Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff, Vormetric Blog

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, SOA & WOA

Cloud Expo: Article

The Advantages of Using Cloud Computing

Cloud computing can be very quick and easy to get up and running

A recent survey carried out by PEER 1 Network Enterprises found that of the 88% of key decision-makers that do not use cloud computing, 39% said it was because they don't know enough about it. So, for those who are still in the dark, what is cloud computing anyway?

Cloud computing enables users to store files and software remotely, rather than on a hard drive or server at their office. The fact is many people may already be using cloud computing without realizing it, whether through work or personal use. Examples include web-based email like Gmail and Hotmail, communication tools like Skype, video sites like YouTube and Vimeo and music-sharing sites such as SoundCloud.

Some examples of cloud computing applications include software as a service (SaaS), Customer Relationship Management, file storage, file synchronization and file back-up. It's now possible for businesses to have their own private cloud, which incorporates specific services and is only accessible to specific people.

The Benefits of Cloud Computing
There are lots of advantages to using cloud computing for international companies. One of the major ones is the flexibility that it offers. Cloud computing means that staff can access the files and data that they need even when they're working remotely and/or outside office hours.

As long as they can get on the Internet, staff can access information from home, on the road, from clients' offices or even from a smartphone such as a BlackBerry or iPhone. Staff can also work collaboratively on files and documents, even when they're not physically together. Documents can simultaneously be viewed and edited from multiple locations.

Cloud computing can be very quick and easy to get up and running. Consider, for example, how quickly you can set up a Gmail or Hotmail account and start emailing - it takes minutes and all you need is a computer and the Internet. Downloading and installing software, on the other hand, takes much longer.

Cloud computing is often cheaper and less labor-intensive for companies too. There is no need to buy and install expensive software because it's already installed online remotely and you run it from there, not to mention the fact that many cloud computing applications are offered free of charge. The need to pay for extensive disk space is also removed. With cloud computing, you subscribe to the software, rather than buying it outright. This means that you only need to pay for it when you need it, and it also offers flexibility, in that it can be quickly and easily scaled up and down according to demand. This can be particularly advantageous when there are temporary peaks in demand, such as at Christmas or in summer, for example.

A major advantage of using cloud computing for many companies is that because it's online, it offers virtually unlimited storage compared to server and hard drive limits. Needing more storage space does not cause issues with server upgrades and equipment - usually all you need to do is increase your monthly fee slightly for more data storage.

In addition, there is no need to take on specialist IT staff, and businesses don't have to worry about maintaining and upgrading software or fixing bugs, as all maintenance is done by the providers. This frees-up in-house IT teams to focus on technical issues specific to the business. Remote maintenance means it's easy for businesses to always have the latest and most powerful version of any particular software.

Automatic software updates can be especially useful for legal or financial compliance reasons. For example, consider accounting and bookkeeping software - when tax rates change the system will be automatically and centrally updated.

Many international businesses also choose cloud computing because of its green credentials. Microsoft recently claimed that cloud computing can reduce a business's carbon emissions by as much as 30%, as businesses don't need to power an entire server, they only use (and pay for) what they need online.

The Pros and Cons
There are some potential drawbacks to cloud computing, though, that are worth bearing in mind. One of the reasons many businesses choose cloud computing is because online storage and back-up means their data can't be lost or destroyed, but the flip side is that many are concerned about the security issues associated with storing their data on the web.

While some experts argue that cloud computing is more secure than traditional server methods, businesses are still concerned that outsiders (or insiders) could bypass security systems and access confidential data. A survey from IDC found that security was the main worry that businesses have about cloud computing, followed by availability and performance. However, it's worth weighing up the risks and remembering that traditional servers can also be hacked into, hard drives can fail and computers can be lost or stolen.

Privacy is another issue which businesses cite as a concern when it comes to cloud computing. Some wonder how much data and what kind of data companies are able to collect about them and their business.

Another concern for some companies when it comes to cloud computing is the risk of losing Internet connectivity. The risks associated with this are usually isolated and short-lived, but many companies' workflows are massively disrupted by any Internet downtime. Businesses that implement cloud computing need to take steps to reduce the risk of any Internet interruption or reduced speeds. However, these risks are comparable with servers or computers being out of action for a period of time, which is just as likely, or perhaps more likely to happen, than the Internet failing.

While there are a number of issues for companies to bear in mind, and cloud computing may not be ideal for every business, it can be an extremely cost-effective and beneficial way for large and small international companies to store data and access software - so it's well worth considering and researching in more depth. Because of the scalability of cloud computing, it's easy for firms to start small and try certain applications out to see how it works for them and their business before gradually expanding their use.

More Stories By Christian Arno

Christian Arno is the founder of professional translation agency Lingo24. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 150 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. In the past twelve months, they have translated over sixty million words for businesses in every industry sector. Follow Christian (@l24ca) and Lingo24 (@Lingo24) on Twitter.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Vormetric on Wednesday announced the results of its 2015 Insider Threat Report (ITR), conducted online on their behalf by Harris Poll and in conjunction with analyst firm Ovum in fall 2014 among 818 IT decision makers in various countries, including 408 in the United States. The report details striking findings around how U.S. and international enterprises perceive security threats, the types of employees considered most dangerous, environments at the greatest risk for data loss and the steps or...
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
Storage administrators find themselves walking a line between meeting employees’ demands to use public cloud storage services, and their organizations’ need to store information on-premises for security, performance, cost and compliance reasons. However, as file sharing protocols like CIFS and NFS continue to lose their relevance, simply relying only on a NAS-based environment creates inefficiencies that hurt productivity and the bottom line. IT wants to implement cloud storage it can purchase a...
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, inf...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Software AG and Wipro Ltd. have announced a joint solution platform for streaming analytics that provides real-time actionable intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. “The key to successfully addressing the IoT market is the ability to rapidly build and evolve apps that tap into, analyze and make smart decisions on fast, big data”, said John Bates, Global Head of Industry Solutions and CMO, Software AG. To address the huge market potential created by streaming analytics in conj...
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Blue Box has been around for 10-11 years, and last year we launched Blue Box Cloud. We like the term 'Private Cloud as a Service' because we think that embodies what we are launching as a product - it's a managed hosted private cloud," explained Giles Frith, Vice President of Customer Operations at Blue Box, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your onlin...
Software Defined Storage provides many benefits for customers including agility, flexibility, faster adoption of new technology and cost effectiveness. However, for IT organizations it can be challenging and complex to build your Enterprise Grade Storage from software. In his session at Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, CMO at Cloudian, looked at the new Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) market and how it is changing the storage world. Now Software Defined Storage companies can build Enterprise grade ...
IBM and Docker, Inc. have announced a strategic partnership that enables enterprises to more efficiently, quickly and cost effectively build and run the next generation of applications on the IBM Cloud and on prem via the Docker open platform for distributed applications. Enterprises can use the combination of IBM and Docker to create and manage a new generation of portable distributed applications that are rapidly composed of discrete interoperable Docker containers, have a dynamic lifecycle, a...
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore's Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at Big Data Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, disc...
SYS-CON Media announced that Splunk, a provider of the leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, has launched an ad campaign on Big Data Journal. Splunk software and cloud services enable organizations to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine-generated big data coming from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices. The ads focus on delivering ROI - how improved uptime delivered $6M in annual ROI, improving customer operations by minin...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
"We are the top stocking distributor for HP renew products in North America. We can only sell to U.S. authorized partners and resellers for HP," explained Miguel Diazdelcastillo Jr., Sales Executive at Creative Business Solutions, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Puppet Labs on Wednesday released the DevOps Salary Report, based on salary data gathered from Puppet Labs' industry-recognized State of DevOps Report. The data confirms that market demand for DevOps skills is growing, and that DevOps engineers are among the highest paid IT practitioners today. That's because IT organizations today are grappling with how to be more agile and responsive to the business, while maintaining the stability of their infrastructure. DevOps practices, such as continuous ...
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the tec...
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Amazon, Google and Facebook are household names in part because of their mastery of Big Data. But what about organizations without billions of dollars to spend on Big Data tools - how can they extract value from their data? In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and Head of Engineering at Databricks, discussed how the zero management cost and scalability of the cloud is addressing the challenges and pain points that data engineers face when working with Big Data. He also s...