Don’t we just love top 10 lists? There must be a top ten list for just about everything out there, including cloud computing, but here is a list of why it’s “Too Awesome”.
1. Benefits for SMB
They say small businesses are the fuel of this country. In a time of economic turmoil, it is small businesses that can grow and expand our economy by providing products and services better then large companies and creating jobs. Cloud computing is too awesome for SMBs as it enables them to keep costs down by placing all their enterprise type software into the cloud. These applications typically require dedicated servers and IT staff to manage the servers and the applications. With technologies like VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) they can also run their desktops from the cloud, giving anytime, anywhere access to their desktop. This enables a remote workforce that allows the business to run with a smaller office (further cost cuts). Check out these two links for more info: Business Opportunities and Threats in Technology Cloud and Top Tips on Cloud Computing for Small Businesses
2. Lower Costs
Cloud computing transfers infrastructure costs to the data center host. With cloud computing, businesses of all sizes can instantly obtain the benefits of an enormous infrastructure without having to implement and administer it directly. Amazon EC2 charges only 8.5¢ an hour of compute time that is down from 10¢! If the software vendors are able to lower their costs, they can lower the prices of the services they provide to their customers. If their customers have lower IT costs they can provide their products to their customers for less. The savings can trickle down to the end user. Too Awesome!
3. Any Platform, Any Device
With on premise software, we have been tied down to a particular OS and platform. With cloud computing and SaaS, applications running in the cloud can be accessed from any kind of device that has Internet access. Cloud computing is too awesome because it will enable your Smartphone to access the same types of applications and data you can access with your computer. Giving you flexibility over how you access your applications and data.
4. On Demand Access
Being able to access your applications and data from anywhere at anytime has some major advantages. Employees are no longer tied to the office and can work remotely around the clock. Also, in the case their laptop is stolen or damaged, they will experience very little downtime as they can easily switch to another machine and have access to all their applications and data. This is too awesome because any documents you work on can be made to follow your `through the cloud`.
5. End of Software Piracy
While on premise software will not go away anytime soon, many applications will find themselves in the cloud. Since these websites will require a username and password to access their applications, it will be near impossible to pirate. With fewer titles available, the pirate scene will have less applications to pirate. ISVs will find cloud computing too awesome as they will slowly gain unrealized revenues.
6. Private Clouds
Private Clouds are too awesome because they allow cloud computing to be secure for the enterprise. With private clouds your data remains behind your firewall so access is limited to those who are trusted. They are also awesome because they will allow for faster adoption of cloud computing technology by large enterprises where security is a major issue.
7. Less Support Issues
Simply put, cloud computing removes the software off the desktop and onto the server. The majority of current IT challenges are incompatibilities and issues on the end user’s desktop. End users have infinite number of environments that can break the most thoroughly tested applications. By running applications through a browser, there is a finite amount of environments. Support issues will not only decrease, but they will change from time consuming troubleshooting issues to integration and simple “how do I” questions. This is too awesome news for ISVs looking to cut costs but bad news for those who work in desktop/software support.
8. IT Staff
What happens when you remove the applications from the desktop? Suddenly you have less support issues. This is a major shift in how desktops will be managed and where IT will spend a majority of their time and effort.
What does this mean for IT staff in an enterprise organization? Suddenly the majority of their time is spent managing the server racks and not so much at the desktop. This is too awesome for enterprises that have large desktop support groups and would like to cut costs.
You must think I have gone completely mad to list security as a too awesome reason for cloud computing. Cloud computing definitely introduces some new security vulnerabilities because data is no longer stored behind an enterprise’s secure network. But how secure is that network and how much can we trust the individuals that have access to data in that network? Fact is, most security breaches occur internally. Employees accessing data they should not be allowed to see or stealing computers/storage devices. If your entire user’s data is in the cloud and a laptop is stolen, there is very little data compromised. Finally I want to make the point that you should think of the cloud as a bank. Is your money safer under your mattress or in their vault?
10. Green Friendly
It’s always too awesome if a new technology can be green. Electricity plays a huge resource for datacenters and cloud computing. Cloud computing is green because less servers are required to do the same function. For example, a small business may have 2-3 physical servers running their enterprise applications. If they move to the cloud, these servers will be abolished and will be replaced by virtual servers in the cloud consuming far less amount of electricity, requiring less hardware, and less cooling.