The cloud is a pretty exciting term in the world of enterprise software. It’s growing in popularity, and while not everyone is sure what it is or how it works, many organizations are looking to move their business-critical software applications to the cloud.

What is the cloud?

PC Magazine gives an excellent breakdown of what the cloud actually is: “in the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the Internet. It goes back to the days of flowcharts and presentations that would represent the gigantic server-farm infrastructure of the Internet as nothing but a puffy, white cumulonimbus cloud, accepting connections and doling out information as it floats.” I encourage you to give the article a quick read to brush up on cloud 101 information.

The role of cloud in business

With all this talk of the cloud, and the potential improvements it brings to organizations in terms of increased efficiency, rapid scaling, and decreased costs (or at least CAPEX-OPEX shifted costs), many of our F500 customers are moving to the cloud, or at least beginning to include this in their content strategy. According to Gartner, the cloud market for ECM is growing at a rate of 30% to represent 11% by 2015.

Gartner's ECM Forecast

Is your organization looking to move to the cloud in 2015? Are you exploring hybrid options? We’ve been listening to our customers for what it is they want, and increasingly the cloud is of interest – which is why we’re heading in that direction.

Over a year ago, we released our SharePoint 2013 application that is cloud-based. You can watch a demo of this product here. Although this is more of a showcase application, and is not currently for commercial sale, it has garnered a lot of interest from customers in a range of industries and given us some great insights on how customers use rendering in the cloud context.

Now we’re looking to expand on this and provide more complete commercial options for our customers. Initially this will be based on helping current customers with project-specific, time-limited, cloud deployments. Over time, however, we see this scaling to potentially become the de facto standard of deploying Adlib PDF Enterprise...but who knows? In that vein, and being a customer-responsive company, we want to make sure that we’re building something customers will use – and that our cloud offering isn’t just full of smoke!

If you have project-specific needs that might be suited to a cloud model, we’d be keen to discuss migration, archiving, document conversion or other solutions.

We want to hear your plans regarding moving PDF conversion to the cloud, and learn how cloud rendering could work in your environment. If you’re interested in providing feedback, join our customer insight research panel.

More details are coming soon, but in the meantime, we’ll have our head in the cloud.