The cloud is a heavily discussed topic in the world of IT and business today. This makes it necessary for almost every company to consider if the cloud is the right thing to choose and also which business application is the right solution for a cloud implementation.
We talked to software developer at Nordic IT: Bartosz Cichecki, about cloud solutions in general and more specific: Nordic IT’s future cloud solutions.
Cloud computing have become a popular technology the last couple of years. We use cloud solutions as private citizens and business’ are using cloud solution in their daily work. How do you think cloud solutions will evolve in the coming years?
Personally, I see mostly positive things coming out of cloud services. As private citizens, we are offered many cloud services such as Facebook, Instagram, iCloud and DropBox. We will see new exciting cloud offerings in the future, which will increase our use of this technology from mobile devices such as pads and smartphones. This means that the service is accessible from all over the world, if you have access to the Internet, which is very convenient.
Small businesses are also becoming more interested in using cloud technology since they do not have to employ staff with expert technical knowledge of the IT platforms in use. When the business grows, many companies want to keep servers and applications onsite because this gives increased flexibility by not being locked into a certain setup. For this reason, some companies want to have MARK5 installed on own onsite servers. Others want it in the cloud where Nordic IT takes care of running backups, patching servers and upgrading the MARK5 application.
How do Nordic IT’s customers benefit from cloud technology?
At Nordic IT, we offer customers a hosted server in the cloud, giving clients all the benefits of a cloud solution. In this way, it is Nordic IT’s responsibility to keep everything running in a secure way and as smoothly as possible. The advantages for the customer is lower cost compared to doing everything themselves. Our cloud solution is therefore best suited for small to medium sized businesses. For larger enterprises with several hundred employees, it could be more ideal to install and operate the applications onsite.
Related: How to choose the right cloud service.
What kind of new functionality will Nordic IT be able to deliver to MARK5 customers in the future?
The objective is to offer better availability across the world compared to what we can deliver today. Now clients want solutions that are more flexible. Since the shipping industry is working from different geographical locations, we must deliver solutions and applications that can be easily accessed from anywhere. Customers also expect the exact same experience wherever they use MARK5. Therefore, another objective is to deliver the same fast response time and availability all over the world.
In the future, the ambition is to deliver a version of MARK5 which can be accessed using a browser. Today’s version of MARK5 is a client-server application where the client is installed on a PC, iPad or smartphone and the main application is installed on a server in a data center. Such an installation requires significant preparation, configuration and training before you are able to use MARK5. Today, we often see mail or finance applications that can be accessed using just a browser. Such a configuration does not require special clients installed on your PC or your smartphone – the only thing you will need on your PC is a browser. Future versions of MARK5, will ideally be such an installation resulting in easy maintenance, upgrades and simpler configuration.
How do you envision the future cloud solutions delivered by Nordic IT?
In the future the goal is to deliver dual data center cloud solutions with automatic failover. This means, Nordic IT will deliver solutions with very high availability, so in a disaster situation where a data center, server or network fails, the customer will still be able to operate the hosted application and will not experience down time at all. This setup can also host customer dedicated cloud solutions not necessarily developed by Nordic IT.
With more and more cloud solutions available, security might become an issue. What can be done to solve the increasing security issues?
First of all, nothing is ever 100% secure. Of course one of our responsibilities is to always keep our IT systems updated with latest security patches, and we must use encryption and strong passwords where possible. At Nordic IT, we spend a lot of effort in keeping our systems up-to-date and secure, so data vulnerability is not our primary concern. This means that the effort someone has to put into actually hacking the system would have to be significant. A bigger security problem is social engineering, like phishing, where a person with bad intensions is trying to make people click on a link or attached file in an email and thereby get access to the email owners accounts or company IT system. Without a doubt, company policies and educating users are very important -but common sense is just as important since security measures only matters, if you are careful and pay attention to what you receive in emails and other communication tools.