The Business Software Advisor
You ask the questions, and our resident software guru shares her wisdom.
This week’s question: I’ve been hearing a lot about “cloud computing”. What is it and what does it mean for my business?
A: This year, Gartner estimated that, “by 2012, 80 percent of Fortune 1000 companies will pay for some cloud computing service, and 30 percent of them will pay for cloud computing infrastructure.” Cloud computing is a term that’s being thrown around quite a bit these days and one that’s clearly important to businesses… but what is it?
Cloud computing, according to Wikipedia, is “Internet-based development and use of computer technology.” The idea of a cloud comes from the shape typically used in computer network diagrams and represents the idea of an abstraction concealing the complex infrastructure underneath: in simple terms, the “cloud”, in today’s terms, means the Internet, by which data is transferred.
More specifically, when companies provide IT-related functions as services, users can access these technology-enabled services through the Internet (“in the cloud”). Cloud computing is a virtualization concept; it means a single point of data access for all consumers. In representing technological trends, cloud computing refers to concepts like SaaS (software as a service), DaaS (data as a service), and Web 2.0 technologies. Google Apps is a simple example of cloud computing.
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[Photo courtesy of intellisyn.]