Can't avoid the ever ubiquitous marketing and real world cloud references. Cloud computing, however, is still just computing, and at the end of the day, we invest in computing infrastructure as a means to an end - and that end is enhanced productivity and profitability.
As I look into my crystal ball for 2013, there are a few topics I think will be hot around the water cooler, and as a business owner, executive or IT professional, it would be smart to start thinking about and planning for.
The cloud presents many opportunities for business to operate more efficiently and with less capital investment. Clearly, the cloud is here to stay and is part of the current language of business and technology.That being said, it is CRITICAL to educate yourself to ensure you understand the risks (so you can remediate them) and the legal issues regarding cloud computing so you can ensure that you protect your business, your customers and yourself.
One of the most challenging aspects of the current push towards cloud computing is the confusing marketing aspect of it. The answer to every question is 'cloud' and there is little clarity around what is meant. 'Cloud Computing' has become as much a marketing buzzword as it is a technology.
I think Microsoft is on spot here, and believe that they got ahead of the market. This device represents bringing hardware, software, and cloud computing together in a way that is compelling and simple. It works, and it makes me more productive.
This is the final year that Microsoft will be selling its SBS server, a product tailor made to the needs of the 36 million or so small businesses (up to 25 users and 50 devices) which needed a cost effective method for deploying a Microsoft computing environment including Exchange for email as well as all the basic management tools needed for a computer network.