Cloud computing can have huge benefits for a business of any size. If you’re running a small business you can share information and use world class software without up front costs. If you’re a large business you can consolidate complex applications onto less hardware, run them on someone else’s computers and access them over the internet.


I am one of the panelists at the Irish Executives conference in Galway Ireland on 15-Sep-2011. Here are some resources (articles, videos and books) that might help you learn more about the cloud software and how it can benefit your business.

What is cloud anyway?

Wikipedia defines cloud computing as:

    Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product. Shared resources (like storage), software and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).

The wikipedia article has a good overview and history of cloud computing.

Salesforce have put together a good three minute video introduction to cloud computing.

Cloud and Agile/Radical Businesses

We believe cloud services go hand and hand with new approaches to running businesses like Agile, Radical Management, Lean and eMyth.

What about some examples?

Here’s some cloud services we use or know. Some are large global businesses and some are Irish early stage companies who will be global businesses soon.

  • Amazon Web Services provide compute and storage engines and server farms where you can run your own software. We use Amazon EC2 (compute engines) and S3 (storage).
  • Cauwill provide the PinPoints service which allows an address, like “50 Avenue du President Wilson 93200 La Plaine Saint Denis” to be converted to something like – this can be inserted into emails, SMS, forum posts, blogs, tweets etc.
  • Datagrid provide a backup appliance (that sits in your office) that also backs up your data (encrypted) to the cloud. Offsite backup without the hassle.
  • Datahug helps you win new business and retain existing customers by analyzing your enterprise communications.
  • Digital Mines help you reduce time and effort spent on day-to-day cloud management and monitoring.
  • Dropbox allows you store and synchronize files across multiple devices and into the cloud.
  • Eventovate enables hotels to profitably grow their wedding business. It is the leading dedicated provider of software services to this market in Europe.
  • Hubspot is all-in-one inbound marketing software.
  • Github secure software code sharing.
  • Intercom is a customer relationship management and messaging tool for web app owners.
  • Intralinks provide super-secure cloud document repositories for mergers & acquisitions and clinical trials.
  • Jive provide collaboration and social business solutions.
  • ManageCO2 provide enterprise carbon accounting and greenhouse gas emissions management software.
  • Mfg Vision provides state-of-the-art Cloud-based Yield Management and Data Analysis Tools to global semiconductor companies large and small.
  • OnePageCRM is a web-based customer and prospect management sales tool.
  • Orchestra is a platform for deploying, scaling and managing your PHP applications.
  • Plendi do mobile/cloud expense tracking for busy folks.
  • RightSignature is the easiest, fastest way to get documents filled out and signed online.
  • Salesforce manage sales and customer relationships.
  • Sonru is an automated online video interview solution that replaces first round phone and face to face interviews.
  • TrendMicro have an office in Cork, employing 250 and are the world’s largest content & cloud security company.

What are the pitfalls?

There are some concerns about security, what if the service provider gets hacked? What if they go out of business? When evaluating cloud providers be sure to take these factors into account. Some providers allow you to backup your data. However, some people don’t realize how insecure other services like email are. Email is essentially an electronic postcard and can be complex to make it secure.

Thank you for reading

We hope you found something useful. Please try Goshido, our collaboration & project management platform. Everyone is a project manager these days. Goshido helps teams of all shapes and sizes to get things done.

If you trial Goshido using the link above, you’ll get a 40% discount for you and your team if you decide to purchase.

Photo by barto, available under a Creative Commons attribution license