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  1. 1. Cloud Computing: Useful tool, or water vapor? August 4, 2010 National Association of Bar Executives Michelle Murrain Director of Engineering, OpenIssue, LLC 1
  2. 2. Talk Overview •Definitions •How did we get here? •Examples •Advantages and Disadvantages •Implementing Cloud Computing 2
  3. 3. Definitions 3
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  5. 5. Definitions •“Cloud” computing is the situation where resources (storage, processing, display) are contained offsite and accessed through the internet •“Cloud” computing is a buzzword •“Cloud” computing could be called just as easily “Internet” computing 5
  6. 6. How did we get here? •Cloud computing depends on the following components: • Cheap hardware • Open Source operating systems and services (web servers, etc.) • Open Standards allowing easy data flow • In earlier days, we had the mainframe - but it was a silo 6
  7. 7. Examples •There are many different cloud companies - and many large companies have cloud computing efforts •Cloud computing is the hallmark of Web 2.0 •Both public and enterprise examples 7
  8. 8. Examples, cont. •There are 3 basic “cloud” flavors: • Cloud Services • Cloud Servers • Cloud Software •Some Cloud providers (especially Google) provide a mix 8
  9. 9. Examples, cont. •Services: • Email, Files, Calendaring •Servers and Storage: • Iron (but virtual) • Backups •Software: • Productivity • Financial • Fundraising 9
  10. 10. Google •Google pretty much only exists in the cloud •Google Apps (Services and Software): •Cloud Mail, Calendaring, Collaboration Tools, Productivity tools •Versions for public as well as enterprise •Very popular among organizations 10
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  15. 15. Amazon •Different kind of cloud provider •Provides server resources •Provides Unix and Windows servers •You install and configure for your own needs •Provides easy scalability •Inexpensive storage 15
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  18. 18. • is Software as a Service •Originally a Salesforce Automation and Customer Service tool - has now become much more broad •Different versions with different capabilities •Increasingly popular in nonprofits •Development platform for web- enabled databases 18
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  21. 21. Advantages of “The Cloud” •Servers and Services: • No hardware to service • No hardware to buy • No hardware to break • Lower electricity bills • No need for WAN • Ease of integration with other cloud tools 21
  22. 22. Advantages of “The Cloud” •Software • No custom software to maintain • For Commercial Software: Costs are comparable (or lower), but without hardware and hardware maintenance costs • Integration with other cloud tools is easier 22
  23. 23. Disadvantages of “The Cloud” •Internet access required (cut off from mission-critical data/functionality if there is no internet access) •Doesn’t integrate with on-premise tools well •Security compliance must be investigated •Data is not in-house 23
  24. 24. Other issues •Security of data kept in the cloud can be both less secure, and more secure than data kept on-premises. •Weigh software license fees with monthly Software-as-a-Service fees •Weigh hardware maintenance costs against monthly server CPU/Storage costs 24
  25. 25. What’s next? •Implementing Cloud servers, services, or software is very much like implementing any technology change in your organization: • What are the points of pain? • What are the needs of users? • What is the budget? • Will the proposed solution get the job done? 25
  26. 26. Overall Comments •“The Cloud” is just water vapor - don’t buy the hype - don’t just move to the cloud because it’s the next big thing. •That said, Cloud servers, services, and/or software might be a good solution to particular points of pain. 26
  27. 27. Overall Comments •If you are looking for a specific technology change (like a new CRM/Donor database, or a new email service, new data storage needs) don’t forget to look carefully at the Cloud options •At this point, there are cloud options for every mission-critical technology function that an organization needs. 27