Cloud Computing: Main Concepts and Features

Advancement in technology resulted in creation of computers, as well as the Internet has led to unimaginable changes in the way human beings carry out their day to day activities. The desire of firms to backup information regarding their customers, operations, among others, to reduce the costs led to the development of cloud computing. Cearly and Phifer (2012) defined cloud computing as “a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ to customers using internet technologies”.

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It is worth mentioning that organizations, such as Amazon, Google, IBM, and HP, among others, are now offering cloud computing services to businesses. Among the most recent developments, Apple Inc. created iCloud which has made cloud computing to be accessible to businesses as well as consumers.

Since Ericsson adopted cloud computing through Amazon Web Services, it has tremendously reduced the cost of running business. It is recorded that it lowered the costs by 30-40%. It is worth noting that the cost reduction came from a better use of hardware and decreasing the number of support team. Additionally, the firm only needed to spend money on those services they required. This is attributed to the fact that the concept of cloud computing gives users the ability to use the services and only pay for them.

Ericsson also benefited in terms of automated software updates. While using AWS, the company realized that despite it being cheaper to run software updates, cloud computing helped it resolve numerous cases that were previously linked to failed or delayed software updates. This is due to the fact that automation drives process efficiency as it eliminates the need to go through a server provisioning team. This has resulted in more satisfied customers who are loyal to Ericsson brand.

Additionally, Ericsson has taken advantage of cloud computing and the attribute of remote accessibility (Ramgovind, Eloff & Smith, 2010). With this, Ericsson employees no longer work in offices. A flexible work arrangement has been put in place to ensure that employees work at whatever location they are. This has increased productivity and customers and employees satisfaction. Lastly, Ericsson has managed to gain access to relevant information based on demand. Since AWS offers a variety of options for the data to be accessed, Ericsson as well as its customers can get the information at anytime they need.

Although the concept of cloud computing has tremendously grown in helping firms hit by recession to continue with there IT infrastructural development, there are security concerns that require serious analysis. Many organizations, especially those who have not adopted cloud computing, are more concerned about privileged user access. They wonder who will be in charge of accessing their data which contain business secrets in most cases.

To curb this problem, there is a need for the involved parties to open up so that businesses can be aware of who has an access to the data, hiring as well as management of related administrators. Moreover, organizations wonder what would really happen if they were out of business, or a disaster happened. To address this problem, the service provider ought to provide organizations with vital and factual information concerning how they should provide a business that is closing up with the information.

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Another security concern is based on the fact that while data can be secure in one jurisdiction, there is no guarantee that the same is the case in another country. It has been shown that various countries have different laws concerning data access. This coupled with the fact that many businesses do not know where their data is stored raises more security concerns. A typical example is the EU supporting the use of very strict protection policies, while in America, the government as well as specific agencies are bestowed with limitless powers to access information including those of the companies and businesses.

To address this issue, there is need for the involved countries to engage in efforts aimed at harmonizing their policies and laws concerning protection of privacy. Generally, for businesses to address security concerns related to cloud computing, it is necessary for them to inquire about exception monitoring systems to be established; if the service provider accommodates the business security laws, it is required to establish the third parties the service provider is dealing with as well as seek for independent security audit of the service provider (Turban & Volonino, 2011).

Although cloud computing has been deemed to be very reliable, there has been concerns with regard to adopting cloud computing. When one uses resources out of his or her building, the issue of horse power one uses is not well-known. Additionally, failures usually happen, thus it is necessary to have a full understanding of how they should be resolved. Concerning costs, there is need to establish accurately the cost of bandwidth to determine the true cost of using cloud computing.

To curb this, a firm needs to critically and accurately determine the cost of bandwidth as well as the willingness to deal with unreliability which comes with cloud computing, for instance, asking how quickly failures will be fixed. Cloud computing is characterized with scalability. But with increase in its use, there will be need to ensure that it continuously meets the growing amount of the users’ needs. This can be attained by beefing up with vertical scaling, multiplying with horizontal scaling, growing with diagonal scaling, designing to scale and building to scale (Marston, et al. 2011).

References

Cearley, D. & Phifer, G. (2012). Case Studies in Cloud Computing. Web.

Marston, S., Zhi L., Bandyopadhyay, S. Zhang, J. & Ghalsasi, A. (2011). Cloud computing: The business perspective. Decision Support Systems, 51(1), 176-189.

Ramgovind, S., Eloff, M. & Smith, E. (2010). The management of security in Cloud computing,” Information Security for South Africa, 2(1), 1-7.

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Turban, E. & Volonino, L. (2011). Information technology for management: Improving strategic and operational performance. New York: Wiley.

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