What is cloud computing?

cloud-computing

Cloud computing is a topic that has grown in interest over the years, especially with businesses and IT companies. Cloud computing, according to PCMAG’s Eric Griffith, is “storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive”.  While, cloud computing sounds like a great thing to implement, questions still remain on whether it should be implemented or not. How secure is it? Are there any integration issues? Is it worth it? These questions are valid and Karen Klein of Bloomberg Businessweek, provides some pros and cons of implementing cloud computing.  On the pro side, Klein argues that, “having your data and business computing programs running on-line, rather than exclusively on your office computers, means that you and your staff have access to them any time, anywhere there’s an Internet connection”. She also adds that, “software provided on-line is upgraded and maintained by the provider, so the small business owner does not have to purchase the newest version of a software program or download fixes and patches”.  Basically, what Klein is saying, is that cloud computing means an employee can access information at any time, so long as an internet connection can be found and it is cost effective because business organizations do not have to continuously upgrade software programs.

While, we examine the pro side of implementing cloud computing, let’s turn our attention to the con side of implementing cloud computing.  Klein points out that cloud computing security is both a positive and negative thing because” company documents, customer relationship management, and shopping cart data stored in password-protected, secure sites on-line, it’s not necessarily a disaster if a sales rep loses a laptop or there’s a break-in at your headquarters”. She also cautions about cloud computing security by saying that, “the idea that extremely sensitive data, perhaps including trade secrets or confidential legal documents, is not locked up on company premises but is hovering somewhere in a cloud disconcerts some business owners”. Continuing on about security concerns with cloud computing, Klein states that, “there have been a couple of highly publicized incidents recently where on-line services lost supposedly secure data or went offline for some period of time, during which their customers’ accounts were inaccessible”.  What Klein is saying about cloud computing is that security and accessibility can be a negative with regards to implementing cloud  computing because of fears over allowing sensitive data to be released into the cloud, instead being kept in a secure location,  and denial of service attacks.

Overall, cloud computing can allow employees to access information at any time, so long as an internet connection can be found and it is cost effective because business organizations do not have to continuously upgrade software programs.  On the other hand, security and accessibility can be a problem because of fears over allowing sensitive data to be released into the cloud, instead being kept in a secure location, and denial of service attacks. Understanding customer concerns and providing thorough information is important because companies with limited experience with networking technologies may want to adopt cloud computing and having this type of empathy and knowledge may help sway them to adopt it.  In the end, cloud computing is important to understand because a lot of business organizations are considering implementing it for their organization.

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12 comments on “What is cloud computing?

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