It’s high time we cite some good examples of cloud computing. I’ve noticed that we’ve talked a lot about cloud computing, and we’ve talked about some specific top tier cloud software, but never really addressing the cloud aspect of them beyond passing mention.
As a result, people may be mystified about what is and is not cloud software. So, we’re going to demystify this just a bit here by giving some good examples of cloud computing. We’ll do this by citing a few businesses that readily apply the cloud computing model to render a service.
Before that, let’s take a brief moment to talk about what cloud computing is by definition. The concept is that all computation and storage is handled remotely, at server farms which have more power. The machine the user interfaces through is just a projection screen, more or less. SaaS is essentially cloud by nature, as are any service-oriented websites.
So, that stated, let’s look at what are believed by most to be the top five cloud services. These are ones all businesses can afford, so there will be no thousand dollar high echelon service mentioned here.
First, we have OfficeTime. This is a time billing program. What it does is basically track billable hours as a unit, and calculates their accumulation and impending overtime and other factors, in real time as you work. It generates reports, and integrates with CRM and financial software, working remotely through a login.
This is a centralized system which means that all units of billable work potential in your company may be tracked simultaneously with parallel calculation and invoicing This is pretty neat, and at $47, it’s not a bad example of the cloud used affordably.
Next, we have Sage One, which is an expense management and project tracking system. This is also massively parallel through being hosted and operated on a server farm remotely. It offers customization, invoicing and very powerful interface options for workflow tracking and measurement.
While it lacks integration with bank information at the moment, it’s a good choice for anyone with high use of project management.
Finally, we have DocuSign. This is an interesting program, and it probably answers questions many have had regarding how something will work digitally when we go paperless. DocuSign is a digital document signing service. What this allows is for complete digital signing of any given document. With a centralized system, it has a full court-accepted trail of audit, meaning that all signatures are held as court legal. It uses a tagging system on the interface which shows recipients exactly what to do to sign the document, as well. This answers the question of how signing documents will work in the paperless future.
On a closing note, we give honorable mention to Adobe FormsCentural, which is a host and design environment for dynamic interactive forms for businesses, websites and social media pages. It offers intuitive design and implementation, as well as good user tracking services for making metrics and values out of form data.
These are just a few good examples of cloud computing working right now, in practical business. It probably doesn’t look like what you expected such a concept to look like, but seldom is the practical application of the future all that grandiose.