Software, Apps, Or What?

In “The Virtualization of America,” I talked a little bit about why companies are going virtual, or moving to the cloud. I also talked a little bit about what that means. But I didn’t talk about was the how of the why, or what methods are used to virtualize or what it is exactly that businesses are moving into the cloud. So let’s talk about it.

In this century, every business has computers. Every business has certain applications and software that are important to their business. You may need spreadsheets for tracking inventory or other business processes. You may have specific software packages that are proprietary to your business. Or you may purchase off-the-shelf software solutions for running your business processes.

Whatever the case, those software solutions and applications have to be stored somewhere so that people in your company can use them. Traditionally, that’s been done on-site by most companies.

When we talk about virtualization, or cloud computing, what we’re really talking about is taking those computing assets and moving them to a remote location so that you can access them from the Internet. That is done by either moving your current computing systems to a separate location to be managed by someone else, purchasing computers that exist elsewhere and that will be managed by someone else, leasing computers, or renting parts of computers that act as whole computers – called virtualization.

Now you know your options. Each of those methods of cloud computing have benefits. Do your research, find out what other companies are doing, and chart your own course. Virtualization is here to stay, but no one has written the definitive rule book yet.

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