Is cloud computing the future?
One of the questions that I often come across is that Is cloud computing the future? To answer straight away, It is not the future but the present. We don’t know what the future holds
What is Cloud Computing? It is a method that is based on the Internet and is an offshoot of the new virtualization technologies. Cloud computing is based on software as a service (SaaS) and is offered by several companies. Examples are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft 365 and Google Compute Engine. In this article, we will see what cloud computing is all about and why companies are opting for this kind of hosting.
Many companies have different needs when it comes to their servers and software. The most common need is for applications and web pages to be accessed quickly. To achieve this, companies have to add more RAM to their machines and install more software. They may also want to add more storage for data storage and processing. All this requires a good amount of resources and software installation and configuration.
As a solution to this, companies are now opting for hosted solutions. Cloud hosting is one such solution. Cloud hosting is also known as the Internet as a service (IaaS). What happens is that companies rent hardware from service providers and then allow the service provider to host their applications. This is done on demand.
So how does it work and what does cloud offer? Companies can get a lot of advantages by using this. For one, it allows them to scale up and down as they need to. It reduces costs by controlling costs. It is a flexible system that may suit all kinds of business requirements.
If you are not familiar with what is cloud, here is a simple definition. Cloud is an application that is used in which information is stored on a remote server. An example is Gmail or Yahoo mail. The benefit is that users do not have to install anything on their machines, only on the server. Companies are able to save on costs because the cost of maintaining a dedicated server is much more expensive.
So how does it work and is cloud computing the future? Companies need to understand how it works. In essence cloud computing allows users to access applications and data from anywhere. They don’t have to be at the office or be at home. They can access data and use the software at any point in time.
Companies are choosing cloud because it eliminates many hardware costs. Cloud software is cheaper than dedicated software and hardware. The company can buy only what they need and not have to worry about hardware costs. Companies can also test and consume their software and hardware at anytime.
When will we see cloud computing at work? It may become common place in five years or less. Some people predict that within two years we may see cloud computing at work at Starbucks. While this may be far off, it shows how far it has come and shows what is in store for the future.
Will cloud computing create more work or will it reduce work? Some predict that cloud computing will reduce the need for employees. Workers won’t need to have a laptop or be restricted to a desk. Instead they will have access to their own laptop or desktop through the internet and have the data and software on their own device.
How does cloud eliminate storage space? Rather than storing data on your computer you store it on the cloud. You may store all of your data on Google or Amazon’s servers. Others may store all of their data on their own servers. Regardless the company doesn’t have to worry about maintenance or dealing with technical issues.
Is it easy to get into and may we lose privacy? Some fear that as our technology increases and becomes more user friendly that companies will share data with outsiders. But there is no guarantee that they will never do it and that every company will follow their code word for word.
How will cloud computing change your small business? The biggest impact could come from how much it lowers costs. Cloud-based software can lower your software engineering costs and your IT costs. It may also mean that you don’t have to build your own infrastructure. Some estimate that the cost savings may be 50% or more.