Thoughts on what businesses actually need from the Cloud, not what vendors wish they needed.

Chris Bliss

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Top Stories by Chris Bliss

It’s easy to always say no. Your systems function, the processes are clear, it works. Why invest in cloud computing if nothing is broken? What’s wrong with inaction? We hear that sentiment all the time and it’s easily understood. Business owners are risk adverse and they don’t want to fall for short-term fads, especially with the backbone of their business (IT). That’s commendable. Unfortunately, when a game changer like cloud computing comes along, undue conservatism becomes increasingly costly. Here’s why. 1. When you overlook meaningful trends you then lend a strong competitive edge to early adopters. For example, if your competition’s sales team is linked in via mobile, cloud-based sales pipelining tools, and your team is still struggling to access your on-site server and wonky on-premise CRM, what chance do you stand in competitive bidding? It’s like fighting ... (more)

Why the New Basecamp Refresh Is a Sign of Things to Come (Why That’s Good)

So, the new Basecamp is out, released with much applause (and yes, a few groans). We reviewed it last week and found it super promising. Exciting stuff. What’s more exciting than the sexy new project management tool, though, is how it was released. 37signals, the company behind Basecamp, basically rewrote the rules of software releases. They’ve re-invented their core product, which is pretty unprecedented for software companies, and married two models of software development, old and new. Now that’s exciting To really understand what we’re talking about, a little history is re... (more)

Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense For Small Businesses

submit_url = "http://www.vm-associates.com/2010/04/10/why-the-cloud-makes-sense-for-small-businesses/"; Last month I did a presentation for small business owners at the American Chamber of Commerce in Paris. For many businesses, “cloud computing” is just a marketing term that’s being pitched to them, hot buzz words thrown in their faces. I wanted to really outline what cloud computing is, and how it can make a real difference for their companies. The takeaways are simple: By partnering with a service provider to run your business software (and keep it running), you free up all the... (more)

Why SaaS and Cloud Apps Can Learn from WoW

Anyone who knows what WoW or MMORPG stand for also knows that PC gaming has something important to say about SaaS. For the acronym-unacquainted among us, “World of Warcraft” (WoW) is a “massively multiplayer role-playing game” (MMORPG) in which millions of online players compete for in-game rewards and experience. The numbers behind WoW are staggering – at the time of writing, over 5.5 million users were online. Add to that some 7 million inactive users, and Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind WoW, has over a dozen million paying subscribers. Wow indeed. Considering that ... (more)

My Name Is Nick, or Why IT Needs Names and Faces

I’m a big fan of The Office but since I don’t buy cable (sorry Time Warner) I only just saw last season’s finale on Netflix. Leaving aside any discussion of television’s future and it’s inevitable marriage with SaaS, the episode left me thinking about how boring most IT departments have become. Here’s a clip from the show to illustrate what I mean: Sadly, the total inability of his coworkers to remember Nick’s name is par for the course in IT. Most businesses keep IT out of sight and out of mind, utilized when needed and forgotten when not. Folks don’t remember Nick because he... (more)