As cloud computing grows in popularity and use, it may be time to consider moving business functions up to the cloud. While this technology is far from new, the current economic downturn and the resulting need to cut costs is making cloud computing much more enticing. CIOs and Technology Managers are challenged to find innovative ways to reduce costs, simplify technology and even reduce staff. The prevailing answer to such challenges is in cloud computing.
Also termed, web services, hosted services, and web platform, cloud computing has revolutionised the way IT services can be delivered. According to a publication from Gartner Research on June 17, 2008, titled “Key Issues for Cloud Computing”, authors Smith, Cearley and Plummer state, “Cloud computing is an alternate delivery and acquisition model for IT-related services. This phenomenon will shift the way purchasers of IT products and services contract with vendors, and the way those vendors deliver their wares”.
This IT delivery solution is also being touted as utility computing since, much like traditional utility services, a company pays only for what they consume. “As computing becomes more of a utility, corporations and even governments will begin to give up not only the management but the ownership of their computing assets…”, states Nicholas Carr in his book, The Big Switch. Utility computing can be an attractive incentive for businesses seeking to cut costs and modernise IT services at the same time.
Pay per use computing is appealing to small businesses and start up companies who may not have a large outlay of cash. This computing service option will allow these businesses access to technology that a company may not otherwise afford. As the companies business grows, utility computing services can be scaled to fit the needs of the growing business.
Cloud computing can deliver a robust IT platform for businesses that offers a scalable architecture. As the business grows, the technology architecture can grow too. Hosted services vendors will offer systems that will fit the needs of changing businesses. Vendors will also provide robust enterprise class architecture and services, such as reliable backups, redundancy and disaster recovery. As more resources become available, services can be further tailored to scale to any business’ growing needs.
Whether a company is looking to cut costs, upgrade systems or modernise technology, cloud computing offers the flexibility and reliability that organisations now need. This technology will only become more popular as time goes on. Eventually every business may be using some form of hosted serves. With this type of evolution in progress, and the growing competition among hosted service providers, CIOs and Technology Managers should take the time in investigating cloud computing technology.