Cloud Technology to IT amateurs like us might sound like a very heavy word; however, we as internet users have been using cloud technology every day of our lives. Cloud technology or cloud computing is being increasingly used in many online services to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games or store pictures and other files.
Cloud Technology has been developed for more efficient handling of applications that relies on sharing computing resources instead of using local servers or personal devices. Therefore, many organizations from tiny start-ups to global corporations, government agencies to non-profits have embraced the technology.
Let’s have a look at what is cloud computing and why it is being used increasingly.
The word cloud (also coined as the cloud) in the world of computing is used as a metaphor for the Internet. Cloud computing, stands for a type of Internet-based computing, that cater different services like servers, storage and applications and these services are delivered to an organization’s computers and devices via the Internet.
Cloud computing as mentioned above has been successful in gaining a lot of popularity with various organizations and is being used increasingly as the best alternative to local servers. The benefit of cloud computing is many. Some of the most commonly cited benefits of cloud computing are as follows:
- Cost Effective: One of the biggest benefits of cloud computing over the more traditional method is its cost efficiency. Cloud computing eliminates the cost of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site data centres—the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, the IT experts for managing the infrastructure.
- Speed & Efficiency: Capacity planning can be managed much faster and with greater efficiency with cloud computing. Capacity can be increased during peak time or reduced when not needed with the click of a few buttons.
- Global Scale: The use of cloud computing makes data and application available to users from any part of the world. As long as they are connected to their respective network, users can access their app and data anytime and from anywhere. This technology is therefore very popular with organizations with multiple locations.
- Productivity: With cloud computing, productivity increases substantially as IT teams can focus on core work instead of doing work like racking and stacking—hardware set up, software patching and other mundane IT management.
- Reliability: Cloud computing is a more reliable option as it makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity easier and less expensive. Data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
- Environment-Friendly: Cloud computing eliminates the need for data centers and helps organizations reduce their carbon footprint thus making it more environment-friendly.
- Better Collaboration: Cloud computing allows people located in different parts of the world to meet and collaborate virtually while sharing information in real time via shared storage very easily.
- Minimal Downtime: Majority of cloud network providers maintain an uptime of about 99.99%. Users can access information from anywhere, anytime with minimal downtime or maintenance time.
Cloud computing though is being increasingly considered beneficial has some challenges, the biggest being Data Security followed by Regulatory Compliance adherence. However, with many benefits that cloud computing delivers, organizations are working towards addressing these challenges for better and more efficient use of cloud computing.