The buzz around cloud computing has been around for a while now, and it doesn’t seem like the frenzy around this new phenomenon will wane out any time soon. This might be due to the realisation that the entire IT industry is on the verge of a major revolution, and we all know that in the midst of a revolution, there will always be winners and losers.
Cloud computing promises a paradigm shift in the way that we have been using computational resources; an environment where business applications are hosted by a service provider and accessed by end-users over the Internet. Even without being aware, you might already be participating in this fast evolving computational architecture.
Your Gmail or Yahoo email accounts are a typical example of services which are hosted remotely in a cloud, from which you wouldn’t even care less of the mail box servers on which they reside. But even more so, cloud computing ultimately promises the type of environment where businesses entrust their data and applications to be hosted and run from a cloud, external to the business. Quite a mind boggling feat to say the least.
The big losers
When cars began to be fitted with computer boxes, which replaced the usual wires and terminals, backyard mechanics suddenly had a big problem to grapple with. This might just be the dilemma that is facing companies like Microsoft. Microsoft has generated most of its revenue from the sales of licensed software products. Although some significant strides have been made by the software giant to catch on in the cloud computing game (with its own unique offering in private cloud), the leap from its traditional cash cow to the cloud may require an enormous thrust, ascertaining that it might be while before it can be referred to as a leader within the new order of business. Other big losers include; on-premises software vendors, SAP, IBM and Oracle.
True to the universal law of the opposites, leaders within the cloud computing arena have already emerged and have excited the rest of us with some innovative and bold offerings. Google has unveiled Chromebook; its own diskless laptop which loads in eight seconds and will not have any programs installed on it, but would rather run all its applications online through a browser.
Apple on the other hand has deployed a different approach to the implementation of the cloud. Unlike Google, programs still run natively on Apple devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad, iTunes) but a synchronisation process of the data between the devices and a user personalised central repository located in a cloud ensures that the data at both ends of the spectra is the same. This eliminates the need to perform backups on heterogeneous storage devices.
Services like Salesforce and Zoho are now revolutionising the entire way of doing business by offering critical business applications such as; accounting packages, customer relationship management solutions and an entire suite of office applications right on the cloud.
What your business stands to gain
With the advent of cloud computing, businesses, and in particular, small businesses can now scale up their computing infrastructure as much as they need to, at relatively small costs.
It may be some time before most businesses can fully comprehend the idea of computing on the cloud. The current trends already show that cloud computing is already the wave of the future. As more and more vendors realise this, you can certainly brace yourself for a lot more developments within the cloud computing space.