Cloud Computing

I am not sure if I would put cloud computing under the category of social media because it can do more than just sharing information or collaboration. According to this CNN News video, individual users and organizations can run programs and store files on cloud without building large IT infrastructure, without hiring IT personnel, or without renting physical storage space.

Recently, cloud storage has become a new battle field in IT. DropBox, for example, was established in 2007 and is big in online-file-sharing business, but it only offers 2GB free space. iCloud, initiated in October 2011, offers 5GB free space for storing media and document files, but it only works with Apple products. This month, Google Drive began offering 5GB free space, but it does not fully support Microsoft products. Microsoft, actually, also introduced the SkyDrive concept back in 2007, but it has never taken off. Now, it is giving out 7GB space for free.

Often, competition will result in low price. Cloud computing offers great opportunities for small businesses. Besides the low cost of running IT operations, companies can easily sell (or purchase) personalized apps on “cloud,” as if they were ordering food from an à-la-carte menu in a restaurant.

A critical drawback of cloud computing comes from the security issue of using the technology. My take is everything that is connected to the internet has risk. Even for things that are physically locked in a safe, they are not 100% secured, right?

Do you use cloud? What are your experiences? What benefits will cloud computing bring to business?

References:
Fowler, Geoffrey A. and Vascellaro, Jessica E. (April 3, 2012). Hype hangs over DropBox: A $4 billion valuation, celebrity investors, hit product; Now a moment of proof. The Wall Street Journal, pp. B1 & B7. Also available online
Mossberg, Walter S. (April 25, 2012). Google heads to the cloud for storage to sync and edit. The Wall Street Journal, pp. D1 & D2. Also available online.

 

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