Okay, so, Cloud Computing – here’s the idea:
Grant users access to information over a network connection that is accessible anywhere through a web connected device.
Infographic courtesy of Mashable.com
With cloud computing, there is no need to connect to a local network server. You could access work files at home, during your commute, or on a business trip without having access to your office share drive. All you’d need is internet access.
Another great consideration for the cloud is its scalability. As businesses grow, it is simple and cost effective to expand to a larger service plan that would allow even companies with multiple office locations to easily unite their distributed workforce with one central information/access hub.
Considering some of the benefits to leveraging this type of technology for business, it may seem like a no brainer. But not everyone agrees that the readily available distribution of such data to a wide network should leave its users floating on Cloud 9.
For instance, Richard Stallman founder of the Free Software Foundation considers the potential risks of “relinquishing control of your data to ‘the cloud’” – with particular regards to software as a service (SaaS) platforms. Stallman questions whether users are too complacent with their information distribution, suggesting that cloud computing is the “devil-may-care” solution where no one questions who controls your data and everyone seems to trust that it is secure.
And of course there’s also the consideration of service outages. If the cloud system fails, your business is generally left helpless and no amount of troubleshooting on the user side will save you.
And so, it seems to be the age old tug-of-war between the pros and cons that come along with any technological advancement. To determine which will win out, companies need to look more closely at their own goals and needs not only to determine whether cloud computing is the right solution for them, but also to determine which cloud platform would be the right solution for them.
With that, let’s bring on the case studies! J