Like the constantly changing surface of planet Mercury, the world of technology is also an ever-changing one. The evolution of technology has been quite meteoric in the past few years and one has to be up to date to survive in this cut-throat competition. While 2015 saw the rise and fall of several technologies, one that has really captured the imagination of the tech world is cloud computing. So, what is the Cloud and where is it? In simple terms, cloud computing is a metaphor for the Internet. The cloud is like the proverbial rain cloud, absorbing and storing tons and tons of information and dispensing it as and when needed. Processes are being digitized and stored on the cloud allowing reduction of costs and enhancing security of sensitive information.
There are basically five characteristics that define the cloud:
- Anytime, anywhere access: Users can access the cloud without any human interaction. All you need is an internet connection and you can access the cloud computing resources.
- Broad network access: The cloud supports a wide variety of networks and devices including mobiles, smartphones, tablet devices and others.
- Allocation of resources: Resources are allocated according to user requirements such as memory and capacity. These resources are grouped in such a way that the system is able to serve a large number of users simultaneously.
- Flexibility and elasticity: Resources are allocated or provided on demand or based on predefined triggers or parameters. This ensures that the application has the capacity it requires at any point in time.
- Measured service-payment pay-per-use: Services such as disk space, power of processor, amount of RAM and so on are measurable and their usage is transparent for both the provider and the clients. This ensures that you only pay for what you use, an important parameter especially for large businesses.
These characteristics have made cloud computing such an integral part of the everyday business that processes without the cloud are now unimaginable for several organizations. Indeed, cloud computing has brought with it several advantages that have changed the way small and large businesses operate. Before the widespread use of the cloud, costs were on the rise especially related to resources such as energy and servers. Server utilization rate was low, maintenance especially when it came to backups and security was poor as was flexibility.
But the cloud has brought with it several advantages, such as:
- It’s maintenance free: With the cloud there is no need for upgrades, patches or testing. The cloud is maintenance free and boosts operational efficiency.
- Offers better security: Since everything is out there, there would be no loss of data or sensitive information due to theft of hardware.
- Flexible costs: With the cloud there is no need to commit to an initial funding. Organizations need to only pay for the resources they will use, thereby greatly reducing overhead costs. So they can start small and increase spending as and when needed. Moreover, organizations need not spend on equipment and other infrastructure.
- Better collaboration: Collaboration can be achieved between diverse groups of people who can meet virtually and share information in real-time. This reduces the time taken to market, improves product delivery and customer satisfaction.
Adopting any new technology requires a shift from the old mindset and this applies to cloud computing as well. Organizations need to help employees embrace an external IT infrastructure and acquire new skills like CSM Certification etc. Most organizations that have not yet shifted to the cloud have concerns regarding its security features. There is also the problem of connectivity as the full potential of cloud computing can be realized only when there is high-speed access to all those involved.
These issues can be solved by taking small steps towards the adoption of cloud computing to provide online course like PMP Training. Assessing the economic situation of an organization as also its processes and the benefits and risks of adopting cloud, will help smoothen the process of adoption.
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