Cloud Computing has been increasing in popularity in the past 10 years with more and more personal users and companies choosing to work in the cloud. Business apps have always been too expensive for small business and for mid-sized to large companies, it came with a large cost. For example, if you implemented just one application, say a CRM, you would require a datacentre with servers, storage, cooling and a team of IT experts was needed to create, run, secure, support and maintain it, and most companies need more than one application to be effective. Implementing theses applications are time consuming and launching an application could take anywhere from 6 months to a year or more. Businesses and Technology change over a short period of time and most often the business and technology outgrow the current system at a fast pace rendering the application useless or not as efficient as it should be.
Let’s first explain what cloud computing is. The word “Cloud” is a metaphor for the internet. Cloud computing is performing computer tasks using services delivered entirely over the Internet, as opposed to using applications or software installed on an individual’s computer or device. You access the data or use the service through an internet connection by going to a URL and logging in. The data you access can reside on servers in your city or in places all over the world, depending on the service you are using.
Examples of Cloud Computing
For Personal Use – If you have a web based email such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail, you already have a form of Cloud computing. Cloud-based productivity suites can include email, office documents, social media applications (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), VoIP Services(Skype, Google Voice), Media services (Picassa, YouTube, Flickr), content distribution ( BitTorrent), financial apps (Mint), and many more.
For Commercial Use – Cloud computing allows businesses to store, access and share data by outsourcing the information to a remote server. There are thousands of software solutions provided over the Internet, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Most companies also use the web apps listed above, especially Social media. Other cloud computing services include virtual server storage (Infrastructure-as-a-Service or IaaS), such as Amazon Web Services, and software and product development tools (Platform-as-a-Service or PaaS), such as Google Apps.
What are the Benefits to Cloud Computing for Commercial Use?
Lower Costs for Software and Hardware (some web applications are free for small companies but usually pretty limited in what it can do) Hardware, applications and bandwidth are managed by the provider for a fee.
- Less memory and space required on local computers as opposed to installing large programs.
- Less maintenance on hardware, applications and bandwidth as they are managed by the Cloud Service provider.
- Continuous availability as Cloud services are available wherever you are located and can be accessed from anywhere with multiple computer devices.
- Scalability so you pay only for the applications and data storage you need.
- Private clouds can be scaled to meet your changing IT system demands
- Lower staff costs as you do not require the costly technical staff salaries.
What are the drawbacks for ?
The two major issues to cloud computing is connectivity and Security. An Internet connection is required to access a cloud service. If you do not have access or a disruption of connectivity, the service cannot be accessed, and if any disruptions of the cloud service itself, you cannot access the data at all. Security is an issue if an attacker gains access to your credentials, he or she can eavesdrop on your activities and transactions, manipulate data, return falsified information, and redirect your clients to illegitimate sites. Individuals and companies are hesitant and may not be comfortable storing information–especially proprietary or sensitive data–on someone else’s server on the Internet. Another issue with Cloud computing services is they are usually specialized (CRM’s, Accounting, Human Resources etc.) and you may require accounts for the many web applications your company requires.
The future of cloud computing is promising, and with more and more companies providing cloud computing services, there will be even better and more efficient ways to collaborate everywhere through mobile and other computing devices for both personal and commercial use.
iToolPro has been offering Cloud computing for years, we have the systems, knowledge and expertise. Whether you are looking for Web Hosting Services, Email Hosting services, Office and Team Websites, Intranets, Customized Web Applications and Application Development, you can rest in the knowledge our Cloud Computing systems are Scalable, Integrate-able, Cost-Effective and Secure.