Cloud Computing as an emerging technology. I have discussed its uses in today's world along with the future impacts it might have on an individual or on the businesses. I have also included how its rapid growth can bring about major changes in the world.
The term cloud computing can be described as "a pool of virtualized computing resources that allows users to gain access to applications and data in a web-based environment on demand" (Choo, 2010). Cloud computing is a term that is closely associated with Information Technology and can thus create an expectancy and confusion along with the enthusiasm it carries along. The concept of cloud computing is same as that of a cloud. As the clouds are light in weight so is this technology and is appropriately named keeping in view its use. By using the web vapor, it helps the users to share the heavy burdens of IT resources and provide the support services. Along with that, it clouds or keeps a shadow on the technological issues which can be faced anytime by anyone. A downy symbol is often used for the representation of the internet in technological flow charts and diagrams (Blowers, 2012).
In a usual computing environment, one can observe the installation and storage of an operating system, applications and data. In contrast, a cloud computing environment allows the individuals and companies to "work with applications and data stored and/or maintained on shared machines in a web-based environment rather than physically located in the home of a user or a corporate environment" (Choo, 2010). In cloud computing, the application services are moved on to the Internet and the users are allowed to use Internet for accessing an extensive range of services that initiate usually from within a business' data center. The best example is that of web-based applications like Yahoo! Mail that any user can access in no time from anyplace by using an Internet-connected (Choo, 2010).
There are a number of uses and benefits of cloud computing in today's contemporary era. Cloud computing offers a balanced online environment that helps an individual to effectively handle a bigger work amount without making any impact on the system's performance. In addition, it also presents a considerable computing aptitude, potential and financial system that is mostly not within the means of businesses (SMEs in particular) that may perhaps not possess enough capital and staff to empower their Information Technology infrastructure. Thus, cloud computing has a lot of advantages. Firstly, the small medium enterprises that use cloud computing become capable enough to offer exceptional services as they make use of all-encompassing assets "from cloud service providers and add or remove capacity from their IT infrastructure to meet peak or fluctuating service demands while paying only for the actual capacity used' on a 'pay-as-you-go' economic model" (Choo, 2010).
Cloud computing can be extensively cheaper to rent over the server space for some hours of use at a time as compared to the purchasing servers and maintaining them. There are several advantages of cloud computing which are beyond cost savings. In today's dynamic world, by using cloud computing the client can easily avoid the cost and time taking task of installation and maintenance of software applications and huge hardware infrastructures. This technology enables the swift provision and employment of services to clients as it facilitates the optimization of their Information Technology infrastructure. Redundancy and continuous business operations can be ensured by the use of external parties hosting of several applications and the storage space in external servers in any unseen event of a site failure or incident (Choo, 2010).
There are several significant benefits for the users of the technology of cloud computing. Cloud computing enables the users to outsource several technical duties that allows the human resources to spend most of their time concentrating on the main functions of the business; that could be neglected easily otherwise. This in return can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the workers for any organization. Creating backups, tracking the activities of the hackers, provision of more storage space virtually and monitoring the security levels for data in any organization is vital. On the other hand, if an organization uses cloud computing, it can easily focus on the core business and look at the bigger picture of the industry for bigger and better results. Thus, cloud computing also helps in gaining a competitive advantage (Hastings, 2009).
Without a single shred of doubt, it can be said that cloud computing has a great impact the Information Technology (IT). It is no more simply a technology that is extremely dynamic but it is a new and enhanced approach of electronic commerce implementation. The delivery and further growth of Information Technology services is revolutionized by a simple idea that computing is simply as similar as consuming other utilities (Wang, Rashid, & Chuang, 2011). Cloud Computing comes with various extensive, pretty and practical benefits regardless of the size of the business. It can be any small or large organization that can utilize cloud computing and gain benefits through cloud computing employment at the workplace. Small upfront costs for cloud computing are generally the attraction for organizations to move towards this technology. With a small upfront cost, a rapid enhancement of Information Technology can be achieved. Keeping in mind the low cost of IT enhancement and several other benefits, the supporters of cloud computing suggest worldwide companies to slowly restructure, refurbish and resize their in-house Information Technology infrastructure and initiate the employment of computation services that can be easily accessed via the Internet for meeting the organizational requirements (Wang, Rashid, & Chuang, 2011).
Within the last decade, it is as crystal as clear that cloud computing has turned out to be a major technological advancement. In the contemporary times of today, many business and customers have acquired computing as a commodity due to its cost-effective and dependable nature. This positive point is a plus for every business, whether it is small or large. The less upfront cost benefits of computing are far reliable as compared to the traditional ways of computing. Cloud computing offers minimal management of things related to information technology and does not make organizations spend huge sums of money on purchasing software and hardware thus helping them to strengthen their cloud computing environment (Wang, Rashid, & Chuang, 2011).
Younger generation is among the heavy users who are taking advantage of this technology advancement which offers limitless flexibility by combining the databases and software into customized services. The users of cloud computing are empowered by sharing their ideas over the web, online gaming and most importantly finding the answers they usually need. Laptop security and hard drive crashing are no more the worries for cloud computing users. Cloud computing can benefit the users with security and reliability. Working together is as easy as playing together with the use of cloud computing. Online applications which can be simultaneously used by several users and games which can be played together over the cloud computing have surely enhanced the collaboration among the users. Cloud computing offers the portability to access the tools and data to its users anywhere where there is a connection to get connected to the internet (Nelson, 2009).
The potential to minimize the cost and to lessen the difficulty of computing is one of the major reasons of people and companies switching towards cloud computing. It can be useful for simple as well as complex research analytical problems based on computation. More computing power at a minimum level of cost can only be gained by cloud computing by several types of users and organizations. Cloud computing is and potentially can facilitate teams which work from several locations and have to compile, reconcile and share data on several research projects. Global climate change, ocean currents and several related and intricate multidisciplinary projects can be easily and cost effectively handled by cloud computing. In future, with the power of cloud computing and huge servers located at several points' worldwide containing data gathered by users can benefit scientists and researchers to analyze the possible and present changes of the ecosystem of our planet earth. In addition to that, cloud computing can resolve and monitor several security concerns which are faced by high-crime localities. This technology can easily open doors for the new entrepreneurs to launch new and refined services of traffic monitoring or livestock tracking (Nelson, 2009).
The Pew Internet and American Life's Future of Cloud Computing study has concluded that the cloud computing has a bright future as more or less seventy percent of the experts in technology have reported that by 2020, they will be living in the cloud for the most time. The future has extensive prospect for cloud computing and the Information Technology experts hope that the networked devices will completely replace desktop computers in the approaching time. On the other hand, there are believers who assume that "a cloud-desktop hybrid will exist until certain barriers are addressed, security and privacy…