“Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing.” ~ Paul Maritz, CEO of VMware
A few months ago I started writing blog posts detailing why we emphasise the use of cloud computing and recommend hosting all our systems in the cloud. The first two posts are The Big Fluffy Cloud and Development: How You Want It, When You Want It. This post continues with that theme and looks at Platform as a Service and how the cloud allows the underlying infrastructure that hosts our software to grow with your business in an affordable and time conscious manner.
One of our goals and pleasures in Nitec is to see our customers succeed and bring more jobs, money and recognition to Northern Ireland as a result. However, growing as a company has implications for IT. On the infrastructure side these are many and varied, but on the software side these problems often fall into two brackets:
- Changes in the software
- Speed of the software
Changes in the Software
As your company grows what you require from your software changes. Perhaps you offer a new product or service that requires additions or changes to the software. Or perhaps you just want to measure success in a different way. At Nitec this is where we shine as we seek to be a part of your continued growth and success. For more information on this see my blog post on Partnering in Software. Our goal here is for Nitec to be your externally–based internal software development department.
Speed of the Software
One question I often get asked is “will the software that Nitec builds be fast enough?”. Perhaps your company is coming from a local Microsoft Access–based system or a set of Excel sheets where information was seemingly instantaneous. Now we are suggesting you move to a cloud–based web system. Will that not be slower? In Nitec we don’t believe it will be, and we believe that there are also many other advantages – many of which come from hosting your software in the cloud.
From the outset keeping your software fast is something that we invest time and effort in. We utilize intelligent database design to make sure it is efficient and then use the latest web technologies to increase rendering time on the server, transport time from the server to the client and rendering time on the client. All of this results in a fast system that is a joy to use.
But what happens as your company grows and more and more users start using a system that now has more and more data contained within it? Will the system keep up? The short answer is it may not. A fact of technology is that as it gets more use and contains more data it sometimes requires more computing power.
The traditional answer to this problem would be to increase the power of your internal infrastructure. That may require anything from adding memory to your server to replacing the whole server. This is time consuming and would require a capital expenditure on your part.
However, in a cloud world, everything changes. To add the extra computing power, we simply go onto the Azure portal and change some settings and within a few minutes your database or web server has increased resources. The result is a faster system for a modest increase in monthly costs. Again, the cloud has a cheaper, more efficient solution to traditional hosting infrastructures that allows your software to keep pace with your business.
“The end of ‘Fashion IT’ — customers will only pay for value and not technology.” – Sunny Ghosh, Director and CEO of Wolf Frameworks