From magazines targeting technology channels such as Computer Dealer News and IT In Canada, to business related such as Fortune Magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek the term “Cloud Computing” is everywhere.
It has dominated the IT Professional areas and obviously the developers’ world for a few years. And now it is transitioning to the business and government spheres. Why?
You just need to go to main business sites such as http://www.businessweek.com/ or http://economist.com/ or http://money.cnn.com/ and search for Cloud Computing to receive a list of recent and ever more updated articles about what it was, what it means, what it will be, and how big corporations are trying to outdo their rivals in this area; the new business opportunities it brings, and even how governments are taking advantage of such technologies.
Some of us have been using cloud computing for many years even without noticing it. Do you have a HoTMaiL or Yahoo! email address? A Facebook account? All those messages and pictures live on-the-cloud. You use any computer or device to access, create, change and delete your information while consuming others’ and interacting with these.
The Cloud Computing concept is the same, just applied now to businesses: access, store, create, change, distribute, and collaborate on content on the Web, using any device that connects to it and utilizes a Web browser or similar technology.
Most of us start with the simplest of Cloud-Computing services, such as messaging and on-line Backup: something similar to putting your foot in the water to know how cold it is. Then we start getting it and move to Hosted Email; then once we know about it and are comfortable with it we go for documents’ sharing, then software as a service, and later even paying for servers and computers utilization that we don’t even know where their physical location is. The variety of services and the constant growth of such services and number of suppliers make it more affordable and easier now. It will be a matter of some years that entire organizations will be running everything on-the-cloud.
Hard to imagine? Walk into the server room of your headquarters today and you’ll see hundreds of blinking lights, UPSs, servers, switches, routers, cables everywhere, and such; along with the air-conditioning units required to keep such place cool. Picture now the same room with just one small UPS unit, a modem, and a wireless router. That’s it.
In a few more years not even those three elements will be necessary because the urban wireless networks will provide connectivity. Perhaps we won’t even need computers on our desks, and a tablet or slate device will be our main means of working then.
It’s difficult to let go and think that all of our files and data could reside on-the-cloud instead of our servers, computers, external storage devices and portable and mobile units; but it starts to make sense, doesn’t it?
Better get your umbrella now.