Why is Cloud Computing (Saas) Your Best Choice?

Here is a list – not a complete list, by any means – of some of the reasons that Cloud computing, also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS),  is the best solution for your organization.

No Software
Unlike traditional client-server systems, in a Cloud (also known as SaaS) deployment it isn’t necessary to install software on each user’s computer, thus IT departments don’t need to install, patch, upgrade, or maintain multiple software configurations.  This saves a great deal of time, money, labor, and frustration.

Low Up-Front Technology Costs
When using a Cloud system, the customer does not have to make large upfront investments in hardware, operating systems, databases, software licenses, IT staff, and ongoing overhead costs. It requires no client-owned or managed infrastructure other than Internet access, and can be entirely supported on an infrastructure provided by the SaaS (cloud) supplier.

Rapid Implementation
Since no installation of on-site hardware or software is required, implementation can start immediately, meaning customers can start realizing benefits right away with limited upfront costs, rather than spending months deploying a client-server solution.

Continual Upgrades
Cloud computing makes upgrades a thing of the past. Upgrades are automatic and free using the Cloud model. Since Cloud suppliers’ development resources are not wasted on maintaining many different software versions across many unique platform configurations, they can focus their development efforts on continually adding new innovations to the software. And new features and functionality can be added to the system and made available to all users with no down-time.

Cloud Supplier Does the Heavy Lifting
Software success used to be the sole responsibility of the customer.  In the Cloud world, the supplier is responsible for deployment, maintenance, infrastructure, security, etc. Because Cloud providers generate revenue based on a user subscription model, they are very motivated to get customers up and running quickly and ensure ongoing value and usage.

In a Cloud deployment, all critical data is stored in a secure, off-site data center. Most IT departments are typically pulled in many directions, and are typically challenged to keep up with the latest in network and physical security strategies. In a Cloud depoyment, data security is core to the SaaS providers offering, meaning that customers can rest assured that their data is almost certainly much more secure in a Cloud deployment than in a client server environment.

The needs of clients are constantly changing, so you need a system that is adaptable to meet future needs.  Cloud systems can efficiently adapt to changing environments by adding new technologies, and new functionalities, and instantly making them available to clients.

Ideal for Small IT Departments
Since users don’t need servers, or any special equipment, Cloud is suitable for small or departmental level deployments, and does not impact other IT resources.

IT Expense Predictability
The total cost of using a Cloud system is very predictable since the majority of expenses are the responsibility of the Cloud provider. This is much different than in a client-server environment where once the system is accepted, ongoing maintenance, operation and support is the burden of the end user, and is often unpredictable.  In a Cloud deployment, the provider assumes all of the risk and is therefore motivated to perform.

Cloud is ideal for  users who are mobile, and need to work and access information from different locations.  Cloud software can be securely accessed from any computer (office, home, etc) that has access to the Internet.

Cloud-based solutions are designed to scale seamlessly for large numbers of simultaneous users. As such, they are able to easily maintain performance levels and uptime as your organization grows and the volume of data stored expands over time. With an on-premise, client-based solution, managing performance and uptime are burdens the customer must handle, and can involve additional costs in database licenses, skilled personnel, hardware and infrastructure.

This article is a reprint from Christian School Products Magazine, June 2012, and an adaptation of the same that is posted by Sycamore Education (http://www.sycamoreeducation.com/se_rocks/articles/why-is-cloud-computing-the-best-choice.html).

About Alumni Channel
Alumni Channel is a cloud-based membership management suite for alumni, school and various other organizations.  We offer the ability for organizations to store membership data online, giving both the organization, and its members, 24/7/365 access to keep data up-to-date.  Our clients include public, private, Catholic and Christian schools, small colleges and universities, non-profit membership groups (camp, youth group, etc.), and corporate-based alumni networks.

Alumni Channel works with schools, districts, education foundation, dioceses, and alumni associations (and other non-profits) to foster better alumni relations through online alumni communities. Our communities have features such as profiles, news updates, alerts, online payments, message boards, photo galleries and more, and are built specifically for your organization. Each community gives alumni a place to register, keep contact information up-to-date, find and communicate with each other, and at the same time see and receive the news and announcements you want them to see.