Technology

Cloud Computing – The Game Changer in Information Technology

With Cloud Computing spanning across every aspect of the technological world, it is a revolution that is capable of thriving the foundations of technology that is delivered to all organizations.

Cloud computing is the distribution of computing facilities—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (‘the cloud’) to offer faster innovation and flexible resources. In layman terms, cloud computing can be described as using other people’s servers for using applications for your own organization remotely.

Image: fastmetrics

It is believed that presently, cloud computing has been popularly used by many people across the globe. It varies in the way they use the cloud, but cloud has proved to be quite efficient in almost every sphere of technology.

Cloud computing provides a plethora of business opportunities to the entrepreneurial businesses in following ways:

·       Cost reduction by leveraging cloud computing environment along with providing infrastructure and services;

·       Conveying an expanded portfolio of products at a reduced cost to access large complex infrastructure;

·       Expanding services rapidly and economically.

Before going deeper into its intricacies, Let’s first understand what exactly Cloud Computing is!

 

Image: Amazon Web Services

Cloud computing is named as such to justify the information being accessed is found remotely in the cloud or a virtual space. Companies providing cloud services enable users to store files and applications on remote servers and then enable them to access all the data via the Internet. This means the user is not required to be in a specific place to gain access to it, providing the user the benefit of working remotely.

Cloud Computing takes all the heavy lifting in the crunching and processing data away from the device you carry around. It also transfers all of that work to vast computer clusters far away in cyberspace. The Internet becomes the cloud, and voilà—your data, work, and applications are available from any device with the benefit of connecting to the Internet, from anywhere in the world.

Types of Cloud Computing:

Cloud computing is basically a system primarily comprised of three services: Software-as-a-service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and Platform-as-a-service (PaaS):

 

Image: Softengi
  •       Software-as-a-service (SaaS) involves the licensure of a software application to clients. SaaS is quite closely related to the application service provider (ASP) and on demand computing software delivery models. The hosted application management model of SaaS is comparable to ASP, where the provider hosts the customer’s software and delivers it to approved end users over the internet. This type of system can be found in Microsoft Office 365.
  •       Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) involves a method for delivering everything, from operating systems to servers and storage through IP-based connectivity as the fragment of an on-demand service. Common examples of the IaaS system include IBM Cloud and Microsoft Azure.
  •       Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) is considered to be the most complex of the three layers of cloud-based computing. PaaS shares some similarities with SaaS, the principal difference being that instead of delivering software online, it is actually a platform for generating software that is delivered via the Internet. This model includes platforms like Force.com and Heroku.
Image: Visual Capitalist

Advantages of Cloud Computing:

  • Agility:

The cloud makes it possible to access a broad range of technologies so that you can innovate faster and build with creativity. You can swiftly spin up resources as you need them–from infrastructure services, such as compute, storage, and databases, to Internet of Things, machine learning, data lakes and analytics, and much more.

Cloud computing has also made it possible to deploy technological services in a matter of minutes, and get from idea to implementation, several degrees faster than before. This gives the freedom and the benefit to experiment, test new ideas to differentiate customer experiences, and transform businesses. 

  • Flexibility:

With cloud computing, you don’t have to over-provision resources up front to switch peak levels of business activity in the future. Instead, you provision the volume of resources that you actually need. These resources can be scaled up or down to instantly to grow and shrink capacity as per needs.

 

Image: Cuelogic
  • Cost saving:

The cloud allows you to trade capital expenses for various expenses.An advantage of cloud computing is the reduction in hardware cost.In addition to the outright labor savings, cloud computing can be extremely cost effective for enterprises because of the increase in workforce productivity. The deployment of cloud software is notably faster than conventional installation. Plus, the variable expenses are much lower than anticipated. 

  • Deploy globally in minutes

With the cloud, the new geographic regions don’t remain unexplored and deploy globally in minutes. For example, AWS has infrastructure all over the world, enabling anyone to deploy their application in multiple physical locations with just a few clicks. Putting up the applications in closer proximity reduces latency and improves their experience.

 

Disadvantages of Cloud

  • Downtime:

Downtime is often quoted as one of the biggest disadvantages of cloud computing. Since cloud computing systems are internet-based, service outages can prove to be an unfortunate possibility.

  • Security and privacy:

Although cloud service providers try to implement the best security ethics and industry certifications, storing data and important files on external service providers are always prone to risks. Any discussion regarding data must address security and privacy, especially when managing sensitive data is at hand. 

 

 

We must not forget the incident at Code Space and the hacking of their AWS EC2 console, which led to data deletion and the ultimate shutdown of the company. Their dependence on remote cloud-based infrastructure meant taking on the risks of subcontracting everything.

Of course, any cloud service provider is predicted to manage and safeguard the underlying hardware infrastructure of a deployment. However, your responsibilities lie in the dominion of user access management, and it’s up to you to carefully weigh all the risk scenarios.

Though recent breaches of credit card data and user login credentials are still fresh in the minds of the public, steps have been taken to ensure the safety of data. One such example is the General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), which was recently enacted in the European Union to provide users more control over their data. Nonetheless, you still need to be aware of your responsibilities and follow best practices.

  • Vulnerability to attack:

In cloud computing, every component is online, which reveals potential vulnerabilities. Even the best teams suffer serious attacks and security breaches from time to time. Since cloud computing is built as a public service, all it takes to get started is generally a valid credit card, hence breaches are inevitable. 

  • Limited control and flexibility:

Since the cloud infrastructure is entirely owned, managed, and monitored by the service provider, it transfers negligible control over to the service consumers.

To varying degrees, cloud users may find they have less control over the function and execution of services within a cloud-hosted infrastructure. A cloud provider’s end-user license agreement (EULA) and management policies may impose limits on what customers can do with their deployments. Customers retain control of their applications, data, and services, but might not have the same level of control over their backend infrastructure.

 

Conclusion:

As the cloud market is still a new technique and major players such as IBM and HP have yet not arrived in full force thus for many organizations in the short term the apparent potential of the cloud might not be sufficient to make the transition to cloud computing. But when we talk about the longer term, cloud computing is increasingly appearing to be a major change in the business landscape. Also, the cost benefits of cloud computing services have started gaining acceptance in today’s economy where organizations are highly focused towards addressing financial challenges.

Image: Statista

Cloud computing is still at a relatively early stage of adoption, despite its long history. Many companies are still considering which apps to move and when. However, usage is only likely to climb as organizations get more comfortable with the idea of their data being somewhere other than a server in the basement. We’re still comparatively early into cloud adoption – some estimates suggest that only 10% of the workloads that could be moved, have actually been transferred across.

For the rest of the enterprise computing portfolio the economics of moving to the cloud is also less clear cut. As a result, cloud computing service providers are increasingly pushing cloud computing as an agent of digital transformation instead of focusing merely on cost. Moving to the cloud can help companies re-evaluate business processes and accelerate business change, by helping to break down data and organizational silos. Some companies that need to boost impetus around their digital transformation programs may find this argument quite appealing; others may find cloud waning enthusiastic as the costs of making the switch add up.

 

About the Author:

    Snigdha Das

Hey there!!! I am Snigdha Das, an enthusiastic writer, blogger and an undeniably avid reader. Currently pursuing Btech in EEE at IIIT-Bh, Qualki provided a platform to pursue my interest in technical content writing and blogging. I am constantly fuelled by the passion to build my academic foundations on space technology, IoT, and ML,  with a determination to learn and grow in the fields of animation and graphic designing.

Comment (1)

  1. Nikhil Kumar
    August 17, 2020 Reply

    Keep it up.

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