TT163: Cloud computing

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing is a new way of acquiring the computing power, such as software, servers and databases, you need in order to run your business systems. It gives you access to massive computing resources but you only pay for what you use and there is no up-front investment.

 

What are the advantages?

There are many advantages for a business wishing to adopt the cloud computing model for their information technology requirements.

Speed of deployment is one: there is no requirement to purchase and setup your own servers, and a cloud server can be established in minutes through the website of your provider.

If, for example, you are not sure how much usage your new website will get then cloud computing is ideal as you can start small, at a reduced cost, but then increase the computing power available to your website without having to buy more or bigger servers.

If your website does not grow as you plan then you can quickly reduce your costs by scaling back of even shutting down your cloud without any financial penalty.

You will also find that your in-house computer systems can be accessed from anywhere allowing flexible working and business continuity provision only available previously with large scale investment. Additionally Cloud Computing can produce savings of over 40% compared to running an in-house data-centre.

 

What are the risks?

The risks of cloud computing are a consequence of moving your data and applications to a third party.

As we have seen this has a number of advantages, however, there are some downsides: firstly, you must check the small print to find out where your data is going to be stored.

If it contains personal information then you should ensure that the vendors’ data centre is within a suitable jurisdiction.

Secondly, you will be committed to a cloud computing supplier so you must be sure that you can rely on them to deliver.

Fortunately cloud computing platforms are offered by many leading information technology vendors such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft and they are all investing heavily in the hope of winning your business.

Also, you will be more dependant than ever on your Internet Service Provider so you must be sure you have a reliable broadband connection to your offices.

 

Summary

Overall, moving to a cloud computing environment will mean you have reduced costs while giving you a more secure, manageable, and scalable platform to run your computer systems.

If you are a new business then you should look no further than Cloud Computing for your systems requirements.

If you are an established business then you need to have a strategy as to how you will benefit from the opportunities for flexibility and cost saving that Cloud Computing offers.

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