What is cloud technology?

What is cloud technology, asked Patricia Lytwynec on this site.

“Cloud technology is a way of delivering computing services over the internet,” explained Andrew Boswell. “These services replace computing functions you would otherwise have to provide yourself.”

He listed examples of hitherto onsite services that are simple to migrate to the cloud: backup, file storage, office applications, games, business applications… “You can access these services from wherever you are, using a wide variety of devices – PCs, Macs, smart phones and tablets.”

The cloud has been driven by ever-faster broadband, said Fred Held. “Prior to the cloud, connections to remote data centres were done by using very slow telephone connections using telephone technology. Now, the same connections are replaced with extremely high speed internet networks that are all over the world. 
The destination is the same but how you get there has changed.”

Roberta Caraglia suggested the interesting issue was the “why” behind the “what” of the cloud. “The crucial part for understanding the phenomenon of the cloud is the scalability and “elasticity” which it offers – and these two aspects provide phenomenal cost saving benefits to companies which spend millions/billions of dollars each year on their technology infrastructure.”

But isn’t cloud computing about more than just efficiency? Shouldn’t cloud computing best be seen as a new way to run your business, we asked on the Technology for Business Forum?

“Cloud computing is the foundation for a new and efficient way for one to run their business,” agreed Marlon C Taylor. “There are so many advantages to building an infrastructure around cloud services.”

“Cloud computing is not a new model,” said Scott Maurice, “just a new application of an old model. The industry should not be focused on cloud computing, but simply the cloud model, which includes computing.

“Cloud is the new word for the practice of evaluating non-differentiating activities and extricating them from enterprise activities in order to reallocate resources more efficiently to creating market differentiation and by extension, gaining market share,” he said.

But it does pose questions, he added. “Who shares the resources and how does that impact compliance and/or security? What is the relationship between “minimal management effort” and management/financial/security oversight?”

What do you think is the greatest benefit from the cloud? Is it the absence of physical infrastructure, with all of its attendant cost/risk/need for attention? Or the reduced cost via maintenance, the scalability and elasticity it offers or the time to value (speed of deployment)? All these have been touted on this forum as the main benefit from cloud computing.

Conversely, what will emerge as the biggest challenge? Is it security, reliability, control? What do you think?

To discuss this and other articles please visit The Business Technology Forum group on LinkedIn.

Comments are closed.