With the growth of cloud computing occurring so rapidly over the past few years, many individuals may have yet to discover what this phenomenon is all about and may have many questions. Cloud computing at its core is the allocation or lease of computer services and can include computation, software and data storage/access, which allows companies and individuals to access these functions from a remote location. In many instances, cloud computing allows for a “pay-as-you-go” solution to a variety of computing features and is the next big thing in personal and commercial computer solutions.
The most obvious advantage to cloud computing is the amount of money that a business or individual can save by switching over from a traditional infrastructure. Instead of directly buying software, hardware, infrastructure and employing technicians, users of the Cloud can simply purchase access to these elements and get only what is needed. Since everything is hosted remotely, there is no need for extra personnel to manage the infrastructure.
Another advantage to using the Cloud for web and data services is the ease of scalability. Depending on the client’s needs, services can be quickly added or removed and the amount of data storage can be increased or decreased. This provides more flexibility when it comes to changing budgets, unexpected volume shifts or unforeseen circumstances; simply change the setup and subscription and the cloud setup is now suited for whatever situation life throws at it.
Finally, since cloud computing can be accessed from virtually anywhere, expenses can be reduced when it comes to duplicate equipment being installed in multiple places that allow traditional access from the home/office/phone. Especially useful if running a business, costs can be calculated precisely to the department; often times, IT expenses end up being a sordid mess when it comes to pinning down the true cost of each department. Cloud computing allows for the elimination of redundancies and a clearer understanding of which departments are adding the most to computing expenses.
What does all of this mean for the average person? For individuals on a budget – specifically those in developing countries – cloud computing gives access to a variety of software and storage capabilities that they otherwise would not be available or affordable. Someone who cannot afford to spend $400 for Microsoft Office might have had to do without before, but with cloud computing, they can “rent” access to the program for a very low monthly or yearly fee. Someone who needs a lot of storage that could not afford physical hard drives will now be able to purchase the space for a far more reasonable price, will have access to that data from anywhere on the planet and can share it with anybody else.
Fledgling entrepreneurs the world over also have much to gain as they would only need to provide points of access (computers) and connectivity (Internet) in order to have access to the Cloud. Any necessary software or storage is provided through cloud computing for a fee and the business can focus its savings toward improving other areas of the company. The result is a more streamlined company that can adjust its cloud computing needs quickly and without the need for drastic renovations or expenditures.
Whether you are an individual or a corporation, cloud computing is your future and it is important to understand the basics of it and what it can do for you in terms of saving money, energy and other vital resources. By leasing out the computing power you need, you avoid the hassles of storage and maintenance and any associated costs. It is for these reasons that cloud computing is so important and should be a familiar phrase in your lexicon.