Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Chapter 1: The business case for the cloud
CHAPTER 1
The business case for the cloud
Consumer vs. enterprise ............................. 3
Office 365 ......................................... 4
Office 365 terminology .............................. 8
Business case for Office 365 ........................ 10
Trust Center ...................................... 12
Certifications ..................................... 13
Regulatory compliance ............................ 14
The cloud is the latest trend of the Information Technology (IT) world. Many wondered
if it would be a passing fad, but it is clear now that the cloud is here to stay. Advances
in technology and lower-cost hardware, coupled with exciting virtual machine
technologies, resulted in this new business concept of delivering computing to the masses,
thereby maximizing economies of scale like never before.
The cloud has leveled the playing field between large and small organizations by making
access to enterprise-class computing resources—technologies that otherwise are accessible
only to organizations with big IT budgets—available to small companies. Competition to
provide cloud services has further benefitted customers by driving down the cost of cloud
computing. However, the most important aspect of cloud computing is that it makes IT
more sustainable than ever before.
The cloud and the competition have also made technology companies more aggressive in
providing better and more robust solutions. There are many cloud offerings in this decade,
such as the introduction of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service
(IaaS). To a great extent, most of us in the IT world are speeding down a path toward
"everything as a service."
Consumer vs. enterprise
The concepts of consumer and enterprise are important to keep in mind because the cloud
has different meanings for different audiences. A consumer simply might want a
convenient way to share files, while an enterprise might need to ensure security and audit trails in
addition to the ability to share files. There are free services that offer features that are paid
by advertisers, and then there are the very same features that might have to be purchased
because they are not subsidized by advertising. After all, an enterprise might have a strong
negative reaction if employees get distracted with non-work related advertising or, worse
yet, advertising that might be deemed inappropriate to the mission of the organization.
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