Internet is represented as the ‘cloud’ and computing denotes software. Cloud computing refers to the delivery of technological resources to an alternate location. Cloud Computing is a prototype model where the data is permanently stored in servers on the internet and cached temporarily on clients. This includes desktop PCs, net cafes, laptops, palmtops, sensors, monitors, etc. A cloud can be held by a private or public enterprise. A public cloud is net-based service whereas a private cloud is a network or a data center that supplies hosted services to small groups.
Software-as-a-service envisages construction of hardware from the service. Cloud Computing enables infrastructure and services for the computer, as and when required which is called Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). The computer paraphernalia includes hard disk, development platform, database, power or the entire software applications. Platform-as-a-service in the cloud is used when a bundle of software and product development tools hosted on the provider’s infrastructure. Developers create applications on the provider’s platform over the Internet. PaaS providers may use APIs, website portals or gateway software installed on the computer.
Cloud computing for enterprises
Cloud Computing is a technology architecture evolution which is exposed to business models, can revolutionize business. There is no need for organizations to make heavy investment in order to make available these resources but only make usage charges. This is a paradigm shift from fixed capital expenditure to operating expense and huge funds locked up in technology spending can be diverted to address our immediate and urgent needs thereby optimal utilization of funds makes it productive. This strategic shift from investments in servers and data management increases expenditure. Funds can be better utilized in human capital, purchasing advanced technology products, diversifying to new areas, research, services, marketing, etc. wherein the direct use of these funds might prove beneficial.
Cloud computing will grow rapidly and with SaaS, most will adopt a wait-and-watch policy before a full-fledged adoption. Hence, organizations may not drop their existing services.
There are strategic advantages to have multiple suppliers as against a single vendor. Because this will drive the business hard and make it flexible, resilient, adapt to time constraints and become a change agent.