Cloud computing – we hear the term almost daily. But really, just what is cloud computing all about? That seems to be a common question. In June of this year, TELUS and IDC Canada released a study on cloud computing which surveyed 200 Canadian business and IT executives and directors at large Canadian companies (500+ employees) across a range of industry sectors. The study found that 63% of Canadian companies surveyed did not have enough or had only a base level of knowledge to make decisions on whether to use a cloud service or their internal IT department.Read this page.
A recent article from eweek.com also indicates that there is a great deal of confusion about cloud computing. The article makes reference to a recent study commissioned by Citrix Systems which included more than 1000 adults in the U.S. The study showed that most respondents thought that the cloud is related to weather. 51% of respondents thought that the weather could interfere with cloud computing. Despite the confusion, the study also found that 97% of participants are using cloud services today with examples including on-line banking, shopping, social networks and file sharing. Further, 59% of respondents indicated that they believe that the “workplace of the future” will be in the cloud which is somewhat contradictory to the prevalence of cloud computing today.
This insight above mirrors what we find amongst our own clients. Knowledge of cloud computing is relatively limited and as a result, organizations may be missing out on significant opportunities to make their business stronger by reducing cost and risk. Our hope is that this article provides insight into cloud computing to help you to assess its fit for your business requirements.
What is cloud computing?
First of all, it’s useful to understand where the term cloud computing came from. It most likely originated from the use of a cloud image to represent a networked computing environment or the internet.
A quick Google search will reveal a number of definitions for cloud computing. I like a definition I picked up from Wikipedia which defines cloud computing as the delivery of computing as a service whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility, similar to the electricity grid, over a network which is most often the internet.