Before we start debating on the topic of cloud computing being a bane or a boon, we first need to understand what exactly is it and what functionalities are attributing to this new phenomenon in the internet world.
Understanding Cloud Computing
First off, cloud computing refers to the sharing of data. This data can be in the form of software, an application or even documents. With the consent of authorized authors this data is stored on servers for the world to have access to. We call it a “cloud” because it encompasses in itself any form of data or information that could be used by a global audience. All you have to do to get access to this information is subscribe to the specific cloud service provider or use special software to get access to the data. This technology has helped thousands of businesses to get data as well as software functionality from one centralized location, instead of having to access and retrieve data from varied places. This could be best explained with the help of a small example.
Suppose an office needs to have database software installed for all call center employees to benefit. Now the problem is if they have to install it on every single computer, it would not only be a waste of time but also of resources too. Therefore, cloud computing acts as a central repository where the software will be installed and everyone in the office would locate the cloud (usually a central server) and access the software. All that an employee would have to do is log on the cloud system with a particular user name/password and start using the software.
Cloud computing also saves on hardware use and provides efficient connectivity within a specific environment. Performing heavy graphics work, database work, etc, one doesn’t need to have a powerful hardware/software installed. They simply have to log on to the system and use its resources to work.
Drawbacks of Cloud Computing
Though, this is all the good side of cloud computing, the negative aspect is mainly of privacy. If anyone has access to the user name or password (which can easily be gained through a simple hack) then they can manipulate the entire application/document present in the cloud. This easy access to a cloud computing process is highly criticized by security analysts and this is also one reason why many companies have still avoided taking on this process. The second major flaw in this seemingly efficient system is the dire need of internet connectivity, without which you are not atall able to connect to the cloud. This could be a major loss. If a company’s network malfunctions for even a day, it would be disastrous as the access to important data would be halted. And we all know that one mismanaged day in a firm can cause a catastrophe and numerous losses.
These two major concerns have shadowed the progressive track of this phenomenon concept and until cloud computing experts do not provide optimal security systems and an alternative dependency of the internet, it would be difficult to state if companies would be ready to take on cloud computing.