There is a great deal of confusion surrounding the very concept of “cloud computing”. Several definitions and attempted definitions exist today. For some, cloud computing refers to the totality of hosting services, for others, it is about providing infrastructure remotely. Some even define cloud computing as a “federation of on-demand application services”.
Interestingly, while cloud computing is still a concept that needs to be defined precisely, today we are already talking about “cloud 2”, which is supposed to be the next generation (social and mobile) of the cloud. In any case, one thing is certain; cloud computing is not an offer in the strict sense, but rather an abstract notion. Or, as professionals like to think of it, “another dimension of outsourcing”.
As internet users, we use the cloud permanently, if you have a Gmail account, your emails are hosted in the cloud, the same happens with Google Docs, your information is on a server many miles away. These are not the only cases, Flickr, Instagram, Minecraft, and others are all based on the cloud, says Google.
Recent figures from Google confirm this. From July 2011 to February 2014, Americans using Spotify on their computers increased from 1.1 million to 14.7 million. Dropbox users also have risen from 1.6 million to 11.4 million in the same period. According to an IHS iSuppli report, by 2020, cloud users will reach over 1 billion, just considering those with an online storage subscription.
With the help of modern browsers such as Chrome, smartphones, and tablets, users started “living in the cloud.” This technology allows access to all types of information (documents, emails, calendars, videos). It makes it available for access from any device (smartphones, tablets, notebooks), aligning the mobile experience with the work on the computer.
Among the main advantages for the adoption of the cloud model is that;
1) Everything the user needs is always available to him/her wherever he is
Any access point is the same. Whether it is a personal computer, the cyber computer, or the work computer, everything is always just a click away. Things travel with the user to connect “to their world” (email, documents, charts, presentations, photos, and more) from any Internet-connected device and anywhere. With this, the loss or theft of a smartphone, tablet, or notebook also becomes a minor problem. All the applications mentioned above give evidence of this advantage.
2) Easy access to your destination and get to know the world
Maps and all geographic applications are one of the advantages of the cloud. They have evolved to such an extent that today they allow you to know how to get from one direction to another, see the state of traffic, photos of places of interest uploaded by users, pictures at 45 degrees that give a realistic view, satellite view, weather and much more—applications such as Google Maps work as actual platforms for an advanced global knowledge service.
3) Social life moves with the user
Social life also travels in the cloud. Thanks to the profiles stored in social networks (which also use the cloud) and their associated and ordered contacts, nothing is lost when changing phones or computers.
Instant photo upload is also an excellent resource to ensure that all the photos you take are never lost because they are stored in the cloud as soon as they are taken by installing Google+ and enabling the instant upload option.
Is Cloud Computing the Future?
What could have been considered a revolution in business a short while ago will gradually become consolidated over the next few years, to the extent that by 2020 the cloud will be the rule rather than the exception when it comes to managing businesses?
By then, companies will only have to decide what type of cloud they want to be. After researching the future of cloud computing, we have drawn the following conclusions:
- Most of the world data would be stored in the cloud
It is a reality that most data, both for individuals and companies, will be stored in the cloud. As Forbes Magazine points out, three years from now, “55% of companies predict that cloud computing will enable them to reach new business models””.
According to the same study, many companies are expected to make investments in the cloud shortly as other models become dependent on cloud technologies.
Furthermore -and according to this same study- growth, a collaboration between employees and the supply chain will be the three areas in which companies expect cloud computing to have the most significant impact in the coming years.
- The cloud will be synonymous with the efficient use of technology and the digital economy and digital disruption
The correct use of technology will be compatible with the darkness in the future. For example, more and more developers will create applications for the cloud. According to the consulting firm Gartner, while specialized services are expected to expand or grow on the Internet soon, it is the cloud storage providers who will undoubtedly consolidate in the cloud over the next few years.
Can Cloud Computing Replace Enterprise Architecture?
We have seen the evolution of IT applications in recent years, from being a field of action reserved for being managed by specialists in the field and expanding to the general public. Tools such as Windows, content managers, some ERP systems have allowed them to be used in different areas of knowledge and multiple disciplines: education, sports, science, nonprofit organizations, government organizations, and of course, business.
The growth in the demand for information technology has increased the use of resources, servers, CPUs, network technologies, development of applications for all audiences, thematic applications for a specific institution. This phenomenon of expansion causes a more significant amount of information to be produced and creates the need for data storage.
For resources and storage, higher capacity devices are required to provide quality of service according to the user’s needs. As for data storage, there is another variant: the safeguarding of historical information management.
It is essential to know the concepts and services or solutions offered by the cloud, the thermology, and how it differs from traditional IT services. In the cloud, you can get the resources you need to manage your information systems or a percentage of them.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
The cloud is the name that has been given to the entire ecosystem of computer services that coexist in the world of Internet and servers hosted in this universe. When we access our emails on the Web, when we create documents, photos, presentations, and publish them on the Web, when we consult reports, magazines, newspapers, when we access Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, among other pages and applications. In short, all this points to the cloud and its great usefulness in our daily lives.
Next, here are some of its benefits:
- It allows the basification of so-called intelligent devices such as mobile phones, laptops, GPS, tablets, among other technological devices.
- It allows citizens to access all kinds of information wherever they are, as long as they have a computer and Internet services at hand.
- Low level of investment and reduction of operational costs, since no software license is required.
- Optimization of resources and physical spaces since it reduces the need to acquire hardware.
- Flexibility and adaptability based on effective Internet connectivity solutions.
- It allows technology to be more economical and accessible to people with limited resources.
Knowing the benefits and risks of cloud computing is critical to ensuring that providers apply appropriate security practices to mitigate the risks they both face. They need this assurance to make sound business decisions and to maintain or obtain security certificates.
An initial symptom of this need for certainty is that many cloud providers are bombarded with requests for audits. It is hardly necessary to reproduce the countless pages of written material on the economic, technical, architectural, and ecological advantages of cloud computing.
However, in light of the direct experience of the expert group members responsible for this article, and according to recent “real world” news, the examination of security risks in cloud computing must be counterbalanced by a review of the concrete security advantages it offers. Cloud computing has considerable potential to improve security and resilience. The following is a description of the critical contributions it can make.
The question that jumps to the eye is if our country is prepared with the infrastructure that this new digital environment demands. Another concern that is latent and I want to mention is the privacy of data and information hosted in the cloud; it is rumored that large technology firms could use the cloud to monitor users and their activities to obtain more enormous benefits, such as marketing and advertising.
The invitation is to make appropriate technology, reinvent it daily and use it responsibly. This will allow us to have a vision of optimism for the future and prepare us to be at the forefront and demands of the technology market.