As an avid web surfer, the term ‘cloud computing’ is something you’re probably seeing a lot of lately. But the concept of cloud computing might not be all that clear to you, as it isn’t yet for a lot of people. The term can also be easily confused with other related terms like ‘utility computing’, ‘grid computing’ or ‘autonomic computing’. But what is cloud computing and how does it work?
Read on to learn more about how it works, the advantages it offers and the risks involved for the end user.
Cloud computing is a new technology, that’s still in its early stages. Essentially it can be defined as a technology that allows internet users to handle data and apps via central remote servers.
The best part about this cool technology is that it doesn’t require any installation from the user. Let’s take the examples of Gmail, Hotmail or Google Docs. When you want to send emails via Gmail, do you need to install any software? No, you don’t. You can access it from anywhere. All you need is a net connection and you can get started with it anywhere you want.
That’s exactly how cloud computing works. This form of computing helps businesses or individuals centralize storage, memory, bandwidth etc. Personal cloud computing provides you the freedom to gain quick access to all your personal data at any given moment in time, from anywhere and on any computer. When you have access to all your personal data from anywhere, you can also instantly share images, movies and documents with your family, friends and colleagues.
You’ll find multiple cloud computing services on the web, provided in a variety of formats such as; infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) or software as a service (SaaS).
Key Benefits of Cloud Computing
Though cloud computing has yet to evolve, its advantages are quite obvious. The most obvious benefit of this technology is that it allows a large number of users from all over the world to access information without actually installing or downloading any software program.
Some of the most important benefits of Cloud Computing include –
It saves you money.
It offers increased space for storage.
You don’t need to worry about upgrading a software program.
It’s a lot more flexible than previous forms of computing.
It allows instant access to information, all web-based.
It executes a better response time.
It’s pretty easy to implement.
With cloud technology, small businesses can direct their entire focus on innovation instead. No need to worry about computer issues or server updates. Whether it’s the management of hardware or a software, the cloud computing service provider handles all of it. Due to the excellent benefits of this tech, even some of the world’s biggest companies are running their business applications in the “cloud”. With cloud technology, information sharing becomes more mobile and collaborative.
Application, Storage & Connectivity
Cloud computing can be used to fulfill different purposes. Depending on individual requirements, the technology can be categorized into three different segments – application, storage and connectivity. Cloud computing is growing at a rapid rate, as it allows people to focus on what’s really important while eliminating the looking after of the technology side of things.
In order to use cloud computing for business, you should also understand the risks that this technology involves. Since it’s so new, it will take some time before it reaches maturity. Security or privacy of data is a major concern. Small business users may not feel very comfortable sharing their valuable data with a third party (the cloud computing service provider).
Though most of these services provide assurance about their malware-free server, it’s a tough situation for companies that want to store sensitive information. The technology is, therefore, badly in need of an appropriate security model.
Quick Tips for Small Businesses
According to industry experts, the worldwide market for this tech will shoot up to around $14 billion by the year 2014. Cloud computing for small businesses has yet to make much headway, but integration of cloud services in the workplace can save companies a lot of money and provide plenty of flexibility. In order to adapt the cloud technology though (and get rid of those outdated IT systems), be sure to work out an effective plan.
Depending on your specific requirements, budget and capacity, you should opt for a customized cloud solution that works for your specific business.
Is the concept of cloud computing a tad clearer now? Please don’t hesitate to share what you think about this new technology.
Guest post by: Missy who writes for a vehicle tracking solution among other websites.