Web Apps – the next generation of software
It’s simple. Web Apps are applications that run in your browser.
Web applications are popular due to the ubiquity of web browsers, and the convenience of using a web browser as a client, sometimes called a thin client. The ability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client computers is a key reason for their popularity, as is the inherent support for cross-platform compatibility. Common web applications include webmail, online retail sales, online auctions, wikis and many other functions.
Some benefits of cloud computing:
- Installation not required. Web applications do not require complex “roll out” procedures to deploy in large organizations. A compatible web browser is all that is needed;
- No disk space. Storage is on the client;
- No upgrades. All new features are implemented on the server and automatically delivered to users;
- Integrate easily. Other server-side web services, such as email and searching are integrated using the Internet.
- Cross-platform compatibility (i.e., Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) because they operate within a web browser window.
Cloud Computing is a general term that roughly describes a philosophy. That philosophy is generally one of using “Web Provisioned Services” instead of “Software”. It is less about hardware and more about connections, more about results. But, just because you use the Internet does not mean you are engaging in cloud computing.
Cloud computing is about making the Internet a key connector of your business infrastructure. Storing your data and running your business processes using any of the great solutions available on the Internet. Connecting those services securely and productively to do things you’ve only dreamed of 5 years ago.
An example – “how to run email”.
Not Cloud Computing – Buy a powerful computer for email. Buy, install, and run Exchange software, “uninterruptable” power supply, electricity, virus / spam protection, run maintenance utilities (defrag software), install bigger disks, backup data to an offsite location. Buy a connection to the Internet. Buy a firewall. Poke a hole in that new firewall for your new server. Buy a smartphone? Buy a gateway. Need offsite access? Buy a VPN. Upgrade in six years (or, after you’ve had enough of the growing limitations). Repeat.
Cloud Computing – Buy a hot connection to the Internet and a router. Have Alpine set up Google Apps for your company. Let it run. Upgrades are gradual and continuous. Buy a smart phone? It already works with it.
Uptime and security is better. Users are happier. The difference in costs? Much lower. The difference in benefits? Much better. Do you need to give up Outlook? No, but you just might want to.
Alpine is your cloud computing expert. We started this company in 1999 based on the promise of a cloud computing philosophy. It’s here. Ask us how to use it to make your company more productive, lower costs, and be more competitive.