In a recent post we looked at Gartner’s hype cycle and said it’s time to move behind the cloud and…the hype. Let’s indeed push aside all the cloud vapour — the jargon and spin no one really understands — and talk about practical ways organisations like yours can achieve measurable business benefits.
We’ll start by briefly recapping on what we mean by ‘the cloud’.
Cloud computing is a style of computing where scalable and flexible IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ to external customers using internet technologies.
So cloud computing offers private or public services over the internet or via a private connection, and users access resources, software and applications through a web browser rather than hosting software locally within their own organisation.
It helps to think of the cloud not as a single thing, but as a wide-ranging technology and business trend that changes how we look at things, particularly how organisations manage, pay for, design, operate, control and secure their IT.
Practical developments designed to help you make cloud services work for your organisation
So once you’ve got your head round what the cloud is, what’s next? It seems like a good idea, but what are the next steps to unlock the promised benefits of increased efficiency, flexibility, productivity and innovation?
Let’s look at practical developments designed to help you make cloud services work for your organisation and to make switchover to the cloud much more simple. Here at BT, we recognise that every organisation faces its own specific scenarios, and what’s needed is a simple way of finding the right approach to, and combination of, cloud services to deliver the best results in those scenarios.
We’ve recently unveiled the next phase of our ‘Beyond the cloud’ programme, specifically designed to make switchover to the cloud easier for organisations like yours.
BT now offers an open innovation environment to give our partners and our customers the tools, resources and expertise to create new, tailored cloud solutions for individual industries. In short, it’s all about making the cloud potential real, and real in a way that works for your sector.
BT’s platform is now a ‘blue sky’ area for leading cloud technology vendors, developers and BT customers to research, develop and try out solutions specifically for a major industry sector. In the cloud world nothing is set in stone, so it makes sense to encourage innovation and experimentation.
Here’s a taste of what we’ve achieved so far through open cloud collaboration.
In education, we’re working on a low-cost virtual desk top learning environment to make learning easier, no matter what device is used, and still with the protection pupils need.
In retail, we’ve developed a flexible approach to in-store point-of-sale technology to meet the seasonal demands of the retail sector.
In the health sector, we can offer automatic transcription of medical dictation and notes, freeing-up health professionals to spend more time with patients. And we’ve created an efficiency management tool to help PCTs measure their performance against the best-in-class.
And in the pharmaceutical sector, we’ve pioneered a scalable technology solution that speeds up life sciences research, shortening time-to-market.
This is just the start of finding practical cloud solutions for your industry sector; our ‘Beyond the cloud’ programme is just beginning.