The Sky’s The Limit – Expect More from Your Deltek in The Cloud.

The Sky’s The Limit – Expect More from Your Deltek in The Cloud.

In this white paper, Jay Ethridge and Joe Jezior of Technology & Business Solutions (TBS) show that as cloud delivery becomes more and more available and attractive, it’s time to expect more from the cloud. They outline four fundamental expectations any provider MUST meet before you should be confident in moving your most critical corporate software to the cloud. It’s the seventh in a series of TBS white papers on cloud computing that defines the enterprise cloud and discusses its benefits, why companies of all sizes, including Google, Microsoft and the Federal Government, are embracing it, and how you can leverage this new technology at your firm.

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Over the past few months we’ve explored all of the important facets of “The Cloud” in our TBS whitepaper series, Understanding Cloud Computing: What’s Best for Your Enterprise.

At TBS, we know that the push for delivery of corporate software – like Deltek GCS, Costpoint, Vision, Time Collection & Expense – securely, scalably and cost-effectively via the Internet is undeniable for today’s workforce, which is increasingly mobile and distributed at multiple work sites for their clients.

According to Gartner’s recent CIO survey titled "Reimagining IT: The 2011 CIO Agenda” (sampling 2,014 CIOs in 50 countries with $160 billion in IT spending) -- "Currently, 3 percent of CIOs have the majority of IT running in the cloud or on SaaS technologies, but over the next four years CIOs expect this number to increase to 43 percent." As a result, Gartner says the typical IT organization, which invests two-thirds of its budget in daily operations, will free up between 35 to 50 percent of its resources by moving to the cloud.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has famously said “we’re betting our company on cloud computing.” And, Federal Government CIO Vivek Kundra has instituted a “cloud-first” mandate for all agencies, insisting they each send one application to the cloud this year and two more shortly thereafter.

Thankfully, TBS has been hosting Deltek products in our Enterprise Cloud since 2004 – yes, before “The Cloud” was even cool. And though giants like Google, Deltek, Microsoft, and the Federal Government are joining the momentum for cloud hosting and SaaS, TBS’s focus is right where it’s always been. We’re that same small, service-first company that’s always known cloud delivery is the most cost-effective, scalable and secure IT environment for businesses of all sizes.

At TBS, we know that not all clouds are the same. They don’t all have silver linings.

As cloud delivery becomes more and more available and attractive, we believe it’s time to expect more from the cloud. And TBS is here to help. If you’ve been following our whitepaper series, you know that there are four fundamental expectations your provider MUST meet before you should be confident in moving your most critical corporate software to the cloud.

Expect Cost-Effective Scalability and Forward Compatibility – Some cloud providers deliver “private clouds” or “managed hosting.” They build unique and dedicated server environments on a client-by-client basis. As a result, private clouds are a hodge-podge of hosting environments that range in capability, performance and scalability. When it comes to upgrading software versions and service packs private clouds are reactive, waiting for their customers to demand improvements before they do so client by client. And, they’re more expensive too, as each private cloud client must bear its own hardware, software and security costs.

Conversely, public enterprise clouds -- like the TBS environment -- are built as platforms, meaning every cloud user benefits from the very same software, upgradeability and performance. Because public clouds are engineered to deliver for thousands upon thousands of users, they must deploy the latest, most stable and secure software on the market. For instance, existing TBS Costpoint customers will automatically receive the new super-charged version of CP7 when TBS rolls out that upgrade later this year. And, as public clouds must scale frequently and securely without interruption for current users as the client base builds, you can push your use of public cloud assets up or down instantly as your business grows.

Expect the Very Best Security and Regulatory Compliance – Is your business required to meet SAS 70 Type II standards to ensure SOX compliance? Based upon where your workforce resides, are state personnel privacy standards like MA201 a mandate? If so, make sure your cloud provider delivers a compliance-ready environment. Generally speaking, public enterprise clouds are much more likely to meet the highest regulatory standards because if just one public cloud client requires a SOX, SAS 70 Type II, or MA201 environment, all of that provider’s clients will gain one too. Practically speaking, public providers only need assert one time for auditors each year that their environment is conforming to regulatory standards. Private cloud providers, of course, must respond to multiple auditors on a case by case basis each year for every client for SAS 70 Type II and other compliance.

When it comes to the security of your cloud data, the very best providers offer SSL and AES 256 data encryption, and for their data centers: biometric controls, uninterruptible power, fire and flood protection and counter-measures, and daily encrypted offsite back-ups.

Expect Cutting-Edge Reporting and Integration – Increasingly, businesses accessing their corporate systems in the cloud are expecting more from their software. In the Deltek space, one important area is reporting, where mobile, highly-connected workers are looking for their project cost, budget, and fee data to be available on a self-service basis, or better yet, to be automatically pushed to them when critical milestones are met. They’re also looking for cloud solutions that transcend monthly accounting procedures – Project Managers want access to their contracts’ unposted and unprocessed labor and expenses before the month is closed. Integration is another rising expectation for software delivered in the cloud.

For Deltek products more and more users are looking for GCS and Time Collection and Vision to sync directly and seamlessly with their corporate HR, CRM and other systems. As PeopleSoft and Quickbooks and Dynamics are moving to the cloud too, businesses expect their cloud providers to integrate them all.

Expect Independent, Agile Technology – The very best cloud providers are focused solely on secure, scalable, high-performance software delivery. These technology-only providers understand that their infrastructure and solutions must be constantly calibrated and enhanced as corporate cloud adoption is projected to grow by a factor of 15 over the next 48 months, and as more and more businesses demand that their various corporate systems efficiently integrate via the cloud. Such best-in-class cloud providers do not have implementation or consulting practices – divisions that provide on-site software deployments or perform accounting services that compliment Deltek software – because these competing priorities drag on the core mission to deliver the very best cloud environment possible.

As a technology company with no consulting practice, TBS is not entangled by client-side IT infrastructure or competing accounting engagements, so the agile, independent TBS cloud is immediately ready to meet the changing requirements of your business, be they more and more cloud users, reporting, or integration.

The growth and availability of cloud computing offers great benefits to businesses large and small. But, as more and more cloud hosting and SaaS options appear day by day, you should be expecting more from the cloud. To find out how, or to learn if your business is ready for the cloud contact TBS at http://tbs-llc.com/contact/ or, dive into the rest of our whitepaper series, which examines:

To craft an enterprise cloud model tailored to your organization's needs, contact TBS or call 703.444.6562.

tags: 
Cloud Computing
Compliance