If you’re reading this, you know how important cloud computing has become. According to statistics from Forbes, American businesses are expected to spend over $13 billion this year on cloud computing solutions. Meanwhile, American citizens continue to spend over $2 billion on Netflix and other cloud entertainment services annually. Clearly, cloud solutions are fundamentally reshaping this fledgling age of the internet.
The Cloud isn’t Really New
Although the best cloud computing solutions haven’t really taken a mainstream role until recently, that shouldn’t be taken to mean that these technologies, driving everything from small business phone systems to dedicated server hosting, are brand new. As Computer Weekly points out, cloud computing has its roots in the genius of J.C.R. Licklider. In 1969, Licklider conceived of the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). This idea not only built the foundations of the internet, but it also serves as the foundation for cloud computing. In a nutshell, the “cloud” is just a symbolic term for the internet, anyway, but it wasn’t until recently that technology advanced to the point where cloud computing solutions, like virtualized databases, hosting solutions, etc., could be provided with any sort of quality assurance.
How Does Cloud Computing Work?
That’s mostly due to the way the cloud functions. If we’re to follow the analogy of what a cloud is, then the cloud should be said to made up of a number of particles brought together by energy. Climatologists might have something to say about that overly simplified description, but it’s the best way to describe our fluffy friends in the sky aptly.
Cloud computing services, as HongKiat suggests, work by bringing processor power, storage, and memory together from multiple machines, i.e. the particles, to form a virtualized computing space. In effect, this forms a specialized part of the internet that can be accessed and maintained for specific purposes, whether it’s streaming music from Spotify or watching the latest episode of House of Cards on Netflix.
How Cloud Computing Will Shape 2014
You’ve already had a glimpse at the increased business spending on cloud computing this year brings, but what will the far ranging effects of this paradigm shift be? According to CIO, a popular business technology website, there will be multiple significant effects:
- Specialization of Technologies
- Small Businesses Will Be Better Equipped
One of the big changes coming this year is true specialization of cloud technologies and cloud solution providers. For instance, streaming video game providers, like SONY, will rely on services that can handle huge amounts of bandwidth, while not having to worry all that much about high processing power, as that will be handled on the console end of things. Likewise, businesses in need of greater storage, memory, and processing power will find cloud services offering solutions specialized for them.
One of the biggest problems with technology has been the cost of adaptation. Cost has kept small businesses from being able to adopt technologies that allow them to compete with their bigger competitors. However, as the cloud continues to come down in price, small businesses will finally gain a competitive edge over their behemoth counterparts.
It may have taken a while, but cloud computing is the name of the game in 2014. Whether you’re a small business owner or a higher-up in a multinational, turning to the cloud can fundamentally alter and improve how you do business in this young year. See this link for more references.