Industry Watch: Cloud has more value in smaller shops
March 23, 2012 —
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InfoStreet is soft-launching SkyDesktop and SkyAppMarket. He sees this, as others have, as the beginning of the end of the operating system as we know it. But he has a long view of the subject.
SkyDesktop, he explained, is a single point of entry to your applications in the cloud. “Nowadays, people go to the cloud, but they go to one site to access their CRM, another site to do their online accounting, another site to do their e-mail and whatnot. And it’s becoming somewhat of a learning curve for new employees because when you hire somebody new you have to say, ‘Hey, for e-mail, go to www xyz.com, for CRM go to www abc.com...’ and you go to all these different sites, and they have to take notes, they have to remember, and it’s difficult. So what we have done is we’ve created SkyDesktop, which is a desktop that is for all the cloud applications, meaning that all the cloud apps that you either buy from us or have bought already, and you can create shortcuts on this desktop, and it resembles a Mac desktop or a Windows desktop.
“This is really going full circle to coming up with an operating system in the sky that people can go ahead and just use it,” he said. “So they log in, they see their icons, they click on it. Anything they bought from us has single sign-on, some other ones through OpenID or SAML have single sign-ons through them, so they come in and it’s just like using a local desktop.
“The difference is it’s in the cloud. You don’t get viruses, you can use it from anywhere, and most importantly for small businesses—and this is something that is lost upon a lot of people—is that nowadays with the way technology works, everybody has to replenish their hardware every about two to three years, because they just become slow or virus-prone or whatnot. But when you are using cloud-based solutions, any old hardware will do because all you’re doing is using a browser to display it, and the computing is happening at the data center.
“So people could have 4-year-old technology to just watch and interact with the software, and if that machine dies or gets viruses—(though) chances are much lower because they’re using cloud software—they just leave it alone and go sit at the next computer, and two minutes later they’re back working as opposed to trying to restore a machine and having a day or two lost. That productivity loss is very, very big for small business, and small businesses are most vulnerable to productivity loss because they have no cushion.”
David Rubinstein is editor-in-chief of SD Times.