Cloud computing is no longer in the future. It is happening now
Cloud Computing is a revolutionary, now increasingly standard type of Internet-based computing. There is nothing mysterious or etheric about it. Cloud computing is no longer in the future. It is happening now.
For a half century, companies bought their own machines for data processing. The revolutionary shift towards Cloud Computing began over 10 years ago, when IT engineers discovered how data and software could be distributed efficiently across multiple servers for collective use. This solved the persistent problem of stand-alone servers requiring greater than normal usage capacity to accommodate surges in demand. By linking machines together into a larger “virtual” Cloud-based system, the surge problem was solved, freeing significant capacity.
- In June of this year, The New York Times posted an extensive article entitled “The Era of Cloud Computing.” One prediction stood out: “Industry analysts at IDC figure that if largely cloud-based things like mobile apps, big data, and social media are counted, over the next six years almost 90% of new spending on Internet and communications technologies…will be on cloud-based technology.”
- There is now widespread consensus among experts that “The Cloud is transforming how we sell, market, communicate, collaborate, innovate, train, and educate.”
The inevitability of Cloud computing
In recent years, major improvements in processing power and bandwidth have ensured Cloud Computing’s Internet dominance. –These factors, combined with the breakthrough in distributed capacity, make Cloud Computing inevitable. The keystone benefit, of course, is dramatically reduced cost for data storage, now as low as a penny a gigabyte on Amazon Web Services (AWS). That is about one-hundredth of its cost when AWS began.
This is amazing, because a price collapse like this is about 600% faster than predicted by Moore’s Law, a rule in computing that predicts the same cost yields twice the speed/capability every 18 to 24 months.
Further, I will provide specific examples of how this new technology is adding unprecedented value to business and our personal lives.
We are rapidly accelerating away from a world where computing was a scarce resource
Across-the-board, transformative change
The Cloud Computing Revolution has transformed how we conduct business and live our personal lives. If you use a smartphone, tablet or web browser you’re using the Cloud. If you watch Netflix and other streaming entertainment media, you’re using the Cloud. The same applies to Dropbox, the iCloud, and numerous other Internet-based technology services.
Bottom line: we are rapidly accelerating away from a world where computing was a scarce resource to one in which it’s superabundant and omnipresent. The Cloud is IT on steroids. While no one can predict where all this will lead in the longer term, it’s clear that businesses needs to adapt to and harness these changes to remain competitive.
Cloud computing takes three different forms: public, private and ‘hybrid.’
• The Public Cloud involves free or the ‘pay-as-you-go’ renting of server storage and software. Most of us first started using the public cloud provided by companies such as Microsoft, Google and Apple to store documents and photos remotely.
• The Private Cloud naturally followed when companies decided to provide employees with secure remote access to company files. The advantage: we can now work from any location 24/7. The disadvantage: we can now work from any location 24/7! Both large and midsized companies have rapidly established private clouds.
The fusion of private and public cloud capacity arrived more recently with the development of ‘hybrid clouds’ that conflate employee private software and storage functions with public services for customers, vendors and others.
The standard it business model is outmoded
With solid quality free alternatives now available on the Cloud, consumers no longer need to buy expensive software from IT monoliths like Microsoft and Adobe. In response to this far-reaching development, these and other big players have been compelled to offer lower-cost Cloud alternatives to their notoriously expensive software and service packages.
Cloud computing is the new IT department for small and medium sized businesses
Small and medium-sized businesses are now able to access comprehensive IT services for a low, pay-as-you-go cost. This means they are able to dedicate the bulk of their resources to innovation, big data analysis and implementing plans for business transformation/growth. Companies with long-standing IT staffs can shift from a firefighting maintenance mode to proactively responding to industry trends and individualizing customer service. Even the smallest company, given the right talent and a winning strategy, has the potential to build a global presence with exponential growth.
Breakthrough social benefits of Cloud computing
Cloud Computing’s capacity for pooling tremendous processing power has catalyzed innovations in the past few years previously not believed possible. These include real-time language translation self-driving cars and a myriad of devices that learn our behavior and then adjust themselves accordingly.
One case-in-point is SynapDx, with only 22 employees and a few laptops searches hundreds of thousands of genetic markers, researching autism in about 1,000 children across 20 states. Without the cloud, it wouldn’t be possible to fund a start-up like SynapDX,
“Without the cloud I’d need $1 million, plus staff, just for the computer,” according to Mark DePristo, a vice president of SynapDX. “Instead, we spend only $25,000 a month on computing, adding computer power when necessary”…