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Welcome to the CLOUD

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Theres been an awful lot of noise made about cloud computingbut is it here to stay?
B usinesses are constantly looking for the next
innovation that will provide a competitive advantage. By allowing businesses of all sizes to compete on a global level, cloud computing is doing exactly that. The cloud is changing how businesses fundamentally operate. Many are skeptical about cloud computing; however, the migration of processes, infrastructure, relationships, media, and (some would argue) our very lives, to the Cloud, is something that is happening now. Before casting your vote you should be aware of several aspects related to cloud computing. How cloud computing works, how clouds are setup, the expected growth rate of the cloud industry, advantages cloud computing offers businesses, and how the cloud is becoming a part of daily life are all important points for discussion.

the same way they pay for basic utilities each month. Cloud computing allows organizations of all sizes to shift up front capital expenses to more effective operating expenses (Goodburn & Hill, 2010). The result? Businesses are able to function more efficiently. Downsized IT departments armed with increased spending flexibility provide businesses with greater agility in the marketplace. As a result of benefits like increased efficiency, the term cloud computing has become a buzzword in many contexts as businesses seek to claim ownership of the new trend. The Cloud Services To understand cloud computing one must be aware of the three basic service models that a business can choose from. The first model, software as a service, allows users to run and access programs through the internet instead of having to physically purchase, install, upgrade, and maintain programs on all the computers in a business. The second model, infrastructure as a service, allows businesses to rent computer hardware via the Internet to perform fundamental computing needs such as storage, or processing. The third model, platform as a service, allows businesses to create new computer programs through the use of online-development tools (Ryan & Loeffler, 2010). These service models are physically setup either in a private, cooperative, public, or hybrid cloud.

How the Cloud Works


Cloud computing allows businesses to bypass the expensive and complicated process of obtaining computer equipment and software. IT requirements can be outsourced to thirdparty cloud providers who supply computer hardware virtually via the Internet. Because of this, a business can now pay for the computing power it requires on a need-to-need basis. This allows businesses to pay for IT specifications

Cloud computing is expected to grow from a $50 million industry in 2009 to a $15 billion industry by 2013.

The Cloud Setup


The easiest way to understand each setup is to compare everyday business needs like processing, storage and data mining, to everyday household needs like doing the laundry. The washing machine represents computer hardware and the laundry represents business information and computing tasks. A private cloud setup is much like owning a washing machine and doing the laundry at home. A cooperative cloud setup is similar to using the shared washing machines at a Laundromat. A public cloud setup is like having the laundry go to the cleaners where hired staff does the work. In a hybrid cloud setup, the delicate clothes go to the cleaners while the rest is done at home (Walz & Grier, 2010). Cloud computing allows businesses a great deal of flexibility when provisioning IT resources.

Expected Growth of the Cloud Industry in Billions of Dollars


$16,000,000,000

$14,000,000,000

$12,000,000,000

$10,000,000,000

Future Cloud Growth


A businesses bottom line is often what drives the shift and adoption of new technology and the global shift to cloud computing is no different. In some parts of the world cloud computing is expected to grow from a $50 million industry in 2009 to a $15 billion industry by 2013 (Greengard, 2010). While many have viewed cloud computing as fueled by hype and pre-mature results, even skeptics find it hard to disagree with some of the key advantages that cloud computing offers.
$8,000,000,000

2009
2015

$6,000,000,000

$4,000,000,000

Over a six-year period the cloudcomputing industry is expected to grow by nearly 3000 percent!

$2,000,000,000 $0
2009 2015

Because of the utility-pricing structure cloud computing offers, businesses only pay for the resources they need.

The Cloud Advantage


Because of the utility-pricing structure cloud computing offers, businesses only pay for the resources they need. Smaller companies gain access to resources normally out of budget, while large enterprises can streamline and cut back on unnecessary staff and hardware. The cloud also allows all types of businesses the ability to scale their services as the business grows. Before cloud computing, a business would have to invest up front in new capital in anticipation of continued growth to meet new customer demand (Marston, Li, Bandyopadhyay, Zhang, Ghalsasi, 2011). however, make no mistakethe cloud is here to stay. The cloud computing industry will continue to grow with the adoption of industry wide standards and continual research into new cloud technology. New minds, businesses, and consumers will tap into the potential that cloud computing has to offer and continue to provide the world with new waves of collaborative innovation. Where will the cloud take us? The skys the limit.

Life in the Cloud


Many individuals dont realize theyve been experiencing the power of cloud computing almost every day. Facebook, Google Docs, flickr, Pandora, and Gmail are all services built around the concept and reality of cloud computing. The flexibility that cloud computing provides has led to a more open and more connected world. What was impossible a few years ago is now a part of daily life. Social networking and media sites connect millions of people every second, and have changed the way we interact with the world around us. The cloud offers a fully customizable experience catering almost instantly and, in some cases predicatively, to user preferences. The cloud offers a neverending stream of information. With the increased flow and accessibility of information comes power. This power in the hands of consumers is another way the cloud is forcing businesses to adapt and innovate.

By Eric Germann
Sources Goodburn, M. A., & Hill, S. (2010). The cloud transforms business. Financial Executive, 26(10), 34-39. Greengard, S., (2010). Cloud Computing and Developing Nations. Communications of the ACM, 53(5), 18-20. Marston, S., Li, Z., Bandyopadhyay, S., Zhang, J., & Ghalsasi, A. (2011). Cloud computing the business perspective. Decision Support Systems, 51(1), 176-189. Ryan, W. M., & Loeffler, C. M. (2010). Insights into cloud computing. Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, 22(11), 2228. Walz, J., & Grier, A.G. (2010). Time to Push the Cloud. IT Pro, 14-16.

A Clouded future?
With any new paradigm shift the future can seem cloudy at times. Some unwarranted hype may surround cloud computing;