I recently had the opportunity to speak at NTEN’s Cloud Summit held on October 26th at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. This in-person event was a great follow-up to the series of Cloud Webinars that NTEN sponsored over the summer.
After the opening plenary by Ami Dar, the Executive Director of Idealist, I spoke on the topic of “Developing a Cloud Strategy”. This session was Livestreamed by NTEN and is available here.
I think that it is important to develop a little deeper understanding of what the term “Cloud” means, since most every IT solution that’s out there has slapped some blue skies on their landing page and dubbed their product a “cloud solution”. At its core a Cloud Solution is an architecture that provides scalable, Internet-accessible services. I like to use the terms Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (Paas) and Software as a Service (SaaS) to divide up the solutions that are out there. The solutions that fall in the IaaS and PaaS categories like Amazon’s EC2 Cloud and Microsoft’s Azure are typically not practical solutions for most organizations under 200 seats. Organizations in this category are typically looking at the Software as a Service where popular offerings such as Office 365, Google Apps, Salesforce, Box.net and Twitter among others are found.
While discussing semantics about what truly qualifies as a Cloud is quite fun most people just want a solution that works. I think that there are three main points to keep in mind when looking at migrating some, or all of your IT systems to the Cloud.

The cloud is in some ways a circle back to the beginning of modern computing where small terminals were physically connected back to the main shared data processing system. We’ve been able to cut the cord and there are many more systems to connect to, but the model is still the same. Look forward for my blog on the power of local processing in 20 years.
More questions about the cloud?
Community IT has explored both SharePoint and OneDrive on our blog in the posts on OneDrive vs SharePoint , SharePoint as File Server, and OneDrive vs Dropbox.
You may also be interested in free Webinar resources we have presented on Sharepoint, OneDrive, and Dropbox.  See our catalog of past webinars here