Everybody is talking about cloud technology these days, but what does that really mean and is it safe? For example, what if you operated an app that stored your information in the cloud – or what if all your business information was in the cloud? Many people are nervous about this new aspect of technology which is a common and natural phenomenon. The solution lies in learning about this technology and what it can do for your business.
Before cloud computing, business applications were complicated to put together and expensive to implement. The hardware and software needed to run them were such that you needed a whole team of experts to install, configure, test, run, secure and update them. When you multiply this effort across dozens or even hundreds of apps, it's easy to see why even the biggest companies with the best IT departments aren't getting the apps out there they need. Obviously then, small and midsize businesses aren't getting them at all.
With cloud computing you eliminate these issues because you're not managing hardware and software – that becomes the responsibility of an experienced vendor. Cloud computing can completely change the way companies use technology to provide service to customers and suppliers. In fact, some businesses such as Google and Amazon already have most of their IT resources in the cloud. They have found it can eliminate many of the complex constraints from the traditional computing environment including space, time, power and cost.
Simply defined, cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data rather than using a local server. It represents the next stage in the evolution of the Internet, providing the means through which everything from computing power to infrastructure to applications to business processes can be delivered to you in a service wherever and whenever you need. The "cloud" in cloud computing can be defined as the set of hardware, networks, storage, services and interfaces that combine to deliver aspects of computing as a service. Cloud computing has four essential characteristics: the ability to scale up and down, self-service provisioning, application programming interfaces and metering of service usage in a pay-as-you-go model. It is this flexibility that attracts both individuals and businesses to move to the cloud.
In short, cloud computing is not just a fad, rather it promises new ways to collaborate everywhere through mobile devices.
Cloud Computing For Dummies