By Darren Ong Chun Yew
Cloud Computing is a technology that uses the Internet and central remote servers to maintain data and applications. Cloud computing allows consumers and businesses to use applications without installation and access their personal files at any computer with Internet access. This technology allows for much more efficient computing by centralising data storage, processing and bandwidth.
This level of availability used to be necessary only for large e-commerce sites. But cloud systems are now a commodity — the cost is decreasing, and more flexible pricing models mean any business can set up storage and applications in the cloud.
As a matter of fact, the race is on for businesses to utilise cloud computing. It is estimated that 90% of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service by 2016.
Research house Forrester, in 2014, revised its 2011 forecast that the public cloud market will size upward by 20 percent. The predictions are the same in all areas, meaning fast growth of the workloads placed in the cloud and an increased percentage of the total IT budget going towards cloud computing.
Similarly, The Cloud Security Alliance recent study has shown that 33% of organisations’ attitude is leaning towards cloud services and 86% of companies spend part of their IT budget on cloud services. End users have sent regular requests to 79% of company IT leaders every month to buy more cloud applications with the functionality of communication, social media, file sharing and collaboration and as well as content sharing, topping the list of the most-requested cloud service.
All in all, the advantages of Cloud computing from a collective analysis include:
Cloud computing costs are much more flexible than traditional methods. More capacity can be provisioned for peak times and then de-provisioned when no longer needed. With cloud computing, you can also save substantial capital costs with application requirements and zero storage. The removal of on-premises infrastructure also removes their associated operational costs – power, air conditioning and administration costs. You only pay for what is used and disengage whenever you like – there is no invested IT capital to worry about. It’s a common misconception that only large businesses can afford to use the cloud, when in fact, cloud services are extremely affordable for smaller businesses.
Before the cloud, employees had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time and it usually ends up with a mess of conflicting file content, formats and titles piling up to an increase of waste with precious time. With cloud computing being the single source of file acquire, transfer and edit, information within the cloud are reliable and this allows for more precision in decisions and also removes the conflict between time zones for international companies.
Being Internet-based, cloud computing allows anyone with access to work from anywhere – businesses have the ability to offer flexible working benefits to employees without productivity taking a hit. A study reported that 42% of workers would swap a portion of their pay for the ability to telecommute.
Cloud computing allows you to forget about technology and focus on your key business activities and objectives. It can also help you to reduce the time needed to market newer applications and services. Most cloud providers are extremely reliable in providing their services, with many maintaining 99.99% uptime. With Cloud computing, the business can accommodate faster change between companies to increase the process of M&A. Traditional computing require years of migrating applications and decommissioning data centres before two companies are running on the same IT stack.
In addition, with less data centres worldwide and increasing efficient operations, Cloud computing can collectively reduce the impact on the environment. Not to mention companies who use shared resources can improve upon their ‘green’ image – talk about killing two birds with one stone.
Sources from Wired, LevelCloud, SkyHighNetwork & SalesForce