Sunny News About Cloud Computing

|| Information Technology |

A lot of people don't realize it but they are already using the next technology milestone that analysts predict, will revolutionize the world of computing over the next few years.

This technology is called cloud computing. Capped by the launch of iCloud, a dream project of Apple visionary Steve Jobs, cloud computing in its broad sense has been around for decades. Deployed as email services, online image repositories and web-based document storage, cloud computing refers to an information architecture wherein data and software applications are stored, managed, and used in cyberspace as opposed to a personal computing device.

That means Gmail, Flickr, and YouTube are examples of cloud computing services, and if you are using any of the three or other similar services, you use cloud computing technologies. In the US, some 70% of the online population use cloud computing in the form of webmail services, according to a PEW report.

People generally agree on the benefits of the technology and have mentioned several common advantages:
  1. Many users mention the convenience of being able to access their personal data or use online applications like word processors from any electronic device that can connect to the Web. With cloud computing, people don't even need to own a computer to access their personal data.
  2. Flexibility and ease of use are also major factors that attract people to use cloud-based services. Uploading photos on Facebook and videos on YouTube are pretty easy that kids can do both on their own.
  3. Being able to share data with personal contacts is another paramount draw among sociable netizens.
  4. Close professional collaboration is also facilitated by such cloud applications like Google Docs.
  5. The need for carrying floppy disks, USB flash drives, or CDs is greatly reduced as long as an Internet connection can be established.
One source of concern among users though, is the possibility of companies [who control the cloud services] accessing or selling personal data to third parties.

Another issue is an emerging one. If users use different cloud-based services to create, send, receive, and store data, wouldn't there be a time when multiple data residing on multiple services be difficult to manage? What if a user collaborates with peers using several services such as Gmail, Dropbox, and Evernote? Wouldn't there be a break somewhere? The need to centralize groups of information will be a pressing one as cloud services continue to gain traction among individual and organizational consumers.

Already, quite a number of business organizations are reaping the huge benefits of adopting cloud-based applications. Even with the recognized security risks, in fact, many companies are already using the technology. Increased savings is high on the list as cloud applications generally cost less than enterprise versions that still need to be installed and managed on the company's own servers. Increased (unlimited) storage is also a plus factor. Flexibility and automation are also advantages that will compel more and more organizations to join the ever-increasing market for cloud-based enterprise applications.

As data becomes more manageable for mobile computing and on-demand platforms continue to evolve, the growth of cloud-based services will certainly be phenomenal, as Steve Jobs forecast. With consumers being able to access documents, music, and videos from their smart phones or from tablets like the iPad, the ecosystem for cloud computing will likely explode and niche providers that will engage the gaps in the system will naturally emerge.

As mentioned, the challenge of centralizing related data will be a looming issue. Many companies are already goading their R&D to develop applications designed to fill the "gaps in the cloud". One such solution is called Fileboard, an iPad app that allows users to centrally access and manage documents from leading cloud-based services such as Evernote and Dropbox. Many more innovative solutions will be developed by niche players as cloud computing finally emerges as the dominant IT architecture.

But whatever comes, all signs point to a sunny weather for cloud computing.