From: Jonathan Creaser, Head of ICT, Richmond Housing Partnership
Sir – I’ve never taken much notice of the weather forecast; it’s invariably wrong. The weather just happens, just creeps up on us and we put up with it because we have no choice. The same seems to apply to cloud computing. Over the past few years we have been bombarded with messages espousing the benefits of the cloud, how it’s going to reduce our TCO and ultimately change our lives and the lives of our tenants.
Oddly enough, the cloud is already here. It caught us unawares while we were ambling along. Spotify has over 21 million active users, LinkedIn has 175 million users, Facebook claims to have almost 1 billion users and Microsoft has shifted five million Office 365 seats within three months… all products and services in the cloud.
What I find mildly depressing is that the majority of suppliers who are promoting the benefits of the cloud don’t really get it. Yes, they talk about real-time access to data from wherever you are, sharing information, contingency around offsite storage, live chat and webinars.
I understand all that, but what we really need to do is encourage the big housing software suppliers to move their lumbering applications into the cloud and to provide flexible, modular interfaces for apps, opening the way for shared services and full integration with existing best-of-breed cloud solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics, Google Docs, SalesForce.com, Office 365, Facebook and other social media applications.
Then we will all celebrate how cloudy it really is.