In October 2013, Microsoft provided further evidence of it’s mission to move businesses to the cloud. In an email communication entitled ‘Accelerating Growth Together’ sent to it’s Worldwide partners, Microsoft outlined the ‘cloud opportunity’ and it’s evolving strategy to take advantage of it.
Traditionally, Microsoft partners have supported businesses running dedicated servers based on client’s premises. To ensure their partners had the relevant skillsets, Microsoft introduced official exam certifications to assess different areas of competency. From January 2014, many of these application exams are being retired. It is still possible to obtain certification on Windows Server 2012 and Exchange 2013 (found in small print on page 36 of the 54 page document), however 95% of the exams are for online technical assessments. A clear indication that Microsoft is intending on moving away from traditional in-house server solutions. Another sign of this are the financial incentives being offered to partners for deployment and support of Microsoft Cloud Services.
So what are the implications for small businesses? Over the next few years it’s clear the mission is to migrate small businesses away from physical server solutions running Microsoft Windows to their cloud offerings. This will take all the responsibility away from business owners having to maintain aging physical hardware, to trusting in technology which they cannot physically touch. For some businesses this will be a difficult transition. Some may decided to look at alternative non Microsoft server solutions, but for others moving to a ‘cloud’ scenario makes a lot of sense and can save money.
Several years ago we took the decision of developing purely web based solutions, instead of physical server solutions on client servers. There are a number of significant advantages using this method:
- Ability to roll out updates and new features quickly and easily
- Remove performance issues for outdated server hardware
- By using servers in data centres with fast internet access, it reduces local performance issues
For more details on advantages of the web-based solutions, or the benefits of case management systems designed for the Internet, please contact us.