a standard CRM package that is flexible by configuring it to your organisations needs. It was quiet easy to understand quickly and I examined the integration capability with corporate IT systems while working for LIC. It has some a really good tools and could be made to do lots of standard business things. However it did have a proprietary language which did put me off developing in it a bit but I was not too worried about that.

I went to a presentation by the Azure Microsoft Product Manager and it is powerful. The cost model is typically complicated and you will find yourself lock into the Microsoft world. This is not a  problem for most businesses as they have a Microsoft environment. I have limited time so have not spent so long looking into this world. Microsoft have a strategy of waiting until a innovation starts to gain traction then they throw large amounts of resource at it and implement the same innovation very well. That is not to say they are not innovating all the time but they are very strategic in where they invest. They are able to  leverage huge amounts of resources to gain a significant presence in the market. They are very developer focused and ensure that they produce very good tools on which developers and businesses can build but are often late to the party and can be seen as a having a 'me too' type approach.