Using Cloud based application sevices

The present report focuses on the use of cloud based application services also known as Software as a Service (SaaS).

Site surveying: data uploaded to cloud based applications
Site surveying: data uploaded to cloud based applications

ICE's Geospatial Engineering Panel has published a series of reports concerned with various subjects such as "A civil engineers guide to GPS and GNSS" and many others. Designed to be both informative and contemporary, the reports are updated regularly and are intended to provide accurate information to a varied audience.This paper sets out why you should consider the use of cloud storage services and then discusses what you need to consider to ensure that the data remains secure and available.

What is Cloud computing?

Cloud computing has become a ubiquitous term for holding data or accessing applications over the internet. However the term "cloud" is used to describe the provision of a number of different things ranging from data storage space, computing power, through to full blown business applications. Cloud services have reached the stage where they are "a must consider" approach for new IT environments or expanding existing ones.

Briefing paper contents

This briefing paper considers the use of cloud application services, that is the application is hosted and provided remotely by a third party who charges customers through a usage based subscription. Although prepared by the Geospatial Engineering Panel the advice contained in the paper is pertinent to all hosted applications.

As with cloud storage the key consideration with moving to cloud applications is that you will be purchasing a service rather than setting up your own infrastructure. This paper explains:

  • Why you should consider Software as a Service (SaaS);
  • The requirements to be considered;
  • Service provider stability and longevity.

This report concludes by explaining that the SaaS approach needs to be considered for all new or upgraded applications, but that this should not negate the need to consider ones business requirements, or remove the need to appropriate testing, training and business readiness activities in general.

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