Going to the Cloud – The Benefits of Being There
A cornerstone of DNV GL’s Pipeline Software Ecosystem initiative is its new software applications for the cloud. This next generation software takes advantage of the exciting benefits of web technology and cloud computing. This results in secure, enterprise solutions facilitating the sharing of data between users and other corporate IT systems. These are very appealing high-level benefits for moving to the cloud. As a decision maker or software end-user in a company considering going to the cloud, you probably ask yourself, “What’s in it for me and my company?” This article provides some answers to that question by summarizing the business benefits that can be obtained from cloud computing.
Ease of Access
- With an internet connection, cloud applications and data can be accessed anywhere in the world. Plus, you can easily resume a software session where you left off from another location such as the office, home, or in the field. It is also much easier to collaborate with colleagues and customers located in another department or on another continent.
- More flexible licensing models than traditional software licensing exist in the cloud. Using software on the cloud, you can pay for the use of the software application either on a subscription basis – also known as “Software as a Service” (“SaaS”) – or on a pay per use basis.
- Cloud-based software runs on multiple platforms. It works on almost any web-browser and on different types of internet-connected devices such as smart phones, tablets, or laptops.
- Users can connect their applications directly to application services in a software product through the use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as opposed to working through the user interface which might require the use of a complex scripting language for automation. Development partners can develop applications which, when offered along with the vendor’s software applications, establishes a “Software Ecosystem” of related fit-for-purpose application software which can share data.
A Great User Experience
- The software user community expects intuitive and easy-to-learn software. Most users want to use documentation as a last resort – they just want to run the software. Web-based cloud software makes this a reality even for some of the most functionally-rich applications. Users of legacy software are invigorated by the fresh user interfaces which promotes employee engagement.
- Coupled with a good data version management capability in the software, data storage in the cloud results in less risk of using out-of-date data. For an analysis or operations application, confidence in the data being used and results obtained by the software grows exponentially.
A Better Way to Release Software to Customers
- Through continuous development and release, there is less time for software to go from the vendor’s R&D to the customer. This provides the user access to state-of-the-art industry capabilities sooner than through traditional software platforms with a longer release frequency. There is no need to install software as customers get releases automatically.
- There are more frequent updates of software to address issues such as a defect or performance issues. Smaller incremental sets of changes in software releases typically result in less risk to the stability of the application.
IT Pain Relief
- The cloud provides scalability. On demand, cloud-based infrastructure quickly increases capacity and in turn, your productivity. Automatically, server capacity (both storage and computation) scales up and down in response to changing demand. As a result, you have nearly unlimited access to storage and computational resources.
- Cloud computing substantially reduces IT capital costs because there is no need to pay upfront costs for processing and storage hardware. The same applies to application software and maintenance and support (M&S) fees. On the cloud, someone else takes care of maintenance, upgrades and repairs.
- Better cyber security is achieved because data on the cloud is stored on servers located in secured data centers. To thwart security breaches, these facilities are staffed with professional cyber security teams.
Consider the above as only “Business Benefits 101” for cloud computing, not an exhaustive list of benefits for going to the cloud for your application software needs.
DNV GL embraces the cloud as its future delivery platform for its Pipeline software as part of its Software Ecosystem platform (Pipeline Ecosystem). Beginning in 2017 with the release of its Synergi Pipeline integrity management solution, DNV GL continues to expand its Synergi Pipeline software product offerings on the cloud. In 2019, customers will begin to benefit from the next generation of cloud-enabled hydraulic simulation applications.