There is a lot of industry hype around the term cloud computing. It can be very confusing. The word cloud, in this context is used instead of the world-wide-web or internet.
Cloud computing lets you use files and applications over the Internet. Put simply, you use internet based websites or service provider such as Google, where you log on to the site, use their files or applications provided, then save your work to their site.
Normal applications on the computer are:
1 Hardware used to drive the computer.
2 Software programs, which are applications purchased and installed on to the computer; such as word processing that you then can use. All entries then that you make in these software programs can saved to your computer drive.
It is now common practice for businesses small and large to save over the internet the back-up of the end-of-the-day files to a remote service provider, that could be anywhere in the world. This is seen as a form of business insurance in-case of such instances as theft, fire or earthquake.
Some businesses have gone over completely to using cloud computing for all their business needs. This means their computers have a keyboard, minimal operating system and a web browser only. Really they are little more than a display terminal that is connected to the internet.
This can mean a reduced cost of buying, installing and upgrading software into each computer. There is the promise of no virus attacks on your computers from the direct link to internet sites to your files.
Cloud services are often designed to work across the spectrum of platforms such as Windows, Mac, and Linux. Many providers have also made changes to accommodate smart phones and tablets.
There are genuine concerns being raised about the security assurance of these cloud services. Issues such as who has access to the files for example, government agencies or competitors. Who governs the security? Hackers have been found to pose as legitimate customers then once into the site they can crack into passwords and launch attacks.
Other issues raised are wherever the cloud providers are providing top service for their applications.
There are also concerns about what happens if a cloud provider shuts down for financial or legal reasons. This appears to have occurred in a number of cases.
So how far do we embrace this form of computing? It begs the question is it completely safe for your business model?
There is now the ultimate service coming from Google. It is a notebook pc, that has a simple interface and web browser. The user then has access to only Google sites to work on making Google the one-stop-shop on cloud computing applications. Is this the way of the future?