Skillsoft Blog

Cloudy with a chance of clear skies ahead

Between blog
posts by book publisher Tim O’Reilly,
and the recent announcement by Google
about the pending release of the Google Editions ebook store, there has been a
lot of talk recently about “books on the cloud” and the concept of a “cloud
library.”  The terms are borrowed from the broader “cloud computing”
concept, which encompasses a wide range of managed services, including;
software as a service (SaaS), software on demand, and platform as a service
(PaaS) technologies. Basically, cloud computing offers
new, flexible and generally more affordable
ways to build, deliver, and purchase software.

The truth is that “books on the cloud” are nothing new.
Here at Books24x7, we’ve
been doing it for over 10 years.  In the fall of 1999, Books24x7
released its first online, on demand, reference collection.  At launch, ITPro
consisted of 200 technical books delivered in a “24×7” web based
environment.  In those early days, we didn’t need to do much more than put
the content online and offer the solution in a simple subscription-based model
to drive huge demand and create raving fans.  As hard as it is to imagine,
in 1999 we weren’t all living in a 24×7 on demand web world.  But IT folks
and other technical professionals were.  As the early adopters of what are
now considered to be rudimentary web technologies — listservs, text-only
email, early HTML websites painfully delivered over dial up networks — techies
the world over were more than ready for a new delivery method for trusted
technical content.   Our publisher
partners saw the potential, and most jumped at the chance to provide a new
means of access  to their readers, while deriving new revenue streams for

Over the years we have  exponentially grown
the number of titles available, as well as the range of Books24x7 topical collections,
and enhanced the platform
feature set and delivery methods to encompass deep portal integrations, mobile
access, and more.   But, from day one, the content has always resided
on web servers ready for instant “anytime, anywhere” access.   Today,
“books on the cloud” may be the fashionable buzzword; but regardless of
terminology, a great idea that puts knowledge in the hands of people who need
it most is always in vogue.

By: Pam Boiros

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