CMSWire's poll this month asked what your top priority was for the cloud, and while some responded that they have no plans at all, document sharing and collaboration were mentioned as the top reason to go to the cloud.
Organizations in the Cloud
Our unofficial poll netted 712 responses. Here are the final results:
CMSWire November Poll
One important thing to point out is that many of our respondents aren't even thinking much about the cloud right now, even though many are saying it's critical for organizations to be thinking about how to take advantage of cloud platforms and/or services (see Deb Lavoy's great article on this: The Cloud Debate is Over).
Part of this lack of response to the cloud may be due to a couple of things:
- People within orgs may already be using cloud services and not really know it.
- There still seems to be confusion/differing opinions on how to best leverage the cloud.
Our tweet jam (held earlier this month) on how the cloud is shifting information management alluded to some of this, you can read the full archive for all the details.
Document Sharing & Collaboration in the Cloud
According to our poll, over 21% indicated that document sharing and collaboration was their top priority for the cloud. With the growth of cloud-based collaboration software, that doesn't seem surprising. With more people working outside the office, and often outside office hours and on a number of different devices, there's a big demand for solutions that enable people to work together without being in the same location. And this is what cloud-based document sharing and collaboration services can do.
You may be looking at Box.net, Dropbox, OpenText's new Tempo, Adobe's SendNow or maybe SharePoint in the cloud (via Office 365). Or you are looking at one of a dozen other vendors offering cloud-based document management. In any case, you have a number of options for implementing and integrating cloud-based document collaboration solutions into your organization and with your existing enterprise systems.
Integration and Private Clouds
A number of respondents indicated that they are working on getting their own private cloud infrastructure up and running. Many enterprises are dealing with some pretty big security and compliance regulations and the thought of using public clouds is a little scary.
But a cloud environment can offer significant savings, even when it's a private cloud. In addition, you'll find a number of vendors offering dedicated cloud environments to support the needs of organizations who need (or want) very secure environments.
We're also seeing the rise of hybrid cloud environments where the organization is using a public cloud for some services and integrating these services with their on-premise systems.
Marketing in the Cloud
In our poll, only a little over 5% of respondents are considering moving more web content management and online marketing functions to the cloud. This is a little interesting, especially considering the number of WCM (aka Customer Experience) vendors that are developing cloud-based versions of their platforms. In some cases, these platforms are simply being customized to be hosted in cloud environments (PAAS), while others are developing SaaS-based solutions.
The relative agility for marketers and content managers using cloud-based services is an important consideration, one that is being discussed at great lengths. The use of cloud-based solutions can provide marketers the ability to make changes quickly and get them to market faster. Integrations with both backend systems and other cloud services are key to this working well.
The Cloud is Established, What's Next?
Deb Lavoy says "...the discussion of if the "Cloud" is a good idea, or if we are "going to the cloud" has been replaced with how we are going to the cloud and what if anything should stay in house. The fact is that doing otherwise is rapidly becoming unsustainable."
Does this mean you should be looking at the cloud? Absolutely. But how you decide to leverage what it can offer is dependent on your business objectives. Next year it will be interesting to see how organizations leverage cloud services and platforms to innovate and be successful. As always, we'll be watching closely.