Cloud Computing 101: The Sky’s the Limit

Cloud computing is touted as the most innovative development in technology in decades. Cloud computing can offer an improved way to store and deliver data that is designed to be better, faster, and cheaper than other alternatives. Although the technology is new, the concept behind it has been around for quite some time, but most business owners may be in the dark on how cloud computing can meet business related needs. Here, are a few questions and answers that should help shed more light on the subject.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a model of service delivery designed to enable on-demand network access to shared computing resources. Essentially, cloud computing facilitates access to resources among multiple computers and applications. These resources can be easily distributed and released. In layman’s terms, this would translate to accessing the Internet anytime and anywhere and being able to use whatever data and applications are available.
Consumers still haven’t grasped the concept yet, and there’s been loads of hype levied at them, but cloud computing is allowing access to data and software stored in a remote location. This means consumers can access all these resources from any Internet connection available.

How Does Cloud Computing Work?

As stated previously, cloud computing is the process of delivering hosted services over an Internet connection. The service end is the place where the data is stored, and the user end is the company or individual that accesses the data.
Cloud service providers host the data and software on their servers. Once a user turns on a computer and connects to the servers, all the user has to do is click a desired application and they can instantly access to their software or services.

Who Uses Cloud Computing?

Surprisingly, most people are already using cloud services. Most consumers and businesses connect to the cloud on a daily basis, whether they are aware of that fact, or not. Anyone who uses email, social networks, online photo storage, or company hardware/software is probably using the cloud. Cloud computing is used frequently to access tax or financial information, and it’s also used when backing up and storing files on a computer.
Who Coined the Term Cloud Computing?
The concept behind cloud computing dates back to the 1960s, and the phrase originates from the cloud symbol that frequently appears on flow charts and diagrams as a symbol for the Internet. The phrase was first publicly used in 2006 at a search engine conference in San Jose, California, when Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO described an approach to data storage as “cloud computing”.

Is Cloud Computing Safe?

Safety has been a primary concern recently as online breaches with Sony’s PlayStation Network have been forefront in the headlines. Additionally, hackers successfully exploited Amazon’s Elastic Computer Cloud to access information with a phony account.
Experts assert that by using cloud computing, company’s open doors to data and provide attractive targets for attacks. Of course, due diligence must be performed by company’s providing cloud services because these companies hold the key to data from multiple companies that thieves may be salivating over.
Businesses buying into cloud computing should always make plans for worse case scenarios. This also should include legal provisions for liability.

A Brighter Future is On the Horizon

If recent calculations pan out, the marketplace for cloud computing should grow to an estimated $150 billion in 2013. IBM is currently investing millions of dollars in cloud computing services, and the company predicts that these investments should generate about $7 billion in revenue by 2015, if not more. There is no doubt that many key players perceive cloud computing to be the next best technological development.
As Internet speeds continue to increase, cloud service offerings are expected to grow, as well. Computer firms are gearing up to meet the demand.
Mobile services are fast becoming the frontier for cloud services, despite the fact that user experience for mobile devices hasn’t panned out. This should evolve as service capabilities expand and devices become more adept at handling more online tasks.

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